Here Are The 7 Best 1916 Rising Exhibitions In Dublin

Dublin, once again, has us absolutely spoiled for choice

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The city is alive with the sound of the centenary, with national cultural appreciation at an all time high and patriotism in abundance. 

And there are some really spectacular exhibitions gracing our fair city because of it. 

All highly accessible, and mostly free, you can treat yo' self to the rich history of the days of yore without looking too far. 

See for yourself...

1. Proclaiming A Republic, National Museum of Ireland

This exhibition boasts a fully comprehensive view of the 1916 Rising, with the social, economic and cultural background being explored.

It concentrates both on the political dimensions of the event as well as the personalities involved – describing the main events of Easter Week, outlining the locations of the garrisons and highlighting biographical details of the leaders.

The Museum also contains an original copy of the Proclamation of the Republic, as read by Pádraig Pearse outside the GPO on Easter Monday.

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2. 1916 Rising Centenary Exhibition, Glasnevin Cemetary

The story behind Glasnevin Cemetery, and those buried there, is central to the history of the 1916 Rising. 

The majority of those killed during the 1916 Easter Rising are buried in Glasnevin and this exhibition tells the stories of those who participated in and witnessed this defining moment in Irish history.

From volunteers to fusiliers and everyone in between, these personal accounts are told using objects such as letters, photos and previously unseen material.

It also includes a re-enactment of Padraig Pearse’s rousing graveside oration at the grave of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.

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3. Witness History, The GPO

The General Post Office played a central role in the Easter Rising of 1916, serving as the rebels’ main headquarters and sustaining several (still visible) bullet holes as a result. 

This iconic building will open a Witness History Exhibition and Visitor Centre to the public from March 25 this year, allowing visitors to dive into its history and tales of real people in unreal circumstances.

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4. Commemorating The Women of 1916, Richmond Barracks

Richmond Barracks has been closed for many years but due to the momentous centenary, it will re-open on May 2 to showcase a highly anticipated exhibition, centred around the women of the Rising. 

The barracks have been restored in recent times in order to provide a multimedia exhibition centre for this commemoration.

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5. Kilmainham Gaol

If there was ever a time to be an Irish tourist and visit Kilmainham Gaol, it is right now.

The gaol is being regarded as being quite remarkable as it is one of the biggest unoccupied jails in Europe. 

As such, it gives the visitor a dramatic and realistic insight into what it was like to be confined at that time.

This tour offers a panoramic look into some of the most profound and inspirational themes of modern Irish history, and it's suitable for the whole family.

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6. Rising, National Photographic Archive

The National Library of Ireland's National Photographic Archive launched Rising, a major photographic exhibition, at the beginning of February.

This must-see exhibition showcases the NLI’s collection of incredible imagery documenting the events and locations of 1916.

It consists of 60 photographs, including a number of large scale photographs that emphasise the Rising’s impact on Dublin’s city centre.

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7. Revolution, Ambassador Theatre

Revolution 1916 is a centenary exhibition that tells the story of the 1916 Rising, situated right in the heart of it at the Ambassador Theatre on O'Connell Street. 

Looking at the historical background that led to the events of 1916, with a focus on the Proclamation, the exhibition also houses the largest private collection of 1916 artefacts from the Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation. 

The downstairs level features a number of sets dealing with the day-to-day events of Easter 1916, before progressing into the post-1916 section. 

The Proclamation will be read aloud at 12 midday each day outside the theatre, by a uniformed 'Pádraig Pearse'. 

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READ NEXT: Watch Liam Neeson's Powerful Recitation Of 'Easter 1916' By WB Yeats

Written By

Kate Demolder

Kate is a contributing writer here at Lovin Dublin. You are as likely to see her indulging in some of Dublin’s finer establishments, as well as panic-exercising the day after.

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