Ordinary Lives Extraordinary Times 2017-04-03T02:29:32+00:00

Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times

In 2016 the whole country was swept up in the commemorative events marking the centenary of the 1916 Rising. The Kiladre Readers Festival contributed to the dialogue by focusing on the civilians who lost their lives.

Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times – 1916 Through The Eyes of Ordinary Citizens, which took place in the Riverbank on the Saturday October 15th 2016, brought together a writer and an artist who have chosen to tell the stories of the ordinary citizens who lost their lives during that conflict.

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Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times: 1916 Through the Eyes of Ordinary Dublin Citizens took place in the Riverbank as part of the Kildare Readers Festival 2016.

Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times – 1916 Through The Eyes of Ordinary Citizens

In 2016 the whole country was swept up in the commemorative events marking the centenary of the 1916 Rising. This event, at the Kildare Reader’s Festival, brings together a writer and an artist who have chosen to tell the stories of the ordinary citizens who lost their lives during that conflict in their own unique way, Joe Duffy and Ciara O’Keeffe.

Children of the Rising: The Untold Story of the Young Lives Lost During Easter 1916

Joe Duffy’s book Children of the Rising: The Untold Story of the Young Lives Lost During Easter 1916 is the first ever account of the young lives violently lost during the week of the 1916 Rising: long-forgotten and never commemorated, until now. Boys, girls, rich, poor, Catholic, Protestant – no child was guaranteed immunity from the bullet and bomb that week, in a place where teeming tenement living existed side by side with immense wealth. Drawing on extensive original research, along with interviews with relatives, Joe Duffy creates a compelling picture of these forty lives lost. This gripping story honours the forgotten lives, largely buried in unmarked graves, of those young people who once  called Dublin their home.

1916 Sackville Project

The 1916 Sackville Art Project created 262 individual beautifully crafted model houses, one for each civilian killed, built out of materials such as ceramics, wood, fabric and stone.

The 1916 Sackville Project was invited to preview their exhibition on O’Connell Street on Easter Monday as part of RTÉ’s Remembering the Rising.  The full exhibition took place from April 8th to 24th at the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. A beautifully illustrated book was also compiled containing pictures of all the houses, along with details about the civilians, the artists and the thoughts behind each house. This project captured the hearts and imaginations of the Irish public.  Over 25,000 people attended the exhibition and it was avidly reported by National media.

The 1916 Sackville Project is the brainchild of Ciara O’Keeffe, a ceramics artist living in Kildare.  A voluntary committee was formed including Sharon Harris-Byrne, Maggie Owens, Eamonn Connell and Miriam Harding, and the 1916 Sackville Art Project began. The 262 civilians were named on a website (www.1916Sackvillestreet.com) and volunteers were sought to build the model houses.Schools, individuals, youth groups, prisons, historians, children and many different volunteers came forward and claimed their citizen.  The project provided guidance and support but mostly the volunteers built a model home that was suitable and appropriate for their civilian.

Moore Street as a 1916 battlefield site

Helen Litton, historian and author is a member of the ‘Concerned Relatives of Signatories of the Proclamation’, which has been campaigning for the preservation of Moore Street as a 1916 battlefield site.

Biographical details of the guest speakers

Joe DuffyPresenter and Writer
Joe Duffy presents one of Ireland’s leading radio shows Liveline on RTÉ Radio One.  Liveline, which has 400,000 listeners, is now firmly established as a national institution as listeners tune and call into the show to ‘Talk to Joe.’
In 2015, Joe brought Liveline to our TV screens with Liveline: Call Back. In this show Joe looked back at some of the standout stories,  some with heart-breaking and others with heart-warming outcomes.

Joe released his award winning and best-selling book Children of the Rising with Hachette in 2015. This is the first ever account of the young lives violently lost during the week of the 1916 Rising: long-forgotten and never commemorated, until now. Previously he released his autobiography Just Joe in 2011. He also writes for the Mail on Sunday.

Helen LittonHistorian and Writer
Born Helen O’Sullivan in 1947, HeIen grew up in Ranelagh and studied Archaeology and Early Irish History in UCD, earning an MA in 1970. She married Frank Litton in 1972, and has two children and two grandchildren. In 1978 she began working freelance in the publishing industry, first as a proofreader and editor and then as an indexer, from which she retired in October 2014.

Helen edited the memoirs of her Limerick grandmother’s sister, Kathleen Daly Clarke, wife of Tom Clarke, Revolutionary Woman, in 1991. She has written two of the volumes in the O’Brien Press series, Sixteen Lives, one on Edward Daly (published 2013) and one on Tom Clarke (published 2014). She is a member of the Concerned Relatives of Signatories of the Proclamation, which has been campaigning for the preservation of Moore Street as a 1916 battlefield site.

Ciara O’KeeffeCeramic Artist
Ciara is a ceramic Artist from Athy Co. Kildare Ireland and has exhibited her “Dwellings” series before developing the concept for the 1916 exhibition. Over the past number of years Ciara has established herself among the top ceramic artists in Ireland. Her work was published in the Irish Ceramic Book 2015. Ciara has exhibited her art throughout Ireland and has been commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs, The President of Ireland Mary McAleese, The Dublin College of Surgeons, Dublin City Council and The Chilean Ambassador to Ireland.

Ciara also works on a full time basis for Kildare and Wicklow Education Board (KWEB) as a ceramics Tutor with Youthreach.

Inspired by her Dwellings series, Ciara wants to share her love for art, her skill and expertise with Irelands Youth, to create something extraordinary to commemorate the souls of 1916 Rising, hence the establishment of 1916 Sackville Street.

Introduction and Joe Duffy’s Talk