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1916 – 2016 Commemoration Programme – Australia and New Zealand

The Embassy is delighted to support and promote an exciting programme of events to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising.

Taking place across Australia and New Zealand the programme covers a wide range of disciplines - music, theatre, film, the visual arts, academia and more. It ranges from ‘Blood: Not for the Faint-Hearted’, an exhibition in Melbourne created by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin with works by Irish and international artists, to the ‘Journey of a Nation Rising’, a musical celebration of Ireland at Australia’s National Folk Festival to be held in Canberra at Easter. 

Theatre and the arts are well-represented throughout the programme.  In Adelaide, ‘Border Crossings’ will bring together contemporary artists from Ireland and Australia with works on cross-cultural issues surrounding ethnic conflict, the legacy of colonialism and the challenges of reconciliation. 

Music and song will feature prominently.  ‘Exile: Songs of Irish Australia’ to be staged in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, will tell the story of the Australian-Irish in song, imagery, poetry and spoken word and will feature well-known artists such as Shane Howard, Paul Kelly and Pauline Scanlon.  In Sydney, ‘Wherever Green is Worn’ will bring to life the events of the Rising through musical performances and narration. While in Perth, ‘A Sense of Ireland’ celebrates the musical tradition of our country.

Conferences have been organised at the University of New South Wales where leading international academics will reflect on the international legacies of the Rising, and at the University of Melbourne where they will explore its impacts and its Australasian contexts. In New Zealand, the University of Otago, the Toitu: Settlers Museum and Dunedin Public Library will collaborate on a programme looking at community responses to the Rising in New Zealand. And, the 22nd annual Australasian Irish Studies Conference will take place this year in Adelaide with a focus on the centenary. 

The Embassy expects to confirm details shortly of a special evening to be held in conjunction with and at the Australia National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra at which a documentary on the Rising produced by the University of Notre Dame will be screened as the centre-piece of its Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations.  In Sydney, the Consulate is supporting the development of a documentary film examining the role of Australian soldiers in Dublin during the Easter Rising and the aftermath and implications in Australia.

The Embassy and Consulate are also providing support to a number of events being organised by Irish community clubs and societies across the region.

In addition to once-off events, the Embassy and the Consulate are also supporting projects which will serve as a legacy of the commemoration for future generations.  This will include the digitisation of Australian newspaper clippings from the period; and support for documentaries on the impact of the Rising.

Details on these and other events taking place throughout the year are set out below.


January

John Ford, Ireland, and the Easter Rising - Melbourne

27 January 2016

The Embassy is delighted to support this lecture and screening from leading film scholar Charles Barr which will discuss Ford’s film adaptation of Sean O’Casey’s ‘Plough and the Stars’. Using new research from The Abbey Theatre, Irish Film Archive, and British Film Institute, Professor Barr will chart how John Ford brought actors from Dublin’s Abbey Theatre such as Arthur Shields (who fought in the Rising) to Hollywood in 1936 to adapt O’Casey’s play, as well as the difficulties Ford faced realising O’Casey’s political work within the limitations of the Hollywood Studio System. A film screening will follow the one hour lecture.

February

Brigidfest

14 February 2016

In line with the Brigidfest committee’s commitment to celebrate Irish women, Maeve O’Leary will talk about her grandmother Lucy Agnes Smith, a member of Cumann na mBan, who was involved in the fighting at the GPO during the Easter Rising.

Exile: Songs and Tales of Irish Australia – Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane

20-29 February 2016

Culture Ireland has lent its support to a new musical production celebrating Irish Australia. 'Exile' tells the story of the Australian-Irish in song, imagery, poetry and spoken word, presented in concert. Exile brings together an exclusive gathering of outstanding artists from Ireland and Australia to create a rich tapestry of stories, imagery and music in honour of the Irish exiles.

Border Crossings - Adelaide

22 February - 18 March

This exhibition, supported by Culture Ireland, will bring together curators and contemporary artists from Ireland and Australia to investigate cross-cultural issues surrounding ethnic conflict, the legacy of colonialism and the challenges of reconciliation relevant to both countries.

Irish Theatre Showcase - Adelaide

23 February - 16 March

Supported by Culture Ireland three innovative theatre productions make their way from Ireland to take part in the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

'The Plough and the Stars' by Sean O'Casey - Melbourne

27 February

Bloomsday in Melbourne, with the support of the Cultural Heritage Committee of the Celtic Club, presents this rehearsed reading of O'Casey's seminal work.

Irish Australian Association Family Day – Adelaide

28 February

The Irish Australian Association of South Australia will hold a family day to commemorate the Easter Rising at the Irish Club with craft activities, songs and games of the era.

