24 April 1916
The sound of a city stirring, distant bird song can be heard, blue crystal clear skies as the sun rises to shine brightly upon a city that by the end of the day would become the center stage for a bloody and brutal series of events.
It was Dublin, it was 1916, it was the beginning of the Easter Rising.
The day, for many, started with spring-optimism, the glorious weather lifting the spirits of the citizens of Dublin as they set about their daily routines. People poured on to the streets, drinking in the sights and sounds of their city on a warm spring day, sharing friendly conversation with neighbours and friends as children played in the streets and market traders plied their goods of fruit & flowers to passing customers.
Little boys became cowboys and Indians, playing with pretend guns made from sticks, little girls danced and twirled, with teddy bears and dolls in their arms as they imitated motherly love and affection towards their pretend babies.
Young couples basked in the early spring heat, gentlemen strolled along in polite conversation with their companions, and soldiers made merry enjoying the day, as they headed to Fairyhouse to watch the Irish Grand National, which would spookily see a horse named “Civil War” come in at 4th place.
But, elsewhere, across the city, something was brewing.
Silent rumours had begun to be muttered, whispers telling tales of, men in uniform, congregating and marching. Whispers of gunfire on Stephens Green, whispers of well-known and important buildings being stormed by hundreds of armed men.
And as wild tales swept across the city, a group of armed rebels marched along Sackville Street storming in to the GPO, evacuating the building of customers and staff, their presence confirming the whispers of rumours, leading to scenes of bewilderment from passersby
A crowd began to gather as Padraig Pearse emerged from the building, clutching the carefully constructed Proclamation of the Irish Provisional Government.
Confusion and bemusement began to sweep through the crowd as this man spoke of the Ownership of Ireland and Equal Rights for all.
Some thought it must be a rehearsal for a big theatre play, others jeered, shouting obscenities and threw stones, the natural curiosity of children, rooting them to the spot as they gazed at the spectacle before them, little realizing that this was to mark the start of a violent and bloodied uprising that would, by the end of that week, leave hundreds dead and a city in ruins.