Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Ceisteanna (61)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

61. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding and support she has provided to date for the commemoration of the Soloheadbeg ambush in County Tipperary. [1542/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Plans to mark the centenary of the Soloheadbeg Ambush on 21st January 2019 are well advanced. 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, which states that:

'Many of the events of this period have great local significance; it is therefore appropriate for local authorities and local community organisations to be encouraged to lead the commemorative process. Some events have been commemorated annually for decades and it would be inappropriate for the State to compete with these established ceremonies.

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.

My Department is also assisting the local authority with its request for appropriate Defence Forces ceremonial participation at the commemoration. It may be noted that all such requests for Defence Forces participation over the coming years will be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Department of Defence and relevant parties.

It is, I believe, very fitting that local authorities have a leading role in supporting inclusive, respectful and meaningful community-led commemorations such as this one which remember all of the lives lost, augmented as appropriate with support from the State, considered and agreed on a case-by-case basis.