The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

Centenary Gift from Ireland to the World

11 March 2016

To mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, a gift for the people of the world -  a free eBook of 1916 Portraits and Lives -  has been produced. 

From 11 to 30 April 2016, the eBook of the beautifully illustrated 1916 Portraits and Lives is available as a free download*. The eBook for Kindle is available as a free download here.

The book’s 42 biographies of selected figures from the Rising were chosen from the Royal Irish Academy’s extensive Dictionary of Irish Biography, which outlines the lives at home and abroad of prominent men and women born in Ireland, as well as the noteworthy Irish careers of those born outside Ireland.

The eBook gift is an initiative by the Royal Irish Academy, the Office of Public Works, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ireland 2016.

These fascinating biographies, edited by Lawrence William White and James Quinn, are depicted alongside artist David Rooney’s exceptional scraper-board illustrations.

Giving a broad picture of the Rising with its diversity of personalities and perspectives, the book presents not only the rebels killed during the Rising but also three nationalist leaders who opposed the Rising; many senior figures in the British administration in Ireland in 1916; members of the British army that suppressed the Rising; and two historians who made considerable contributions to the scholarly debate on 1916.

An array of the women who were involved as soldiers or in other vital roles, such as Cumann na mBan and Irish Citizen Army member Mary Perolz, renowned sniper Margaret Skinnider, nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell, Dr Kathleen Lynn and labour activist and Abbey Theatre actress Helena Molony, are also given due coverage.

David Rooney’s stark and compelling portraits were commissioned by the RIA and the Office of Public Works (OPW) and will become part of the State Archive.

Be sure to download* your free copy of this unique eBook. 

eBook for Kindle available as a free download here.

*Windows users can download viewing software here.

Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

Sign up now