How would you like to take a tour of the key Easter Rising sites with an A list celebrity from the comfort of your own home?
That is now a possibility after Google have created a virtual tour of all the key Dublin sites to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
They have also brought in Dublin’s own Hollywood superstar Colin Farrell to narrate the tour.
The Easter Rising was one of the most important events in Irish history and was a turning point in the country’s road to independence.
Irish rebels, led by Patrick Pearse, seized control of the General Post Office (GPO) and declared Ireland to be an independent republic.
The British army quickly moved in to regain control but it was several days before the rebels reluctantly surrendered.
A total of 16 rebels – including the seven leaders – were executed for the part they played in the Rising.
Their deaths brought about a change in attitude among the Irish public who felt the punishment was brutal and over the top. It made the public more determined than ever to achieve freedom from British rule.
The virtual tour is called Dublin Rising 1916-2016. It takes you to all of the key sites of the Rising including the GPO, Sackville Street (which was renamed O’Connell Street in 1924), City Hall, Mount Street Bridge, Richmond Barracks, Moore Street and more.
Farrell also discusses the key people and groups that took part in the Rising.
It is made up of 22 slides, with Farrell reading out information about each image. Each slide has extra information such as photographs, audio files or videos that help to take you back to 1916.
Many of the images show Dublin in the aftermath of the Rising. Buildings such as the GPO were damaged or destroyed as the conflict continued through the week. The images of the destruction help to bring the story of the Rising back to life 100 years later.
Google created the tour in collaboration with several historians, the National Library of Ireland, Ireland’s Military Archives, and the Abbey Theatre.
Farrell jumped at the chance to be a part of the project. He said: “Travelling and working all over the world means that I don’t get to go home to Ireland very often so anything I can do to get home, even virtually, is a blessing.
“Growing up in Dublin, the events of 1916 are a key part of our schooling and culture.
“I’m glad now that anyone around the world can learn more about it and see why it had such an impact on modern day Ireland just by picking up their phone or computer.”
Taoiseach Enda Kenny thanked Google. He said: “2016 is an important year that allows us to explore and understand the events not only of 1916, but the subsequent events that led to the establishment of our independent state.
“In acknowledging our past, we are creating stronger foundations for a more vibrant and shared future. I want to congratulate Google, Ireland 2016 and the cultural partners who have come together to create this unique online experience.
“They are enabling all the people of Ireland, the diaspora and others around the world to commemorate, learn about and explore the events of 1916 and the 100 years since then and to celebrate the country we are today.”
Click here to take the full online tour.