The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D., today announced a funding allocation of €10,000 for every local authority in 2019, to support their role in leading the development of commemorative activities at county level under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries programme.
This collaborative approach between the State, local authority network and community organisations will provide a supportive structure to ensure that the significant and often deeply personal events that occurred between 1919 and 1923 are remembered in a respectful, inclusive, and balanced manner. It recognises the need to be sensitive to the local historical context and that there was no uniform experience during the Struggle for Independence and the Civil War - within counties or across the island of Ireland. It is intended to facilitate engagement from all traditions and communities on the island and it recognises the significance of local narratives and experiences.
Minister Madigan said:
As we enter the most challenging and sensitive phase of the Decade of Centenaries, which includes the Struggle for Independence and the Civil War and related themes, I plan to continue the collaborative approach between the State, local authorities, and community organisations, which has worked so effectively to date. The thoughtful and sensitive leadership of the local authorities will be critical in supporting the national conversation about this period by encouraging responsible, inclusive and authentic citizen engagement, reflection, and debate, which is respectful of the local context. My aim is to provide a supportive structure that ensures that these significant and often deeply personal events are remembered within counties and communities in a measured and non-partisan manner that is accepting of differing perspectives on our shared history and promotes respectful remembrance and reconciliation.
The purpose of this funding is to help and support every local authority in developing commemorative activities, which will:
- Promote a deeper understanding of differing perspectives around this sensitive and challenging period in our shared history, and respectful remembrance of all of those who suffered and who died;
- Support the appropriate involvement of local commemorative committees and the wider local community to the greatest extent possible;
- Provide for a rich diversity of commemorative initiatives in every county to remember and explore the historical events and related themes of this period, and their legacy and impact on local communities; and
- Develop commemorative activities which are appropriate, measured, respectful, inclusive, and authentic, with real potential to engage people of different ages and perspectives.
A special local authority forum will take place on 13th March, which will provide a great opportunity for local authorities to share their experiences, learnings and advice with one another as they approach the development of their plans to remember the events of the Struggle for Independence and the Civil War. Speakers will include Dr Maurice Manning and Dr Martin Mansergh – Chair and Deputy Chair of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations - whose guidance has been most helpful in informing the State's approach to commemorations throughout the Decade of Centenaries.