1916 in Colour

Bringing the past to life

Creative | Curation



An innovative piece of content bigO created as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, explore familiar scenes from the 1916 Rising, rendered here in vivid detail, that breathe new life into our perceptions of this turbulent time.

This image depicts British soldiers inspecting a car on Mount Street Bridge following some of the worst fighting to take place during Easter week.

Around noon on Wednesday of Easter Week 1916, British regiment the Sherwood Foresters marched down Northumberland Road, confronting the Volunteers in a bloody showdown. The fighting lasted until around 8pm of the same day, and despite large numbers of British casualties, the troops still advanced from 25 Northumberland Road, crossing the Mount Street Bridge and eventually clearing the last rebel position in the area at Clanwilliam House.

This image portrays surrendered rebel prisoners being moved from Richmond Barracks in the days after the Rising and marched to the Dublin docks for transport to Britain. Many were sent to British prisons but the majority were interned at Frongoch Prisoner of War Camp in Wales.

There were 90 rebels sentenced to death after the Rising. Of those, 15 had their sentences fulfilled, facing execution between May 3 and 12 of 1916. After the rebellion ended, British authorities court-martialled 171 of the 3,226 rebels who were detained. They were all men with the exception of revolutionary nationalist, suffragette and socialist Constance Markievicz, who was spared the firing squad on account of her gender. Most of the prisoners interned abroad were sent back to Ireland in December 1916.

Sackville Street, now known as O’Connell Street, was one of the finest streets in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. As the main concentration area for fighting during the Rising, the street was largely reduced to rubble by the end of the insurrection.

In the background of this image the General Post Office (GPO) is visible, which after two centuries continues to fulfil its duties as the headquarters for the Irish Post Service, An Post. However, during the Rising it took on a separate role as the rebels’ headquarters. It was from here the Republican flag was raised and the Proclamation of the Republic was read on Easter Monday 1916. Also evident in the image is Nelson’s Pillar, which, although thought to have been destroyed later in 1966 in an attack by the IRA, was in fact damaged by a small off-shoot of radical, left-leaning Republicans.