In light of its upcoming centenary in 2016, the time seems ripe to ask: why, how and in what ways has memory of Ireland’s 1916 Rising persisted over the decades? In pursuing answers to these questions, which are not only of historical concern, but of contemporary political and cultural importance, this book breaks new ground by offering a wide-ranging exploration of the making and remembrance of the story of 1916 in modern times. It draws together the interlocking dimensions of history-making, commemoration and heritage to reveal the Rising’s undeniable influence upon modern Ireland’s evolution, both instantaneous and long-term. In addition to furnishing a history of the tumultuous events of Easter 1916, which rattled the British Empire’s foundations and enthused independence movements elsewhere, Ireland’s 1916 Rising mainly concentrates on illuminating the evolving relationship between the Irish past and present. In doing so, it unearths the far-reaching political impacts and deep-seated cultural legacies of the actions taken by the rebels, as evidenced by the most pivotal episodes in the Rising’s commemoration and the myriad varieties of heritage associated with its memory. This volume also presents a wider perspective on the ways in which conceptualisations of heritage, culture and identity in Westernised societies are shaped by continuities and changes in politics, society and economy. In a topical conclusion, the book examines the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to the Garden of Remembrance in 2011, and looks to the Rising’s 100th anniversary by identifying the common ground that can be found in pluralist and reconciliatory approaches to remembrance.
Book prize: Shortlisted for the Geographical Society of Ireland's biannual Book of the Year Award, 2012-2013
’Ireland’s 1916 Rising is a substantial study of modern Ireland’s pre-eminent site of memory, which is rich in informative details that offer insights into the historical construction of national heritage and the changing politics of commemoration.’ - Guy Beiner, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
'This book seeks to map the legacy of 1916 and capture its shifting meanings by considering the multifaceted varieties of commemoration … A year into the Decade of Commemoration, McCarthy’s book is timely and provides a compelling overview of what came before.' - Dublin Review of Books
'Ireland’s 1916 Rising is rich with information and there are many anecdotes and references to enjoy … this is an encyclopaedic work that will provide a valuable resource for anyone working on commemoration of the Easter Rising as its centenary approaches.' - Irish Geography
'This impressive volume, part of a burgeoning literature in heritage and commemorationist studies, offers a critical analysis of the multitudinous ways in which Dublin’s 1916 Easter Rising has been interpreted and re-appropriated over the last century … Cultural commentators, politicians, curators, heritage advisers and historians of modern Ireland will enjoy this patiently researched and stimulating analysis.' - Journal of Historical Geography
’Immaculately researched and a lively engagement with the key critical debates surrounding issues of memory, commemoration and historical legacies surrounding the revolutionary period in modern Irish history, this landmark contribution offers the much needed lens of Memory Studies as a frame through which the events of the 1916 Rising, and its subsequent commemoration, can be read. It adds to, and challenges, previous historical narratives and critical interpretations of 1916 and its impact on Irish culture and society’ - Dr. Nessa Cronin, Centre
'This book makes for a rewarding exploration of 1916 as a persistently shifting site of memory due to the changing politics of commemoration and the constant pressure of present needs and realities…McCarthy’s use of eclectic sources gives shape to the perennial renegotiation of the past in an ever-changing present' - Antoine Guillemette, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australasian Journal of Irish Studies