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'A terrible beauty': US festival reflects on Ireland's Easter Rising 100 years later

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The 1916 Irish rebellion against British rule that in six days left 485 people dead is the cue for a festival of Irish arts and culture in Washington

While on the election campaign trail for wife Hillary, former president Bill Clinton keeps going back to poetry to explain the discontent gnawing at Americans who have not had a pay rise in years. “Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart,” he says.

The lines come from WB Yeats’s Easter 1916, an elusive depiction of the Irish rebellion against British rule that in six days left 485 people dead, paved the way for independence and sent shockwaves through the British empire (as well as making the front page of the New York Times for 14 consecutive days). The Easter Rising’s centenary has been marked in Dublin and London and is now the cue for a festival of Irish arts and culture at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

History says, Don’t hope

On this side of the grave,

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