The Foggy Dew
Dedicated to all the brave men and women who fought and gave their lives for Ireland!
This video is also a tribute to him and his deeds.
The Foggy Dew
"Foggy Dew" is the name of several Irish ballads, and of an Irish lament. The song chronicles the Easter Uprising of 1916, and encourages Irishmen to fight for the cause of Ireland, rather than for the British Empire, as so many young men were doing in World War I.
"The Foggy Dew" is a product of the political situation in Ireland in the aftermath of the Easter Rising and World War I.
Approximately 210,000 Irishmen joined up and served in the British forces during the war.This created mixed feelings for many Irish people, particularly for those with nationalist sympathies. While they broadly supported the British war effort, they also felt that one of the moral justifications for the war, "the freedom of small nations" like Belgium and Serbia, should also be applied to Ireland, which at that time was under British rule.
O'Neill sums up this feeling in the lines: "‘Twas far better to die ‘neath an Irish sky, Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar."
The Eastern Rising
The Easter Rising took place in Dublin, and a few outposts across the country, between Monday 24 April and Sunday 29 April, 1916. It was a rebellion against British rule in Ireland and was defeated after a swift British military response. As a military campaign the Rising was ultimately a failure but it had an important legacy in that the British response to the event turned the majority of the Irish public away from the idea of Home Rule and towards the concept of a fully independent Irish Republic.
Why a Rising?
The dominant force in Irish politics through to 1916 was the Irish Parliamentary Party led by John Redmond. The Party fully endorsed the idea of Irish Home Rule, and had successfully managed to get a Home Rule Bill passed by the House of Commons and made law in 1914. Its enactment was postponed because of the outbreak of the First World War. Redmond backed Irish participation in the War, and the vast majority supported that decision. A small group of nationalists opposed the idea of Home Rule, as well as Irish participation in the War. The planning of the Rising was done by a small, radical group in the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and they looked to the Irish Volunteers (a movement that opposed Irish entry into the War and instead dedicated itself to the defence of Ireland) to undertake the military action.
There has been much historical debate about why the Rising was planned. In essence it seems that factors such as the rise of the Ulster Volunteer Force and the strength of Unionism on the island, the existence of the Irish Volunteers as an insurrectionary force, and the fact that the War was a distraction for the British authorities combined to make the Rising a possibility. Also, leaders such as Thomas Clarke, Seán Mac Diarmada and Patrick Pearse were, at their heart, Republicans who fervently believed in the ideal of an Irish Republic and believed that the use of violence to achieve that goal was acceptable.
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