Rare photographs of 1916 Rising go on display

National Library collection includes photo of Éamon de Valera marching men to captivity

The National Library of Ireland has launched its Easter Rising photographic collection.

Some 60 photographs are included depicting scenes relating to the arrests, courts martial and internments following the Rising and the subsequent amnesty for prisoners.

They include an image of the garrison at Boland’s Mills marching down Grand Canal Street Lower after their surrender. Éamon de Valera can be seen leading his men.

A civilian, Dr Edmund McWeeney, can be seen inspecting a copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic on railings at 84 St Stephen’s Green on Easter Monday 1916.


The collection includes images from the Keogh Collection, the Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Collection, the newly digitised photographs from the De Valera Collection, and various 1916 albums.

The images are enhanced by audio recordings from selected letters and diaries detailing first-hand accounts of the Rising.

One of the recordings is from an actor reading an account from Dick Humphreys, an Irish Volunteer who had been educated at Patrick Pearse's school St Enda's in Rathfarnham. Humphreys was a nephew of the O'Rahilly and was interned in Wakefield Goal following the Rising. He is a grandfather of Irish Times journalist Joe Humphreys.

Another audio recording comes from the letters of Sarah Ismena Rohde, a widow living in Dundrum, who describes critical civilian reactions to the Rising and the effects on the city's population.

NLI director Sandra Collins described the photographs as an "evocative, intimate contribution to the stories of 1916, they draw the viewer directly into the experience of the Easter Rising. We are delighted to offer this beautifully curated exhibition, which is free and open for everyone to visit and enjoy".

The NLI will release the papers relating to the signatories of the Proclamation, Thomas MacDonagh and Seán Mac Diarmada this weekend. The papers related to Pearse and Joseph Mary Plunkett will be released in March. The NLI is digitising all 70,000 papers it holds relating to the Proclamation signatories.

The exhibition takes place at the National Photography Archive (NPA) in Temple Bar until the end of October 2016.

For more information visit www.nli.ie

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times