Minister Humphreys launches Centenary at the GPO and announces public consultation process for the remainder of the Decade of Centenaries
Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht launched a new publication Centenary, a book she commissioned to document the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme at home and abroad. Centenary was edited by Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times journalist and author.
Centenary documents how 1916 was remembered last year at home and abroad and includes significant commemorative events in chronological order. Each chapter includes testimonies from some of those involved in the events. The publication shows the breadth of events right across Ireland which took place to mark this pivotal moment in our history. It also includes insights into the commemoration of WW1 and in particular the Battle of the Somme. In particular it captures how the commemorative events last year really tapped into the public imagination with over 3,500 events taking place across the country and abroad.
Speaking at the event Minister Humphreys said: “I was determined from the outset that 2016 would be a year for everyone – I wanted to encourage and facilitate commemorative events which were inclusive and respectful of all narratives. ‘Centenary’ is a great snapshot of 2016. It shows how people really engaged with our history and got involved at every level, whether it was community based events, the wonderful exhibitions in our National Cultural Institutions or the many State commemorative events over Easter Weekend.”
She continued: “I would like to thank Ronan McGreevy for taking on such a mammoth task, my own Department and the Royal Irish Academy who worked so hard to produce this publication and indeed the Editorial Advisory Board led by Dr. Maurice Manning who helped steer the publication.”
Also speaking at the event, Ronan McGreevy said: “Last year’s commemorations demonstrated that Irish people are proud of this country’s status as an independent nation. All of us involved in this book were conscious of the honour and the responsibility to produce something worthy of a wonderful year. We were fortunate in having at our disposal the work of so many talented photographers and artists. They told the story. The words supply the context. Artists and local communities were trusted to deliver the appropriate response and the results are evident in this book.”
Minister Humphreys also took the opportunity to introduce the Second Statement of Principles by the Expert Advisory Group to the Government on Commemorations and launched a Public Consultation Process to assist in framing the Government’s commemorative programme over the coming years. This process includes how the events which led to the foundation of the State and Civil War, might be meaningfully and appropriately commemorated.
She said: “The Advisory Group’s Second Statement of Principles will be a key support to the Government as it frames the State commemorative programme over the next five years. It will also be a highly significant document for all interested parties currently reflecting on how the challenging historical events, which led to the Foundation of the State, might be meaningfully and sensitively commemorated”.
Dr Maurice Manning, Chairman of the Expert Advisory Group, added:
“It is important that the sense of inclusiveness and historical authenticity, which characterized the first phase of the Decade of Centenaries and which ensured the credibility of the commemorations, be continued into the arguably more sensitive and potentially divisive second phase. To that end, the Expert Advisory Group is initiating public consultations to ensure that all points of view and all traditions are recognised and respected.”
Note to Editors:
A copy of Centenary is being provided to each public library (333) in the State.
Centenary will be available to purchase for €25 in bookshops nation-wide from 19/10/2017
Information on the Second Statement of Principles and the Public Consultation Process will be accessible on https://www.chg.gov.ie/