19/04/2012 Minister Deenihan addresses Presbyterian Conference in Belfast.
Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today, Thursday 19th April 2012 will speak at a conference of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland to mark the centenary year of the signing of the Ulster Covenant.
Minister Deenihan is participating in this conference in the context of the National Commemorative Programme for the Decade of Centenaries. Today’s event will feature contributions by, among others, Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office, Mr Hugo Swire MP, Dara Calleary TD and a keynote address by The Most Reverend & Right Honourable Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York entitled ‘Christian Citizenship Today’.
Speaking at the event, Minister Deenihan said “The signing of the Ulster Covenant was an important milestone in the history of the Home Rule and independence movements in Ireland. I am delighted to have the opportunity to address members of the Presbyterian Church on the topic, and to broaden my understanding of the different perspectives on our shared history.”
Minister Deenihan went on to outline his plans for the Decade of Commemorations, saying
“In the coming years, I will work with interested parties from all sectors of society to develop a framework for a commemorative programme that acknowledges the key developments and addresses the issues in society at that time. In our exploration, we must address the issues of identity and culture that informed the actions of communities and leaders at that time. We will consider the extent to which the effects of 19th century changes such as emancipation, land reform, the Great Famine and migration shaped the demand for Home Rule and substantial national autonomy. Our interest will not be restricted to the island of Ireland but should also include the Irish abroad, particularly in the Great War, and the implications of the Irish question for the wider Empire.”