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Government to unveil updated 1916 centenary celebration plans on Tuesday

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James Connolly

James Connolly

James Connolly

THE Government will on Tuesday unveil an updated programme of events to mark the centenary celebrations of the 1916 Rising.

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys will launch the programme, which will include details on all the State events planned, as well as special museum exhibitions and a new education programme that will be rolled out across primary and secondary schools and third level institutions.

The updated programme of events form part of the Ireland 2016 campaign and the Taoiseach and Tánaiste will also attend the launch next week.

Tuesday's event follows from the launch of the campaign in November, which has been criticised by opposition parties and the relatives of the 1916 rebels.

The official website was also criticised by Irish language groups who said the Irish translation on the site was littered with errors.

Last night, a Department of Arts spokesperson said Tuesday's event would be attended by stakeholders and representatives form various cultural institutions including the GAA and the education sector, as well as relatives of those involved in the uprising.

The relatives have launched their own programme of events and last night James Connolly Heron, the great grandson of James Connolly, told the Irish Independent it was important the State took the opportunity to properly remember those who gave their life in the Rising - something it had so far "failed to do".

He was speaking at the launch of new book 'When the clock struck in 1916: Close-quarter combat in the Easter Rising', which chronicles the intense fighting of the uprising.

He said it would be "inappropriate" to have a British Royal presence at the celebrations.

"My understanding with Royal visits is that a decision has been taken that it won't happen in relation to the Easter Rising centenary. Whatever about other events I don't know, but we've been told that isn't going to happen," he said.

"The celebration of the Rising should not become a diplomatic exercise of some sort, or an act of diplomacy. It should be a celebration of that event in our history."

Also at the launch was Prionsias Ó'Rathille whose grandfather, The O'Rahilly, also fought in the Rising. Mr O'Rathille said he was "immensely proud" a photo of his father's famous De Dion-Bouton motorcar had been used on the book's cover.

Irish Independent