By James Hoyle.
British Pathé’s early newsreels represent some of the finest contemporary reporting on the Irish Easter Rising, War of Independence and Civil War.
In the year of the Easter Rising’s centenary (1916-2016), it is worthwhile revisiting these timepieces of immense historical and cultural value.
And to aid researchers, documentary-makers and the general public in tracking down the appropriate piece of footage (which can be difficult in a vast archive such as this), we have organised the key films by topic, location and personality. There are collections on Eamon de Valera, Michael Collins, Dublin, Belfast, Guerrilla Warfare, British troops, emigration, flags and much more. From the Boer War of the 1890s to the declaration of the Irish Republic in 1949, all of the most relevant material from the British Pathé archive is available to explore here.
But for a taste of what is on offer, the following “selection of Irish Footage in the British Pathé archive” presents some of the most exciting finds from our vaults in a single five-minute showreel. The footage is grouped thematically and in rough chronological order:
1) Ireland in the Empire
2) Ireland in World War One
7) A Chance for Peace
8) Opposing Personalities
9) Fighting in the Streets
10) Fighting in the Countryside
11) Unique Press Coverage
Clicking the links above will take you to the relevant section of the video, hosted on our YouTube channel. Alternatively, you can enjoy the video in its entirety below. Filmed largely before the age of cinema sound, this footage is silent and we have added no music or commentary. The footage speaks for itself.
The centenary of the Irish Easter Rising takes place in April of this year.