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Project Description




1910 - 1920


1910 - Halley's Comet is visible in the night sky. It will be another 75 years before this comet returns.

1912 - The Titanic dubbed "the unsinkable" by its builders sinks during its maiden voyage on April 14-15. The ship was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast and made its last port of call at Queenstown (Cobh) where it picked up some Irish passengers. The Titanic struck an iceberg about 640 km south of Newfoundland and sank shortly afterwards with the loss of 1,500 lives. The Titanic had only 1,178 lifeboat spaces for the 2,224 people aboard. Many of those who died were rich people from Britain and America.

1914 - World War I breaks out with fighting between Germany, France and Britain. Millions of people die. Soldiers fight in trenches in France and Belgium and many of them are killed including Irish men fighting with the British army.

1915 - A German submarine sinks the Lusitania off the Cork coast. 1,198 people die including some Americans. Later, America joins the war against Germany.

1916 - Rebels take control of Dublin's General Post Office and other key locations in the city. They declare that Ireland is no longer to be ruled by Britain. Fighting breaks out as soldiers attempt to capture the rebels. After several days of heavy fighting, the rebels surrender. Many buildings in O' Connell Street are destroyed. The leaders of the Easter Rising are taken to Kilmainham Gaol and executed by firing squad. This turns Irish people against the British government and they support the rebels.


Sackville Street (O'Connell Street) after the Easter Rising 1916

Talking Points

What is the burnt out building in the photograph?
What happened that resulted in it being destroyed?
What is the large monument to the right of the picture?
Who was it called after? Was he regarded as a hero by all of the Irish people?
The men on the left are searching through rubble. What building now occupies this site?
(Hint - look at the photograph for 1980 - 1990)


Home Life

Most homes do not have running water. Drinking water comes from a well or pump and has to be carried indoors. As well as the work involved in having to fetch water in this way, the water is untreated and can sometimes spread diseases. Medical services are poorly developed and large numbers of children die each year. Conditions such as appendicitis often result in death.

Following the execution of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, there are widespread disturbances across the country. The police, known as the Royal Irish Constabulary, and army are attacked and fired on. In an effort to deal with the disturbances, the British government recruits ex-soldiers from the war and sends them to Ireland. These become known as the 'Black and Tans' because of their uniforms. The Black and Tans ar poorly disciplined and often burn buildings in reprisal for attacks.

1918 - Men over the age of 21 and women over the age of 30 are now allowed to vote in elections. Before this, women were not allowed to vote. Only men who were wealthy or had property could vote up to this.

1918 - An epidemic of Spanish flu sweeps the world. Over 20 million people die - more than those killed in World War 1.


Achievements and Discoveries

1911 - Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen becomes the first person to reach the South Pole. Using sledges hauled by dogs, Amundsen and four companions reach the South Pole on 14 December 1911 beating his great rival Captain Robert Scott who got there one month later. On the return journey, Scott and his team run out of food and die from starvation and exposure.

1913 - In America, Henry Ford begins mass production of the Model T car. Using an assembly line, a Model T can now be built in just one hour and thirty minutes!

1914 - Ernest Shackleton, born in Kildare, attempts to cross the Antarctic. His ship, the Endurance is trapped in the ice and his crew are forced to overwinter on an ice floe. Eventually, Shackleton and five crew members including Kerry-born Tom Crean set off in a small boat on a 1280 km sea journey to get help for their stranded crew. This is regarded as one of the greatest rescue missions ever undertaken.

1917 - US inventor Clarence Birdseye develops a rapid freezing method for preserving food that also preserves the flavour.

1919 - Alcock and Brown become the first people to fly non-stop across the Atlantic. Their plane takes off from Newfoundland and crash lands in a bog near Clifden, Co. Galway . The journey takes 16 hours 12 minutes and Alcock and Brown collect a £10,000 prize for making the first non-stop Atlantic crossing by plane.



1913 - The G.A.A. purchases the present Croke Park site for £3,500. Work commences on developing the grounds. Hill 16 is constructed using rubble from Sackville Street (O Connell St.) after the 1916 Easter Rising.

1918 - Wexford footballers become the first county to win 4 All-Irelands in a row.

No Olympic Games were held in 1916 because of the World War and it is decided to stage the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium scene of much of the trench warfare. This is the first time that the Olympic flag is used. The flag with its five rings signifies the world's five continents.


Fashion and Entertainment

Dublin's first cinema 'The Volta' opens. The cinema shows silent films only although background music is played to create atmosphere. James Joyce, the celebrated writer, is manager of this cinema for a short time.

In America, a new dance called The Tango is popular.

World War 1 prompts a change in fashion as women working in factories and offices begin to wear pants for the first time.



Learn more about .........

Ernest Shackleton and Antarctica

The Titanic

The Easter Rising 1916