Title

The Cult of Self-Sacrifice: Failure and the 1867 Rising

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

1992

Advisor

R. William Franklin

Abstract

This thesis explores the Fenian Rising of 1867 in Ireland and how the Rising represents an example of the Cult of Self-Sacrifice as described by Daniel J. O'Neil in his article, "The Cult of Self-Sacrifice: The Irish Experience." A secondary goal of the thesis is to bring the 1867 Rising to light in historical discourse. To the author's knowledge, there have been few comprehensive writings on the topic of the Rising itself. Writings which do mention or describe the 1867 Rising describe it as little more than a military disaster, and often ignore how it created martyrs, especially the Manchester Three. By showing that the 1867 Rising represented and example of the cult of self- sacrifice, the author shows how it also represented a conduit between the 1848 Rising and Easter Rising of 1916. Understanding how the 1967 Rising created martyrs provides insight into the tactics of the modern manifestations of the Fenians: the IRA and Provisional IRA (PIRA). Their hunger strikes, Blanket men and deaths become part of ta long tradition of self-sacrifice and martyrdom of which the 1867 was itself an important part.

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