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(Image: Prof. Jane Ohlmeyer looks on as Seán Ó Foghlú cuts the ribbon to launch the new website.)

Last week we went along to the Science Gallery for the launch of the 1641 Depositions Bridge21 Website.

This fantastic new online history resource offers an array of videos, lesson roadmaps and primary documents to schoolteachers and students interested in learning about the Depositions. The 1641 depositions are one of the most controversial sources in modern Irish history. They comprise a collection of 8,000 witness statements taken during the 1640s and 1650s – a period of extreme violence throughout Ireland. We first came across the Depositions while working on King John’s Castle. They painted a vivid (if incomplete) portrait of life in Limerick during the period and in particular during the siege that took place there in 1642. Employing learning methods pioneered by Bridge21, the project was led by Dr Eamon Darcy and Dr Danielle O’Donovan, both of whom were on hand to launch the site along with Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills. Dr Darcy walked us through the features of the site and provided a quick history lesson on the context and lasting importance of this period of Irish history. Dr O’Donovan, who has previously worked on the Dublin Tenement Experience: Living the Lockout, discussed different learning design models and explained how digital resources can transform the classroom experience, enabling students to engage in enquiry-based learning with original documents – something they could rarely, if ever, do before. We’re big fans of utilising digital resources to enhance learning and it‘s great to see this resource made available. No surprise that it was welcomed enthusiastically by the assembled crowd of teachers and educators. For more click here to visit the site. It’s well worth a visit even if – like us – your school days are now also matter of historical record :-).

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