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A NEW film tracing Ireland's battle for independence showcases the first footage of O'Connell Street and Stephen's Green ever captured.

The early footage was captured by the world's first filmmakers, the Lumiere Brothers.

The famous French duo Auguste and Louis Lumiere - known as the fathers of cinema, travelled to Ireland and captured footage of the Dublin in 1897.

The Birth of a Nation is a new short film that documents the pivotal moments in Ireland's bid for independence.

Breathtaking images of the city in the wake of the Rising are also included in the documentary which has been compiled ahead of the centenary celebrations in 2016.

The old Liberty Hall building - which served as the headquarters for James Connolly's Citizen's Army - can be seen in ruins in the film.

The only known footage of Connolly also also features.

Nelson's Pillar on O'Connell Street - which stood where the Spire is today before it was blown up by the IRA - figures predominantly in the old images.

"It was quite amazing the first time I saw all of these images of the city," first time filmmaker Gerard McCarthy said.

"It begins at the funeral of the famous Jerimiah O'Donovan Rossa where there are a host of historical figures present including Padraig Pearse and James Connolly," Mr McCarthy told the Herald.

"That moment has been pinpointed as the start of the planning of the 1916 Rising," he added.

"I've slowed down the footage so you can see Pearse at the graveside in his military uniform and a voiceover reads lines from his famous speech there," the filmmaker added.

As the 1916 centenary looms, the film will act as a guide to those who wish to learn more about the key moment in history.

"At least half of the film focuses on the War of Independence and the Civil War with some great footage of Michael Collins," he said.

The film will open on September 1 at the Royal College of Physicians on Kildare Street, and the admission fee will be €10 per adult.

Lasting 30 minutes, the film will be shown six times daily.

The man behind the latest look at Irish history would like to invite relatives of those who took part in the Rising to a special screening of the film on September 2.

It is not just for history buffs, says Mr McCarthy.

"It gives anyone with even just a brief interest in history a great understanding of what happened in that period," he explained.