Irish History Bitesize
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Recording the relatives of the Easter Rising leaders – Marcus Howard

Marcus Howard is an independent filmmaker documenting many 1916 relatives’ stories on his Youtube channel ‘Easter Rising Stories’. This project is completely independent and not for profit as befits the spirit of the participants in 1916. Marcus has his own relative who participated in Tyrellstown in 1916. His great, great granduncle is Arthur Greene, who was a Sergeant Major in the Irish Volunteers in Dundalk.

Marcus Howard
Marcus Howard – Photo by John Ayres

Marcus Howard is a teacher of Communications, Business, Marketing and Multimedia in O’Fiaich College, Dundalk. Here he tells Ireland Calling why he feels the Easter Rising Stories project is so important.

I am meeting people from all walks of life who are delighted to tell their relatives’ story. I think it is very important to explore the back story of the participants in the 1916 Rising, to realise the human dimension to the people who mobilized in 1916.

I feel this gives us a better understanding of the motivation of those who took part, the scale of their sacrifice and an understanding of the events which occurred. I have interviewed relatives of The O’Rahilly, Elizabeth O’Farrell, Tom Byrne and many more whose stories are less well known, yet of equal importance such as John “Blimey” O’Connor, the Pooles and the Halpins.

I am also fascinated by the authors who are documenting our history and the different perspectives they bring to this wonderful period of our national narrative. I have interviewed so far Joseph EA Connell, author of ‘Dublin 1916 Rising,’ and Derek Molyneux and Darren Kelly who wrote ‘When the Clock Struck in 1916’.

I have several more in the pipeline about to be uploaded. My spark was ignited by the events unfolding in Moore Street. In April 2013 I heard that the buildings in Moore Street where the Irish Volunteers made their last stand were to be demolished for a shopping centre. I was appalled at the lack of respect being shown to those who had sacrificed so much in the Irish fight for freedom.

I went up to Dublin to record the protest in Moore Street and I made three documentaries “Moore Street A National Disgrace”, “Moore Street The Last Stand” and “Arms Around Moore Street” which I put on Youtube to raise awareness of this disgraceful action. I felt it was important to give a public platform to what was happening.

We need to be informed in order to make informed decisions. I met some of the 1916 relatives there and the project was born. I believe that it is important to record individual family memories of the relatives of this time for future generations.

It humanises the historical subject, showing the enormity of the sacrifice and emphasizing the bravery of those who stood up and fought so that we could have the freedom to live in an independent country.

The greatest challenge was to do justice to the subject. I found the personal human details fascinating because they made this turbulent period of our history spring to life. Many other relatives have since contacted me to record their family stories and I have many more in the pipeline. You can find their stories on the Youtube channel Easter Rising Stories.

Click through to see Marcus’ Easter Rising video series

Marcus doesn’t only create videos relating to the Easter Rising. There are several issues that affect modern Dublin, many of which do not feature in the mainstream media. Marcus highlights such issues in his productions.

Below Marcus describes two of the videos that he has produced.

Ireland 2016 The Unofficial Version #irelandinspires

This is my own independent response to the official 2016 Ireland Inspires video. I was that disappointed with the official 1916 video which made no reference to the leaders of 1916 and seemed like a watered down version of a video suitable for The Gathering that I decided to make my own one.. This video features quotes from various people involved in 1916 and looks at a variety of protests and issues around Ireland like the bondholder bailout protests which Ballyhea Says No and numerous other groups are protesting as well as some footage from protests at Shannon and water charge protests. The poem “Was It For This”? is performed and written by Stephen Murphy. I often walk around Dublin and wonder would the leaders of 1916 of which we will be commemorating in just over a year would be happy with the state of Ireland today.

Ireland’s Debt What You’re Not Being Told

Did you know on December 23rd 2014 €500 Million of Irish money was destroyed yet there was not a headline covering this? This is a step by step guide looking at the 40 year debt which has been imposed on every Irish citizen.This is a direct result of Michael Noonan’s Promissory Note deal where he converted the Promissory Notes into Promissory Bonds. We have mortgaged our children’s future to bail out the bondholders. Your children and your grandchildren have to shoulder this burden. This 8 minute video explains what has been going on.

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Easter Rising Descendents

This series of interviews with the descendants of the Easter Rising rebels is made with the help of independent Dublin film maker Marcus Howard who has also created an Easter Rising series.

Find out more about Marcus Howard.

Easter RisingMore on Irish history


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