On Thursday 9 October Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, officially launched a new online project on the First World War at the University of Limerick. The project, entitled It’s a Long Way to Tipperary – An Irish Story of the Great War, follows the lives of a single family throughout the First World War to illustrate the social, physical and emotional impact of the conflict at an individual level and the irrevocable personal, cultural and societal changes wrought by the war. It is based on the diaries, correspondence, photographs and memorabilia accumulated by the Armstrong family of Moyaliffe Castle, County Tipperary, between 1914 and 1918. These papers were donated to the University in 1999. The exhibition runs in ‘real time’ from July 2014 until November 2018, with a new exhibition uploaded every week, allowing visitors to relive experience of the war as events unfolded.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Humphreys said that ‘the diaries, correspondence, photographs and memorabilia of the Armstrong family provide a fascinating insight on the social, physical and emotional impact of the conflict on individuals, families and society. Initiatives such as this are an excellent example of how communities and organisations around the country are getting involved in the Decade of Centenaries. I would like to commend the creativity and imagination of the team who have transformed the historical material into this fantastic online resource, fit for a twenty-first century audience. I have no doubt that it will be enjoyed throughout Limerick and far beyond’.