Priceless Easter Rising footage made available online

Seminal events in Irish history among 85,000 films in British Pathé archive on YouTube

A priceless film archive which includes extensive footage of the Easter Rising and its aftermath has been released online by British Pathé.

The multimedia resource has made its entire archive, consisting of 3,500 hours of coverage on 85,000 films, available on YouTube. For decades its silent newsreels were the only source of what would now constitute television news.

British Pathé’s newsreels stretch from 1896 to 1976. It has arguably the finest collection of Irish filmed news events before the advent of television. Its coverage of the First and Second World Wars is also unparalleled.

There is also exclusive footage of the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg and the Wright Brothers flight.


A grant from the British government four years ago allowed Pathé to digitise its entire archive.

British Pathé general manager Alastair White said that what they had is "a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that."

British Pathé were on hand to capture the Easter Rising and the events surrounding it.

In this footage, taken around the time of the Rising, British soldiers receive tea and food from women on the street, and the General Post Office and Liberty Hall are shown heavily damaged.*

More footage shows the damage to the centre of Dublin by the fighting during Easter Week.

There is much coverage of the tumult that followed the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on December 7th, 1921.

The archives can be located at

*This story was edited on Monday, April 21st, 2014

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times