There can be no doubt that the response of the British government to the Rising contributed measurably to the further alienation of Irish public opinion. On 26th April 1916, it had introduced martial law and next day appointed Major-General Sir John Maxwell as Commander-in-Chief of troops, Ireland. He had full authority to restore order, put down the rebellion, and punished its participants. Maxwell never doubted that its leaders should be court-martialled and those most prominent executed.
General Maxwell was also determined that, in order to crush militant nationalism, those who had surrendered with them, and their suspected supporters, should be arrested and their arms seized in a nationwide sweep by soldiers, supported by police. General Maxwell quickly signalled his intention "to arrest all dangerous Sinn Feiners"(1), including "those who have taken an active part in the movement although not in the present rebellion"(2), reflecting the popular belief that Sinn Féin, a separatist organisation that was neither militant nor republican, was behind the Rising.
In total, the security forces arrested 3,430 men and 79 women and of these 1,841 were sent to England and interned there. Meanwhile, those thought to have organised the insurrection had been held back in Ireland for trial 190 men and 1 woman named Countess Markievicz. In 90 cases the court’s verdict was ‘Death by being shot’. All signatories of the proclamation were executed. The executions started on May 3rd in Kilmainham Jail with the execution of Patrick Pearse was the first to be singled out for execution, he was not allowed to see his mother or brother before his execution, Thomas MacDonagh and Thomas Clarke .The second day is the executions of William Pearse brother of Patrick Pearse, Edward Daly, Michael O'Hanrahan, and Joseph Plunkett whom married Grace Gifford in the prison chapel hours before his execution.
On the following day John McBride was executed alone refused to be blindfolded...
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