Friday 23 February 2018

Events for all with an interest in this island

1916 Centenary
1916 Centenary
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

While concerns have been expressed that the centenary of the 1916 Rising will be hijacked by our various political parties for electoral advantage, the official programme of events will ensure that the commemorations are for everyone, regardless of their background or their take on history.

Ireland 2016, as it is officially billed, aims to involve and engage anyone with an interest in this island and the manner in which it has been shaped over the past 100 years.

Below is a selection of the historical, cultural and artistic activities due to take place over the next 12 months across the country. For a full list of everything planned as part of Ireland 2016, visit

Official State Ceremonial Events:

March 7 Presentation of flags to post-primary schools at Croke Park.

March 8 Commemoration of the role of women in 1916 at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin.

March 26 Remembrance ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance, Dublin.

March 27 Easter Sunday wreath-laying ceremony at Glasnevin Cemetery.

March 27 Wreath-laying ceremony on site where 1916 leaders were executed, at Kilmainham Gaol and Cork.

March 27 Easter Sunday State commemorative ceremony at the GPO and parade route.

March 28 Easter Monday wreath-laying ceremonies in Dublin, Meath, Wexford, Galway and Cork.

March 29 State event to commemorate the role of the Irish Citizen Army and James Connolly, at Liberty Hall, Dublin.

April 10 State ceremonial event on the 18th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin.

April 21 State commemoration for Roger Casement at Banna Strand, Kerry.

April 24 State commemoration at Arbour Hill.

May 3 State ceremony to commemorate the 15 executed leaders.

Arts and Culture

Among the many cultural and artistic events taking place is Reflections of the Rising on March 28 - a major public initiative with RTE, taking place on the streets of Dublin.

The Abbey Theatre is presenting its Waking the Nation programme which includes Cyprus Avenue, a new play by David Ireland, from February 11-March 19. A new production of Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars will show from March 9-April 23, while from August 6-September 24, a new production of Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme by Frank McGuinness will run.

The National Concert Hall is presenting its Imagining Home programme of seven themed concerts from March 28 to April 2. Among the musicians, performers and writers taking part are Rosanne Cash, Paul Brady, Glen Hansard, Camille O'Sullivan, Cait O'Riordain, Joseph O'Neill, Colm Toibin, John Banville, Anne Enright, Marina Carr, Kevin Barry and Paul Muldoon.

There's more entertainment on April 15 when the 1916 Song Project, featuring an ensemble of traditional singers performing a selection of songs based on the Rising, takes place at the National Library, Merrion Street, Dublin.

On March 27, A Nation's Voice, a partnership with RTE, the Arts Council, Music Generation and the Association of Irish Choirs, featuring over 1,000 voices, takes place at Collins Barracks.


On March 25, the GPO Witness History Visitor Centre opens.

At the National Museum of Ireland, Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising exhibition begins on March 3.

The National Archives is presenting a major exhibition on the 1916 garrison in Jacob's biscuit factory at DIT Aungier Street, and National Archives, Bishop Street, from March 16.

The Irish Museum of Modern Art will run a Women of 1916 exhibition from March 8.

Glasnevin Cemetery Museum's 1916 exhibition opens on March 10.

community participation

There are a number of events planned with a focus on community participation, including a Centenary Street Feast nationwide on June 14 and a nationwide street party on June 24.

A GAA gala event will take place at Croke Park on April 24, while Rith, a 32-county relay race, begins in Kildare on March 4.

A commemoration for Nurse Keogh, the first civilian to lose her life in the Rising, will take place at Memorial Garden, Leighlinbridge, Carlow, on March 26.

In Kerry on April 21, a commemoration of the first casualties of the Rising will take place at Ballykissane Pier.

In Waterford on March 1, a special ceremony will commemorate Thomas F Meagher and the historical origins of the Tricolour, in Dungarvan.

Outside the country there are also a number of events planned, including a showcase of Ireland's writers, performers and choreographers at the Kennedy Centre, Washington DC, from May 16-June 5.

From September 28-November 16, the Abbey Theatre production of Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars will tour the United States, and venues include New York, Boston and Ohio.

Sunday Independent

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