by Jim Emerson
"In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past 300 years, they have asserted it in arms." -- Proclamation of the Irish Republic (1916)
It begins in the chaos of combat, men and boys wielding their weapons on the battlefield, shouting and cursing and fighting. Sure, it's only an amateur hurling match, an Irish game similar to field hockey, and the weapons are bladed wooden sticks.