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1916 Rising events to go global as multi-million euro plan unveiled by Irish government

Published 29/06/2015

Easter Rising international commemoration programme has been unveiled by the Irish government
Easter Rising international commemoration programme has been unveiled by the Irish government

The Irish government is planning a multi-million euro programme of cultural events around the world to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

Concerts, plays, exhibitions and film events are planned in Washington, New York, London, Paris, Rome, Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Dubai, Hong Kong and Sydney.

Details of the programme were announced this evening by the Republic's Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and Arts Minister Heather Humphreys.

Highlights of the Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora Programme include:

  • A three week festival of Irish arts and culture at the John F Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington;
     
  • A concert showcasing Ireland’s contribution to classical music at Wigmore Hall in London next April;
     
  • A series of performances of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars during the annual St Patrick’s Day Festival in Sydney;
     
  • A month-long Beckett Festival in Paris next March involving 16 Irish artists or artistic groups;
     
  • Irish Film Institute screenings of films related to the events of 1916 in New York and London;
     
  • A new operatic version of James Joyce’s The Dead which will tour festivals in Canada.

The programme also has some left of field entries, with Macnas performing at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.

Mr Flanagan said the programme of events was aimed at encouraging “reflection on the international dimension of the Rising”.

He said: “Many of the leaders of 1916 spent time in the United States and in other countries – experiences that shaped their thoughts and actions.

“We should remember that what happened in Ireland a century ago echoed around the world and became a reference point for other countries seeking independence.”

At the launch, Ms Humphreys said the arts would be used “as a unifying force that brings people together at home and abroad”.

She said they best of Irish arts would be brought to the world’s greatest cities.

GPO in ruins 1916: Soldiers survey the interior of the post office in Sackville Street, Dublin, during the Easter Rising of 1916. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
GPO in ruins 1916: Soldiers survey the interior of the post office in Sackville Street, Dublin, during the Easter Rising of 1916. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Scene from O'Connell Street in Dublin, during the Easter Rising in 1916
Post Office Ruined...Soldiers inspect the interior of Dublin's General Post Office, viewing the complete destruction of the building after being shelled by the British during the Easter Rising 1916. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)...I
INDH28 Easter Rising 1916: British troops loading vehicle. Published 1920. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH22A Easter Rising 1916: Head office of ITGWU, destroyed following the 1916 Rising. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
Library pic dated 11/05/1916 of the damage wrought on Dublin's General Post Office during the Easter Rising.
INDH22C Easter Rising 1916: Ruins of Freeman Press and Telegraph, 1916. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
Easter Rising:Anniversary/Standard bearers head the parade into Milltown Cemetery, Falls Road, BELFAST, for the graveside ceremony. 12/4/1966
Library filer dated 11/05/1916 of a view of Sackville Street (O'Connell St) and the River Liffey at Eden Quay in Dublin, showing the devastation wrought during the Easter Rising.
GARDEN OF REMEMBERANCE OPENS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN APRIL 1966 IN CELEBRATION OF THE 50YRS ANNIVERSARY OF THE EASTER RISING
INDH29 Easter Rising 1916: British troops searching a car. Published 1920. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH22 Easter Rising 1916: Coliseum theatre, Henry Street, destroyed following the 1916 Rising. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH22B Easter Rising 1916: O'Connell bridge and street, 1916. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH22E Easter Rising 1916: Troops being marched to barracks, 1916. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH26 Easter Rising 1916: Troops searching bread van for arms. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH23 Easter Rising 1916: Troops inspecting car on Mount Street Bridge. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH27 Easter Rising 1916: British troops barricade City Hall. Published 1920. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
Easter Rising:Anniversary/Standard bearers head the parade into Milltown Cemetery, Falls Road, BELFAST, for the graveside ceremony. 12/4/1966

The minister said it was “vitally important” that the diaspora be included in the 2016 celebrations. There needed to be a recognition of their contribution to Ireland over the past 100 years, she said.

Junior Minister Aodhan O Riordain said the recent marriage equality referendum had demonstrated “just how connected our young diaspora was to life here at home”.

“I want to make sure we capture their imagination next year, as part of the Ireland 2016 commemorations. What better way to engage young people than through the arts,” he said.

International 1916 centenary events

The international events will run alongside over 40 major events in Ireland, with the centrepiece being a wreath laying ceremony and parade in Dublin city centre.

Irish Independent

Further reading

Pre-Easter Rising reports released

Republic to offer unionists 'hand of friendship' over 1916  

Ireland commemorates children killed in Easter Rising

Dublin's O'Connell Street to transform into 1916 scene for Rising commemorations

Liam Neeson to narrate TV series to mark centenary of Easter Rising

Prince Charles could take part in Easter Rising event

1916 Rising centenary plans set out

Irish Independent

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