Easter Rising and Somme explored at Ulster Museum exbibition

This sculpture of Irelands national symbol is by the Belfast-born artist Hugh Clawson. It draws on some of the symbolism of the 1916 Easter Rebellion and incorporates a Webley revolver and the dying Cuchulainn.
This sculpture of Irelands national symbol is by the Belfast-born artist Hugh Clawson. It draws on some of the symbolism of the 1916 Easter Rebellion and incorporates a Webley revolver and the dying Cuchulainn.

Both the 1916 Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme are explored in a new free exhibition opening at the Ulster Museum on Friday.

Many rare objects - including significant loans from the National Museum of Ireland and the Imperial War Museum - will be displayed together for the first time.

They include uniforms, firearms, photographs and personal mementoes from the rebellion and the Western Front, and many are directly connected to some of the main protagonists.

A number of items relate to 36th Ulster Division commander Major General Nugent, as well as the soldiers and nurses on the front line.

Some of the prominent northern republicans featured include Denis McCullough, Roger Casement, Bulmer Hobson and Winifred Carney.

The museum has described a recently acquired Irish Volunteers tunic, which will be on display for the first time, as a particular highlight.

The uniform belonged to Irish Volunteer Jack Greenan from Keady, Co Armagh and his family believe he wore it while taking part in the Easter Rebellion of 1916.

Another item highlighted is a blood-stained booklet that belonged to Private Adam Stewart from Co Londonderry who was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

William Blair, head of history at National Museums Northern Ireland said: “The Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme appear to lie at opposite ends of our political spectrum, but they are linked by the First World War and the profound social and political change that it brought about. Both the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme form an important part of the complex weave of history that continues to influence our present and our future.”