Ancestor Network will have genealogists on duty to help on Easter Monday at the GPO in Dublin under the auspices of An Post, Dublin City Council, the National Library of Ireland and RTE.

Step Into History with RTÉ Road to the Rising

Step into history this Easter Monday, as RTÉ explores the events that led to the Easter Rising.

Discover life in Ireland as it was 100 years ago, as O’Connell Street, Dublin, comes alive with stage and street performances, vintage exhibitions, family-friendly talks, tours and broadcasts.

RTÉ Road to the Rising has been created in partnership with An Post, Dublin City Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as well as collaboration and support from Century Ireland, the Abbey Theatre, the National Library, Transport for Ireland and the local business sector.

With something for all the family, O’Connell Street will be pedestrianised for the day and turned into a 1915 thoroughfare. Experience the sights, sounds and people of the capital as they were 100 years ago.

“RTÉ Road to the Rising stands as testimony to our commitment to marking and celebrating the key events of the Decade of Commemorations. This will be a highly engaging re-imagining of this period in history and will help set the stage for many important conversations about our national identity and cultural roots.” Noel Curran, Director General, RTÉ

“I invite everyone who has an interest in this period in our history to join us on O’Connell Street on Easter Monday for what promises to be an enjoyable and memorable family day out as we look ahead to the Centenary just one year from now.”

Christy Burke, Lord Mayor of Dublin

“RTÉ Road to the Rising is a fantastic platform through which Irish people can approach the events of 1916 in a way that is interesting and engaging for all ages. It is also an excellent lead into the launch of Ireland 2016, the national initiative to mark the Centenary of the Easter Rising.”

Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

“An Post is pleased to support this wonderful programme of events. It is fitting that the GPO will be central to proceedings as it was over Easter weekend 1916. Fitting also that the event will mark the countdown to the official opening of our own interpretive exhibition centre, GPO Witness History, in Easter 2016.”

Donal Connell, Chief Executive, An Post

Highlights of the day include an Edwardian stage presentation of some of Ireland’s best known singers, musicians and bands who will perform music of the era. Performers will include Jack L, The High Kings, and the Rathmines & Rathgar Musical Society. There will also be on-street displays, demonstrations and exhibitions. In addition, there will be a vintage carousel, an Edwardian wedding, silent movies from the O’Kalem Film company, provided courtesy of the Irish Film Institute, at the cinemobile, a horse-drawn hearse, a hot air balloon, a steam engine, and cars from the time

Two new dramas which are being specifically devised for the event will premiere on the day. ANU Productions’ “Yellow” will focus on Dublin during World War 1, while RTɒs Drama On One will resurrect a play that was due to be staged at the Abbey Theatre during Easter Week, 1916.
Audiences will also have the opportunity to watch the full series of Insurrection at Liberty Hall Theatre. This groundbreaking Telefís Éireann drama told the story of the Rising as it might have unfolded had television existed in 1916. It hasn’t been shown for almost 50 years. The screening will be in aid of the Equity Actors’ Benevolent Fund.

At the GPO, the National Library’s team of archivists and historians invite the public to bring along items of interest connected with the Rising, where they can discuss how they would like to have their family memorabilia recorded for future generations. This will be a free ticketed event and demand for these sessions is likely to be strong so early booking is advised. No ordnance permitted.
People on the day can choose from more than 60 lectures, talks and panel discussions which will take place at various locations. Hosted by RTÉ presenters, these will include such topics as ‘Wives, Mothers and Revolutionaries, Women in 1915 Ireland’, ‘The Twilight of Empire’, ‘Law and Order in Ireland 1915’, and ‘Beyond the Legend: Family Memories of the Volunteers’.
On the main stage of the Abbey Theatre, historians and social commentators, Professor Joe Lee (New York University), Professor Roy Foster(University of Oxford), Professor Diarmaid Ferriter(UCD), Catríona Crowe (National Archives Ireland), Professor Declan Kiberd (UCD) and Professor P.J. Mathews (UCD) will critique, consider and imagine a country on the cusp of revolutionary change. The talks will be enhanced by rehearsed readings and dramatic performances. Early booking is recommended.

For those who are unable to come to O’Connell Street on the day, the magic of the event will be brought to audiences through live broadcasts from O’Connell Stret including The History Show, Arena, Cormac ag a Cúig, on RnaG and coverage on News Now. The Book Show, Sunday Miscellany, The Poetry Programme, RTÉ One’s Nationwide will also be recording special programmes from the event for broadcast at a later date. The full suite of broadcast output will be available on RTÉ Player and RTÉ Radio Player.

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Written by john hamrock