Mr Mulholland and Mr McClements took their History classes in the footsteps of the insurgents of the Easter Rising, 1916. They began, as James Connolly began, outside where the Liberty Hall once stood. Connolly reportedly told the stunned Volunteers, “We could all be dead in 10 minutes!”
Students were taken to the key strongholds taken in that Easter week including, the GPO and the Four Courts. Some of these places are not on the usual tourist route, like the salubrious surroundings of Wynn’s Hotel. It was here, probably while sipping a Parisian inspired coffee, that the Irish Volunteers were founded by County Antrim’s Eoin MacNeill.
The day finished at Kilmainham Gaol and its recently refurbished museum. The tour took us through the jail’s buildings as they evolved over time: the “innovative” gaol as it was first built with rooms for each prisoner; the back-breaking stone breakers yard; the cell that held Charles Stewart Parnell (leader of the Irish Home Rule Party); the cells of the 1916 insurgents and the wall where the firing squad’s bullets shot the leaders into martyrdom and legend.
It was a fascinating trip and has proved very helpful to their understanding of this crucial period of our history. Thanks to the Year 14 History classes , Mr Mulholland and Mr McClements for making it such an enjoyable experience.