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National Library of Ireland launches Easter 1916 podcast series
Press Releases | 16th February 2016

PRESS RELEASE

Tuesday, 16th February 2016

National Library of Ireland launches Easter 1916 podcast series

 The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has today (16.02.16) announced that ‘Voices of the Rising’, a series of short audio recordings detailing first-hand accounts of the Easter Rising, is now available through iTunes.

The series of podcasts builds on recordings from the NLI’s flagship exhibition ‘Rising’. The exhibition, which opened at the National Photographic Archive earlier this month, features audio recordings of first hand accounts from the men and women who took part in or witnessed the dramatic events of Easter 1916. The podcast series include these extracts from poignant personal papers, such as diaries and letters, plus a number of additional specially commissioned recordings. Short introductions provide the listener with context for each of the documents featured in the series.

Commenting today, Katherine McSharry, Head of Outreach at the NLI, said: “The recordings provide listeners with a very personal account of people’s experiences of the Rising. They paint a vivid picture of the range of emotions Irish citizens experienced as the fighting raged and landmarks in Dublin’s city centre were destroyed.

“One of the core objectives of the National Library is to collect and share the stories that make up our national memory. We are delighted, therefore, to make these striking audio accounts, offering different perspectives on the Rising, available to anyone who wants to learn more about this critical moment in our history.”

All documents selected for ‘Voices of the Rising’ are held in the NLI’s 1916 collections and most have been digitised and are also available online via the NLI’s online catalogue. The series consists of 17 podcasts, which will be published on a weekly basis until May 2016. So far, four podcasts are available to listeners:

  • ‘My son Charlie is missing’ – diary of Mary Martin: Mary Martin’s son, Charlie, was in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He was fighting in World War 1 at Salonika, Greece when he was reported missing in December 1915. His mother kept this diary in the form of a letter to him from the beginning of 1916, hoping that one day he would come home and read it. Because Mary was keeping the diary, she wrote about the events of the Easter Rising as they looked to her from the suburb of Monkstown.
  • ‘My dear friend was lying mortally wounded’ – letter from Irish Volunteer Patrick O’Connor: Patrick J O’Connor worked at the National Library of Ireland in 1916. He was a member of the Irish Volunteers, fought in the Easter Rising, and was dismissed from his post.  He wrote to his former colleagues from prison in England, remembering their colleague James Crawford Neil, a civilian who was accidentally shot and killed during the rebellion.
  • ‘One more tragedy in this beloved land’ – letter from Lady Alice Wimborne to her mother: Lady Alice Wimborne was married to the Lord Lieutenant, the official representative of the British monarch in Ireland. She was in their residence, the Vice-Regal Lodge in the Phoenix Park, when the rebellion began on 24th April 1916. In early May, she sent a letter telling her mother all about what had happened.
  • ‘What sort of city will we have in the morning?’ – diary of Dubliner TK Moylan: Thomas King Moylan was the clerk of Grangegorman Mental Hospital, as well as a writer of comic plays. In his diary, he gives a striking sense of the rumours and anxiety that gripped Dublin during Easter Week 1916.

The podcasts can be accessed free of charge through the iTunes Store by searching for ‘Voices of the Rising’. A new episode will be added every Thursday, until May 2016.

For more information, visit www.nli.ie

ENDS

Contact: Sebastian Enke / Louise Archbold, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-3239496 / 087-2601145

Note to Editors

About the NLI: The mission of the National Library of Ireland is to collect, preserve, promote and make accessible the documentary and intellectual record of the life of Ireland and to contribute to the provision of access to the larger universe of recorded knowledge.  It is open, free of charge, to all those who wish to consult the collections.  The Office of the Chief Herald in Kildare Street and the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar are both part of the National Library.  Further information is available at www.nli.ie, @NLIreland.