Over 200,000 Irishmen served in the British Army during the First World War, the biggest single deployment of Irish soldiers in the country’s military history. ‘The Road to War’ uses speeches, songs and letters from 1914 and 1915 to chart Ireland’s journey into the Great War, from the brass bands on the quayside to the horrors of the Dardanelles. We follow the poet and journalist Tom Kettle MP from the recruitment platform to the Somme, and trace the momentous first year of the conflict through the speeches of Redmond and Carson, the writings of Pearse and Connolly, and the letters home of ordinary Irish soldiers. “Green Fields” uses soldiers’ letters from the Monica Roberts Collection, part of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive in the Dublin City Library and Archive.
With Bryan Murray, John Cronin and Danny McColgan; Writer and director Kevin McGee; Original music from the period courtesy of the Royal Irish Academy of Music under composer Jack Cawley.
Recorded at The Printworks Venue, Dublin Castle on 27th September 2014.