British Pathé, a company who produced newsreels and documentaries from 1910 until 1970 in the UK have just updated their collection of films of Dublin from 1915 and 1916. The footage is remarkable as it shows the destruction that was wrought on Dublin city centre following the Easter Rising.
Now available on YouTube, the news reel gives a glimpse into what Dublin life was like in 1915. There are images of Dubliner’s going about their day and trams going up and down the streets.
Pathé’s description of the reel, titled Dublin Scenes (1915), says:
“Opens w/shot of base of Wellington monument in Phoenix Park, Dublin, w/a few people on steps Closer of same. DS Guinness beer barge on river. The Bank of Ireland building w/tall pillars. Pan around this building. More shots of building from various angles. Here begins series of shots of Dublin Streets w/ many shops, including Lipton factory or warehouse.”
These images contrast sharply with what comes next. Titled “War In Ireland – Easter Rebellion (1916)” Pathe describe it as:
“Ruins of bombed & burned buildings; people walking past. Much destruction. Crowds milling around or walking past outside central post office building; where the rebels set up headquarters. Barricade in street – all sorts of furniture; etc. Automobile abandoned. Several people watch as part of building collapses; sends up big cloud of smoke (it was pulled down on purpose so it wouldn’t collapse on someone by accident).”
A grant from the British government in 2010 helped Pathé to digitise its entire archive.
British Pathé general manager Alastair White has said what they have is “a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.”
You can find the main British Pathe site https://www.youtube.com/user/britishpathe
Dublin 1915 http://www.britishpathe.com/video/dublin-scenes