Many International Socialists regard the Easter Rebellion of 1916 in Ireland, as a betrayal of the Cause of Labour, in that they regard it, as a Nationalist rebellion, led by leaders like Pearse of the Gaelic tradition and Connolly of Labour, rather than being a matter of self-determination and liberation. Some, particularly the revisionists, have even gone so far, as to accuse Padraic Pearse of neo-fascism, while Labour MPs in the House of Commoners in London, stood up and applauded the news, of the execution of Labour stalwart and working-class hero, James Connoly in a wheelchair. I have no doubt, that the Provos of the Stormont Junta today, would do the same if it did not cost them votes. You only have to look at their 2016 video promo and see how they have denigrated the Connolly contribution or examine their collaboration in the torture of Irish POWs today, which replicates the brutality, meted out to the ten hunger strikers. Their treatment and censorship of nationalist youth, has caused considerable death, suicide and wholesale incarceration, within their constituencies and is well on the way to being as vicious, as the Blueshirts. They are morphing into American Republican Darwinism, at an alarming rate, in their pursuit of political power at all costs, paying only lip service to traditional Irish republican values. Of course their manipulative skills learned in surviving paedophile homes, are a great asset, in the orifice licking environment of political Ireland.
To return to the 1916 legacy, I see the Pearse tradition, as more an expression of Motherland, rather than Fatherland, found in writings and in his poem, The Mother, which foretells his own martyrdom and that of his brother William.
I do not grudge them: Lord, I do not grudge
My two strong sons that I have seen go out
To break their strength and die, they and a few,
In bloody protest for a glorious thing,
They shall be spoken of among their people,
The generations shall remember them,
And call them blessed;
But I will speak their names to my own heart
In the long nights;
The little names that were familiar once
Round my dead hearth.
Lord, thou art hard on mothers:
We suffer in their coming and their going;
And tho' I grudge them not, I weary, weary
Of the long sorrow-And yet I have my joy:
My sons were faithful, and they fought.
Both Pearse and Connolly for me are very complex characters but then so is the truth, in political matters. Connolly, born in Scotland of Irish stock, by participating in the Easter rebellion, remained true to his class and his DNA. It appears to be a DNA, that only the colonially, oppressed understand. It requires EQ rather than IQ to comprehend, best expressed by Pearse at the grave of O'Donovan Rossa, when he stated," the fools, the fools, they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace."
Connolly was a politically desperate man, when he engaged the Pearse and Clarke tradition. he had already experienced the betrayals of Labour and it's careerists, over and over again, while experiencing daily, the misery of his class in the slum tenements of Dublin, along with Larkin. Once he took his first step with the Irish Citizen Army, Connoly would have known full well, his approaching fate. He was sufficiently acquainted with the Britsh Army, to know that there was no turning back. Anyone who tries to re-write history on this fact, fools themselves.
On the other hand, it is not clear, whether Pearse and Clarke were entirely aware, of the international nature of the tradition, they were engaging with, in Connolly and the ICA. It also appears, that many, assuming their legacy today, are not remotely aware, either. The basis of Connolly ideology, was expressed by him, when he stated, "The Cause of Ireland is the Cause of Labour and the Cause of Labour is the Cause of Labour". The Cause of Labour is International and primarily material, while the Cause of Ireland is primarily of Spirit and Self- Determination. The Legacy of 1916 is both. The realization and fulfilment of both traditions are equally important elements, for any successful Liberation Movement to sustain itself and succeed.