'Who Fears To Speak?' looks at the legacy of the Easter Rising sixty years later.

This '7 Days' special examines views on the quality of Irish life measured against the declared ambitions of the leaders of the Rising. What is the meaning of 1916 for Ireland in 1976? Is the legacy of 1916 now differently understood in light of historical experience? These are just some of the questions asked.

The programme opens with an introduction from presenter Brian Farrell at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin.

The politicians and the publicists have rehearsed the rhetoric of the poets. I have done it myself. I have been here on the great ceremonial and the state occasions. I have used that special public language it is expected here. But it is not the way real Irish people talk to each other about politics.

In his introduction Farrell asks what happened to the dreams of the leaders of the Rising and what does it mean in reality today?

At Synge Street Christian Brothers School in Dublin students give their views on the relevance of the Rising for them. There is a range of opinions on how we should remember the Rising and what it means to be Irish. One student comments,

Since 1966 we have had all the Northern Ireland violence. People are just sick and tired of military occasions. 1916 symbolises a military occasion people just don't want to know any more.   

Another says,

I'd rather be a poor man in a gutter and have my freedom than be under British rule again.


'7 Days: Who Fears To Speak' was broadcast on 13 April 1976.

Synge Street CBS, Dublin (1968)
CBS Synge Street, Dublin (1968)