3/5/1916 Dublin: the executions begin

In Dublin the trials of the rebels have begun. General Maxwell, Ireland’s military governor, has decided that the rebels will be tried by court-martial rather than civilian courts. As far as he is concerned, the rebels’ attempts to overthrow British rule in alliance with Germany mean that summary justice is warranted.

General Charles Blackader is presiding over the trials. These have a certain kangaroo court quality, as Maxwell has decided that they will be held in secret and conducted without a defence advocate. The courts are empowered to issue a sentence of death, though executions must first be approved by Maxwell himself.

The wheels of justice turn quickly. The first trials took place yesterday. This morning, with their death sentences approved by Maxwell, the first executions of rebel leaders take place. Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh and Thomas Clarke are killed by firing squad in the yard of Kilmainham Gaol.

image source:

The yard today (Study abroad in Ireland)

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