Guided Tour: Proclaiming a Republic - The 1916 Rising

Students get a general introduction to the key political, social and cultural events which led to the Rising, the events of Easter Week in Dublin and its aftermath, through exploring a range of original artefacts, from the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic to the Irish Republican Flag. There is a focus on the stories of ordinary people caught up in the Rising, especially children and young people.

‘We looked at the history and content through the lens of their contemporary interests and activities in the context of identity.’  Teacher feedback


Tour at a glance

Level: Junior and Senior Cycle, Transition Year
Group size: 30
Location: Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising Exhibition, Collins Barracks
Duration: 45 minutes


Curriculum Links

Junior Cycle History
The Job of a Historian

Exploration of different types of sources and evidence
Use and interpret information from a variety of sources
Political  developments in Ireland in the late 19th century and the 20th century
Overview of the main political events which influenced contemporary Ireland

Senior Cycle History
Later Modern Irish History

Leaving Cert Topic 3: The pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition, 1912-1949
Key Personalities:    Patrick Pearse, √Čamon de Valera, Countess Markievicz          
Key Concepts: Sovereignty, Ulster Unionism, IRB, Physical Force, ‘Blood Sacrifice’

Leaving Cert English

WB Yeats Easter 1916, Plough and the Stars  

Junior Certificate CSPE     


Learning Outcomes

  • Gain a greater knowledge of the events of Easter Week
  • Increased knowledge on lead up to Easter Week and groups involved

Learn about:

  • Key personal stories of the Rising
  • Role of Women
  • Children involved in the Rising
  • Increased appreciation of material culture of 1916 and role of National Museum in caring and collecting objects 


Resources and Suggestions

At the Museum

If you would like to further explore 1916, you could visit Soldiers and ChiefsAsgard and Recovered Voices: The Stories of Irish at War, 1914-1915

Before your visit

  • The Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising teachers exhibition notes.
  • The Historical Collections Online. This is a sample of 10,000 artefacts from the National Museum of Ireland’s Historical, Military and Easter Week Collections, published as part of the Decade of Centenaries.
  • We recommend teachers try to visit the exhibition in advance, if possible, to get familiar with the layout, key objects and key narratives within the exhibition.
  • Read literature and poetry depicting events from and around the period.
  • Use these resources and the exhibition visit to imagine and discuss the feelings and motives of people in the past and to discuss how an event in the past may have been perceived by those who participated in it.
  • Consider choices made by individuals and organisations and the contexts these choices were made in.
  • Plan a project around your visit. Students could research key personalities, organisations.


After your visit

Ideas for post-visit activities:

  • Plan a project on a key personality/key garrison.
  • Hold a classroom debate on a contentious issue or event.
  • Consider contemporary contexts such as equality, migration, globalisation and create a new proclamation for Ireland.
  • Consider the value of Museums as places to display objects that connect us with our history. Create a museum in your classroom. 


Recommended reading and useful links


RTE Century Ireland

A History of Ireland in 100 Objects

Inspiring Ireland

1916 Exhibition National Library of Ireland

Letters of 1916


  • The Proclamation of the Irish Republic, Michael Kenny (2017)
  • Proclaiming a Republic: Ireland, 1916, and the National Collection, Darragh Gannon (2016) ISBN:9781911024484.
  • At home in the Revolution: what women said and did in 1916, Lucy McDiarmid (2015) ISBN: 9781908996749
  • Easter 1916, Charles Townsend (2015)


Guided and self-guided group visits can be booked for 'Proclaiming a Republic: the 1916 Rising' by using our online form.