TWEETS about unusual incidents and historic events that happened exactly 100 years ago are now being released on a daily basis to help bring Ireland's most momentous decade to life.
The Century Ireland project is using a Twitter feed and an on-line news site to issue bulletins about what grabbed headlines each day between 1913 and 1923.
Tweets and blogs are being issued as if in real time to bring an air of immediacy to the day-to-day happenings of the tumultuous years between Home Rule campaigning and the end of the Irish Civil War.
An online newspaper will also be produced every fortnight at www.rte.ie/centuryireland reporting on the wide-ranging events of the historic decade.
The State-backed project, proposed and produced by Boston College in Ireland, marks the beginning of the Decade of Centenaries when the dramatic events that shaped Ireland's destiny will be commemorated in the upcoming 10 years.
Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, launched Century Ireland yesterday and said the coverage of the events over the next 10 years will be monitored for balance, fairness, inclusiveness, respect and tolerance.
The State was supplying €100,000 funding but there were "priceless" services being supplied free of charge to Century Ireland by cultural institutions such as the National Library, Dublin City Library and many other bodies.
As a former history teacher, the minister said the day to day nature of the bulletins and tweets will help give people a flavour of events as they unfolded.
The launch event yesterday heard that Eoin MacNeill would have made a much bigger impact on day-to-day news as founder of the Irish Volunteers in the run-up to the 1916 Rising compared to Padraig Pearse. MacNeill managed the unprecedented feat of overseeing the induction of 180,000 members to the volunteers in a single year.
Minister Deenihan said Boston College Ireland was an ideal institution to be involved in bringing the period to life given the significance of Ireland's diaspora in the US. He said Ireland's census details from 1901 and 1911 had received 700m hits, many from people in the US.
Professor Mike Cronin of Boston College said: "A rich mix of digital content, supported by social media, will allow the public to access a range of material and lead them through the decade of centenaries in real time."
See www.rte.ie/centuryireland and @CenturyIRL for more.