March

Death or Liberty screening Melbourne

2 March 2016

A screening of ‘Death or Liberty’ a documentary film based on Tony Moore’s book about rebels and radicals transported to Australia will be held at the Celtic Club in Melbourne. The screening will include an introduction and will be followed by a Q&A session.

MOXIE Australia Tour – Melbourne / Sydney / Perth

11 – 25 March

Culture Ireland's 2016 programme includes support for the debut tour of innovative music group Moxie and their new palette of 21st century Irish music.

1916 Uprising Show – Wollongong

11 March

The ‘1916 Uprising Show’ features a mix of music and narration covering the history of Ireland and illuminating the 1916 Easter Rising.

‘1916: The Irish Rebellion’ – screening – Canberra

 17 March

The Embassy is delighted to work with the National Film and Sound Archive to bring this screening of Pat Collins and Ruan Magan’s documentary to Canberra. With narration by Liam Neeson, the film tells the dramatic story of the events that took place in Dublin during Easter Week 1916, and is presented just hours after the documentary’s premiere in Ireland.

‘Irish Rising: A Terrible Beauty is Born’ exhibition at the State Library of Victoria – Melbourne

17 March - 31 July

The State Library of Victoria will host a free display about the tumultuous days of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. The display includes rare artefacts and materials from the Library's collection, including a 1917 reprint of the proclamation of Irish independence, the only known one in Australia.

Comhaltas Family Concert – Melbourne

17 March

The Melbourne branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann will be celebrating 1916 with a family concert on St Patrick’s Day. The guest speaker will be Dr. Frances Devlin-Glass who will talk about the contribution of Cumann na mBan. Comhaltas will host an evening of music, songs, poetry dedicated to the memory of 1916.

Celtic Club Commemoration event– Melbourne

19 March 2016

The commemoration will take place over the afternoon and evening and will begin with a discussion on the significance of the Rising chaired by Dr. Val Noone. Several relatives of volunteers who took part in the Rising will speak about the roles their forebears played. The dinner that evening will be addressed by former Ambassador of Ireland to Australia, Mr Richard O’Brien.

Women, Dreamers & Ireland’s Rising – Sydney

20 March

In the spirit of the 'Remember' and 'Celebrate' themes of Ireland 2016, the Consulate will support day of talks, music, poetry and drama dedicated to the women and artists who played a role in the Easter Rising and its aftermath.

'Yet no clear fact to be discerned': NZ response to Rising - Dunedin

22 – 23 March

The Embassy is proud to support a two-day conference organised by the Centre of Irish and Scottish Studies and Toitu Settlers Museum that brings together local and international experts to begin telling the story of New Zealand’s response to the Easter Rising. Though a considerable amount of research on Irish and English sentiment has been undertaken, the precise chronology and archaeology of sentiment in the diaspora remains largely unknown. This conference aims to tell the story of New Zealand engagement with the Rising.

An Irish Night: Easter 1916 Remembered – Perth

23 March

In Easter Week, 2016, the Perth Chamber Orchestra, led by Paul Wright, will commemorate the Centenary of the Easter Rising with a Centenary concert at the GPO Building in Perth. The concert will tell this remarkable story set to incredible Irish and classical music.

National Folk Festival - Journey of a Nation Rising – Canberra

24 – 28 March

The National Folk Festival, which takes place annually over the Easter weekend in Canberra, will this year remember the 1916 Rising and celebrate the Ireland of today with a programme of events over the 5 days of the Festival. This musical journey will culminate with a Gala Concert on Easter Monday afternoon.

Hutt Valley Irish Society 1916 Commemoration – Hutt Valley, Wellington

25 – 28 March

The Hutt Valley Irish Society will hold screenings of documentaries, movies and interviews relating to the turbulent decade of Irish history from 1912 - 1922. The Irish Society will run these screenings during the afternoons to facilitate attendance by Society members of all ages and members of the general public who wish to learn more about this period of Irish history.

1916 Easter Rising Commemoration - Sydney

27 March

The Irish National Association will hold a centenary commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising at the Irish Memorial in Waverley Cemetery on Easter Sunday 27 March commencing at 2.30pm for 3pm

1916 Easter Rising Commemoration – Adelaide

27 March

The Embassy of Ireland is delighted to support the Irish Australia Association of South Australia in commemorating the Easter Rising. A special commemoration will take place at the Irish Club in Adelaide exploring the Rising and its aftermath.

Easter Rising 100th Anniversary – Perth

28 March

The Irish Club of WA plays host to an Easter Centenary Commemoration on Monday 28th March featuring music and Irish dancing.

Sydney Commemorates the Proclamation and the Rising

28 March

Easter Monday in Sydney will see a reading of The Proclamation of the Republic outside the General Post Office followed by a range of film screenings organised by the Aisling Society of Sydney.

