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 The 1916 Irish Rebellion

The 1916 Irish Rebellion

Bríona Nic Dhiarmada

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The 1916 Irish Rebellion is the companion book to a three-part documentary series broadcasted worldwide in 2016. Narrated by Liam Neeson, the documentary, entitled “1916 The Irish Rebellion,” and its related seventy-minute version are initiatives of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame. 

The 1916 Irish Rebellion includes a historical narrative; a lavish spread of contemporary images and photographs; and a rich selection of sidebar quotations from contemporary documents, prisoners’ statements, and other eyewitness accounts to capture the experiences of nationalists and unionists, Irish rebels and British soldiers, and Irish Americans during the turbulent events of Easter Week, 1916.

In the first part of the book, Nic Dhiarmada surveys Ireland’s place as part of the British Empire in the decades leading up to 1916, with special emphasis on earlier Irish movements to achieve independence or at least some measure of self-governance. She then outlines the events leading to the Easter Rebellion of 1916, including the crucial events of Thursday through Saturday prior to Easter.

The second part details the events of the Easter Rising and the week of violent fighting, ending in the failure of the armed insurrection in Dublin. Her third part discusses the fate of the leaders of the Rising, many of whom were immediately court-martialled and executed. Nic Dhiarmada suggests that the Irish Rising, its ideals, and the subsequent election of members of the nationalist movement to prominent government offices were instrumental to the later creation of the sovereign Republic of Ireland, as well as an inspiration to anti-colonialist insurrections elsewhere in the world.

The three-part documentary series will screen in Ireland on RTÉ Television and on public television stations throughout the United States and Canada in Spring 2016.

Episode One: Awakening

Episode One is crucial in setting up the context for the dramatic story of the events of Easter Week 1916. Here, the audience is introduced to the main characters and the main players of Easter Week on all sides and, through them, are made aware of the political and cultural currents playing out in Ireland, Europe, and the world - including the role of Empire, the outbreak of the first World War, the rise of socialist, feminist and nationalist thought / self determination. Episode 1 will bring viewers up to the cusp of Easter week itself.

Episode Two: Insurrection

Episode Two examines the events of Easter Week 1916 on a day-to-day basis. Through the use of graphics and contributions from military historians, viewers are provided with both an insight into particular locations, such as the General Post Office, as well as a clear, overall view of the state of play in Dublin. They will also hear - via archival material that has been rarely seen or heard - from the voices of participants: rebels, British soldiers, and civilian witnesses. Viewers will experience as far as possible what it was like to be an eyewitness to these events.

Episode Three: When Myth and History Rhyme

The third and final episode deals with the surrender and subsequent executions of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion and the fundamental changes arising from these events. The aim is to have viewers experience the same emotional response as did the men and women of the time - which is accomplished through first-person narratives, descriptions of the executions, and the last statements of the leaders. Doing so allows viewers to understand the sea change that occurred in Ireland in the aftermath of the Rising. Contributors to the series will pose questions and analyze the significance of the events of Easter Week 1916 - both in Ireland itself but also throughout the world. Finally, the legacy of the 1916 Irish Rebellion is analyzed and the question is explored how, still, it remains of significance to people worldwide.

Additional Information

Author Bríona Nic Dhiarmada
Publisher Cork University Press
Publication date 15 Feb 2016
Format Hardback
ISBN/EAN 9781782051916

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