17 groups get €144,000 from IRC to develop 1916-themed projects

19 Apr 2016

The Irish Research Council (IRC) has awarded €144,000 to 17 diverse research projects based around the theme of the 1916 Easter Rising ahead of the centenary on 24 April.

The IRC funding initiative is part of the council’s decision to mark the ‘decade of centenaries’ by supporting major research projects that focus on the period from 1912 to 1922 in Irish history, including 1916.

Among the 17 projects selected for funding include a UCD project exploring how the nuns and schoolgirls at Loreto Convent on St Stephen’s Green were sequestered in the convent during the 1916 Rising, creating an open-access digital repository and online exhibition exploring their experiences.

Following a similar technological research focus, one project will be creating an augmented reality (AR) mobile walking tour app, commemorating the role women played in the 1916 Rising.

Additionally, a project at Maynooth University will develop digital tools to engage the public in the history of the Battle of Mount Street Bridge.

Battlefield tours on your phone

The tools developed will include an AR audio-visual recreation of the battlefield for tablets and smartphones, and will allow members of the public to interact with 3D-printed buildings of the battlefield.

Speaking at the announcement, Prof Jane Ohlmeyer, chair of the IRC, said: “The diversity of the research topics is reflective of the full complexity of our history, and demonstrates that academic discourse and research are vital to all acts of national commemoration.

“A significant national, historic event like the decade of centenaries really highlights the important work being done by researchers throughout Ireland.”

She continued: “The research projects announced today are throwing up fascinating insights into the lives of 1916 leaders, as well as ordinary people. They are also exploring how the legacy of 1916 has impacted on the Ireland we live in today.”

1916 Easter Rising memorial march image via Rihardzz/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic