Elsie McDermid’s letter to her mother describing Dublin during the Easter Rising begins: “We are living in stirring times. I am writing this to be posted if there is any post office left.” File photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

A dramatic eyewitness account of the Easter Rising as seen by a visiting opera singer has been made public for the first time. Elsie McDermid, a popu(...)

“The assault on Mouse Trap Farm was to be the Germans’ last attempt to take Ypres from the British. On the morning of May 24th, 1915, they drenched the Allied lines with chlorine gas along a 12 kilometre front.” 5:45

In late spring 1915, Dublin was a city in mourning. The first World War, not yet nine months old, brought devastation on a scale never seen before or (...)

New sonar images of the Lusitania have been produced by members of the Infomar (Integrated Mapping For the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resource) team at the Geological Survey of Ireland and the National Monuments Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. 4:01

New seabed imaging of the RMS Lusitania has been released ahead of the centenary of its sinking by torpedo on May 7th, 1915. The sonar images have bee(...)

 President Michael D Higgins lays a wreath, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the background, while flanked by members of a graveside honour guard drawn from the 91st Cadet Class during the 1916 leaders commemoration ceremony at  Arbour Hill Cemetery, Dublin, May 6th, 2015. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times 0:55

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins were present at Arbour Hill cemetery on Wednesday for the last State commemoration of the leaders(...)

Irish poet and soldier Francis Ledwidge (1891 - 1917). Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

I first heard the name of the Meath poet Francis Ledwidge in a Dublin classroom in 1966 – central to that year’s schoolday preoccupations was learning(...)

A still from the 1930 Hollywood film of All Quiet on the Western Front, starring future Hollywood pacifist Lew Ayres as Paul Bäumer

Literature is universal, yet reading tends to be a personal response. Some novels move the soul, and a rare handful touch a nation. Fewer still addres(...)

WB Yeats – “I think it better that in times like these/ A poet’s mouth be silent ...”

“Never such innocence again” In his poem “MCMXIV”, looking back on the first World War two decades later, Philip Larkin writes of it as the des(...)

Battle of Loos– Scottish regiments charging and overwhelming German trenches. Photograph: Ann Ronan Pictures/Getty Images

Patrick MacGill became known as the “Navvy Poet” when a slim little volume of poetry which he had mostly written when working on the railways in Scotl(...)

British author  Rudyard Kipling. Photograph: EO Hoppe/MansellGetty Images

When the first World War broke out in August 1914, Rudyard Kipling felt horribly vindicated. The poet of Empire believed Britain’s army was pitifully (...)

Desolation: part of Zonnebeke, painted in 1918 by William Orpen. Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

Ireland, poetry and the first World War is a story of contradictions, of contrasts and, a century later, of reconciliation. It should not pass us b(...)