VIDEO: Remembering the Irish Easter Uprising

April 10, 2023

VIDEO: Remembering the Irish Easter Uprising

WSCC News is a presentation of West Shore Community College in partnership with Mason County Press. 

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — On Easter Monday, 1916, members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and Irish Citizens Army staged a week-long rising against the British Empire. 

Today marks the 107th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin, Ireland. The monumental event sparked the final push of Irish independence after 800 years of occupation from the British Empire and ultimately led to the formation of the Republic of Ireland. 

In honor of the event, West Shore Community College Professor of English, Education, Communications and Social Sciences Séan Henne, who also holds a master’s degree in Irish, spoke on the event today in the Schoenherr Campus Center. Henne said he was asked to speak by Brenden Brady, a member of the WSCC Student Senate. 

Henne spoke about the significance of the event and its impact on Irish and world history. He spoke about the importance of religion, mythology and history in Irish culture and how the three areas impacted the uprising, which inspired the nation to push United Kingdom to allow it to be independent. 

Henne read the poem “Easter, 1916” written by William Butler Yeats in September 1916, and the poem’s importance of recalling the uprising. He also sang Charles O’Neills 1919 song “The Foggy Dew,” which recalled the uprising and its similarities to the “Star Spangled Banner.” 

Watch the video for the singing of “The Foggy Dew.”  

 

“Easter, 1916” by William Butler Yates

I have met them at close of day

Coming with vivid faces

From counter or desk among grey

Eighteenth-century houses.

I have passed with a nod of the head

Or polite meaningless words,

Or have lingered awhile and said

Polite meaningless words,

And thought before I had done

Of a mocking tale or a gibe

To please a companion

Around the fire at the club,

Being certain that they and I

But lived where motley is worn:

All changed, changed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.

That woman’s days were spent

In ignorant good-will,

Her nights in argument

Until her voice grew shrill.

What voice more sweet than hers

When, young and beautiful,

She rode to harriers?

This man had kept a school

And rode our wingèd horse;

This other his helper and friend

Was coming into his force;

He might have won fame in the end,

So sensitive his nature seemed,

So daring and sweet his thought.

This other man I had dreamed

A drunken, vainglorious lout.

He had done most bitter wrong

To some who are near my heart,

Yet I number him in the song;

He, too, has resigned his part

In the casual comedy;

He, too, has been changed in his turn,

Transformed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone

Through summer and winter seem

Enchanted to a stone

To trouble the living stream.

The horse that comes from the road,

The rider, the birds that range

From cloud to tumbling cloud,

Minute by minute they change;

A shadow of cloud on the stream

Changes minute by minute;

A horse-hoof slides on the brim,

And a horse plashes within it;

The long-legged moor-hens dive,

And hens to moor-cocks call;

Minute by minute they live:

The stone’s in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice

Can make a stone of the heart.

O when may it suffice?

That is Heaven’s part, our part

To murmur name upon name,

As a mother names her child

When sleep at last has come

On limbs that had run wild.

What is it but nightfall?

No, no, not night but death;

Was it needless death after all?

For England may keep faith

For all that is done and said.

We know their dream; enough

To know they dreamed and are dead;

And what if excess of love

Bewildered them till they died?

I write it out in a verse—

MacDonagh and MacBride

And Connolly and Pearse

Now and in time to be,

Wherever green is worn,

Are changed, changed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.

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