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 The resulting book, covering the years from 1913 until just after the 1916 Easter Rising, remained unpublished until Garret FitzGerald found the manuscript in 1966.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.