The Irish Revolution

The epic story of how 100 years ago a small group of Irish radicals begin to imagine that they could force Britain, the most powerful empire of its age, to grant Irish independence.

Against impossible odds, with few arms and no training these young men and women ferment a decade-long struggle that lasts from 1913 to 1923. Initially the majority of Irish people are against them but gradually most Irish nationalists are won over to the radical cause. Through guerrilla war, boycott, extreme personal sacrifice, hunger strike and mass civic protest they undermine British authority and control in Ireland until at last British forces withdraw from most of the island of Ireland.

Though the 6 counties of Northern Ireland remains within the United Kingdom, the rest of the island becomes the Irish Free State and ultimately the Republic of Ireland comes into being in 1948.

Irish freedom, the dream cherished for centuries, has been achieved by the young Irish rebels including Michael Collins, Constance Markievicz, Máire Comerford and Eamon de Valera. Their example inspires revolutionaries throughout the colonised world, in India, Africa and the Middle east to rise and stand for freedom leading eventually to the breakup of the British Empire.

  • Ruán Magan
    1916 - The Irish Rebellion, The Men Who Built America, Wrecking the Rising
  • Ruán Magan
  • Ruán Magan
  • Patricia Carroll
  • Martha Moloney
  • Cillian Murphy
    Key Cast
    Peaky Blinders, The Wind that Shakes the Barley
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 38 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 29, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    700,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    France, Ireland, United Kingdom, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4kHD
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • RTÉ Sales
    Country: Ireland
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Ruán Magan

Award-winning writer, producer and director, Ruán Magan’s recent credits include The Irish Revolution Narrated by Cillian Murphy, the critically acclaimed comedy drama series, Wrecking The Rising; 1916 – The Irish Rebellion, the multi-award winning documentary narrated by Liam Neeson, which reached audiences of 40 million worldwide during 2016 and the play, And Spring Shall Come, play exploring WW1 through poetry. He directed The Men Who Built America (Double Emmy-winner), Waterloo’s Warriors, (Gold Prize at World Media Awards 2016) and Angel, (winner Milan International Film Festival 2013) and edited and produced Banaz – A Love Story (Emmy winner and Peabody Award winner 2013). Ruán was honoured to receive an Outstanding Contribution Award from Screen Directors’ Guild of Ireland in 2014.

He directed and filmed his first documentary in 1996 featuring his brother, the writer, Manchán Magan (Brandon books),the beginning of a long collaboration during which they made over 60 documentaries filmed across the planet, in India, North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and China. Critically acclaimed, many of these documentaries have been transmitted internationally.

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Director Statement

Our team were honoured to have been given the responsibility of telling this key part of Ireland's history in a definitive manner. While absolute truth is elusive or perhaps even impossible to achieve, we have endeavoured to weave many conflicting truths here together in the hope of presenting at the very least some sense of what took place. We are grateful to our collaborators in University College Cork, to our brilliant creative team and to all who supported the endeavour and to the wealth of archive sources that feature. Thankfully the Irish revolution was televised 100 years ago and today we watch the events unfold through new prisms.