1916 Easter Rising Anniversary



The Easter Rising, also known as the Easter Rebellion, took place in Dublin, Ireland in April 1916 during Easter Week. The rising began when Irish Republicans demanded an end to British rule in Ireland and a chance to become an independent Irish Republic. The rising was led by Irish rebels and resulted in almost 500 casualties among innocent civilians, rebels and British military and police. The event left the city of Dublin in ruins and is, to this day, remembered with great veneration in Ireland for those who died for their country.




Mary Sue McFarland Brooks - 11:00am Saturday - "The Women of The Easter Rising"

Mary Sue McFarland Brooks and her husband Jim have been publishing the Irish Gazette in the Twin Cities for over 25 years. Mary Sue contributed to part of the St. Paul Irish Arts Week in April, focusing on the women who participated in the Easter Rising 1916. She will share her reflections.


Jim Rogers - 12:00pm Saturday - "America and the Easter Rising"

Few names are as familiar to the Twin Cities’ Irish community as that of Jim Rogers. Jim is the Chair of Irish studies at the University of St. Thomas, and has served as a speaker and advisor both at our Fair and at Irish events throughout the Midwest. Jim is also editor of the New Hibernian Review, which is published quarterly. Jim was the 2011 recipient of Irish Fair’s Curtin-Conway award, presented annually for lifetime contributions to our Irish community and currently coordinates the Celtic Chat Table at Irish Fair.


Patrick O'Donnell - 2:00pm Saturday & 12:00pm Sunday - "The Easter Rising in Irish Literary History", "They Led the Way" on Pearse, Connolly and Clark

Dr. Patrick O’ Donnell, who teaches English at Normandale Community College, wears many hats at the Irish Fair. Patrick, who sits on the Irish Fair board, was the creator and coordinator of Irish Fair’s Summer School. He leads Irish Fair’s Cultural Committee, founded the Celtic Collaborative Irish theater and literary company and spearheaded the planning for the 2016 St. Paul Irish Arts Week. When he isn’t juggling all these plates, Patrick sometimes contributes as a lecturer. Today, Patrick will speak about three of the most important leaders of the Easter Rising – James Connolly, Padraig Pearse and Tom Clarke.


The Celtic Collaborative - 5:00 - 6:30pm Saturday & 2:00 - 3:30pm Sunday - "The Ghosts of 1916"

The Celtic Collaborative was founded in 2011 to bring to life the theater, poetry, and stories of the Celtic nations. They have performed previously at Irish Fair, as well as the Landmark Center, Brit’s pub, The Rochester Irish Fest, the Black Dog café, and the Celtic Junction. Last year, the Celtic Collaborative entered the realm of publishing, with the Harp and the Loon, an anthology of Irish writers in Minnesota. This year, they have sponsored three writing classes. Today, the Collaborative will encore their production from the St. Paul Irish Arts Week in April “The Ghosts of 1916.”





Adam Coolong - 12:00pm Saturday - Songs of the Easter Rising

Adam Coolong is a founding member and lead singer of the popular local band The Wild Colonial Bhoys. The lads who started as an Irish ballad-singing acoustic guitar duo have matured into a Celtic rock tour-de-force and now have over a decade, five albums and thousands of miles behind them. They have played in this area and at regional festivals for many years. This year, Adam will share his reflections on songs from the 1916 Rising.


Legacy - 4:00pm Saturday - Songs of the 1916 Irish Rebellion

Legacy (Kevin Carroll, Patti Drew, and David McKoskey) has been performing Celtic traditional tunes and pub-style songs all over the Twin City area for several years, including festivals, pubs, city parks, and weddings, and they have become veterans of the Irish Fair workshop stage. This year, they will present “Songs of the 1916 Irish Rebellion"


Derek Warfield - 12:00pm Sunday - Songs of the Easter Rising

We are privileged to have singer, composer, musician, and author Derek Warfield performing at this year’s Irish Fair. Derek has been a professional performer for almost 50 years, starting as a founding member of the legendary Wolftones, as a soloist, and now with the Young Wolftones. In total, he has recorded almost 30 albums, and remains a recognized historian of the Irish song tradition. Among his many venues include Carnegie Hall and The Royal Albert Hall in London. Today, he will be singing songs of the Easter Rising.





The Irish consulate in Chicago is lending us their traveling display on the history of the Easter rising. This will be a series of 15 scroll type pieces that will explain the history of the 1916 rebellion, and it will be on display in the Cultural Area in the Pavillion throughout the weekend.