Ireland 1913-1923: A Terrible Beauty


Foundation Course of Modern Irish History

In his poem “Easter, 1916”, W.B. Yeats expresses the duality of the outcome of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland by describing it as a “terrible beauty.” On the one hand, the Rising was a military failure and a terrible waste of life and property. On the other, it was a defining moment in the struggle for Irish freedom. The years between 1913 and 1923 are crucial to understanding contemporary Ireland. Beginning with the lockout of workers by the Employers’ Federation (1913) and ending with the establishment of the Irish Free State (1922) and the Irish Civil War (1923), participants in the class will explore the forces and movements that came together on April 24, 1916, and the men and women who led them. By the end of the course participants will be able to: describe the basic geography and social conditions in Ireland during 1913-1923; articulate the major factors contributing to the Easter Rising; identify major leaders of the Rising and the years after; and, explain the impact of this ten-year period as the foundation of the Republic of Ireland. Participants are encouraged to read any Irish history text that covers this time period. Of particular interest to the instructor is Diarmid Ferriter’s, A Nation and Not a Rabble, Overlook Press, 2015. No previous knowledge of the history of Ireland is necessary to enjoy the class.

3 Sessions: Wednesdays 6:30-8:00 p.m. January 27-February 10; 1/27; 2/3; & 2/10.

Optional Course Text: Diarmaid Ferriter, A Nation and Not a Rabble, Overlook Press, 2015.

Payment: $60

  • Online payment is strongly preferred. It automatically notifies the instructor and the director of the Irish College of your registration.
  • By check, make it out to ‘Celtic Junction Arts Center’ and mail to Irish College, Celtic Junction Arts Center, 836 Prior Ave N, St. Paul, MN 55104.  If you pay by check, please send an email to the instructor, Steven Griffith at and copy education@celticjunction.orgWithout an email, we won’t know to expect you or how to communicate with you. 


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