Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (186)

John Paul Phelan


188 Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the arrangements and events that are planned by the Government to mark the centenary of the First World War and the role of Irish soldiers in that conflict; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35487/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht)

On behalf of the Government, I am developing a national commemorative programme for the period from 1912 to 1922. Although centred on the Easter Rising, the commemorative programme will seek to reflect all the political, economic, social and cultural issues of this historic decade. The significance of the First World War for Ireland, Britain and the British Empire, Europe and the wider world will be appropriately reflected in the commemorative programme.

The current programme of annual commemorative events relating to World War I will be complemented by special commemorative initiatives in each of the centenary years from 2014 to 2018. Alongside these formal commemorations organised by national and local authorities, I would hope that there will be many other events taking place in memory of particular actions, units and anniversaries.

The experiences of the Irish soldiers in the war will be examined and their service and achievements acknowledged. The transformative effects of the war on society will also be examined. I anticipate that the impressions of the First World War as recorded in literature and the visual arts will also form part of any commemorative endeavour.