Two Wadham students are in the process of organising a remembrance service for the 1916 Easter Rising, an insurrection led by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, one of the predecessor groups to the IRA.

A Facebook post on the Wadham SU page by Pete Morgan, a second year historian at the college, explains he and another student, Anna Secombe,  are “planning a remembrance service for the centenary of the Easter Uprising” to be take place in 1st Week of Trinity. According to Morgan, the service seems to have the endorsement of Wadham Chaplain Wendy Wale.


In addition to this, one student suggested involving the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP. McDonnell has provoked outrage in the past with comments suggesting that IRA terrorists should be “honoured” and that it was a result of the “bravery of the IRA… that we now have a peace process.”

Versa Picture 3 copy

Pete, dude… your profile picture’s sooooooo Wadham

The contentious post, which is signed off with the Gaelic “Iocfaidh ár lá,” a slogan meaning “our day will come,” suggests a political motivation behind the commemoration. The phrase alludes to a unified Ireland and the fight to incorporate Northern Ireland into the Republic. It is used by Nationalist party Sinn Féin to this day. A party famed for their reasonable behaviour and no dodgy links to terrorists at all…

With events as recent as July 2013 resulting in Unionist MP Nigel Dodds being knocked unconscious with a brick in North Belfast, Wadham’s decision to celebrate a religious and culturally contentious issue in an Anglican Chapel seems to see the College reach new heights of absurdity, even without noting the politicising of a religious place of worship. However, with OUSU Women VP Lucy Delaney liking the Facebook post, perhaps it will have funding within the week.

When asked for comment (which took us a while to do, sorry Pete, bad form from us there), Morgan referred us to the mission statement of the group: “We [yet to be confirmed title] are a group of Oxford students who are organising a series of events in April 2016 to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising. The Easter Rising was an armed insurrection in certain parts of Ireland against British rule which went on from the 24th to the 29th April 1916. The rising resulted not only in civilian deaths, but also in harsh repression by British forces including executions of key nationalist leaders and hundreds of imprisonments. We believe that it is an important historical event in the history of Ireland and Great Britain and that the centenary provides the opportunity to consider the legacy of the rising, its impact on the development of Ireland and Irish nationalism and the cultural significance it has acquired in the past century.”

VERSA congratulates Wadham on reaching even greater heights of Wadham-ness that we thought possible. I hear that their ball next year will be a celebration of Stalin’s gulags and Mao’s Long March.

This article has 22 comments

  1. really, this article is quite misinformed and based more upon prejudice against Wadham’s left leanings than historic fact.
    On Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, a group of Irish nationalists proclaimed the establishment of the Irish Republic and, along with some 1,600 followers, staged a rebellion against the British government in Ireland. The rebels seized prominent buildings in Dublin and clashed with British troops.
    This was a reaction against British colonialism, as the Irish urge to claim back an identity necessitated violence and revolutionary action.

  2. it’s really, really not that ‘extremist’ to support the Easter Rising and Britain *finally* letting go of its final colony

  3. First of all it’s “tiocfaidh ár lá”. Secondly, I don’t see why this has to be that controversial. In Ireland there are country-wide events and commemorations happening throughout the year remembering the 1916 rising. Thirdly, a large majority of students here have never heard of the Easter Rising, and I think an event like this would educate students on Ireland’s history. It’s interesting how you never mentioned that British soldiers executed the leaders of the rebellion, including James Connolly who (although it was thought he had only two days to live because of serious injuries) was tied to a chair and killed by a firing squad.

  4. this is a bad article

  5. This is appalling journalism. The IRA of 1916 was a different organisation to its later imitators, and was of a COMPLETELY different nature/context to later incarnations. Get some historical context, for god’s sake.

  6. I did not try to get John McDonnell involved, I was referring to a friend’s dad who recently gave a lecture on Irish history who is called Donal… literally what

  7. I think the fact that Versa struggles to distinguish between an Irish forename and an Irish/Scots surname is the epitome of how specious this article is

  8. someone who actually knows what they're talking about

    this article is ridiculous. do some research ….

  9. This article is total bullshit!! TAKE IT DOWN

  10. This is hilariously poor journalism- bit of a pity that it happens to be one of the most commented upon articles. Not only does it reveal the writer’s pathetic prejudices but shows that he doesn’t even have the intelligence to defend them.

  11. Daily Reminder that Ulster is British. No Surrender.

  12. Donal =/= John McDonnell
    I think that says it all.

  13. I hate to say it, but this article is entirely based on taking screenshots of a single Facebook post, isn’t it?

    • Facebook posts reporting a planned event, though? Fair enough if you think the event is a non story, but it seems a perfectly normal way to investigate something. xoxo

      • The college hasn’t announced anything, it is ultimately their decision as to whether anything to mark the centenary goes forward and what form those things will take. It is quite clear that this event is still in a planning stage and it is by no means certain that it will happen. Two students don’t just decide that there will be an event to mark the centenary by themselves. Smh

  14. Really bad article – shows the ignorance of the writer on the subject of Irish republicanism. I see nothing wrong with holding a commemorative service for the Easter Rising of 1916, just as we hold commemorations of many different historical events (the Battle of Trafalgar, for instance). The venue is a bit of an odd choice as an Anglican chapel, I’ll give you that, but the event itself seems to respect and honour an event that plays a massive part in the Anglo-Irish history of the 20th century. It doesn’t need to have any sort of political connotation to it. If any unionists want to have an equivalent event come July for the Battle of the Boyne, then I’m sure Wadham will be accommodating to their request.

  15. the original snake of bowra


  16. The Wadham chapel is also designated as a space for all faiths and those of no faith; Roman Catholic services have also been held there. So 😛

  17. hello everyone!

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