Defending Trinity College Dublin, Easter 1916.


  • Brad Patterson



Understandably, the centenary of the Dublin Rising of Easter 1916, a critical turning point in modern Irish history, has generated literally shelves of new interpretations and commemorative volumes: some overtly celebratory; others more soberly reflective; yet others again offering quite fresh perspectives. Rory Sweetman’s Defending Trinity College Dublin, Easter 1916 falls clearly into the third category, in many respects as a footnote to the mayhem, albeit an intriguing one. Focusing on an attempted rebel attack on the College on the first night of the Rising, and the defence that was mounted, the author strongly argues that what transpired has long been misinterpreted, when not completely ignored by Irish historians. In consequence, the efforts of a small group of primarily New Zealand soldiers have been consigned to the dustbin of history. He argues strongly that the contingent’s contribution was critical to saving the College from almost certain destruction in later fighting, thereby ensuring it survived to become the respected institution it remains.


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