Inspiring Ireland 1916 launched at the Royal Irish Academy by Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan T.D.

Inspiring Ireland Operational Steering Group

Photo: L to R: Nigel Monaghan Keeper, National Museum of Ireland, Raghnall O Floinn Director, National Museum of Ireland, Catriona Crowe, Head of Special Projects, National Archives of Ireland & Inspiring Ireland Curatorial Research Committee, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister of State for the Diaspora, Dr. Natalie Harrower Director, Digital Repository of Ireland, Dr. Sandra Collins (Director, National Library of Ireland, Brid Dooley (Head of RTÉ Archives), Caroline McGee (Project Creative Lead, Inspiring Ireland 1916), John McDonough (Director, National Archives of Ireland) Photo credit: Johnny Bambury

At a busy launch in the Royal Irish Academy, Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan TD., revealed an exciting new phase of the Digital Repository of Ireland’s Inspiring Ireland project – a fresh series of exhibits focusing on the known and not-so-known stories of people and events surrounding the Rising that will be brought to life online over the first six months of 2016 as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.

Inspiring Ireland 1916: Weaving Public and Private Narratives uses fascinating objects -- digitised photos, diaries, posters, aural recordings, video, and ephemera -- to tell the stories that surround the Rising, and paint a picture of everyday lives in 1916. Combining expert narrative with iconic objects from the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland and RTÉ Archives alongside ‘found’ objects from private collections, Inspiring Ireland 1916 creates a dynamic, multi-media reflection on the people, events, and legacy of 1916.

Minister Jimmy Deenihan, TD

Photo: Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., launches Inspiring Ireland 1916. Photo credit: Johnny Bambury

Officially launching the new series of exhibitions, Minister Deenihan said: “It gives me tremendous pride to launch this new phase of Inspiring Ireland, dedicated to telling the stories of 1916, from both private and public collections. These exhibits are truly revealing Ireland at its best, and by bringing them together in one online space, we allow people to participate in commemorating the events and lives of 1916 from wherever they may currently reside, with whatever connection brings them to explore the history of this island. Through these new exhibits, which importantly, allow the public to contribute content alongside known artefacts, the Digital Repository of Ireland is continuing the crucial work of preserving and sharing our national cultural heritage for many generations to come.”

L-R: Dr. Sandra Collins, Director of the National Library of Ireland, Dr. Natalie Harrower, Director, Digital Repository of Ireland, Caroline McGee, Project Creative Lead Inspiring Ireland 1916, Professor Mary E. Daly, President, Royal Irish Academy & Member of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister of State  for the Diaspora

Photo: (L-R) Dr. Sandra Collins, Chair of the Inspiring Ireland Operational Steering Group and Director of the National Library of Ireland, Dr. Natalie Harrower, Director, Digital Repository of Ireland, Caroline McGee, Project Creative Lead Inspiring Ireland 1916, Professor Mary E. Daly, President, Royal Irish Academy & Member of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister of State  for the Diaspora. Photo credit: Johnny Bambury

At today’s launch, Dr. Natalie Harrower, the Digital Repository of Ireland’s Director, revealed the schedule of exhibitions, which begins with stories of Women and the Rising:

“By combining public content cared for by Ireland’s national cultural institutions with private items shared by members of the public via our national and international Collection Days, Inspiring Ireland 1916 is able to  show a side of the Rising that is not as well documented. In our first exhibition, we use the lens of women’s lives to explore class, politics, grief and survival through this remarkable period in Irish history. And this is just the start of the stories that have inspired Ireland through the Rising.”

Inspiring Ireland 1916 will also unveil exhibitions that use brand new sources; for example, the witness testimonies of British soldiers sent to quell the fighting in Dublin, and official compensation claims for damaged property from businesses and individuals - including artists Jack B. Yeats and Harry Clarke.

“The Digital Repository of Ireland is delighted to be able to expand the Inspiring Ireland project to share new discoveries, and the artefacts and stories that surround them, alongside important existing memories from our treasured cultural institutions” added Dr. Harrower.

Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D.,  Dr. Natalie Harrower, Director, Digital Repository of Ireland, Caroline McGee, Project Creative Lead Inspiring Ireland 1916, Photo credit: Johnny Bambury

Photo: L-R: Dr. Natalie Harrower, Director, Digital Repository of Ireland, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister of State  for the Diaspora, Caroline McGee, Project Creative Lead Inspiring Ireland 1916. Photo credit: Johnny Bambury

The interpretive essays have been written by leading Irish and international historians of 1916 and its legacy, among them Professor Senia Paseta, University of Oxford who has provided the commentary for the first exhibit on women’s lives.

