Things To Do In Dublin For The Easter Rising Centenary
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2016 marks a significant year in the history of modern Ireland. It was on April 24th 1916 that members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood declared the beginning of the Easter Rising, a sudden six day conflict which saw a major militarised attempt at insurrection against British rule. Though the rebellion was ultimately unsuccessful it did mark the beginning of a sharp slide towards republicanism in Ireland, a trend that would eventually lead towards the War of Independence, the Irish Free State, and eventually the modern Republic of Ireland.
Given that 2016 marks the centenary of this landmark event the entire nation is set to celebrate with a year-long programme of commemorations, cultural expression and historical activities. This list focuses on key centenary related things to do around the capital Dublin. Take a look and incorporate a few of them into your next trip, and feel free to suggest more events in the comments section below.
Take A Free 1916 Walking Tour With City Sightseeing Dublin.
Holders of two adult 24 or 48 hour City Sightseeing Dublin bus tour tickets are entitled to take part on one of the operator's 1916 historic walking tours. These depart from the Dublin Visitor Centre on 17 Lower O'Connell Street at 12:00 daily during the summer months. Your guide will cover an extensive itinerary of landmarks most synonymous with the events of the Easter Rising.
National Gallery of Ireland.
See the James Stephens Exhibition at the National Gallery of Dublin (Feb 6-April 24). Admission is free.
Little Museum of Dublin.
Check out the special 1916 programme being run by the Little Museum of Dublin. Two highlight exhibitions include: Fergal McCarthy's 'Cartoon History of the Easter Rising', and Ciara Harrison's embroidery portrait exhibition, 'Shadowed Women' focusing on seven key female figures of the rebellion.
Christ Church Cathedral.
Attend a fascinating lecture about the 1916 rising by prominent Irish historians at Christ Church Cathedral. Exploring the theme of 'ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances', presentations will take place on Wednesday 17th of February at 19:30 in the building's Music Room.
St. Patricks Cathedral.
Head along to one of the cathedral's year-round events collectively titled: 'Remembering 1916':
'Lives Remembered' (Jan-Dec 2016) is the centrepiece exhibition, one which examines the personal experiences of people affected by conflict between 1914-23. It offers poignant insights into a time of massive cultural and political change in Ireland, a shift that would inevitably affect ordinary lives more than any other. In 1914 the groundwork for a devolved government had just passed in the form of the Third Irish Home Rule Bill, though its enactment never came to pass due to the turmoil of World War I and the start of the 1916 Easter Rising. What unfolded throughout the period shook every corner of Irish society, from the men who never returned from the fields of Europe, to those who were subsequently pitched neighbour-against-neighbour on differing sides of the Home Rule question.
Other relevant events include a service of commemoration for the Easter Rising on April 24th, and a remembrance weekend from 11-13 November.
Guinness Storehouse doesn't seem to be running any events specifically in conjunction with the 1916 centenary, but on the subject of anniversaries, they are celebrating their own- 15 years as a top Dublin attraction!
Glasnevin Cemetery & Museum.
In partnership with Ireland 2016, Google has developed an interactive street view tour that lets participants explore locations related to the 1916 rising, as well as trace the people and events that played a role in the rebellion. The tour is narrated by actor Colin Farrell, and Glasnevin Cemetery Museum's most iconic artefacts from the era will be available to view as part of the virtual journey.
At its physical site Glasnevin will be hosting centenary exhibitions from March 2016 onwards. The most exciting of these are a series of live re-enactments set to take place during the days of Easter (25-28 Mar), featuring the recollections of Nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell.
The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) are planning their own commemorative event scheduled for April 24th at Croke Park Stadium. It will coincide with two prominent games in the Allianz League football finals. On various other dates they will be hosting a series of special talks at the GAA Museum, each one discussing a different thematic aspect of the rising period. See here for a list of Spring lecture dates.
Trinity College Dublin will be running an extensive series of lectures, tours and exhibitions throughout the year of 2016. The themes are highly varied, but all related to the 1916 rising, its prelude, and aftermath. From February to October join Authenticity Tours (the college's official tour provider) on one of their 'Conflict and Confliction' history walks, a journey which aims to highlight the university's role in the Rising. Gilbert Library will serve as the venue for its 'Civilian Dead of 1916' exhibition, a commemorative undertaking based on Trinity's Professor Eunan O'Halpin's ‘Dead of the Irish Revolution 1916-1921' project.
Something also highly worth attending is the 1916 Proclamation Reading (15 March), a public oratory set to take place on the Dining Hall Steps of Trinity College. For a full list of centennial events being hosted by, or happening in partnership with the college, please consult this downloadable .pdf booklet.
Visit the infamous prison that played a key role in British government attempts to control dissent during the rising period. Harrowing tales of incarceration paint a vivid picture of Ireland's difficult journey towards self-rule as experienced by those who were involved in the centuries long struggle. Kilmainham Gaol is open all year round and adult entry only costs 4 Euros.
Take An Original 1916 Walking Tour.
The Irish capital's longest running 1916 history tour will be operating throughout most of 2016. Book a place and meet your knowledgeable guide plus fellow participants at the The International Bar on Wicklow Street. Each journey lasts approximately 2 hours and they'll departing daily between March 1st and October 31st 2016.
National Museum Ireland.
On March 3rd 2016 the National Museum of Ireland's Decorative Arts & History branch will launch its flagship exhibition relating to the 1916 centenary: 'Proclaiming A Republic: The 1916 Rising'. Everything from background factors to the ideologies and personages involved in the revolution will be examined with reference to over 15,000 objects and first-hand accounts. See the original 1916 Proclamation, old flags of the Irish Republic, and many more highlights.
Chester Beatty Library.
While most institutions focus on domestic questions for their Ireland 2016 programmes, the Chester Beatty Library will be using it as a chance to examine and reflect upon modern Irish culture and identity in a global context. Admission to the attraction is free and it's open from 10:00-17:00 during weekdays, and 11:00-17:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.