1916

 

The Keough-Naughton Institute is developing a major three part television documentary series to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin, Ireland.

This short-lived and unsuccessful rebellion sowed the seeds that would lead to the Irish War of Independence and the eventual establishment of the Irish Republic.

On Easter Monday, 1916, a group led by poets and idealists took over a number of key buildings in Dublin to proclaim the establishment of an Irish Republic.

Their actions took the British Authorities completely by surprise but within a few short days their rebellion had been summarily suppressed, the center of Dublin lay in rubble and the leaders of the insurrection were sentenced to death.

However, the force with which the rebellion was suppressed turned public opinion from initial hostility for the insurgents and their actions to growing sympathy for their cause and gave way to unanticipated consequences.

The United States is central to the story of Easter 1916. Five of the seven signatories to the Proclamation of an Irish Republic had spent periods of time in the United States that was to prove significant in the development of their thinking and actions.

Money collected in the U.S. was vital for the purchase of arms to further their plans. For fourteen straight days after the Rising, stories relating to the events in Dublin occupied front-page columns of the New York Times.

Against the backdrop of the mounting casualties on the Western Front, the Dublin Rising may be seen as a relatively small skirmish, but in reality, it marks the beginning of the end of the British Empire and it was to have major international consequences.

Institute Director Christopher Fox, Thomas J. and Kathleen O'Donnell Chair of Irish Language and Literature Bríona Nic Dhiarmada, and Distinguished Visiting Fellow Cathal Goan will work with a team of Notre Dame students and faculty to tell the story of the events and consequences of Easter 1916 to an international audience.

The Keough-Naughton Institute has secured expressions of interest to broadcast the project from RTÉ and PBS. The plan is to have a world-wide event originating from the Keough-Naughton Institute in 2016.

The National Library of Ireland and the Irish Film Archive have also signaled their support as have leading historians and commentators.

Using contemporary film archive material, sound recordings of participants and eye-witnesses, still photographs and contemporaneous newspaper reporting together with the most authoritative historical analysis, this will be a riveting set piece for television in 2016.

The Institute is currently searching for the financial support to make this program a reality.