23/04/15

23/04/2015: Minister Humphreys launches new website on Irish experience in Gallipoli

The Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, is this evening (Thursday) launching a new website exploring the Irish experience in the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War. The Irish in Gallipoli website, which is funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has been produced by Boston College in partnership with RTÉ and our National Cultural Institutions.

It’s estimated that 4,000 Irishmen were among the 130,000 who were killed in the Gallipoli campaign, which raged from April 1915 to January 1916. The new website, which is available at www.rte.ie/gallipoli, shines a light on the Irish experience of Gallipoli, which was largely untold for many decades.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Humphreys said:

“While well remembered in the national stories of Australia, New Zealand and Turkey, the Irish role in the Gallipoli campaign was largely forgotten over the decades. The Gallipoli campaign was followed so quickly by the 1916 Rising here at home, that little focus was placed on the thousands of Irish men who were killed fighting on the front in Turkey.

“This new website helps to shine a light on the stories of these soldiers, and on the horrors they endured. Three Irish regiments of the British Army were involved at the start of the Gallipoli campaign and were among the first to try to storm the beaches and to suffer 1,000 casualties in just four days.

“As the campaign raged on, so too did the suffering. The lack of water, poor supplies and dreadful sanitation made for harsh conditions, coupled with the fact that the men were unprepared for the extremes of heat and cold. This new website brings these terrible conditions home to us in a vivid way.

“It is important that 100 years on, we remember and reflect on the stories of the Irish in Gallipoli, and ensure their legacy is preserved as part of our national story.”

The site features:

  • A series of guides explaining the background to the campaign and the Irish involvement.
  • A daily news tracker detailing events on the peninsula as they happened.
  • Daily eyewitness accounts from 8 Irish people who took part in the campaign.
  • Daily reports from the regimental diaries of the 4 Irish regiments that fought.
  • A daily death notice of an Irishman who died at Gallipoli.
  • A series of films, radio broadcasts and podcasts which focus on different aspects of the campaign.
  • A series of galleries containing over 500 images from Gallipoli in 1915.
  • Education packs for use across the various age groups in schools.

The Irish in Gallipoli website is part of Boston College’s broader engagement with the Irish Decade of Centenaries, namely Century Irelandwww.rte.ie/centuryireland. Century Ireland is a realtime historic newspaper that explores the day to day events of life in Ireland 100 years ago.

ENDS

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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