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Irelands Agony

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The Burning of Cork by British forces took place on the night of December 11th and 12th 1920 , during the Irish War of Independence. It followed an Irish Republican Army ambush of a British Auxiliary patrol in the city, which wounded twelve auxiliaries, one fatally. In retaliation the Auxiliaries, Black and Tans and British […]

Michael Collins Crowds

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In this newsreel from August 1922: More than half a million people line O’Connell street to pay their respects to Michael Collins and silently bid farewell to “Ireland’s Soldier Statesman”. His brother Seán Collins can be seen behind the coffin as it leaves the Pro-Cathedral on Marlborough Street Dublin, on its way to Glasnevin Cemetary. […]

The Irreconcilable Mr. De Valera

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This footage shot on March 1922 shows Éamon de Valera standing on a podium giving an animatedly irate speech to a large gathering of people on Sackville street in Dublin (O’Connell Street). In this speech he said if the Treaty was accepted, it might be necessary to “wade through Irish blood” to achieve Irish freedom. […]

Trial of Casement

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This newsreel contains various segments, the first short item capturing crowds gathering on Bow Street Magistrates Court waiting to hear the outcome of the trial of British diplomat turned Irish nationalist Sir Roger Casement. Only one piece of footage of Casement himself is known to exist, and for this Topical Budget’s newsreel, cameras had to […]

Dublin Rebellion

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In this newsreel British Troops march through the streets of Dublin and stand guard over the ruins of buildings in Dublin’s main thoroughfare, Sackville Street (two years after these events the street would be renamed O’Connell Street after the nationalist leader Daniel O’Connell). The city of Dublin is in ruins and smoke continues to billow […]

Peace Council at the Palace

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This is typical of the newsreels’ optimism that a peaceful solution could be found to the Irish question. In spite of the fact that this item reports the ‘splendid news’ that ‘peace was signed’ and depicts amicable interactions between the British and Irish delegation, the negotiations had been difficult and protracted. Michael Collins reported later […]

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An introduction to The Irish Independence Film Collection by Ciara Chambers followed by a playlist of curated newsreels with individual introductions and commentaries. (84)

The GPO- After 13 Years

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This newsreel marks a momentous occasion in Irish history, the formal reopening of the GPO on O’Connell Street. President William T. Cosgrave stands alongside T.D.s and Senators on a platform in front of the newly rebuilt General Post Office. The President addresses the huge crowd that has gathered and the tricolour is raised. Following the […]

Ireland’s Great New Harbour

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In this newsreel William T. Cosgrave opens the new Harbour in Waterford, December 1929. President Cosgrave delivers a speech and cuts the ribbon to the applause of the crowd. Between 1926 and 1929, the Irish Government carried out a review of all ports in Ireland. The harbour was crucial for Waterford as shipbuilding was a […]

Preparing for the Electricity Era

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In this newsreel from 1929 the dawn of a new Ireland can be seen with the Shannon Scheme paving the way for new kind of energy. In a dramatic fashion Master Vincent Bowen presses a plunger to detonate explosives to blow up the 120 foot chimneys of the Carrick-on-Suir Creamery. The Shannon (hydroelectric) Scheme was […]

Irish President in America

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In January 1928, President William T. Cosgrave visited the US and Canada, showcasing Ireland’s achievements on many radio broadcasts and events. This newsreel shows him arriving at New York on a boat and being greeted by bodyguards and US Dignitaries. His visit was a productive one politically, but while on route to Ottawa from New […]

The New Cork

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Following the devastating destruction caused to Cork city during The War of Independence, this newsreel from 1927 presents a “New Cork”. The camera travels down Patrick Street where we see some of the newly rebuilt buildings like Cash’s, Egan’s, Roches Stores and the Munster Arcade. This construction happened within a few years and helped create […]