03/02/2015 Minister Humphreys briefs All Party Group on Commemorations on progress under Ireland 2016
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Tuesday) provided the All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations with an update on the work being done by her Department on Ireland 2016, the national and international initiative to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising, celebrate the achievements of the last 100 years and look towards our future.
Members of the All Party Group were provided with an update on the range of work that is underway including:
- Work with the Department of Education on developing an extensive schools programme
- Engagement with our Embassy network for a Diaspora programme
- The development of a community programme in collaboration with Local Authorities
- Ongoing work on the Irish language programme
- Close consultation with the Arts Council and Cultural Institutions on a rich cultural programme
The Group was also advised that the ‘Permanent Reminders’ being developed as part of the €22 million capital plan are progressing on track for 2016. This includes the major new interpretive centre at the GPO, where the latest construction has started in recent weeks, and the new visitor centre at Pearse’s Cottage in Ros Muc, for which planning permission was approved by Galway County Council last week.
Speaking this evening Minister Humphreys said:
“We had another constructive meeting of the All Party Group today, when I was pleased to provide an update on the extensive work being carried out by my Department on progressing plans for Ireland 2016. A widespread consultation process has been underway since November, and I am encouraged at the high level of ideas being received.
“A huge amount of work is already underway. My Department has been collaborating with the Department of Education on developing a detailed programme for our schools, to ensure our young people are fully engaged in Ireland 2016. I have also consistently stated that I want the arts to play an essential role in Ireland 2016; so we are working closely with the Arts Council and our National Cultural Institutions on finalising wide ranging cultural and arts programmes.
“The seven major capital projects are progressing well. The latest construction phase has recently gotten underway at the new interpretive centre at the GPO, ‘Witness to History’, which is expected to attract up to 300,000 visitors per year. Last week, planning permission was approved for the development at Pearse’s Cottage in Ros Muc, Galway. Work is also proceeding on the other projects at Kilmainham Gaol, the National Concert Hall, the Military Archives, the Tenement Museum and Richmond Barracks. These projects will ensure we are left with permanent reminders from Ireland 2016.
“To ensure local communities are given the opportunity to take part in the 2016 events, my Department is partnering with Local Authorities, which have given a very enthusiastic response. There is also ongoing engagement with relatives to ensure they are fully included and involved in the range of events and initiatives.
“I intend to publish further details of each element of the Ireland 2016 programme in due course.”