1916 Easter Rising Centenary Commemorations
4th August 2015
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The Government unveiled a year-long programme of events earlier this year which would have an emphasis on reconciliation and remembrance and a strong educational element also. The first event planned was the re-enactment of Jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa’s funeral which was on the first of August. There will be a host of various events planned in an attempt to make the Irish people be more aware and proud of our past and the events that have shaped this country.

As part of the educational aspect of the commemoration March 15th has been named as Proclamation Day in Schools. As part of this schoolchildren will be asked to interpret and come up with their own version of the Proclamation. Every school will be receiving a new National Flag and a copy of the Proclamation. In September a new Politics and Society subject will be trialled in schools and an All-Ireland debating conference will be held at Easter weekend where a debate will be scheduled highlighting the impact and meaning of the Rising.

An Garda Siochana will be hosting an exhibition to remember the Dublin Metropolitan Police killed during the Rising. The 1916 court-martial files and Dublin City Metropolitan Police surveillance files will be published by the National Archives and the National Library of Ireland are making 23,000 items relating to the seven signatories of the Proclamation available digitally for the public.

 There will also be seven signature concerts taking place on Easter week at the National Concert Hall. The National Gallery will also be curating a major exhibit which is also planned to take place for Easter week. Easter Sunday will be the official day for the commemorative parade which will be coming from Dublin Castle to Parnell Square.

It was confirmed that no British Royal presence will be attending any of the events planned. The British Ambassador will be holding a commemorative ceremony at Grangegorman to remember the lives of the British soldiers who died as part of the Rising with many of these soldiers being of Irish nationality. The British Embassy are also funding a National Library exhibition entitled ‘World War Ireland’ which will reflect the events in Ireland and at the Somme.

Dublin City Council have also developed their own programme of events that will compliment the Governments commemorative plans. They aim to focus on the roles that elected members of City Council and Corporation staff played in the Rising. There will be a digital collection and a database developed, publications looking at different aspects of the Rising, an exhibit of photographs, newspapers, reports etc. of the destruction caused, the involvement of Pearse St, along with a series of lectures and heritage seminars discussing the works of the leaders of the Rising.

The year of events are set to highlight the pride the Irish people have while remembering those that were lost at this time. There are many International events taking place in places such as Argentina, Washington DC, Brazil, Canada and many more places getting involved and showing their support to the determination Ireland had to gain its independence. Described by Taoiseach Enda Kenny as a “once in a lifetime invitation” for the Irish public to partake in the commemorative proceedings and gain a better understanding of the time that will forever remain an important time in Ireland’s history.

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