A year to remember – Minister Humphreys pays tribute to all involved in Ireland’s Centenary Programme

Record levels of public participation at home and abroad

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht has today (New Year’s Eve) paid tribute to all of those, across public life and civic society, who have helped make Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme such a success.

Minister Humphreys said that the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme engaged with citizens at home and abroad in an unprecedented way, with record levels of engagement and participation from schools, communities, cultural institutions, organisations and individuals. Over 60 State Ceremonial events took place in 2016 as well as a capital programme of eight major restoration and development projects.

More than 1 million people came onto the streets of Dublin over the Easter weekend, in an extraordinary celebration and commemoration. This citizen participation continued throughout 2016 at flag raising ceremonies, schools’ Proclamation Day activities and a range of other shared community, historical and cultural events, with over 3,500 events taking place at home and abroad.

Other highlights of the year include:

  • A copy of the proclamation and National Flag presented by representatives of the Defence Forces to every primary school in the country
  • Over 1,000 Proclamations for a New Generation were uploaded on to the Scoilnet website by children and students
  • Over 2,500 special centenary events took place across the country with each of the 31 Local Authorities producing their own Ireland 2016 Centenary County Plan
  • Hundreds of thousands of historical resources were archived and made available to the public for the first time as part of major digitisation initiatives  by the National Library, the Military Archives and the Digital Repository of Ireland, amongst others
  • Visitor numbers attending the Proclaiming a Republic at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks exceeded one million over the first six months of the exhibition
  • The role of women in 1916 took centre stage over the year with special exhibitions, talks, performances including a specially curated Mná 1916/Women of 1916 touring exhibition
  • The Culture Ireland I am Ireland programme presented a special showcase of contemporary Irish artists in Canada, Australia, the UK and United States, with thousands of additional events taking place across the world led by our Embassy network
  • The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme will draw to a close tonight with a special live broadcast featuring a host of special guests from Dublin, London and New York on RTE Television

Speaking about the significance of the Centenary Programme, Minister Heather Humphreys:

I want to sincerely thank everyone involved, from across the political spectrum, and all over the country, who helped make the Ireland 2016 Centenary a year for everyone. Thousands of events were held around the country and around the world in what was a fantastic team effort.  The experience of this year   has reminded us all of the transformative power of culture. In 2016 everyone experienced the immense power of cultural creativity to tell our very different stories, to heal divisions, to bring communities together, and to strengthen our identity. 

“I think we were also reminded of the power of community this year; I was truly overwhelmed by the way in people the length and breadth of this country embraced the centenary programme. The true significance of the Centenary Programme is that the people of Ireland took it on and created it for themselves and the legacy of what has been achieved this year will be felt for generations to come.

“I would also like to pay tribute to those working for the State, across several Government departments, the Office of Public Works, the Gardaí, our Defence Forces and emergency services, who collaborated and worked so hard to deliver a very impressive list of public events. It was a collective effort which we can all be very proud of.” 





Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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