THE seismic political storm that engulfed the Province 100 years ago has been brought to life by Belfast City Council in a new exhibition.
The year 1912 saw mounting anger among unionists, which often spilled on to the streets in rallies and parades, at the Home Rule bill that would allow Ireland to self-govern as an independent nation.
At the same time nationalists were anxious to see their Home Rule dream realised.
The new interactive exhibition located in the east wing of the city hall, entitled Shared History – Different Allegiances, explores some of the important centenaries and characters of this tense time up until 1914.
It is the first in a series of three exhibitions that will be staged as part of Belfast City Council’s decade of centenaries programme for the years 1912-1922.
The campaigns for and against Home Rule, the signing of the Ulster Covenant, the growth of the volunteer armies, gun-running, the suffrage movement and the Gaelic revival are all covered by the display which includes pictures, archive film footage and artefacts.
Visitors can check online whether their ancestors signed the covenant, through access to the PRONI website.
The exhibition will be on display in the east foyer of the city hall until the end of February 2013.
A full supporting programme of events will take place between the beginning of September and mid-November. This will include talks by historians Eamon Phoenix and Graham Walker, specially-commissioned dramas by Padraig Coyle, Philip Orr and Alan McGuckian, a photographic exhibition looking at how Belfast has changed over the last 100 years and a debate chaired by Fergal Keane.
Further events are planned for early next year, examining the role of women and the campaign for female suffrage and the role of the trade unions during this period in Belfast’s history.
For more information telephone Belfast City Hall on 028 9032 0202 or visit the Belfast City Hall website