Irish independence film footage placed online

Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera feature on rare clips Irish Film Institute digitalised

View of Sackville Street (O’Connell Street) and the Liffey at Eden Quay in Dublin at the time of the Easter Rising. Photograph: PA

View of Sackville Street (O’Connell Street) and the Liffey at Eden Quay in Dublin at the time of the Easter Rising. Photograph: PA

 

Footage of the architects of Irish independence unseen for a century has been made available online.

Easter Rising 1916 leaders Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera were among those featured in an Irish Independence Film Collection which repatriates and digitalises the priceless material.

The only recordings of key events of a century ago were kept abroad, often inaccessible to the public and held in British archives.

The Irish Film Institute (IFI) transformed fragile film prints into digital copies and centralised them in Ireland for the first time.

They included Collins addressing a huge crowd following the signing of the treaty which heralded the end of British rule over 26 counties of Ireland and de Valera visiting Boston in 1919.

The material also featured the funeral procession of the founder of Sinn Féin, Arthur Griffith, in Dublin, as well as Irish crowds welcoming republican Countess Constance Markievicz after her release from prison.

It includes the visits of Queen Victoria to Dublin in 1900 and King George V and Queen Mary in 1911 as well as the funeral of republican hunger striker Terence MacSwiney in Cork in 1920.

The shelling of the historic Four Courts by the Irish Free State Army was also covered. – PA