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Easter Rising to be charted in Irish News column On This Day

Political historian and Irish News columnist Eamon Phoenix. Picture by Hugh Russell
Brendan Hughes

THE historic events surrounding the 1916 Easter Rising are to be chronicled in The Irish News column On This Day.

From Monday the regular column that sifts through the newspaper's archives will focus on chronicling 1916 during its centenary year.

The archives follow the First World War and an expectation of Home Rule before word slowly spreads from Dublin of the outbreak of the Irish rebellion.

It took several days for details of the Rising against British rule to filter north.

The first reported sign of unrest was when the British king's Ireland representative failed to show up for a high-profile meeting in Belfast.

Political historian and columnist Éamon Phoenix described how before the Irish rebellion, The Irish News expected Home Rule in Ireland by the end of the First World War.

And he said the newspaper's editorial line initially condemned the Rising as a "German plot" before opinion shifted as leaders of the rebellion were executed.

"The home rule leaders condemn the executions in parliament and The Irish News rolls in behind them and calls for an end to the executions," he said.

He added: "People can expect a marked contrast between the stories in The Irish News running up to the Rising itself and the impact of the Rising and afterwards

"The Irish News reports nationalist support in the war, the power of the home rule party in the north and south, partition in the north and the rising of a republican party called Sinn Féin with its new demand for a united Ireland.

"Readers can follow the unfolding of these dramatic events surrounding the Irish rebellion from Monday onwards."

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