In 2016, Ireland will commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, which was the catalyst of Irish independence and the emergence of the new Irish State. Argentina will in 2016 commemorate and celebrate the bicentenary of the signature of the Declaration of Tucuman on 9 July 1816 which established the independence of the Republic of Argentina.
This historical coincidence offers the opportunity for a shared commemoration and celebration of the historic links between both countries. It will provide for recognition of the support provided to Ireland by the large Irish-Argentine community at that time, and a celebration of the significant contribution by this community to the development of Argentina since the 19th century.
Irish migration to Argentina in the 19th century led to the creation in the early years of the 20th century of a strong Irish-Argentine community, with its own institutions and newspaper “The Southern Cross”. The Easter Rising of 1916 evoked significant interest among the Irish community both in Buenos Aires and in other parts of the country where the Irish had settled. The text of the 1916 Proclamation, read from the General Post Office in Dublin and entitled “The Provisional Government of the Republic of Ireland to the People of Ireland”, referred to the “support received from its exiled sons in America”, a reference understood to include Argentina and the large Irish community there. Collections to relieve distress in Ireland took place among the Irish Argentine community.
William Bulfin, the editor and proprietor from the mid-1890s of “The Southern Cross”, kept his readers well informed about major cultural and political developments in Ireland. His son, Eamon, who was born in Buenos Aires in 1892, played a significant role in the Rising, hoisting the flag of the Republic on the roof of the GPO. Eamon Bulfin was later condemned to death, a sentence that was commuted owing to his birth in Argentina. Following the election of the first Dáil in December 1918, it was decided in Dublin to establish a diplomatic mission in Buenos Aires and Bulfin was sent as the first Envoy. In July 1921, Laurence Ginnell TD was sent to Argentina to seek further political and financial support of the Republic, including through the issue of a Bond on the lines of that issued in the US. Argentina went on to become one of the first countries to recognize the new Irish State.
All those interested in the proposed programme, particularly members of the Irish Argentine community, are encouraged to participate and to forward suggestions for events to the following address: