Heather Humphreys: 2016 will be a year of reflection, celebration and hope
Our centenary year will kick off on January 1 with young people from across the island of Ireland coming together in music and song. The Peace Proms, to be held in Dublin's Convention Centre, will be a unique event; an uplifting and fitting start to a year of respectful and inclusive commemoration and celebration.
Thousands of individual events will be held at home and abroad next year as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. A common thread to so many of these commemorations will be the prominence given to our national flag. Prior to the Peace Proms on New Year's Day, a solemn flag-raising ceremony will be held in Dublin Castle, attended by the President, An Taoiseach and other senior Government figures.
The Irish Tricolour was first raised in Waterford in 1848 by local man Thomas Francis Meagher and was brought to Dublin by Irish Volunteers from Waterford city.