The Easter Rising began when the insurgents took over half a dozen key buildings around Dublin. A relatively small but determined group of Irish men and women took the opportunity offered by Britain’s conflict with Germany to strike a blow for Irish independence.
Cumann na mBan was a branch of the Irish Volunteers and were among the most dedicated nationalists that participated in the rising. In reply, the British brought in reinforcements from Britain, and used artillery to destroy the buildings that the nationalists were defending.
On Saturday April 29th to avoid further loss of life, Patrick Pearse surrendered unconditionally to the British. Initial negotiations were conducted amidst the devastation on Moore Street under the protection of a white flag; later Pearse signed the actual surrender document at British military headquarters on Parkgate Street, not far from these Barracks. Pearse's hat and gun can be seen amongst other 1916 objects in the Irish Wars Gallery.
After the Rising
Without significant popular support, the support points were destroyed in under a week, involving many civilian casualties and much damage to the fabric of the city. Though the newly proclaimed Irish republic was quickly and brutally suppressed, the memory of the heroism and of the executions that followed changed Irish history forever.