“Inspiring Ireland is a wonderful addition to the 2016 commemorations, bringing beautifully curated images and themes of 1916 to life for everyone across the world to enjoy. Working together with the Digital Repository of Ireland and the other custodians of primary sources such as RTÉ Archives, the National Museum and the National Archives shows the variety and richness of these online exhibitions” added Dr. Sandra Collins, Director of the National Library of Ireland, and Chair of Inspiring Ireland’s Steering Group.

Commenting on the launch Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., said:                                                                                                                                     “I am delighted to see that the role of women in the Rising will be the topic of the first in this latest series of online exhibitions being rolled out as part of the Inspiring Ireland project. Digital resources, such as Inspiring Ireland, are helping us to explore the events of 1916 in accessible and innovative ways, helping us to share our history with a global audience. With its unique mix of material from members of the public and our cultural institutions, I have no doubt that Inspiring Ireland will continue to reveal fascinating new material on 1916 as we move through the centenary year.”

This digital cultural heritage preservation project has been designed by the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) at the Royal Irish Academy and is part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. Inspiring Ireland is built on the preservation infrastructure of the Digital Repository of Ireland, which means that digital objects are preserved for long term access and discovery, ensuring Ireland’s digital cultural heritage will be available when the next centenary rolls around in another hundred years.

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Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy & Member of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations, Dr. Natalie Harrower, Director, Digital Repository of Ireland, Photo credit: Johnny Bambury

L-R: Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy & Member of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations, Dr. Natalie Harrower, Director, Digital Repository of Ireland, Photo credit: Johnny Bambury

Ag seoladh inniu in Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, nocht An tAire Stáit don Diaspóra, Jimmy Deenihan T.D., céim nua den tionscnamh Inspiring Ireland de chuid Thaisclann Dhigiteach na hÉireann – sraith nua taispeántas ag díriú ar scéalta aitheanta agus scéalta nach bhfuil an oiread sin aithne ag an bpobal orthu faoi dhaoine agus imeachtaí an Éirí Amach.  Tabharfar beocht do na scéalta seo ar líne i rith an chéad sé mhí de 2016 mar chuid de Éire 2016: Clár comórtha céad bliain.

Úsáideann Inspiring Ireland 1916: Weaving Public and Private Narratives réada tarraingteacha – grianghraif dhigitithe, dialanna, póstaeir, taifid fhuaime, fístéipeanna agus ábhar gearrshaolach chun na scéalta a bhaineann leis an Éirí Amach a insint agus pictiúr a tharraingt de ghnáthshaol na ndaoine i 1916.  Ag tabhairt le chéile insint shaineolaíoch agus réada íocónacha ón gCartlann Náisiúnta, ó Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann, ó Ard-Mhúsaem na hÉireann agus ó Chartlanna RTÉ chomh maith le nithe a aimsíodh i mbailiúcháin phríobháideacha, cruthaíonn Inspiring Ireland 1916 léargas dinimiciúil, ilmheánach ar dhaoine, ar imeachtaí agus ar oidhreacht 1916.

Dúirt an tAire Deenihan, agus é ag seoladh an tsraith nua taispeántas, go raibh an-bhród air an chéim nua seo den tionscnamh Inspiring Ireland a sheoladh, céim ina bhfuil scéalta 1916 á insint ó bhailiúcháin phríobháideacha agus ó bhailiúcháin phoiblí.  Dúirt sé go nochtann na taispeántáin Éire ar a feabhas, agus iad á dtabhairt le chéile in aon spás amháin ar líne, tugaimid deis do dhaoine agus iad ina gcónaí áit ar bith ar domhan, is cuma céard a threoraigh iad chun spéis a chur i stair na tíre seo, páirt a ghlacadh i gcomóradh imeachtaí agus daoine ó 1916.  D’aithin an tAire go bhfuil Taisclann Dhigiteach na hÉireann, trí ligint don phobal ábhar a chur leis na taispeántais óna saoil féin, taobh le hábhar atá aitheanta cheana féin ón na hinstitiúidí cultúrtha,  ag leanúint leis an obair riachtanach seo, ag caomhnú agus ag roinnt oidhreacht chultúrtha na tíre seo leis na glúnta atá romhainn. 

