Inspiring Ireland 1916 Brings the Public and Private Stories of 1916 to the World

Dublin Castle – Inspiring Ireland 1916 Sneak Preview

At a special sneak preview at today’s Global Irish Economic Forum, Minister Heather Humphreys TD (Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht) and Minister Jimmy Deenihan TD (Minister for Diaspora Affairs) revealed an exciting new phase of the Inspiring Ireland project, which will be launched as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.

Inspiring Ireland 1916 will launch a fresh series of online exhibits through the first half of 2016, focusing on the known and not-so-known stories of the Rising, and the events and lives that were affected along the way. Inspiring Ireland 1916: Weaving Public and Private Narratives exhibits digitised photos, diaries, posters, aural recordings, video, ephemera and more alongside expert narrative, to tell the stories that surround the Rising, and paint a picture of everyday lives in 1916. Combining iconic objects from the National Archives of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland and RTE alongside ‘found’ objects from private collections, Inspiring Ireland 1916 creates a dynamic, multi-media reflection on the people and events of 1916, and its legacy.

Minister Heather Humphreys said: “The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme is an open invitation to Irish people at home and abroad to get involved as we remember the events that led to the foundation of the State. Through its specially curated online resource, Inspiring Ireland is helping us to reach out to the global Irish community. With a mix of objects and stories from our National Cultural Institutions and from members of the public, Inspiring Ireland 1916 will shed new light and bring new perspectives to our exploration of life 100 years ago.”

Jimmy Deenihan TD., Minister of State at Departments of the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs and Trade with special responsibility for the Diaspora added: “It is a matter of great pride for me to see that our diaspora is afforded such prominence and such a distinctive role in next year’s programme of events. This project is a great example of how our diaspora can really take part in next year’s events – the project allows people through an online facility to view some of our most precious artefacts relating to 1916 and hear the stories and narratives of this time. Our friends and family living abroad can also bring their artefacts and precious family objects to specially organised collection days and their stories and family histories will be brought to life and shared with the world”.

At today’s sneak preview, Dr. Natalie Harrower, the Digital Repository of Ireland’s Director, revealed that the first exhibition, to be launched in January 2016, will be about Women and Revolution:

“By combining public content cared for by Ireland’s national cultural institutions with private items shared by members of the public via our Collection Days, Inspiring Ireland 1916 is able to show a side of the Rising that is not as well documented. In our first exhibition, we use the lens of women’s lives to explore class, politics, grief and survival through this remarkable period in Irish history. And this is just the start of the stories that have inspired Ireland through the Rising.”

Inspiring Ireland is built on the preservation infrastructure of the Digital Repository of Ireland, which means that digital objects are preserved for long term access and discovery, ensuring Ireland’s digital cultural heritage is available to all for posterity.


Notes for Editors

Inspiring Ireland 1916 is a project by the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), in partnership with NAI, NLI, NMI and RTÉ and funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Minister for Diaspora Affairs at the Department of the Taoiseach in collaboration with Ireland 2016 and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The online portal www.inspiring-ireland.ie is powered by the Digital Repository of Ireland’s preservation infrastructure, which means that all objects on the site are being preserved for the long term in a certified trusted digital repository.

The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, led by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, T.D., is a year-long programme of activity to commemorate the events of the 1916 Rising, to reflect on our achievements over the last 100 years and to look towards Ireland’s future.

Further information on Ireland 2016 is available from www.ireland.ie


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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