The St. Patrick’s Parade Society Toronto along with Parade Societies throughout the world are celebrating 100 Years of Heritage and Culture in 2016, that will involve all Irish Political Parties of the Island of Ireland.
Commencing with The Dublin Lockout of 1913, which was a major Industrial dispute between approximately 20,000 workers and 300 employers, lasting from August 26th 1913 to January 18th, 1914 and is often viewed as the most severe and significant Industrial dispute in Irish History and was a prelude to the uprising by the people of Ireland centered in Dublin at the General Post Office (GPO) to what is now known as “The 1916 Easter Rising”.
For those of us that saw the movie “Michael Collins” the film begins with the military bombardment of the GPO by the British. The seven leaders of the Rising knew their undertaking was doomed to fail but, believed that a torch had to be lit and for the people of Ireland to make a stance due to the injustices imposed under British rule in Ireland.
This 1916 Rising led to the Irish War of Independence (fought from 1919 to 1921) which resulted in the form of a self governing Irish State (of 26 Counties in 1922) within The British Empire annexing the 6 northeastern Counties of the 9 Counties of the Province of Ulster, who opted to remain part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland. Irish Civil War ensued.
The Irish Civil War (June 28th, 1922 to May 24th, 1923) was a conflict that accompanied the establishment of the Irish Free State as an entity independent from the United Kingdom within the British Empire.
The conflict was waged between two opposing groups of Irish Nationalists: The forces of the “Provisional Government” that established the Free State in December 1922, who supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the Republican opposition, for whom the Treaty represented a betrayal of the Irish Republic. The War was won by the Free State Forces.
The Civil War may have claimed more lives than the War of Independence against Britain that preceded it and left Irish Society divided and embittered. Today, two of the main political Parties in the Republic of Ireland, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, are direct descendants of the opposing sides in the War.
In 1997, the entire people of Ireland voted on an agreement that led to Peace and a power sharing agreement where the people of the six Counties on both sides of the cultural divide have a voice to determine their future. (The Good Friday Accord)
Over the last 100 years the Island of Ireland has gone through many changes making it an attractive place to live and invest, a beautiful venue to have a holiday and a wee small Country that has hosted some of the world’s largest sporting events. To mention a few, The Special Olympics, The Eurovision Song contest, The Tour De France, The Giro De Italy, The Tour of Ireland Professional Cycling Races and many more World Class Events.
So, in 2016 we hit the 100 Year Mark where we look back at our History and Celebrate our Heritage and Culture as the theme of the parade on a worldwide stage.
We are encouraging members of The Irish Diaspora to Celebrate who they are and for entire Communities to join us in our Celebrations on 13th. March 2016 in Downtown Toronto.
A Listing of Events will be posted on our Website so, stay tuned for updates.
St. Patrick’s Parade Society, Toronto