Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein and DUP to plan events

Centenary celebrations for events including the Easter Rising and the founding of Northern Ireland are to be jointly planned by a DUP and Sinn Fein minister.

The Executive has announced that Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin will co-ordinate the planning.

The next decade sees the anniversary of a string of explosive political events that sparked war in Ireland and saw political turmoil that resulted in the partition of the island.

Events risk stirring division but also provide an opportunity for both unionists and nationalists to gain a fresh perspective on history.

Now the Executive has said it has "decided to take the lead role in organising events for the forthcoming Decade of Commemorations".

The Stormont leaders added: "The political, social and cultural consequences of what happened during the decade of 1912-1922 reverberate throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to this day.

"It has been unanimously agreed that the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure will jointly bring forward a programme for a decade which will offer a real opportunity for our society to benefit economically and continue its transformation into a vibrant, diverse and enriched place to visit.

"Many of the commemorative anniversaries throughout the decade have international as well as local significance and will inevitably attract higher numbers of visitors to the region. These significant events will be organised under the principles of educational focus, reflection, inclusivity, tolerance, respect, responsibility and interdependence.

"Ministers agreed that it was appropriate and necessary for the Executive to set the tone and provide leadership in putting an official acknowledgement process in place."

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