Cork gets special preview of ‘Irish Revolution’ show

Documentary series ‘The Irish Revolution’, Tyrone Productions. Images to accompany the interview on the series. Pictured are armed IRA soldiers. Sourced: Sean Sharkey archive

A Cork audience will this month get an exclusive first view of landmark TV series The Irish Revolution, which airs on RTÉ in February.

The three-part documentary has been made with the University College Cork team behind the best-selling Atlas of the Irish Revolution, and is narrated by local actor and one-time UCC law student Cillian Murphy.

Cillian Murphy: ‘Peaky Blinders’ star is narrator of ‘The Irish Revolution’ series. Picture: Brian McEvoy

President Michael D Higgins will attend the January 29 screening of an episode at Cork Opera House, with proceeds from sales of the €5 tickets going to the charity Cork Penny Dinners.

The programme producers Create One and Tyrone Productions have brought in Peaky Blinders actor Cillian Murphy to narrate the series. He is already familiar with elements of the story of the Irish revolution since his lead role in the award-winning film, The Wind that Shakes the Barley.

Atlas of The Irish Revolution features contributions from more than 100 historians and other experts on the period. It was edited by UCC historians Donal Ó Drisceoil and John Borgonovo, and John Crowley and Mike Murphy from the university’s geography department.

The book’s editors will be represented on a panel discussion following the Opera House screening, to be moderated by broadcaster and historian John Bowman. The question and answer session will be recorded for broadcast on RTÉ Radio One on St Patrick’s Day.

The new TV programme features new 3D-CGI mapping as part of the many dramatic visuals and rarely seen images. Such images illustrated the 5kg Atlas of the Irish Revolution, in which hundreds of original maps based on archival research help to provide new angles for understanding of events in Ireland a century ago.

“The digitisation of many of these maps for television gives them a new vibrancy, and the visual imagery and archive film footage will supplement the book,” said UCC director of cultural projects Virginia Teehan.

She is an executive producer of The Irish Revolution on behalf of UCC, along with head of RTÉ Cork Colm Crowley.

Cork University Press said sales of its Atlas of the Irish Revolution have reached more than 28,000 worldwide, including over 2,000 in the US, and the book is now in its fifth print run since launching in September 2017.

It is one of the most successful projects initiated and developed by the university, and its key success has been making scholarship available to the widest available audience,” said Ms Teehan.

Like the book on which it is based, the producers of The Irish Revolution said the TV series tells the story of the period as it has never been told before.

As well as better-known events and personalities, other elements are examined in more detail.

Terence MacSwiney and family, in images that features in ‘The Irish Revolution’ TV series. Picture: Jim Maher/Cork Public Museum

From the inspiration of Irish rebels by the revolutionary spirit sweeping the world in the early 20th century, the series will also show the global impact of events in Ireland, as they in turn inspired millions around the world to demand their right to equality and freedom.

- Tickets for the screening of The Irish Revolution on January 29 are available from the Cork Opera House website:

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