Narrated by actor Liam Neeson, the three-part series 1916: The Irish Rebellion tells the dramatic story of the events that took place in Dublin during Easter of 1916, when a small group of poorly armed Irish rebels took on the might of the British Empire.
Although defeated militarily, the small group of men and women behind the Rising would wring a moral victory from the jaws of defeat and would inspire countless freedom struggles throughout the world. 1916: The Irish Rebellion — featuring a combination of rarely seen archival footage, new segments filmed on location worldwide, and interviews with leading international experts — also uncovers the untold story of the central role Irish Americans played in the lead-up to the rebellion.
This episode traces events in Ireland and abroad leading to the preparations for the Rising. The themes and events covered include the rise of cultural nationalism, the reemergence of the separatist physical force tradition, the contested traditions of nationalism and unionism, the rise of organized labor, the role of women, the role of Irish America and the influence of the diaspora and international political movements.
Part 2 follows the story of the Rising itself, including the way in which the clandestine and separatist Irish Republican Brotherhood infiltrated the Irish Volunteer Movement; the attempt to secure assistance from Britain’s enemy Germany; the arrest of Roger Casement and the botched gun-running off the coast of Ireland immediately before the Rising; the confusion surrounding the order and countermand for a call up of the Irish Volunteers on Easter Sunday; and British Intelligence awareness of what was planned and an apparent lack of readiness to tackle what happened on Easter Monday.
The concluding episode details the aftermath and response to the Rising in Ireland and abroad. The initial reaction of many Dubliners to the Rising gave way to a grudging respect that grew exponentially with the British response. The rebellion, while ostensibly a failure, created the conditions for a national revolution and changed the course of Irish history.
To view a preview of 1916: The Irish Rebellion, click here.
On CPTV: Parts 1, 2 & 3 air back-to-back starting at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21