Sunday 8 December 2019

National Library launches flagship Rising exhibition

Curator Sara Smyth and Dr Sandra Collins at the National Photographic Archive
Curator Sara Smyth and Dr Sandra Collins at the National Photographic Archive
Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army soldiers inside the GPO
The ruins of Henry Street, workmen clearing rubble with armed soldiers on duty.
Dr Edmund J. McWeeney inspecting a copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic on railings at 84 St. Stephen's Green, Easter Monday, 1916.
Volunteers from the 3rd Battalion marching down Grand Canal Street Lower under escort carrying their weapons and a flag after their surrender at Boland's Bakery.

Ciara Treacy

Finding the 1916 proclamation posted on the walls of the city on Easter Monday would have come as a surprise to ordinary Dubliners like Dr Edmund J McWeeney.

The moment he paused to read the document is one of 60 images at the National Library of Ireland's flagship photographic exhibition 'Rising', launched at the National Photographic Archive yesterday. It runs until October.

"This is one of a number of unusual images on display," said exhibition curator Sara Smyth.

"Unfortunately there are not many photos from the Rising itself because martial law was in place.

"There are very few photographs of people actually interacting with the proclamation, which would have come as a great surprise to the population of Dublin on a Monday morning."

Some of the reproduced images are the size of an patio door or larger. Professor Mary Daly, president of the Royal Irish Academy and a member of the 1916 Expert Advisory Group, said the revolution was one of the best documented events in history.

"It's not just a matter of stiff portraits which would have been around from earlier times, but you now have action shots and photographs taken of people on the streets moving around," she said. "For somebody who wants to learn about Easter 1916, where does it begin and how does it evolve, and wants to do it without reading lengthy books, they should really come here."

Irish Independent

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