A gift from Ireland to the world

Published on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

To mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, a gift for the people of the world, a free eBook of 1916 Portraits and Lives, has been produced.

The book’s 42 biographies of select figures from the Rising were chosen from the Royal Irish Academy’s extensive Dictionary of Irish Biography, which outlines the lives at home and abroad of prominent men and women born in Ireland, as well as the noteworthy Irish careers of those born outside Ireland.

Below are some of those figures who feature in the book.

Thomas James (‘Tom’) Clarke (1858–1916), son of a British soldier, was born on the Isle of Wight and educated in Dungannon. Arrested on a Fenian bombing mission to London in 1883, he spent 15 years in prison. After a period in New York, he returned to Ireland in 1907. He lived in the Fairview area and helped reinvigorate the Irish Republican Brotherhood, steering it steadily towards insurrection. He was the first signatory of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic and he served in the GPO. He was executed 3 May 1916.  Thomas Clarke 1916 leader
 Edward Daly 1916 Leader Edward Daly (1891–1916) was born in Limerick city to a strongly republican family. He moved to Dublin and lived on Richmond Road, Fairview. As commandant of the 1st battalion Irish Volunteers, he commanded the rebel forces headquartered in the Four Courts and fought British advances along Church Street. He was among the prisoners held outdoors in teeming rain before the Rotunda on the night after the surrender. He was executed on 4 May 1916.
Helen Gifford (Donnelly) (1880–1971) was active with her five sisters in feminist and separatist organisations, and was also involved in land agitation and the labour movement. She lived with her family in Temple Villas, Palmerston Park, Rathmines. During the Easter Rising she supervised the procurement and cooking of food for the Irish Citizen Army garrison in St Stephen’s Green and the College of Surgeons.
Helen Gifford woman of the 1916 rising
 Elizabeth O'Farrell woman of the 1916 rising Elizabeth O'Farrell (1884–1957) lived in the Ringsend area and worked as a midwife at Holles Street hospital. A committed trade unionist, she was also involved in nationalist and suffragist organisations. During Easter week she served in the GPO. She delivered Pearse’s offer of surrender to British forces and later carried his surrender order to other insurgent garrisons.
Michael O’Hanrahan (1877–1916), born in New Ross, Co. Wexford, was a journalist and novelist. He lived in Connaught Street in Phibsborough. Active in the Gaelic League, he worked with an Irish-language printer and on the Irish Volunteers headquarters clerical staff. During the Rising, he kept secret the concussion he suffered while serving in Jacob’s biscuit factory for fear of being ordered to hospital. He was executed on 4 May 1916.  Michael O'Hanrahan 1916 leader
 Padraig Pearse 1916 leader Patrick Henry Pearse (1879–1916) was born in Dublin, the son of an English sculptor and stone carver. A keen Gaelic Leaguer, he edited An Claidheamh Soluis and in 1908 founded the progressive Irish school St Enda’s school, where he lived in Rathfarnham. He became director of military organisation of the Irish Volunteers, and later a member of the IRB military committee that planned the Rising. Author and signatory of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, he was leader of the republican forces during Easter week, ordering their surrender on 29 April. He was executed 3 May 1916.
Joseph Mary Plunkett (1887–1916), was a poet and journalist. One of the Plunkett family’s homes was in Larkfield, Kimmage. Interested in military strategy and tactics, he was instrumental in preparing the detailed plans for the Easter Rising. His neck bandaged after a recent operation on tubercular glands, he served with the headquarters garrison in the GPO. He married his fiancée, Grace Gifford, in Kilmainham Gaol hours before his execution, on 4 May.  Joseph Mary Plunkett 1916 leader
 Francis Skeffington Francis Sheehy Skeffington (1878–1916) was born Co. Cavan, and reared in Downpatrick, Co. Down. He lived in Grosvenor Place, Rathmines and was well-known for his pacifism, feminism and general non-conformity. Although sympathetic to home rule, he distrusted cultural nationalism and opposed military movements. He tried to prevent looting during the Rising, but was arrested and summarily shot on 26 April 1916 on the orders of a British officer, Captain John Bowen-Colthurst.
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