Birth of The Republic (Paget)

Easter 1916.
Not of course “accurate” and requiring a certain amount of artistic licence.

Three years ago, I was told something really interesting about this iconic image…and an unlikely connexion to Sherlock Holmes

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4 Responses to Birth of The Republic (Paget)

  1. Political Tourist says:

    Pre the troubles and leaving aside the 1966 event is it true the Easter Commemoration at Milltown Cemetery in West Belfast was a very small affair.
    All the local politicians like Devlin, Diamond and Fitt seem to have seen off the the various shades of Sinn Fein for the best part of 70 years after the Easter Rising.
    A friend who would have been a youngster in the early 1960s reckoned there was no more than a couple of hundred at the commemoration.

    • Yes this is true.
      The regulars showed up in early 1960s. These were veterans of 1940s. unfair to name them here. Most if not all are dead.
      Important to see the context. They were held to be seelf-sacrificing (and often misguided) people by mainstream nationalists but rarely id anyone speak ill of them.
      they were respected. And often attached to broader culture…language, music, GAA, church.

      Likewise 1966…the commemoration (margaret O’callaghan at QUB is the best on it…certainly it corresponds witn my recollection as I was turning 14.) was largely led by “Clonard Men” who themselves would be at the heart of forming Provisionals in 1969-70.
      Certainly in 1970 and 1971, I saw the Official and Provisional easter parades pass at bottom of Whiterock Road….Provisionals (the Pinheads) very impressive in batallion and company order.

      After 1971-72, it was never quite the same again. i dont think the succeeding leaders were ever held with the same “affection”.
      I have been wondering about this for a day or so.
      jn part 1916 does not get serios critique from nationalists because the people involved were so obiously self sacrtiicing…heroes going down to glorious defeat.
      The hard question is whether the more ruthless (and successful) Troubles 1970-1998 actually embarrasses us because whether at Drogheda, Aughrim and GPO Dublin we prefer a glorious defeat to an a morally ambiguous victory.

  2. zig70 says:

    So what’s the connection to sherlock Holmes?

    • Paget was a brother of the guy who illustrated the Holmes books.
      I think one was called Walter and the other Thomas.
      Apparently there was a mix up and the wrong one was commissioned to do the books.

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