The Croppy Acre

I walked past this stark memorial when I visited the Collins Barracks museum in Dublin. No signs or notes explained what it was. I’m glad to have seen it, and find out after the fact, but it’s a surprising oversight given how plaqued-up the rest of Dublin is. Ireland is a country that knows and acknowledges its history, so for this large site not to open or signposted is surprising.

Following the defeat of the 1798 Uprising, the bodies of the republican rebels were dumped into unmarked, mass graves across the country. These graves became known as ‘Croppy Pits’ or ‘Croppy Holes’, a reference to the United Irishmen who wore their hair cropped in the style of revolutionary France.

These Irish revolutionaries often carried barley oats as a source of nutrition to sustain them in battle. Several months after a Croppy grave had been filled and covered over, barley often began to grow up and mark the spot. If barley is cut down it only comes back stronger. Though it was lost on the British, the people quickly realised the significance and barley became a defiant symbol of republicanism.

via Dublin People | Remembering the Croppy Acre.

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