1916 Easter Rising Medal

The 1916 Easter Rising Medal was awarded in 1941 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Easter Rising. The medal was awarded to three different groups. The first and largest group was persons in possession of military service certificates for service rendered during Easter Week, 1916. The second group included persons who did not apply for such certificates, but who can produce evidence to show that if they did they would have been entitled to a certificate. The final group included the next-of-kin of those persons who have since died and who had such certificates, or would have had them if they had applied for them.

The Irish Department of Defence lists that 2,594 individuals have been awarded the Easter Rising Medal since its introduction. Members of the Irish Volunteers, Irish Citizen Army, Hibernian Rifles, Na Fianna Éireann, and Cumann na mBan were all awarded medals. The Department of Defence is also aware of a few participants who are confirmed to have served during the Easter Rising that never applied for a service pension, or submitted a medal application. Their dependents have also never filed paperwork on their behalf, and therefore an Easter Rising Medal has never been awarded to them. Among this group are a few well known revolutionaries such as Cathal Brugha, Countess Markievicz, and Seán Russell.

The design of the medal is described by the Department of Defence as being “A bronze circular medal approximately one and two fifth inches (38mm) in diameter, fashioned (after the manner of the official Irish army crest) in the form of a circle of flame representing the sunburst on which eight points of a star are superimposed. Within the circle on the obverse is a representation of the death scene of Cúchullain (a legendary Irish hero), partially surrounded by an ancient warrior’s sword belt.”[1] The reverse side of the medal also features an inscription that reads “Seaċtain Na Cásca 1916,” which translates as “Easter Week 1916.” The medal is strung with a green and orange ribbon, and is suspended from a top bar that has a Celtic patterned design. Two jewelers, P. QUINN LIMITED and The Jewelry and Metal Manufacturing Co, manufactured the medal. The medal was issued unnamed (as seen here) to all living recipients, but version with names inscribed on the back side of the medal were issued to relatives of individuals who were killed in action, or had passed away before 1941.

1. Military Archives Medals Booklet:  http://www.militaryarchives.ie/fileadmin/user_upload/MSPC/_documents/Medals/MSPC_MEDALSBOOKLET_APRIL2016_01_1916_medal.pdf