Amazing archive footage of the 1916 Rising that changed the course of Irish history was released online in advance of the centenary by the British Pathé organization.
The material released digitally includes footage from the Rising and the immediate aftermath.
The Irish Times reports that British Pathé has made its entire archive, which consists of 3,500 hours of coverage on 85,000 films, available on YouTube.
At the time of the Rising, Pathé’s silent newsreels were the only source of news as we now know it.
Cameras captured the Easter Rising and the events surrounding it.
Footage shows British soldiers receiving tea and food from women on the street.
Heavy damage to the General Post Office on O’Connell Street and Liberty Hall are also shown.
Other footage shows the damage to the center of Dublin caused by the fighting during Easter Week.
The War of Independence and the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on December 7, 1921 also feature in the newly released footage.
The company’s newsreels stretch from 1896 to 1976 and the Irish Times report says it has, arguably, the finest collection of Irish filmed news events before the advent of television.
The company’s coverage of the First and Second World Wars is also unparalleled.
The material released onto YouTube includes exclusive footage of the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg and the Wright brothers' flight.
The company received a grant from the British government four years ago that allowed Pathé to digitize its entire archive.
British Pathé general manager Alastair White told the Irish Times that they have a priceless treasure on their hands.
He said, “What we have is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten.
“Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.”
The archives can be located at youtube.com/user/britishpathe.
First published April 12, 2014.
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