For the Easter weekend that’s in it: the 1916 Rising told through digital

26 Mar 2016

Dublin's GPO. This Easter weekend 2016 the events of Easter 1916 will be remembered and celebrated by Irish people all over the world

Across Ireland this Easter weekend, the tumultuous events of the 1916 Rising will be celebrated and remembered in a wave of pageantry and pomp. At in recent months we’ve chronicled many of the amazing ways people across Ireland have brought 1916 to life through digital means.

First off, one of the amazing things about the 1916 celebrations is how schoolchildren across Ireland have been engaged with the subject, from their own re-enactments, collectable items in newspapers and army officers presenting each school with an Irish flag.

The other amazing thing is how the internet and digital media have been engaged to bring documents, photographs and other memorabilia to the surface and how mapping technology, video and smartphones have played a role.

Here we highlight some amazing digital finds that are new and others we’ve covered in recent months.

1916 told through Lego (video)

Createschool has published Freedom – A 1916 Story. This 10.5min stop-motion film tells a story of the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916. Commissioned by Wicklow County Council as part of their 1916:2016 Commemoration programme. Historian Pat Liddy was on hand to ensure historical accuracy and also lent his voice to the main character. Renowned singer-songwriter Leslie Dowdall helped write a song for the film, Time To Be, that features on the opening credits.

The film was nine months in production, features customised Lego characters and specially created “Proclamations”.

Google virtual tour brings Dublin 1916 Rising vividly to life


Earlier this year we reported that the Google Cultural Institute had created the Dublin Rising 1916-2016 virtual tour as part of the Ireland 2016 centenary programme. It is an amazing virtual tour of Dublin that features rich photography and artefacts as well as a voiceover by actor Colin Farrell.

The virtual tour explores iconic places, people and stories of 100 years ago and features exhibitions from six cultural institutions, including artefacts from the National Library, Military Archives, Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, the Abbey Theatre, the Royal Irish Academy, and the Library of  Trinity College Dublin, alongside Century Ireland.


Untold stories of 1916 Rising brought to life, starting with women of the Rising


We also reported how digitised photos, diaries, recordings and video from the 1916 Rising have been made available  by the Digital Repository of Ireland, beginning with stories of women and the Rising.

The Digital Repository’s Inspiring Ireland project has entered a new phase featuring a fresh series of exhibits focusing on the known and not-so-known stories of people and events surrounding the 1916 Rising.

Inspiring Ireland 1916: Weaving Public and Private Narratives uses fascinating objects – digitised photos, diaries, posters, oral recordings, video and artefacts – to tell the stories of the Rising and paint a picture of everyday lives in 1916.

1916 Rising told in all its Lego glory by clever Cork kids (video)

In January, we reported how schoolkids in Cork recreated the 1916 Rising using stop-frame footage and Lego people as characters. Along with the help of their teacher Michael O’Connor, kids from Sunday’s Well Boys National School show the taking of the GPO, the onslaught of bombing at the hands of the British and the eventual execution of the rebels.

1916 Rising inspires wonderful new interactive map


Earlier this year we reported on RTE’s 1916 Rising project ‘They Were There’, an interactive map of Dublin filled with 50 eyewitness accounts of the historic event. Tagged throughout, much like a standard Google Map would be when you search for a particular venue, it generates archive footage of people who lived through the destruction.

Writings as Gaeilge by 1916 Easter Rising figures go onlineGaelic-Journal

We reported this week how shortly before the 1916 Easter Rising, many of Ireland’s most established writers, activists and political upstarts contributed to Irisleabhar na Gaedhilge, or ‘The Gaelic Journal’, which was published on an almost monthly basis between 1882 and 1909.

Thanks to the efforts of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and digital humanities specialist Niall O’Leary, all of Irisleabhar na Gaedhilge’s articles have been digitised for free online access.

1916 Rising: A story told through Minecraft?


“Birth of the Irish Republic” by Walter Paget, depicting the GPO during the shelling, via Public Domain

We reported how Mindrising has launched a digital storytelling competition for children around Ireland in association with Microsoft and DCU Institute of Education and teams are expected to submit their first entries by 18 April. The idea is to use Minecraft to retell and re-interpret the story of 1916.

100 years of Irish innovation ahead of Easter 1916 celebrations (video)

This week we reported that The Lucey Fund has put together this nice round-up video of some of the major technological achievements that have happened here in the last 100 years.

The last 40 years in Ireland have seen the greatest upheaval in terms of technological advancements, with the introduction of major manufacturers like Intel, IBM and Apple in the 1980s, up until the 2000s when Google, Facebook et al moved into Silicon Docks.

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Main image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years