Ireland in the Newsreels (Éire na Nuachtscannán)

While the newsreels were often dismissed for their triviality and light touch, they remain an important social document charting events, personalities and changing cultural patterns. Given the lack of sustained indigenous production, Irish audiences were catered for by British and American news producers, meaning that the newsreels viewed in the cinemas often had imperial connotations and were sometimes completely at odds with viewers’ lived experiences of the events depicted.

This series will explore the ethics of news production, the complexities of representing shifting political allegiances, the difficulties of producing ‘balanced’ coverage and the ways in which audiences experiencing a range of turbulent events in twentieth century Ireland were manipulated in the cinemas by companies used to catering for pro-establishment, British sensibilities.