The Easter Rising was an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic. It was the most significant uprising in Ireland since the rebellion of 1798.
The Rising occurred when Britain and Ireland were at war with Germany. On 24 April 1916, Patrick Pearse, leader of rebellion stood outside the General Post Office in Dublin and read a proclamation announcing the establishment of an Irish republic under a provisional government.
The outbreak of war had persuaded them that in England's difficulties lay Ireland's opportunity. As earlier rebels had looked to France for help, they now turned to Germany, which promised to send arms. In addition to the small Irish Citizen Army, formed in 1913 to defend workers against police harassment, there were thousands of Irish Volunteers, a body formed in response to the Ulster Volunteer Force. Like the UVF, the Volunteers carried out a successful gun-running exploit, landing arms at Howth, near Dublin, a few days before war was declared.
The Volunteers had been infiltrated by members of the IRB, which had secretly fixed Easter Sunday as the date for the rising. The Volunteers' leader, Eoin MacNeill, only discovered the plan on 20 April. Two days later, he learned that a German ship bringing arms had been scuttled. Realising that a rising was doomed to failure, he cancelled all Volunteer maneuvers. Despite this setback, and knowing that their forces would be limited to a modest number of Dublin Volunteers as well as the ICA, Pearse and Connolly decided that a rising must take place, if only as a 'blood sacrifice' to arouse the Irish people.
Despite its military failure - mainly because of the overpowering force of British troops in Dublin - this event, this 'Easter Rising" is rightfully judged as the most significant inspiration in the eventual creation of the Irish Republic.