Why this Story

With the centenary of the Rising in 2016, it is timely to take a fresh look both at the events themselves and their significance in world history. 

“We aim in the series to present this pivotal historical event to a broad audience in an accessible manner that is both serious and informative but also highly visual and evocative,” says Bríona Nic Dhiarmada, the Thomas J. and Kathleen M. O’Donnell Chair of Irish Language and Literature at the University of Notre Dame, who conceived of, wrote, and produced the documentary.

“The 1916 Irish Rising is not only an event with historical and current ramifications, it is also a story of real men and women, people of flesh and blood who participated or witnessed epoch-making events, with many leaving first-hand accounts of their experiences.  This is a specific story but one with universal echoes.  It is a story of heroism and of cowardice, of moral courage and of venality, of mercy and of cruelty, of victory and defeat.  These very human stories are at the heart of history, and as Ken Burns showed to incredible effect in The Civil War and The War, they provide a means of bringing serious historical issues to a broad audience in a way which deepens historical, cultural but also human understanding.”