The Irish Film Institute launched a re-digitisation of Irish Pathé news films from the first decades of the twentieth century. This development is a significant development and will bring moments, events and atmosphere alive to current generations.
The launch took place at the Institute’s premises in Temple Bar on Thursday the 3rd of May. The launch was performed by Minister of State Joe McHugh, the Chief Whip. Members of the Fingal Old IRA Commemorative Society in uniform attended to provide enhanced atmosphere, background and colour to the event. Among their party were relatives of members of the 5th Battalion Dublin Brigade AKA Fingal Volunteers. Notably, Noel McAllister whose immediate family members fought in the Battle of Ashbourne alongside the Weston and Lawless who were connected to the McAllisters through blood and marriage. Also present were father and son Lar and Ian Daly whose relatives fought in Fingal while some were sent during Easter Week to the Mendicity Institute in Dublin City. At the moment of surrender of the Institue by the young Commandant Sean Heuston, one Fingal Volunteer, Peter Wilson was shot dead. Of particular Fingal interest among the films is the refurbished newsreel of the funeral of Thomas Ashe which can now be viewed on the IFI App.
Cathal Boland, the Cathaoirleach of the Society, said “The clarity of the films now is fantastic. We had the opportunity to view some of the films during the launch, and they are just great. The project will be a much-appreciated by all how are interested in history as it makes watching the film so much easier and enjoyable. It is also going to help in the teaching of history and hopefully will capture the imaginations of young people.
The Society has a series of events scheduled across North Dublin for the remainder of the year. These will feature parades and talks which will explain how the events of 1918 impacted on Fingal. The next event will be held in Skerries on the 16t,h This centenary of the arrests made under “The German Plot.” which is the moment that kicked-off of the Conscription Crisis. The Crisis festered over the following months, changed attitudes and swayed opinions. Unfortunately, Swords IRB men Frank Lawless and Richard Coleman were lifted in the May arrests. By the end of the year, Lawless was elected an MP while Richard died in Usk prison”.