independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Virtual history newspaper goes live

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan speaks at the launch of Century Ireland at the Government Press Centre, Dublin

A virtual newspaper bringing the most momentous period of Irish history to life has gone live.

Ten years of news from 1913 will be published by Century Ireland every fortnight over the next decade in real-time.

Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said the digitalised material will catalogue the major events that shaped modern Ireland from the Home Rule debate to the Civil War in a balanced and fair way.

He claimed the project, which is part of the Decade of Centenaries initiative, will make history tangible and accessible for the audience of today.

"In a mere decade, the relationship between Britain and Ireland was redefined and Europe and the wider world were consumed in a war of unprecedented mobilisation and slaughter," he said.

"In these years, society was transformed by the ever strengthening assertion of civil and democratic rights, by industrialisation and the progress of organised labour movement, and by education and the pioneering advances of science.

"In this way, the revolutionary decade is not defined only by the political and military history. It is also the many stories of the people and their lives."

The minister described the project as "invaluable", despite costing his department 100,000 euro a year to run in partnership with RTE, Boston College Ireland, and the National Cultural Institutions.

Top news stories from 100 years ago will be updated every two weeks on www.rte.ie/centuryireland along with photos, videos, daily blogs, with a Twitter feed through @CenturyIRL.

He maintained the site is the first of its kind in the world, and hopes it gets the 700 million hits the 1901 and 1911 Census have got since going online.

Press Association

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