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Irish Revolution and Oppression: Students Examine History

Taylor Mack, a junior from Endicott College, looks through a registry of the dead at Glasnevin Cemetery.

Students in Professor Kathleen Manning’s Race, Class and Gender course were taken back in time to the revolutionary days of Ireland on a recent field lab through Dublin.

Manning’s class highlights the themes of oppression found in societies across the globe, and how people react to oppression in their quest for freedom. Ireland’s fight for independence in 1916 was thus covered thoroughly in the Sinn Fein Rebel Walking Tour, a guided tour of Dublin’s most infamous—and often bloody—war scenes.

Students learn about the history of Ireland’s independence in the Sinn Fein Walking Tour.

The tour began in the Garden of Remembrance, where students were introduced to some of the most influential characters in the revolution, and how it came to be. It then continued throughout Dublin’s city center, where party headquarters were located, and explained a few of Dublin’s visible monuments and their significance. One monument in particular, still retained bullet holes that were fired during Ireland’s quest to obtain independence from England.

“What I like about this tour is that it touches upon all of the ways that people oppress each other,” Manning said. “They take away languages, introduce religions, ban religions; and regardless of where it’s happening, whether it’s racism or homophobia, it’s all the same process.”

After an exhilarating tour, the students were taken to Glasnevin Cemetery, home to 1.5 million of Ireland’s dead, including several political figures, revolutionary rebels, artists, writers and poets.

The students will now be discussing what they learned on the trip in class, and Manning said she will ask the students to recognize and dissect some of the themes of oppression they were taught in their field lab.

“I thought it was interesting,” said Alex Wright, a junior from Rollins College majoring in economics, and a student in the class. “We got a lot of history of how Ireland declared their independence. I enjoyed going around Dublin to see its most monumental spots, and my favorite part was visiting the monument where they declared independence.”

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