Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Ceisteanna (57)

Michael Moynihan

Ceist:

57. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will report on the commemorations planned by her Department for 2019. [50452/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As the Minister with responsibility for leading the Decade of Centenaries commemorative programme, my priority is to ensure that the Government's approach to the remembrance of the significant historical events and related themes of the period from 1919 to 1923 is appropriate, measured, respectful, inclusive and sensitive to the different perspectives that persist on the events of this period.

The programme will be based on a four strand approach comprising:

- A State Ceremonial Strand which will comprise a limited number of symbolic acts of national commemoration focusing on themes of remembrance and reconciliation and on the commemoration of all of those who lost their lives during this period.

- An Historical Strand which will comprise a diverse range of activities designed to encourage authentic historical enquiry about this period and promote the use of primary archival sources. Initiatives will be developed in collaboration with State partners, National Cultural Institutions, institutions of learning and other stakeholders.

- A Community Strand, which will involve a collaborative approach – similar to that adopted for the 1916 centenary commemorations – between the State, local authority network and community organisations, including in Northern Ireland where appropriate.

- The Creative Imagination Strand, which will continue to encourage artistic and creative expression in remembrance of the significant historical events of the period from 1919 to 1923 and all of those who lost their lives.

With regard to the State commemoration programme for 2019, I can advise that it commences with engagement by my Department on the marking of the centenary of the Soloheadbeg Ambush on 21st January 2019. Tipperary County Council is supporting a community-led commemoration on Sunday, 20th January, as part of a broader commemorative programme across the county to mark the centenary of the Independence Struggle. My Department is collaborating with Tipperary County Council to support these plans, in accordance with the most recent guidance of the Expert Advisory Group.

I have approved a grant allocation of €10,000 to assist Tipperary County Council in supporting the local commemorative committee and wider community in developing their plans, in recognition of the significance of the Soloheadbeg Ambush as the generally accepted first action in the War of Independence.

Significantly, on the day of the ambush, Dáil Éireann was also convened for the first time. The Houses of the Oireachtas are leading plans to mark this centenary and have developed a diverse and inclusive public engagement programme – accessible at www.dail100.ie.