The fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising has been held responsible for everything from the outbreak of conflict in Northern Ireland to the alienation of an entire generation in the Republic of Ireland. This book examines the myths behind the most elaborate commemoration of the Rising to date.
Transforming 1916 explores the meaning and memory of the Easter Rising in 1966 and the way in which history operated in Ireland at a moment of rapid change. Transforming 1916 looks at the commemorative process through parades, statues, pageants, television programmes, exhibitions and documentary film; and considers the tensions present north and south of the border. It argues that the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising was not, in fact, an unrestrained celebration of Ireland's past but represented instead an attempt by the Irish government to convey a message of modernisation and economic progress. Transforming 1916 casts light on what 1916 means in Ireland and illuminates the politics of commemoration as the centenary of the Rising approaches.