Ag an seoladh inniu, nocht stiúrthóir Thaisclann Dhigiteach na hÉireann, an Dr Natalie Harrower, sceideal na dtaispeántas, a thosaíonn le scéalta ban agus an tÉirí Amach.  Dúirt sí gur bailíodh ábhar a bhaineann le 1916 ón bpobail ar laethanta eagraithe go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta, agus go dtaispeántar an t-ábhar seo taobh le hábhar ón tréimhse atá caomhnaithe ag na hinstitiúidí cultúrtha.  Sa chaoi sin gur éirigh leis an tionscnamh Inspiring Ireland 1916 gné den Éirí Amach a thaispeáint nach ndéantar é a thaifead go minic. Dúirt an Dr Harrower go n-úsáidtear ‘lionsa saol na mban’ sa chéad taispeántas, leis an aicmíocht, leis an bpolaitíocht, leis an mbrón agus leis an marthanas  a chíoradh sa tréimhse suntasach seo i stair na hÉireann.

Launch of Inspiring Ireland 1916 in the Royal Irish Academy, January 19, 2016, Photo credit: Johnny Bambury

Launch of Inspiring Ireland 1916 in the Royal Irish Academy, January 19, 2016, Photo credit: Johnny Bambury

Nochtóidh Inspiring Ireland 1916 taispeántais eile a bhaineann úsáid as foinsí nua; mar shampla, as fianaise fhinné ó shaighdiúirí na Breataine a cuireadh go Baile Átha Cliath chun an tÉirí Amach a chur faoi chois, agus éilimh oifigiúla ar chúiteamh i leith réadmhaoin dhamáistithe ó ghnóthaí agus ó dhaoine aonaracha – ealaíontóirí Jack B. Yeats agus Harry Clarke san áireamh.

Dúirt an Dr Harrower go bhfuil Taisclann Dhigiteach na hÉireann an-sásta a bheith in ann cur leis an tionscnamh Inspiring Ireland, chun fionnachtain nua a roinnt, chomh maith leis na déantáin agus leis na scéalta a bhaineann leo, taobh le cuimhní tábhachtacha atá againn cheana féin ónár institiúidí cultúrtha luachmhara.

Tá na haistí léirmhínitheacha scríofa ag príomh-staraithe Éireanneacha agus idirnáisiúnta ar 1916 agus an oidhreacht a bhaineann leis, an tOllamh Senia Paseta ó Ollscoil Oxford ina measc, a rinne an tráchtaireacht don chéad taispeántas ar shaoil na mban.

Dúirt Sandra Collins, Stiúrthóir Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann, agus Cathaoirleach Choiste Stiúrtha Inspiring Ireland go gcuireann Inspiring Ireland go mór le Comóradh 1916, go dtugann sé beocht d’íomhánna agus do théamaí ó 1916 ionas gur féidir le daoine ar fud an domhain sult a bhaint astu.  Dúirt sí go bhfuil sé soiléir ón gcomhobair idir Taisclann Dhigiteach na hÉireann agus coimeádaithe eile na bhfoinsí príomhúla, mar shampla Cartlann RTÉ, Ard-Mhúsaem na hÉireann agus an Chartlann Náisiúnta go bhfuil éagsúlacht agus an-saibhreas ag baint leis na taispeántais seo ar líne.

Dúirt an tAire Humphreys go bhfuil an-áthas uirthi ról na mban san Éirí amach a fheiceáil mar ábhar sa chéad cheann den tsraith nua taispeántas ar líne, atá mar chuid den tionscnamh Inspiring Ireland.  Dúirt sí go bhfuil foinsí digiteacha, ar nós Inspiring Ireland, ag cuidiú linn imeachtaí 1916 a phlé ar bhealaí nuálacha, agus ar bhealaí a bhfuil teacht níos fearr ag daoine orthu, agus mar sin, tá siad ag cuidiú linn ár stair a roinnt le daoine ar fud an domhain.  Dúirt sí go bhfuil meascán leithleach sa taispeántas seo idir ábhar ón bpobal agus ábhar ón ár institiúidí cultúrtha, agus nach bhfuil amhras uirthi ach go leanfaidh Inspiring Ireland ag nochtadh ábhar nua ó 1916 dúinn i rith na bliana comórtha.

Tógadh Inspiring Ireland ar infreastruchtúr caomhnaithe de chuid Thaisclann Dhigiteach na hÉireann.  Ciallaíonn seo go gcaomhnaítear na taispeántáin dhigiteacha seo le haghaidh rochtain fhadtéarmach, ag cinntiú go mbeidh teacht ar oidhreacht dhigiteach na hÉireann nuair atá comóradh céad bliain eile linn.