Auckland Irish Society 1916 Commemoration - Auckland

28 March - 24 April

The Embassy is delighted to be able to support the Auckland Irish Society's programme of events to mark the centenary of 1916.

'The Plough and the Stars' by Sean O'Casey - Perth

30 March – 16 April

The Irish Theatre Players will stage O'Casey's seminal work at the Irish Theatre in the Irish Club of WA. The Irish Theatre Players bring their 35 years of experience to this staging of ‘The Plough and the Stars’ which looks at the events of the Rising from the perspective of ordinary people of the Dublin tenements.

April

Auckland Irish Society 1916 Commemoration - Auckland

1 - 24 April

The Embassy is delighted to be able to support the Auckland Irish Society's programme of events to mark the centenary of 1916.

All Irish Long Weekend – Bunbury, WA

1 – 3 April

The John Boyle O’Reilly Association will include a special 1916 commemoration as part of their annual event in the City of Bunbury to celebrate John Boyle O’Reilly’s life and to promote Irish/Australian heritage and culture of the South West Region of WA.

'A Sense of Ireland' Australian Irish Heritage Association – Perth

2-9 April

With the support of the Embassy of Ireland and the Honorary Consul of Ireland Western Australia, this project is being staged by the Australian Irish Heritage Association. This concert celebrates the legacy of Irish film, music and dance, encompassing a screening of Sean O’Riada’s 1966 film ‘Mise Eire’.

Easter 1916: Ireland's Republican Uprising, Its Causes and Effects – Sydney

5 April – 10 May

This six week course traces the causes and effects of the Easter Rising within 300 years of Irish-British relations and places the Rising in a wider context.

Easter Rising Centenary Conference - Melbourne

7 – 8 April

The Embassy is pleased to partner with the University of Melbourne, through the Gerry Higgins Chair in Irish Studies, and with Newman College, to mark the Centenary of the Rising with an academic conference in Newman College on 7 – 8 April, followed by a public lecture and exhibition at the State Library of Victoria; both looking at Australian perspectives of the Easter Rising. 

‘1916: The Irish Rebellion’ – screening – Perth

8 April

The Irish Western Australian Forum in association with the Australian Irish Heritage Association has arranged for a screening of this landmark documentary at Cinema Paradiso, Northbridge. With narration by Liam Neeson, the film tells the dramatic story of the events that took place in Dublin during Easter Week 1916.

‘Shadow of a Gunman’ by Sean O’Casey - Brisbane

8 – 9 April

As part of the Centenary commemorations, Foundry Theatre with the Irish Australian Support Association Queensland will produce ‘Shadow of a Gunman’, by nationalist playwright Sean O’Casey, at the Edmund Rice Performing Arts Centre. Written in 1924 and set in 1920, the play deals with the aftermath of the Rising.

‘Michael, they have shot them, new documentary film – Melbourne

9 April

Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising helped to shape political forces in Australia at a crucial time in Australia’s national history. In particular, the execution of the leaders of the insurrection had a profound effect on Archbishop Daniel Mannix, the man who led Australia’s Catholic community. Independent documentary maker Eoin Hahessy captures the mood of the time in this new film ‘Michael, they have shot them’: The Irish Rising that shaped an Australian nation commemorating the centenary of these powerful events to be screened at the State Library of Victoria.

Ecumenical Service and Irish Cultural Evening – Perth

10 April

St George’s Anglican Cathedral in Perth will host an ecumenical service to commemorate the Easter Rising on Sunday 10 April at 5pm. The solemn commemoration will be followed by an Irish cultural evening featuring the sounds of the harp and the tenor voice, poetry by Yeats and other Irish poets, over the course of a light supper.

‘The Irish Rising that Shook Australia’, new documentary film – Melbourne

9 April

Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising helped to shape political forces in Australia at a crucial time in Australia’s national history. In particular, the execution of the leaders of the insurrection had a profound effect on Archbishop Daniel Mannix, the man who led Australia’s Catholic community. Independent documentary maker Eoin Hahessy captures the mood of the time in this new film commemorating the centenary of these powerful events to be screened at the State Library of Victoria.

A Terrible Beauty: The Poetry of the Rising - Melbourne

15 April 2016

A reading of poems by Pearse, MacDonagh and Plunkett, as well as poems about them by their friends and their dramatic and moving stories will also be threaded through the readings.

‘Ireland will be Free’ screening – Canberra

22 April

In Melbourne in 1920, Archbishop Mannix presided over a St Patrick’s Day celebration that for Australia’s large Irish diaspora was a celebration of Ireland’s emergence from British rule as its own nation. The Embassy is providing support to the National Film and Sound Archive to remaster this important film. This screening of the remastered work will feature a live piano accompaniment.

