The Irish state has never been old enough to mark centenaries. It is not yet one hundred years old. But this year marks the hundredth since the 1916 Easter Rising, a cataclysmic event that not only paved the way for an Irish Republic, but heralded the end of colonialism.
In the early 20th century the majority of the earth's Surface was dominated and ruled by a few global Empires. Non more powerful than that of Britain.
As Britain's oldest colony, Ireland's fate seemed indefinitely bound to it's powerful neighbour and ruler. With a language in steep decline, and a population almost halved by famine and emigration
it must have seemed unthinkable that this impoverished Isle could even think to mount a challenge to the largest existing Empire in modern times.
However lead by the most unlikely figures: poets, teachers, folklorists, trade unionists and writers, they not only challenged Britain's power, but the very idea that all nations must be ruled by a powerful few.
Though defeated militarily, the 1,600 or so armed rebels that occupied Dublin sparked national rebellion, and proved to dominions of empires that small nations could set themselves free.