As part of their ‘Rising Memories’ series to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising, the Irish Independent will feature a series of letters from the Letters of 1916: A Year in the Life collection. Over a period of eleven weeks, on a weekly basis, letters from the collection will be showcased on the new site.
In the first letter, which went up on independent.ie last Saturday (12 March 2016), was written by Mrs. Mary Anne Curley. In the letter Mrs. Curley raises concerns over her four children who have been taken from her and her husband, who is serving at the front. The letter is part of the Chief Secretary’s Papers from the National Archives of Ireland.
The second letter feature (published on 23 March 2016) is a letter from Gerald O’Driscoll (d. 1946) to his father. O’Driscoll writes of his shock at the ‘rebellion in Dublin,’ noting that ‘our fellow country-men at the front felt it all the more keenly’. His reaction is typical of many Irish soldiers in the British army; he laments the destruction of Sackville Street and refers to one of the rebels as a ‘half-demented, crazy, misguided fool.’ O’Driscoll writes about family matters and an annual boxing tournament. View the letter on the Letters of 1916 website.
12 March 2016 – Letter from Mary Anne Curley, 14 February 1916
23 March 2016 – Letter from Gerald O’Driscoll to his father Denis, 24 May 1916