Don’t mention the War - 1916 video fails to mention Rising

Translation of Proclamation described as ‘insult’ amid claims over use of online tool

A video published last night to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising has been criticised for not including any mention of the uprising or of the executed signatories of the Proclamation.

The 80 second promotional video - titled Ireland Inspires 2016 - was published to coincide with the launch last night of the 2016 Centenary programme at the GPO.

While the programme is intended to concentrate on five themes: Remember, Reconcile, Imagine, Present and Celebrate, the video (above) does not directly reference those prominently associated with the Rising.

A second version of the video updated on the website this afternoon features a lingering shot of a copy of the Proclamation set against a photograph of a burnt-out GPO.

Both videos feature footage of prominent figures including Ian Paisley, Queen Elizabeth, Bono, David Cameron and Bob Geldof but other than a brief glimpse of the proclamation document at the beginning of the newly-updated video, at no point are Pádraig Mac Piarais, James Connolly or indeed any of the other executed 1916 leaders mentioned in the piece.

Publication of the video last night was met with a largely negative reaction, with some viewers describing it as “mawkish” and others likening it to an advertisement for The Gathering.

Fianna Fáil senator Thomas Byrne tweeted: “I take it all back about @ireland2016 event being political. HM The Queen is of course, non political.”

“Again, I have to take it back about 1916 celebrations being political. The launch video gives equal coverage to Fine Gael and the Tories,” he added moments later.

"This video hasn't got anything to do with what makes 2016 a significant year, complete load of pointless tripe, it plays like just another add for The Gathering!" commented Luke Wymer on YouTube.

“One of the most nauseating videos to come from the Government in recent times An absolute insult to the brave men and women who fought and lost their lives for Irish freedom,” said Aoife Ni Dhubhda via YouTube.

Both versions of the video feature references to social media companies Facebook and LinkedIn that have established operations in Ireland in recent years.

Dublin South West Anti Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy tweeted: "Turns out 1916 was actually about the Queen, Cameron, Facebook, Google, Twitter. An insight into establishment minds."

The official Ireland 2016 website has also been criticised after translations of texts, including an excerpt from the 1916 Proclamation, were found to closely resemble translations processed by online translating tool Google Translate.

Several excerpts match results processed by Google Translate, including grammatical errors and errors in punctuation.

Conradh na Gaeilge was critical of what happened.  “We are very disappointed at the lack of Irish on the website and throughout the entire (1916) programme,” said general secretary Julian de Spáinn.

“They would never make the same mistake if the material was in English so why is it acceptable to do it with Irish?” Mr de Spáinn asked.

Conradh na Gaeilge is seeking an urgent meeting with Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys to discuss the role of Irish in the 1916 commemoration programme.

“The Irish language movement was central to the thinking of several of the 1916 leaders, Mr de Spáinn said, adding that the language barely features in the overall programme.

“Its not that we are seeking anything unusual or out of the ordinary. We aren’t trying to push the language on anyone - all we want is fairness and it is clear from what happened today that it was absent.”

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht confirmed this afternoon that sections of "holding text", which it said had been used while translation was being carried out, were published "in error" on website.

“This matter has been addressed and the correct Irish language translation has gone live on the website,” the statement said.

“The correct text for website was translated internally within the Department and no translation costs arise,” it continued.

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí is an Irish Times journalist and editor of the Irish Times Student Hub