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Children of the Revolution

Children of the Revolution

Based on his best selling book, broadcaster Joe Duffy tells the story of the Irish 1916 Easter Rising as seen from the perspective of the 40 children who lost their lives during the conflict.

One hundred years ago, a tiny rebellion in a corner of the British Empire helped forge a new nation and altered the lives of millions… but it also ended the lives of 40 children.

In every conflict, there are always casualties of war. Children of the Revolution uncovers the stories, lives and deaths of forty Dublin innocents, all aged 16 or under, to tell a timeless human story of life and death in the middle of conflict. Until now, many of them have gone unnamed, their final resting places unmarked, their sacrifice unrecognised.

Sean Foster was 2 years old when he was shot sitting alongside his baby brother in their pram; Neville Fryday was an 21 year old Canadian soldier who it turns out wasn’t Canadian afterall and wasn’t 21; Lionel Sweny was just 13, and attempting to give water to a wounded British soldier in the middle of the fiercest gun-battle of the Rising; Christopher Hickey was 16 when he and his father were shot and bayonetted in a British army massacre; 15 year old Brigid McKane was cowering behind her father when Irish rebel leaders shot the lock off their front door and blew her head apart. And finally there are some answers to century-old death certificates for a 14 year old “Male O’Toole” and a “Boy Unidentified.”

These children were from every class and corner of Dublin life, and they were much more than just collateral damage. A century on, the sense of tragedy, loss & outrage is undimmed, as Joe Duffy retraces, respects and remembers these childrens’ lives and deaths.

Available on RTÉ Player now


Abbey Theatre, An Garda Siochana, Association of Professional Genealogists Ireland, Band of An Garda Siochana, Buswells Hotel, Capuchin Friary, Century Ireland, Cobblestone, Conradh na Gaeilge, Dubray Books Grafton Street, Dublin Fire Brigade Pipe Band, Dublin Institute of Technology, Eason’s O’Connell Street, Gallery of Photography. Garda Historical Society, Generator Hostel, Glasnevin Trust, Grafton Barbers, Hodges Figgis Dawson Street, Irish Film Archive, Irish Veteran & Vintage Car Club. John Shevlin Millinery, Little Museum of Dublin, Louis Copeland & Sons, Manning's Bakery, Massey Funeral Directors, Maynooth University, Merrion Square Artists Association, National College of Art and Design, National Library of Ireland, National Museum at Collins Barracks, National Transport Museum of Ireland, NUI Galway, Poetry Ireland, Queen's University Belfast, Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association, Royal Hibernian Academy, St Michan's Church of Ireland Parish, St Michan's Roman Catholic Parish, St Vincent de Paul, SIPTU, The Four Courts, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, University of Ulster, Whyte’s Irish Art & Collectables, National Print Museum, Irish Guild of Weavers Spinners & Dyers, ICA, Feltmakers Ireland, Irish Woodturners Guild, Doran Barber Shop The Pram Doctor, The Merrion Square Artists Association, The Dice Bar, Third Space, The Family Resource Centre St. Michael’s Estate, Brown Bag Films, The Stoneybatter and Smithfield People’s History Project, The Revenue Museum,

RTÉ would like to gratefully acknowledge the support and participation of the individual speakers who were kind enough to share their research and private collections with the public as part of the RTÉ Reflecting the Rising project. A big thanks also to the many volunteers and actors who gave their time so generously to help make RTÉ Reflecting the Rising a memorable and successful day.

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