Tuesday 25 April, 1916.






























































On hearing about the rising, General Lowe takes charge. He has 4,678 men under his command at the Curragh. Within hours these are mobilised and on their way to Dublin. Another 1,000 soldiers are on their way from Belfast. Arrangements are also being made for additional troops to be sent from England. By dawn on Tuesday these forces are in Dublin and the rebels are already outnumbered by 4 to 1. However, General Lowe is still unsure of the number of rebels he is facing and decides to hold off making a direct attack on their positions. Instead he begins to cordon off these positions in the hope of isolating the rebels from each other. Martial Law is declared at about 11.30 am and this restricts the movement of people on the streets to daylight hours. Anyone found moving about outside of these times is liable to be shot.

Amongst the first to feel the presence of the British reinforcements are those holding St. Stephen's Green. Unknown to them, a party of over 100 soldiers take up positions in the Shelbourne Hotel, overlooking St. Stephen's Green, before dawn. At first light they open fire on the rebels in the park below them forcing them to flee into the nearby College of Surgeons. Several rebels are killed and taking St. Stephen's Green proves to be a major mistake.

St. Stephen's Green today with the Shelbourne Hotel in the background


Inside the GPO, spirits are high especially after yesterday's attack on the Lancers. However, there is a realisation that a counter attack will come - the only question being when. Meanwhile work and preparations continue with barricades being constructed on the streets. Inside the GPO, work continues fortifying the building against attack. In order to improve communications, holes are tunnelled into the adjoining buildings. In this way, it is possible to move unseen from building to building. As well as giving a military advantage, this tactic also allows messengers to move from one position to another.

"Irish Republic" flag photographed in the National Museum
While James Connolly is the effective military leader inside the GPO, Patrick Pearse as President of the Provisional Government continues to issue communiques. On day 2 of the rising, Pearse issues "Irish War News" giving news of the rising. This takes the form of a mini newspaper written inside the GPO and printed nearby. Its purpose is to rally public support for the rising and call for an end to looting.
"Irish Republic" flag with Nelson's Pillar in background

There is a great deal of uncertainty as to what is happening in the city. Rumours sweep Dublin about the imminent landing of thousands of Germans. There is still widespread confusion as to the number of rebels involved and the extent of the uprising. For the British Army, the key question is the extent to which Germany is involved in the rising. The only newspaper published is the Irish Times. It is strongly pro-Unionist. It devotes just three lines to reporting that a rising has taken place. In the absence of any hard news rumours continue to sweep the city.

*James Stephens recorded some of the rumours sweeping Dublin on Tuesday.
"On this day the rumours began, and I think it will be many a year before the rumours cease The Irish Times published an edition which contained nothing but an official Proclamation that evily-disposed persons had disturbed the peace, and that the situation was well in hand. The news stated in three lines that there was a Sinn Fein rising in Dublin, and that the rest of the country was quiet.
No English or country papers came. There was no delivery or collection of letters. All the shops in the City were shut. There was no traffic of any kind in the streets. There was no way of gathering any kind of information, and rumour gave all the news. ...... It was believed also that the whole country had risen, and that many strong places and cities were in the hands of the Volunteers. Cork Barracks was said to be taken while the officers were away at the Curragh races, that the men without officers were disorganised, and the place easily captured. It was said that Germans, thousands strong, had landed and that many Irish Americans with German officers had arrived also with full military equipment."
- James Stephens The Insurrection in Dublin

General Situation

By the end of Tuesday, the military are beginning to get a fuller picture of the numbers involved in the rising. Plans are at an advanced stage to bring artillery to Dublin and shell the enemy positions. For ordinary civilians life is becoming more difficult. There are no shops open and the shooting means that it is too dangerous for people to venture out. In the absence of police, looting continues.

 Talking Points
Was it a good idea for the rebels to take over St. Stephen's Green? Why?
At the end of Tuesday - what were the rebels chances of actually winning? Why?
Why did the rebels see it as important to produce a newspaper during a military uprising?
How accurate were the rumours reported by James Stephens?
Look at some newspaper headlines from today, how important is correct information
to making a proper assessment of any situation?

 To Do
You are a TV news reporter. You have just arrived in Dublin with a camera crew to cover the 1916 Easter Rising. You are standing near O Connell Bridge and are about to broadcast your first report via satellite link.....