In 1916, while Europe was gripped by the horrors of the First World War, another conflict was about to change history in Ireland. On Easter Monday, on the 24th of April, an armed uprising began in the streets of Dublin. It was the largest battle for Irish independence since the 1798 revolution, and it would become one of the most infamous days in the nation’s history.
The Easter Rising, as it came to be known, was set in motion by a group known as the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Under their command, a small fighting force managed to storm and hold key locations throughout Dublin, in a battle that would span across six days.
Authorities responded in a merciless counter-attack, with British troops arriving in their thousands to reinforce the local forces. The rebels held out for as long as they could, putting up a remarkable fight, but in time they were pushed back to the General Post Office on O’Connell Street. There, under heavy fire, the leader of the Easter Rising surrendered.
The leaders of the rebellion were executed and the brutality with which the British forces responded to the revolt marked the day as the brutal beginning of a far-reaching conflict. Republicanism and the desire for independence was no longer simply a matter of rhetoric or ideology – physical action had been taken to further their cause. With public opinion moving in favor of the revolutionaries following the events of 1916, the history of Ireland was about to take an irreversible turn.
In a unique commemoration of the Easter Rising, Paul Derrick has built a historically accurate recreation of the General Post Office siege, entirely out of Lego. The video is hosted on the Beyond The Brick YouTube channel, along with many similar videos, but the model explored in this one is particularly striking. With literally thousands of individual Lego bricks used and an incredible attention to detail, it offers a remarkable look at this catalytic event in Irish history.