Saturday 10 December 2016

Ireland should continue to commemorate 1916, says Taoiseach

John Fallon and Daragh Small

Published 11/11/2016 | 02:30

NUIG president Dr Jim Browne and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at an academic conference in Galway entitled 1916-2016: The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty. Photo: Aengus McMahon
NUIG president Dr Jim Browne and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at an academic conference in Galway entitled 1916-2016: The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty. Photo: Aengus McMahon

Ireland should continue to commemorate 1916 in the years ahead despite the centenary celebrations concluding, says Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

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Mr Kenny, who officially opened the €5m Padraig Pearse tourism centre in Connemara before attending a centenary conference in NUI Galway, said the date should be honoured forever.

He said: "I think it's important that the State continues to re-enact it over the next 100 years.

"This Padraig Pearse cottage had a particular part to play, not just in 1916, but it also had a part to play in the education, in the business of development by legalism, the conservation of the Irish language."

Mr Kenny also said that it was important to build a legacy to pass on to generations, during a speech at the NUI Galway conference.

He said: "We will be coming back to this theme in the coming weeks, with details of a plan for the legacy of this year as an authentic expression of what actually happened - and as well beginning our work on the rest of the decade of centenaries.

"Because a legacy is something we create and leave for future generations.

"The centenary year gives us the opportunity, and creates the obligation, to articulate and define what this generation must do to create a legacy worthy of that bequeathed to us.

"I believe that when we take time to reflect on 2016 we will detect a new cultural revival in Ireland, a revival that puts arts and culture at the centre of public policy."

Meanwhile, the president of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said universities had led the way with their response to the 1916 centenary. He was speaking at the opening of the Centenary Conversations and its centrepiece event - Ireland 1916-2016: The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty.

Irish Independent

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