Edward Carson reflected on the Rising by calling it 'the shame of Easter Week'.
The talk will explore Carson's response and other Unionist’s responses to the Rising, in particular the reaction of political Unionism, the Protestant churches, and grassroots Unionist sentiment.
Unionist reaction was not as straightforward as it might seem. For example, Carson warned against the execution of the leaders - whereas other Unionists blamed the British government, particularly Augustine Birrell, for incompetence. On the whole, Unionists were dismissive of the Rising, they regarded it as treachery, but they also fiercely debated the fate of the Republican leaders.
Jason Burke is a Modern History Masters student of Queen's University, Belfast. He is currently managing the East Belfast & the Great War Research Project, which is based on the 'military history from the street' methodology made popular by Professor Richard Grayson (Goldsmiths University, London). Jason is the author of We Must Prepare - Unionist Militancy In East Belfast 1911-1914.
This event is organise by Féile an Phobail as part of their Spring Festival; Féile an Earraigh.