Part six – Seán Mac Diarmada’s role in the Easter Rising

Part six of a ten part documentary by TG4 on the 1916 Easter Rising

The sixth video on the series looks at the life of Seán Mac Diarmada, and how he came to be a key figure of the Easter Rising.

Easter Rising leader and organiser and key ‘talent spotter’ for the Military Council

He grew up in Co Leitrim and was aware from a young age of the oppression of the Irish people. Mac Diarmada was very strong willed and had great powers of persuasion.

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Mac Diarmada and Clarke were the ‘talent spotters

He spent his life travelling across Ireland and organising nationalists. Mac Diarmada had a close relationship with Tom Clarke – another of the Rising leaders – and the two of them were seen as the masterminds of the Rising.

Mac Diarmada and Clarke were the ‘talent spotters’ who scouted the other leaders from the ranks of the Irish Republican Brotherhood before inviting them into the Military Council.

It was Mac Diarmada that got last minute assurances from Eoin MacNeill – the leader of the volunteers – that MacNeill would support the Rising.

When MacNeill went back on his word and rather than support the Rising, told all his men that they were not to take part in any action, Mac Diarmada and the other leaders were furious.

Take a look at the sixth video below.

Parts seven and eight of the documentary look at the role of Éamonn Ceannt in the Easter Rising.

Easter Rising documentary by TG4

Easter Rising documentary by TG4


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We hope this video will inspire you to delve into Irish history further and gain a better understanding of the real-life circumstances your ancestors lived in. Many people enjoy learning about Irish history as part of researching their own genealogy and building their family tree.

If you are interested in learning more about Irish history, then we would encourage you to enrol on one of the numerous free online education courses and tutorials available with universities and colleges around the world.


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