In 1917, the Irish Times published the Rebellion Handbook. It is based on a collection of articles that ran in the paper in May 1916, which offer a detailed observation of the Easter Rising. These articles provide an official list of the casualties, names of prisoners, photographs, and important maps of key locations in Dublin city at the time.
The Easter Rising dates back to Easter Monday, April 24, 1916. It was a mainly Dublin-based rebellion of Irish nationals against British rule in Ireland. Political freedom and an Irish republic were the main objectives of the rising. This iconic Easter Uprising – the most significant since the 1798 rebellion – was born in September 1914, when the British government delayed the enactment of the Home Rule
Bill, following the outbreak of World War I. This Bill had guaranteed a certain amount of domestic political freedom, and its suspension persuaded many that the only way it could be achieved was through armed conflict.
In 1905, Arthur Griffith founded the Irish political party Sinn Féin. Its main focus was that of Irish nationalism and Republicanism, and because of this it attracted right and left wing ideas, theocrats and atheists, republican and monarchist theories.Even though the Irish public associated Sinn Féin with the Rising, it was not directly involved in it. It was the Irish Citizen Army and the Irish
Republican Brotherhood Military Council that actually planned the uprising. Despite this, Sinn Féin’s nationalistic agenda led people to assume the party’s involvement. This gave the party more weight and appeal with the public, as admiration for the rebels grew. In 1917, Sinn Féin changed dramatically, with more branches nationwide and the absorption of other militant nationalist bodies. In October of that year, Eamon De Valera was elected leader, and a new programme was agreed upon which committed to the goal of the Irish republic.
The national newspaper The Irish Timeswas best located to report on all the Easter Rising fighting. Its rivals, the Irish Independent and the Freeman’s Journal were located beside the GPO and got caught up in the action – the Freeman’s Journal building was burned down during the conflict. The Daily Express office on Cork Street across from City Hall was occupied by rebels on the Easter Monday, and 26 people died there. This meant that The Irish Times had no competition when it came to reporting on the Rising.The day after the Rising, The Irish Times told of how the rebels had occupied buildings around the city, the opposition they encountered, the number of casualties, and reported on the looting of O’Connell Street by the newly formed Dublin underworld.In 1917, the paper published the Sinn Féin
Rebellion Handbook, filled with 286 pages on the fighting and its aftermath. It included accounts of the courts martial, Roger Casement’s landing, capture, trial and execution, lists of those who died, those taken prisoner, those given honours and promotions. The handbook is now a collector’s item.
This handbook contains 308 pages of information, including facsimiles of documents, Irish Times articles, photographs of rebels and government personnel, a detailed account of the event, lists of the buildings destroyed, official and rebel documents, names and personal details of 1,306 casualties (300 of which were deaths) from all sides, a full account of the execution of 15 rebels, details of over
3,000 rebels who were arrested and interned, full details of the Casement trial, and details of the most important figureheads of the time. In total there are 6,731 people mentioned in this publication.