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What was not highlighted in the story of 1916 was the strong vibrant faith of the Irish volunteers.
The Rosary was recited by all in the GPO and other rebel locations. Confessions were heard every day. The spiritual needs of the leaders were well cared for by the Capuchin priests before the executions.
There is a great similarity between Ireland and Poland in the fusion of faith and nationalism in the psyche of their respective peoples, which is strongly evident in the course of the history of both countries.
Ireland in its predominantly Catholic population endured cruel oppression for centuries. Catholic Poland in more recent years suffered brutal oppression from Nazism and Communism. There is relevance in the stories of Fr Murphy of Boolavogue and St Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish priest in Auschwitz.
A future Archbishop of Dublin, Daniel Murray, as a young priest in Arklow in 1798, had to flee for his life when his parish priest was murdered by the Yeomen. It is not politically correct in 2016 to mention faith and nationalism combined as a vibrant part of DNA in Irish people. We must not forget our forefathers’ motto, Do chum gloire Dé agus onóir na hÉireann – For the glory of God and honour of Ireland.
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