The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, the national and international initiative to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, was launched at an event in the National Museum of Ireland in Collins Barracks this week.
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD and Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD , were joined by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD and An Tánaiste, Joan Burton TD, to launch the programme.
Ireland 2016 is a year-long programme of activity to commemorate the events of the 1916 Rising, to reflect on our achievements over the last 100 years and to look towards Ireland’s future.
The Programme of events and initiatives comprises Seven Strands:
A website for Ireland 2016 is also online. This website gives information of the Seven Strands, detailing events for the next year for each of the strands. It also provides a short biography on each of the 1916 Proclamation signatories and also announces that the State is supporting seven capital projects for the centenary to provide enhanced visitor experience to important locations related to the rising. These projects are: The GPO Interprative Centre, Richmond Barracks, The Tenement Museum, Teach an Phiarsaigh, Kilmainham Gaol and Courthouse, The National Concert Hall, and The Military Pensions Service Archive.
Details of the Seven strands events:
1. State Ceremonial: Formal commemorative events include a parade from Dublin Castle, down O’Connell Street to Parnell Square on Easter Sunday 2016; a special State Reception for 1916 Relatives; an event to highlight the significant role of women in 1916; synchronised wreath laying ceremonies on Easter Monday marking the time when the first shots were fired; an event at Liberty Hall to commemorate James Connolly.
Official openings will also take place at the seven flagship commemorative projects: the GPO Interpretative Centre, Richmond Barracks, Teach an Phiarsaigh, the Tenement Museum, Kilmainham Gaol and Courthouse, the National Concert Hall and the Military Service Pensions Archive.
2. Historical Reflection: A range of history-based activities and initiatives will include a series of conferences on various elements of 1916 at our universities; the National Library of Ireland will run a major digitisation project making over 20,000 items linked to the Rising available online; the Library will also hold community collection days for privately held 1916 memorabilia; the National Archives is publishing secret files compiled by the Dublin Metropolitan Police during 1916; a commemorative avenue of trees will be planted in the Phoenix Park; An Post will issue 16 commemorative stamps which, when scanned using a Smartphone app, will link to interactive material on the Rising; the Central Bank will issue commemorative coins.
3. An Teanga Bheo - The Living Language: The central place of the Irish language in the ideals of the revolutionary generation will be reflected in a diverse programme of events and activities in Irish, including a digitisation programme, lectures, debates, seminars, online learning resources and arts events.
4. Youth and Imagination: A detailed education programme, to extend from primary to university level, will place children and young people at the centre of Ireland 2016. It includes ‘Proclamation for a New Generation’ which will encourage students to examine the Proclamation and to write their own version to reflect their values; an inter-generational ancestry project; ‘Proclamation Day’ will take place in all educational settings in March 2016; a teaching resource will be developed on the National Flag, and a flag will be delivered to every school in the country by the Defence Forces; a new Leaving Certificate subject – ‘Politics and Society’ – will be rolled out on a trial basis; children aged 8-17 will be consulted on the theme of ‘Imagining our Future’, which will form the basis of a Children’s Day event, which willalso commemorate the children killed during the Rising.
5. Cultural Expression: The Arts Council and our National Cultural Institutions have developed an extensive programme of arts and culture events. The Arts Council, for example, has issued an open call for large scale public arts projects; it will also stage a large scale choral event, involving a high number of choirs from across the country and there will be a national touring theatre programme; the National Concert Hall will stage a series of seven concerts over Easter Week 2016, arranged around the key themes of the Proclamation and its signatories; the Abbey Theatre will stage new productions of national and international classics and has also commissioned a series of new plays from young Irish playwrights.
6. Community Participation: Local Authorities are working with Ireland 2016 to develop commemorative events and activities in every county across the country and to encourage widespread citizen engagement; the GAA is getting involved through its clubs network; the Heritage Council is facilitating local events and regional museums are planning 1916 themed exhibitions.
7. Global and Diaspora: Ireland 2016 is inviting the global Irish family from all over the world to join us in remembering, reflecting and re-imagining. Our diplomatic missions are working with Culture Ireland to develop significant events in the US, the UK, Australia, Argentina, France and many other countries. A three week Irish culture festival will be held in Washington; the Irish Embassy in London will stage a flagship event in one of London’s main cultural venues and a series of academic conferences examining the impact of the Rising are planned in Australia.