Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, will be the guest speaker at the launch this evening of 1916: The Church and the Rising, a new publication edited by journalist Greg Daly and published by The Irish Catholic. The launch will take place in Sacred Heart Hall at the Church of Saint Mary of the Angels on Church Street in Dublin.
Archbishop Martin has written the foreword to the book which looks at the experience of diocesan and religious clergy during the Rising, but goes further, using archive documents only made available in recent years to explore in detail how huge numbers of rebels were not only motivated by their faith and but practised it intensely during the insurrection.
In his introduction UCC historian Gabriel Doherty points out that in 1916, “the Catholic Church in Ireland was, quite simply, the most important institution in the country at that time, and, as such, its response to a Rising in which the vast majority of the participants were practising Catholics was a key determinant of that Rising’s long-term success or failure”. That role, he says, “has, up to now, been strikingly under-researched, with the ‘received wisdom’ on the subject all-too-frequently inaccurate, and in recent years wilfully so on many points”.
In his foreword, Archbishop Diurmuid Martin stresses that we should neither forget nor minimise the role of the Church in the Easter Rising: “The men and women of 1916 were men and women of faith. The Proclamation is prefaced in the name of God. Each of the leading figures had a personal story of faith which accompanied them along their journey.” He also draws attention to the many religious that played an active role in the Rising, the “priests whose names will not be recorded for history, but who provided spiritual support and comfort for so many during the uprising and afterwards.”
1916: The Church and the Rising can be purchased in The Irish Catholic online shop.