Ireland's eternal Easter: Sorley Maclean and 1916

O'Gallagher, N. (2016) Ireland's eternal Easter: Sorley Maclean and 1916. Irish Studies Review, 24(4), pp. 441-454. (doi: 10.1080/09670882.2016.1226678)

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Abstract

This essay examines the treatment of the 1916 Easter Rising by Scottish Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean. From his early work onwards, the Rising assumes a mythical significance in MacLean’s poetry. Throughout, this aetheistic, socialist poet uses rhetoric borrowed from the Gaelic Christian tradition to present the rebels of 1916 as exemplary secular martyrs. James Connolly plays a crucial role as the Scottish son of Irish immigrants. MacLean’s later praise poem for Connolly, “Àrd-Mhusaeum na h-Èireann”, deploys biblical rhetoric to present the Rising as an act of ritual sacrifice, recalling Patrick Pearse’s “Fornocht do Chonaic Thu”. MacLean’s valorisation of violence takes place against the backdrop of the modern Troubles, and prompts a reassessment of the political legacy of his poetry.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Gallagher, Dr Niall
Authors: O'Gallagher, N.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1201 Irish Language
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1501 Scottish Gaelic Language
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Celtic and Gaelic
Journal Name:Irish Studies Review
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0967-0882
ISSN (Online):1469-9303
Published Online:05 September 2016

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