The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D. today announced a significant Decade of Centenaries programme in 2020, including a major commemorative programme in remembrance of the significant events that occurred in Cork City and throughout the county in 1920. Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, T.D. also spoke at the announcement in Cork City Hall.
The main focus of the State Commemorations programme during 2020 will be in Cork. During the year, the transformative events that occurred 100 years ago will be marked including: the deaths of two of the city’s first citizens, Tomás Mac Curtáin (March) and Terence MacSwiney (October); the Kilmichael Ambush (November) and the burning of Cork City (December).
As with all other national commemorations, the programme will be delivered in partnership between the Government, led by the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and local authorities, in this case Cork City and County Councils. There will also be important contributions from the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána, the Office of Public Works and other public service organisations. The overall Government investment in the Cork commemorative events in 2020 will be up to €1 million.
Other significant centenaries that will be remembered in 2020 in events around the rest of Ireland and abroad include: The 1920 local elections (January and June), the Connaught Rangers Mutiny (June), the Burning of Balbriggan (September), Bloody Sunday (November), and the execution of Kevin Barry (November).
A wide range of other commemorative initiatives will also be taking place during 2020 including: a series of public lectures, a continued programme of bursaries for artists and writers, exhibition of the Women’s Pop-up Museum and a Decade of Centenaries Irish History Competition for schools.
The State’s objective is to ensure that the centenary of the Struggle for Independence is remembered with an appropriate, meaningful, proportionate and sensitive programme, which recognises the legitimacy of all traditions and values mutual respect and historical accuracy.
Minister Josepha Madigan said:
As the Minister responsible for leading the Decade of Centenaries programme, my role is to create opportunities that encourage people of all traditions to explore the differing perspectives on our shared history in a respectful environment. My aim is to provide a supportive structure that ensures that the very difficult events that occurred during the Struggle for Independence are remembered within communities in a measured and non-partisan manner that promotes respectful remembrance and reconciliation.
The 2020 programme will have a broad scope, which acknowledges the military activity during the Struggle for Independence, as well as the many other dimensions interwoven with the conflict, including political, social, cultural and economic aspects. It focuses on the significant democratic achievements of the period, in putting in place a new parliament and the new administrative structures of the State.
I look forward to continued engagement and partnership, throughout 2020, with the many stakeholders including our national cultural institutions; local authorities; learning institutions; custodians of records; the trade union movement; the media and creative communities who are delivering commemorative initiatives of great depth, creativity and integrity. Thoughtful and sensitive participation will be critical in supporting the national conversation about the events that took place 100 years ago, by encouraging responsible, inclusive and authentic citizen engagement and debate, which is respectful of the local context.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney said:
I am delighted to announce that a major commemorative programme will take place throughout the year, hosted by Cork City Council, in collaboration with Cork County Council and with significant State recognition, support and participation. This will include a major commemoration with State ceremonial elements, a community participation event and a series of civic events, including exhibitions and supports for communities, in exploring and reflecting upon the events that took place in Cork City and Cork County in 1920.