Because I'd always thought of Irish independence movements and resistance to British governance in the 19th century as being something led by those from the middle classes who had the time and resources to read and formulate this idea of Irish nationhood.
But what of the lowlier citizens of the land, from whom later would come a groundswell of support? On the one hand, the oft-told account is that Pearse was greeted with a certain degree of derision and bemusement when standing outside the GPO reading the Proclamation, but that opinion shifted when word broke of the harsh treatment of Republican prisoners. Was that the whole tale, or was there also an element of the seeds of discontent coming to fruition throughout the island? Or was it more to do with the revolutionary fervour that had been sweeping Europe anyway?
Back to an earlier time, do we know what the ordinary man's general opinion of becoming part of the union was? How much did opinion vary throughout Ireland? Was there even an opinion, or was it more a case of one government being much the same as any other?