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Restored newsreel footage shows Ireland's fight for Independence

The footage was restored from the original nitrate film and will be available on the IFI Player. / YouTube

THE IRISH FILM Institute has painstakingly restored and digitised newsreel footage from the Independence era of Irish history.

Footage is now available of events like Eamon de Valera visiting Boston in 1919 and Irish crowds welcoming Countess Countess Constance Markievicz as she was released from prison.

The process wasn’t easy though as during the early part of last century, most newsreel footage was filmed by British or overseas news agencies as Ireland didn’t have its own production capabilities.

The team at the IFI worked with British companies to digitise and restore the newsreels from the original nitrate film reels (which are extremely flammable) and scan the footage into 2k quality.

“You can experience history in many ways,” says IFI Director and CEO Ross Keane, “but nothing quite captures it like the real moving image.”

He said this footage from pivotal events like the Easter Rising, War of Independence and the Civil War was crucial for an Irish institute to have.

“There’s nothing more important then showing real people, real history, telling our shared story,” Keane said.

The newsreel footage is available on the IFI player for viewing.

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