The Easter Rising of 1916 was the flame that lit the fire of the War of Independence. While the rising failed in military terms and was widely condemned by most Irish people at the time the executions of the leaders led to a ground swell of anti British feeling which eventually united the political and military elements of Irish republicanism for the first time. After the Rising many of the leading Irish Volunteers in Mayo were arrested and detained under the Defence of the Realm Act 1914.
The Rising was condemned by most urban and district councils throughout Mayo. A Castlebar Rural District Council resolution stated “We…register our deep regret for, and resentment against, the deplorable and insane action of a section of Volunteers in this country, who at the time of terrible crisis in her history, seized the opportunity to disrupt the country, to precipitate civil war, to discredit the Irish Party and the Irish leader, and to bring irreparable damage and disaster to the prospects of prosperity and progress.” Ballina Urban Council passed a resolution calling on the government to “extend the utmost leniency to the misguided men who took part in it”.
The newspaper extracts below show how the events of 1916 were reported in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper.