Hargreaves, Janet, Moorehouse, Paula and Hargreaves, David (2017) Rebel Nurses of the Rising: Ireland, Easter 1916. The Bulletin of the UK Association of the History of Nursing, 6. pp. 7-16.

The nursing of the ‘rebels’ and the role of nurses in the Easter Rising of 1916 have received little attention until recently, even within Ireland itself. There is now a growing analysis, in particular a reaffirmation of the significant role played by women in the Rising, culminating in publications commemorating the centenary of this event. This paper offers a critical review of what is known about nursing within rebel strongholds in Dublin during this time.
Findings suggest there is evidence of some qualified nurses involved in rebel (rather than civilian and military) positions, including accounts of the extent of their role and the injuries managed. However, the majority of the immediate nursing care available to the rebels was given by members of the Irish Citizen’s Army and the women’s organisation Cumman na mBan, both of whom were trained in first aid and were wearing Red Cross insignia. Accounts of the week suggest that the status and treatment of qualified nurses and first aid workers offering care was not consistent.
Although the Easter Rising was just one week of conflict confined to Ireland, its timing during WW1 and Ireland’s contested status as a part of Great Britain in rebellion against the established order raise a number of issues for discussion. These include the use and status of the Red Cross emblem in such circumstances and the management of humanitarian aid in a heavily populated urban setting.
Through a focus on the humanitarian management of the conflict from a rebel perspective this paper offers an alternative perspective on the nursing response to this historical event. In doing so a parallel, alternative view may be seen which illustrates the need to explore multiple narratives.

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