“The Flooding Sorrow”, The Great War: 1914–1918
This chapter explores the shift from relative support of the war and Irish military service to active hostility by 1918, in order to demonstrate the growing association of Irishness with anti-British identities. While the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli initiated the breakdown of Irish support for the war, the Easter Rising in 1916 profoundly shifted public sentiment toward independence. It was sympathetic public sentiment for the rebels and animosity toward the British that allowed for Sinn Féin politicians to take the majority of parliamentary seats in the 1918 election, thus deepening the fissure between nationalists/republicans and Britain. This increasing growing association of Irishness with anti-British identity meant that even by 1918 it was difficult to commemorate the war publicly.