‘They Were There’ is the name of RTE’s latest 1916 Rising project, with a fine interactive map of Dublin filled with 50 eyewitness accounts of the historic event.
At first appearing like a standard online map, RTÉ’s new interactive 1916 Rising project is pretty clever.
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.
So, for example, you can hear JuliaGrenan discuss when Pádraig Pearse ordered women serving in the GPO to leave the burning building.
You can watch Tom Devine talk about watching proceedings on Moore Street and printer Christopher J Brady talk about the odd problem around printing the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
The only person featured on the map who isn’t identified is a Dublin jarvey who was at Fairyhouse Racecourse on the Easter Monday.
Actually, RTÉ is looking to the public to help name the man who was interviewed for RTÉ television in 1962.
“When I went into Dublin I was halted at the barricade and could go no further,” said the mystery man.
“Because if you did go any further, you could run the risk of a sniper. You’d be shot. And a bullet did whiz by me forehead at the Broadstone.”
Elsewhere, Michael Carey, a constable in the Dublin Metropolitan Police at Mountjoy, was ordered to close all the local pubs and to take down the Proclamations that had been posted in the area.
“In the 1950s and ‘60s, RTÉ showed great foresight in recording the recollections of living participants and witnesses to the events of Easter Week 1916 for radio and television,” said Bríd Dooley, head of RTÉ archives.
“The collections have been carefully preserved by the RTÉ Archives over many decades. The centenary comes at time of great opportunity with the digital world now enabling us to unlock this unique archive for current and future generations as never before.”
You can view it, in all its glory, here.
Google, of course
Google, of course, is orchestrating a project of its own, with a Street View tour of Dublin the culmination of a lot of hard work.
The virtual tour – narrated by Colin Farrell – explores iconic places, people and stories of 100 years ago and features exhibitions from six cultural institutions.
These include 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.
Meanwhile, digitised photos, diaries, recordings and video from the 1916 Rising are available from the Digital Repository of Ireland.