A new film by acclaimed filmaker Sean O Mordha about the foundation of the Irish State airs tonight on RTÉ One.

A Sovereign People - The Story of the Irish Revolution explores the decades that followed the death of Nationalist leader Parnell and which laid the stepping stones for the foundation of the Irish state and the claim to sovereignty.

The period that followed Parnell's death in 1891 saw the most exciting, turbulent, innovative decades in modern Irish history - a time when intellectual, cultural, political and military activity reached a degree of intensity never before or since experienced in Ireland.

Produced and directed by O Mordha, the maker of Seven Ages and Hidden History, the film traces the historical and cultural significance of the era from the road to the Easter Rising and the Independent State that emerged in 1922.

A Sovereign People - The Story of the Irish Revolution airs tonight on RTÉ One at 10.15pm.