The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., today announced a range of funding supports, amounting to approximately €900,000, to assist local authorities in developing community-led commemorative initiatives in remembrance of the significant events that occurred in Cork and throughout the country in 1920.
Cork is a cornerstone of this year’s commemorative programme, in recognition of the transformative events that occurred in the City and County a century ago. Other significant events which are remembered this year include the Connaught Rangers Mutiny, the Sacking of Balbriggan, Bloody Sunday, and the execution of Kevin Barry.
Minister Martin said:
I want to sincerely thank our local authorities, who have developed their respective Decade of Centenaries programmes for this year with such enthusiasm, imagination and sensitivity, notwithstanding the very significant pressures that they face arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. A century ago, Ireland was in the midst of the Struggle for Independence and our local authorities have played a leading role in supporting the national conversation about this difficult period in our history.
I plan to continue this collaborative approach between Government, Local Government and local communities, which provides a supportive structure to ensure that the complex and sensitive events that occurred during the Struggle for Independence are remembered in an authentic, respectful, measured and inclusive manner. This approach recognises the need to be sensitive to the local historical context and that there was no uniform experience within counties or across the island of Ireland during the Struggle for Independence and the Civil War. The sensitive and thoughtful leadership of local authorities will facilitate engagement from all communities and traditions.
Plans for all commemorative events and associated outreach activities over the remainder of this year will continue to be informed and underpinned by the necessary COVID-19 public health advice and protective measures.
With regard to the Cork County and City commemorative programmes, Minister Martin said:
Over the past number of months, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the cancellation or postponement of public commemorative events in Cork County and City, in accordance with public health protective measures. This has caused great disappointment to everyone who has worked so hard to develop a very meaningful and significant commemorative programme.
Both City and County Councils have redeveloped their plans to account for the restrictions and have come up with imaginative and thought provoking programmes for the remainder of the year and I am delighted that my Department is contributing significantly to both Programmes. I am confident that the events that took place in Cork in 1920 will be remembered in a meaningful, respectful and inclusive way.
An appropriate State commemoration will be held this year on 1st November in Cork City – plans for which are being developed in accordance with the evolving public health advice and protective measures.