2016: a calendar of events for the centenary

The coming year will see formal ceremonies, concerts, exhibitions and street events. Here are some of the highlights of a packed 2016

March 3rd

Proclaiming a Republic exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland

This new exhibition will explore the ideas, movements and personalities of early 20th-century Ireland, plus the dramatic events and impact of Easter Week on Dublin and the nation. The museum’s Easter Week Collection will include more than 15,000 objects, including an original 1916 Proclamation. See museum.ie.

March 7th

Flag presentation ceremony, Croke Park, Dublin

This is a national flag presentation ceremony for post-primary schools. By this time every primary school in the country will also have had a flag delivered to it by an officer of the Irish Army.

March 8th

Commemorating the Women of 1916, IMMA

On International Women’s Day, there will be a major commemoration at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham of the role of women in 1916, with a keynote address by President Michael D Higgins, and a performance by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

March 15th

Proclamation Day, schools nationwide

All educational institutions, from pre-school to higher education, are encouraged to put time aside for Proclamation Day, in which they can commemorate 1916. Pupils are also invited to submit a video of their own Proclamation for a New Generation for the Ireland 2016 YouTube channel. There is also a special 2016 ‘Doodle 4 Google’ competition. The winner will feature on the Google home page on Easter Monday, March 28th. See the website www.ireland.ie/ schools-proclamation.


March 25th

The GPO Witness History visitor centre opening

The new centre on O’Connell Street, Dublin, will explain the social and cultural history of the Rising, the lives of ordinary and famous people, and the events of the time.

March 27th

Easter Sunday ceremonies and parade, GPO

The flagship 2016 commemoration will begin with a solemn wreath-laying in the Stonebreakers’ Yard at Kilmainham Gaol for 30 guests.

At 11.30am, a Defence Forces officer will re-enact the reading of the 1916 Proclamation under the GPO portico, before the President lays a wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland, followed by a minute’s silence. The national flag will be raised on top of the GPO, followed by the national anthem.

A full Defence Forces military parade will then march past the GPO from St Stephen’s Green to Parnell Square. It will include an Aer Corps flypast, and a 21-gun salute. Some 3,000 guests will join An Taoiseach at Dublin Castle for a State reception.

March 28th

Reflecting the Rising

This large-scale multi-locational public event, curated by RTÉ, includes talks, walking tours, music, dance, street art, street theatre and family

activities. Taking place on both sides of the River Liffey, the event is a public invitation to commemorate, celebrate and understand a significant moment in our collective history.

April 21st

Sir Roger Casement commemoration, Banna Strand, Co Kerry President

Higgins will lay a wreath in honour of the humanitarian executed after the Rising. A major exhibition on Casement’s life opens in Kerry County Museum, Tralee, on the same day. For more see kerry2016.ie.

April 24th

GAA/Ireland 2016 centenary special event, Croke Park

In conjunction with the Allianz League Division One and Two finals on the exact 100th anniversary (April 24th) of the 1916 Rising, the association plans to invite representatives from every GAA club in the country for a celebratory event that will reflect the role of the GAA in the revolution and in modern Ireland.

May 9th

Thomas Kent State commemoration, Collins Barracks, Cork City and Castlelyons, Co Cork

A sixth of all 1916 events will take place in Cork. Thomas Kent, the 1916 rebel, will be commemorated at Collins Barracks, Cork city and at Castlelyons, Co Cork. See www.ireland.ie/cork-city and www.ireland.ie/cork-county.

May 17th-June 5th

Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture, Kennedy Center Festival of Irish Arts, Washington DC The Kennedy Center

will run this major festival highlighting the US-Irish relationship. It will include performances from some of Ireland’s leading contemporary musicians, dancers, and theatre companies, plus a literature series featuring more than 20 Irish writers, film screenings, culinary events, and educational activities. See kennedy-center.org.

June 10th-11th

Ravelóid 2016, Ardgillan Castle, Balbriggan, Co Dublin

This outdoor boutique music festival will present the Irish language in a modern context. Organised by Glór na nGael, it will feature such artists as Hothouse Flowers, Kíla and Seo Linn. It will feature a mix of contemporary and traditional music, comedy, dance, literature, discussions, workshops and more. See raveloid.ie.

June 13th-19th

Remembering Éamonn Ceannt Festival, Galway

Leading uilleann pipers and bagpipers from Ireland, Scotland and the USA will commemorate the life and work of Éamonn Ceannt, Galwegian signatory of the 1916 Proclamation and founding member of Na Píobairí Uilleann. Outdoor concerts, street events, and an international pipe-band parade will take place, while a new work for pipes and strings will be commissioned with resident ensemble Contempo Quartet. See also: ireland.ie/galway-city.

November 10th- 12th

Ireland 2016: The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty Conference, NUI Galway This

international conference will explore two themes: the vision and aspiration of the revolutionary generation; and the challenges facing Ireland in 2016. It will include academic contributions from Ireland’s universities and ITs, plus leading international figures. See nuigalway.ie.