Image (Above): "The Seven Signatories," Jason O'Ceannobháin, 2005
After the fall of the Irish Parliament, Ireland became a weaker nation under British rule. As a result, many Irish people advocated for "home rule", a ruling system which Ireland can govern themselves while under British rule. Bills to pass this were turned down by the British, enraging Irish nationalists. As a result, secret groups emerged to attempt to overthrow British ruling in Ireland.
Irish Republican Brotherhood
The Irish Republican Brotherhood was led by Irish nationalists Thomas Clarke and Seán MacDermott, who believed in using force to establish an independent Irish government. This goal was supported by the Gaelic League, which was taken over by the IRB. Because of the IRB’s mass support, they were the main organization during the Rising.
"Against or with us, we will put up a grand fight that will forever save the soul of Ireland." - Thomas Clarke
"It was decided that a Rising should take place in Ireland, should the German army invade Ireland; secondly if England attempted to enforce conscription on Ireland; and thirdly if the war were coming to an end and the Rising had not already taken place, we should rise in revolt, declare war on England and when the conference was held to settle the terms of peace, we should claim to be represented as a belligerent nation."
- Seán T. O'Kelly, IRB Member
Irish Volunteer Force
"Grab a gun, it doesn't solve their hatred towards us. Sign a treaty and we create equality between us."
- Michael O'Rahilly, IVF Member
The Irish Volunteer Force was formed in 1913 in response to the Ulster Volunteer Force, who supported the Act of Union.
"...the Irish Volunteers, if they are a military force, are not a militarist force, and their object is to secure Ireland’s rights and liberties and nothing else."
- Eóin MacNeill
The IVF was led by Eóin MacNeill and Patrick Pearse, who believed in obtaining Irish independence through conservative acts and resolutions.
"The object proposed for the Irish Volunteers is to secure and maintain the rights and liberties common to all the people of Ireland. Their duties will be defensive and protective, and their will not contemplate either aggression or domination. "
- Manifesto of Irish Volunteers, November, 1914
Irish Citizen Army
"We want our men to be trained and drilled, so that when it comes to a pinch they will be able to handle a rifle." - James Connolly
The Irish Citizen Army was founded by James Connolly to protect rebel workers from the police during their protests.
"We are not keeping Irish criminals out of police custody. We are simply putting manners on the police."
- Jack White, ICA Member
The ICA was in charge of developing optimal offensive strategies while maintaining the safety of the Irish public.
"Stand up and throw the upper classes off your back, and by stopping the wheels of industry you will make these people recognize the great power that you possess. Our rebellion is against the employing classes, so that we shall have our rights, and to that end we mean to fight until victory crowns our flag."
- James Connolly