Desmond’s Rising: Memoirs 1913 to Easter 1916

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Meet The Author

Desmond FitzGerald was born in London in 1888 and was a member of the Imagist group of poets in London. He joined the Volunteers at their formation in 1913 and was their organiser in west Kerry and in Wicklow. Imprisoned for seditious speech in 1915, he was a member of the GPO garrison and subsequently spent two years in English prisons.

He was the Dáil Government’s Director of Propaganda until he was arrested once more in early 1921. He became the new State’s first Minister for External Affairs, and later Minister for Defence until 1932.

Urged on by friends, during the Second World War, Desmond FitzGerald began writing about his experiences during the national movement for independence. The resulting book, covering the years from 1913 until just after the 1916 Easter Rising, remained unpublished until Garret FitzGerald found the manuscript in 1966.

The book opens with Desmond FitzGerald’s recollections of the time he spent on the Great Blasket Island and his relocation from Brittany to Dingle with the object of learning Irish and taking part in the emerging movement for Irish independence.

Desmond’s Rising charts Desmond’s involvement in the Irish Volunteers and the IRB; his arrest and imprisonment in 1915-16; his involvement in the preparations for the Rising in Dublin; and his experiences in the GPO during the fateful Easter week of 1916. What strikes the reader most strongly is the unselfconscious heroism of those who took part in the Rising.

This edition features an updated foreword by the late Garret FitzGerald and correspondence between George Bernard Shaw and Desmond’s wife Mabel, the republican daughter of a Presbyterian Belfast businessman. Also included here for the first time are various reflections on the Rising and its aftermath, a candid account of Desmond s time in Maidstone Gaol, some of Desmond’s poems and a number of rare photographs from the time.

Weight 0.337 kg