Ireland 2016

Celebrating our past

In 1916, the proclamation of the Irish Republic was first read out loud on the steps of the General Post Office in Dublin. The 6-day rebellion that followed became one of the most formative events of Ireland's modern history – and so began the Republic’s incredible journey to independence. Over a century later, people can look back on this fascinating period, reflect on the progress that has taken place, and look to the future with pride.

All changed, changed utterly

'Easter 1916' – WB Yeats

Today, everyone is welcome to join in as Ireland's history is celebrated. Experience the life-changing stories of some of the country’s most famous landmarks and walk in the footsteps of the men and women whose idealism gave birth to a nation. 1916 was a special year for Ireland – and we want to share it with the world.

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Touching history

At the heart of both Ireland’s early 20th-century history and its main thoroughfare in the 21st century, the General Post Office (GPO) is one of Dublin’s most iconic buildings. It was also the headquarters of the rebels during the Easter Rising 1916. You can still trace the bullet holes that riddle its façade...

A stroll across the city is the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, and the chance to feast your eyes on 15,000 artefacts from that fateful week, showcasing everything from prison diaries to the original flag of the Irish Republic, which flew from the GPO during the Rising.

Dublin city centre (image courtesy of the National Library of Ireland)
Dublin city centre (image courtesy of the National Library of Ireland)

A journey through time

Kilmainham Gaol, voted the number one landmark by TripAdvisor, is one of Ireland’s most visited attractions, and you can find out more about the lives of the rebellion leaders in the new Courthouse Visitor Centre.

Meanwhile, an interactive multimedia experience at the newly restored Richmond Barracks delves into the complex and fascinating journey of the 3,000 Irish rebels imprisoned there – including Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera.

Was your family a part of history?

Your family's history in Ireland

Ireland's story is unfolding all the time, and through our art, literature and music, you can discover a very modern place, where the past is remembered and the future is full of possibilities. Look out for the exciting programme of cultural events taking place around April each year, which explore this special moment in Ireland's history.

And as the focus is on the past, there's no better time to take a trip here to trace your own family history – you never know who you might find!

Ha'penny Bridge, Dublin

Dublin and beyond

Dublin is naturally brimming with history and part of its appeal is peeling back those layers to uncover Viking settlers, medieval cathedrals and gracious Georgian buildings. All of which have played a huge part in why the city is so beloved today.

But our culture has a more vibrant side, too. Take a tour of the hotspots frequented by James Joyce and Oscar Wilde in this UNESCO City of Literature; sample the contemporary cuisine for which Dublin is developing an international reputation; or pop out for a pint to Bono’s local pub, Finnegans, in Dalkey.

If your taste for history is stirred by your Dublin trip, then definitely take the time to explore beyond the city and delve into Ireland’s Ancient East. In this story-strewn part of the island, you can wander through 5,000 years of history, from Neolithic tombs to the great houses of the aristocracy.

Continue your journey