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  • Writer's pictureBill Hollingsworth

Reflections on @1916Live

@1916Live: A social media experiment that gained 1,930 followers, 19,000 profile visits and 377,000 impressions in one week with no budget.

I loved doing this. The idea of tweeting Ireland's revolution, the 1916 Rising, as it happened exactly 100 years on to the minute, seemed like a one-off opportunity. I pitched it to a few likely sponsors in late 2015, but none seemed to want to engage until closer to the date. So I kicked it off with the first sunrise of the year, live, exactly 100 years after the first sunrise of the year that led to the formation of the Irish Republic. You can check out how it was done here.

Looking back on it now, what struck me were the 1916 moments recreated in present day locations which brought history into the realm of reality.

The first was the image used as the theme image for the campaign. There was a machine gun post set up at the junction of Westmoreland Street, D'Olier Street and O'Connell Bridge. This was to directly target the General Post Office (G.P.O.) which was the centre of the Rising. The O'Connell monument was directly in the line of fire.

The others were film moments. The Volunteers met at Liberty Hall before marching together to take over the G.P.O. - you can imagine the feeling as they embarked on their "let's do this' mission. They turned the corner and marched up Abbey St. towards their fate. This is the moment recreated:

After the surrender in Moore Street, the remaining survivors marched in an orderly fashion, out of Moore Street and turned left onto Henry Street to their assembly point in O'Connell Street. This is how that moment looked 100 years later:

As they marched past the headquarters of the insurrection, the command was given "Eyes to the G.P.O." in respect to all who had died there. It was touching to see the present day Defence Forces show similar respect.

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