Recognise this Dublin street corner?
It’s the site of one of the most significant events in modern Irish history – not that you’d know it.
Nowadays the corner of Moore Lane and Parnell Street, in the north inner city, is the site of closed-down pub and an insignificant t-junction for pedestrians. But it was here, almost a century ago, that Irish revolutionary Padraig Pearse surrendered to British General William Lowe, ending the Easter Rising.
At 3.30pm on Saturday April 29, 1916, five days after Pearse and his fellow rebels launched an abortive uprising against British administration in Ireland, the rebel leader symbolically handed over his sword. He was executed four days later.
Next year Ireland will commemorate the 1916 Rising. Events are planned at or near many significant landmarks – the General Post Office (which the insurgents occupied), 16 Moore Street (the rebels’ final headquarters), Kilmainham Gaol (where Pearse and 13 more were executed), and others.
But there’s no plan – officially at least – to mark the place where the Rising quietly ended.
Why memorialise a surrender? Why indeed, but given that the history of the Rising has been written by many (past Irish governments included) as a story of glorious failure it seems odd there’s no marker at the place where the event itself ended and the concept of a glorified Rising was born.
No marker, except for a decaying notice pinned to the wall by a past landlord of the shuttered pub.
History may be written by the winners but they have long since departed Great Britain Street (as Parnell Street was then known).
As millions of euro are spent on an interpretative centre at the nearby GPO perhaps it’s time to erect an official marker at a derelict street corner which played a significant, if largely unrecognised, role in Irish history?