Aftermath of the Easter Rising

Aftermath of the Easter Rising

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14min 06sec




35mm, film, intertitles

black and white


Imperial War Museum


Imperial War Museum

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Imperial War Museum

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This film from the Imperial War Museum shows Dublin before the insurrection of April 1916. Members of the Irish Volunteers - who had refused to join Redmond´s Irish National Volunteers in supporting participation on the war, and broke away in August 1916 - openly paraded the street in full uniform and equipment. The government, in particular the Irish Chief Secretary Augustine Birrell, decided that to prevent such parades would be provocative. In fact when members of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army set out from Liberty Hall on Easter Monday 1916 to seize the General Post Office and other buildings, the authorities and the general public thought this was just a routine parade. The film shows the damage inflicted on central Dublin by the gunboat ´Helga´ and artillery firing with a high trajectory from the grounds of Trinity College and, later, from the corner of D´Olier Street and Westmoreland Street. The whole of Sackville Street (now known as O´Connell Street) was severely damaged but the worst affected were the buildings opposite the GPO where stores of paraffin created fierce fires. Liberty Hall, on the quays, was destoyed by the gunboat. The troops were able to use the Custom House as a headquarters because the insurgents had not tried to take it. The barricade made out of overturned vehicles was one of several in Sackville Street (O´Connell Street) erected during the first two days of the rising. The barricade of sandbags manned by soldiers (mainly of the Sherwood Foresters and the South Staffs regiment) almost certainly was filed at the end of the rebellion.


Although this film is held in the archives of the Imperial War Museum there are no details on its production. It does not show scenes of the actual rising, but does show some of the damage inflicted on the Dublin streets by the insurrection.

Shot List

'The Imperial War Museum' (title added later). Dublin O'Connell Street before the rising (black segments in the shape of a 3 leaf clover block out part of the film). Members of the Irish Volunteers in civilian clothes with webbing pouches and rifles drill and march past in the open. More of the Irish Volunteers in their paramilitary uniform (introduced in August 1914) marching off in a parade. Two columns of Irish Volunteers, filmed from a high window, marching through a crowded Dublin square in civilian clothes. The damage done to Liberty Hall, the head office of the Irish TGWU and headquarters of the rising. O'Connell Bridge in the aftermath, with damage to a number of buildings. British soldiers halt outside the Customs House. Other soldiers unload an ammunition wagon outside Liberty Hall. The interior of a hospital, probably Dublin Castle, showing three wounded men in beds - all British soldiers. Men of the Australian Division march through the crowded streets. Three British soldiers set up a Vickers machinegun by a sand-bagged barricade. Another barricade made of overturned cars. A pan out from the O'Connell monument to show the damage done to the Post Office. An improvised armoured car made from railway boilers bolted onto a Guiness lorry. A further pan over Liberty Hall and other buildings in Liffey Street - masonry is pulled away from burnt-out buildings for safety. The film ends with a posed shot of Thomas Clark with Miss O'Donovan Rossa'. Source: Imperial War Museum Film Catalogue, vol 1 The First World War Archive, ed Roger Smither, England, Flicks Books, 1993, pp 69.


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