Trinity College begins free online course on Easter Rising

14-week explainer series offered by university on its YouTube and iTunes channels

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has begun a free online history course to explain the Easter Rising and its origins.

The 14 week course, which is available on YouTube and iTunes, is aimed at both the general public and second-level teachers and students.

It is hosted by Prof Patrick Geoghegan and involves experts within the college on the various strands of Irish history.

The first week features a lecture on the 1641 rebellion, a largely-forgotten event which soured relations between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland for centuries.

Other videos released this week include one on the significance of the Proclamation, the influence of Trinity College Dublin graduate Edmund Burke and TCD's role in the Easter Rising.

Each week will feature a different theme around Ireland’s struggle for independence.

“This course explores those debates, but also situates them within the wider context of the development of Irish republicanism, as well as the constitutional nationalist tradition which was often in conflict with the forces of radicalism and violence,” said course lecturer Prof Geoghegan of the School of Histories and Humanities.

The course will focus not only on the revolutionary tradition of Irish nationalism, but also constitutional nationalism.

Those featured include Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet and the Fenians on the revolutionary side and Henry Grattan, Daniel O'Connell and Charles Stewart Parnell on the constitutional nationalist side.

It also covers the events immediately after the 1916 Rising, including the War of Independence and Civil War.

Next week's lectures will be about the late 18th century revolutions in the United States and France which influenced Ireland. This will be followed by the Irish Act of Union in 1800 and then by Robert Emmet and the rebellion of 1803.

The lectures will be released in chronological order with the last three featuring the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence.

Prof Geoghegan said all lectures will be present on the site at the same time so interested parties can dip in and out of individual lectures as they see fit.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times