At least 87 events are to take place in Britain to celebrate the 1916 Centenary. Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Charlie Flanagan has recently launched the programme of creative, community and commemorative events to take place in Britain to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising and historical events of 1916.
This comes shortly after Minister for Diaspora Affairs Jimmy Deenihan announced €6.73 million in immigrant support funding for the Irish community in Britain. Grants have been made to 110 organisations in support of a range of projects for which applications have been received through the Emigrant Support Programme (ESP) operated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Minister Flanagan said:
“This is an exciting and busy programme. It offers an occasion to reflect on what happened in Ireland a century ago and on its impact on relationships on these islands. These reflections will also acknowledge the richness and complexity of these historical events by focusing on their cultural, academic, economic and artistic strands, as well as the broader political narrative.”
Engaging with the Irish community in Britain is central to the programme and Minister Flanagan highlighted this at the launch:
“Reaching out to and engaging with our Irish diaspora is a key strand of the 1916 commemorations, including recognising their contribution to Ireland over the last 100 years. I am particularly pleased that 19 community projects will be funded through the Embassy’s Community Fund.
“Stories will be at the centre of the commemorations and the Embassy are supporting what I am sure will be fascinating projects which offer great insight into the period including a digital collection day and a major photography exhibition. These will enhance our understanding of our shared and overlapping histories.
“Throughout 2016, the Embassy will ensure that the major events of that fateful year are reflected, whether they relate to Easter week in Dublin, the battlefields of the Somme or the trial of Roger Casement here in London. This is a moment of great opportunity to reflect on and advance further the productive journey of reconciliation on which our two countries have been embarked for some years now.”
Mary McCarthy, Chair of Culture Ireland’s Expert Advisory Committee, speaking at the launch:
“The Culture Ireland supported events are part of the I Am Ireland programme, which speaks of a contemporary Ireland, of young and established artists, influenced by Ireland's geographic position, history and cultural journey over the past one hundred years. The special focus on Britain recognises our historic and cultural ties and also the importance of Britain as a key global place for artists to present work.”