Irish Australian Association South Australia

24 April

Following on from the commemorative events on Easter Sunday, the Irish Australian Association of South Australia will hold an afternoon of historical reflections on the Easter Rising on the centenary of the date of the start of the Rising.

‘The Patriot Game’ by Tom Murphy – Perth

27 April – 1 May

The Embassy is pleased to support Abandon Theatre’s production of ‘The Patriot Game’ by Tom Murphy at Studio Underground at the Heath Ledge State Theatre Centre, Perth. Murphy’s classic representation of the 1916 Rising was first written in 1966, but not performed until 1991.

Wellington Irish Society 1916 Commemoration - Wellington

29 April

The Embassy of Ireland is pleased to support the Wellington Irish Society in its plans to commemorate the 1916 Rising.

'A Sense of Ireland' Australian Irish Heritage Association – Perth

30 April

With the support of the Embassy of Ireland and the Honorary Consul of Ireland Western Australia, this project is being staged by the Australian Irish Heritage Association. This concert celebrates the legacy of Irish film, music and dance, encompassing a screening of Sean O’Riada’s 1966 film ‘Mise Eire’. It will be held at the Octagon Theatre.

May

1916 Rising Commemorative Seminar - Canberra

1 May

The Embassy is pleased to provide support to this seminar presented by the Irish Community Players which will be held at the National Library of Australia. The afternoon event aims to combine academic discussion with music and poetry to explore the 1916 Rising in a cultural and historical context.

‘Wherever Green is Worn’ – Sydney

6 May

With the support of the Consulate General ‘Wherever Green Is Worn’ will see live performances and expert narration weave together a selection of songs from before, during and after the 1916 Rising to bring to life the spirit of the times. The event will remember with respect the lives lost during the Rising and celebrate the variety of traditions on the island of Ireland.

‘Swing’ – Fishamble Theatre Production – Canberra

10 – 14 May

Culture Ireland supports the staging of this heart-warming romantic comedy about being brave, trying your best, and thinking outside the box. A toe-tapping production from Ireland with an brilliant Irish cast portraying a colourful array of characters.

‘A Terrible Beauty’ original play – Canberra

14 – 16 May

The Irish Community Players will perform an original play ‘A Terrible Beauty’ exploring the Rising from the build-up, through mobilisation, the occupation of the GPO and other landmarks, and ending with the execution of the leaders.

June

National Celtic Festival - The Messenger – Portarlington, Victoria

10-13 June

The Embassy is delighted to support the National Celtic Festival's Children’s Theatre production, in collaboration with Irish Theatre Company BarnStorm Theatre.

Easter 1916 and Cultures of Anti-Imperialism Symposium - Sydney

June 2016

The Consulate General is delighted to partner with the University of New South Wales to bring together leading academics from around the world to discuss the international legacies of the Easter Rising with a focus on cultures of anti-imperialism.

July

Síoraí: visualising the words of James Fintan Lalor today - Ballarat

9 July – 22 August

As part of its 2016 programme Culture Ireland is supporting the exhibition of 'Síoraí: visualising the words of James Fintan Lalor today' by artist Brendon Deacy at the Museum of Australian Democracy Eureka.

'Visions Past and Present' Seminar - Perth

July 16 – 17 July

The Embassy of Ireland is delighted to partner with the Australian Irish Heritage Association WA in organising a seminar to commemorate the Easter Rising.

August

Blood: Not for the faint-hearted - Melbourne

1 August - 5 November

As part of its 2016 programme Culture Ireland has partnered with the Science Gallery Dublin to present Blood: Not for the Fainthearted, an exhibition created by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, containing 20 provocative works by Irish and international artists.

Conference ‘Australian Reactions to 1916’ (August, 2016) – National Library of Australia - Canberra

3 August 2016

The Embassy is delighted to support this one day conference organised by the Canberra Friends of Ireland with the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict (UNSW Canberra). The conference will examine the effects of the Easter Rising in Austraila.

Convicted on a comma: the Trial of Roger Casement - Melbourne

6 August

The Embassy of Ireland is pleased to be able to support Bloomsday in Melbourne's original production commemorating the events of 1916.

September

Radical Actions - Melbourne

9 September - 22 October

‘Radical Actions’ will present work by five established Irish artists whose works identify with the politics of social agitation, revolution and rebellion. The exhibition, curated by Linda Shevlin, will look at how events in recent and distant history, attitudes to rebellion, revolution and agitation have formed societies and National identities.

November

Australian Irish Studies Conference - Adelaide

29 November - 2 December

The Embassy is pleased to support the 22nd Australasian Irish Studies Conference which will take place in Adelaide towards the end of 2016. The Conference will commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

Legacy Projects

Irish Rebel Songs in Australia - Sydney

‘Irish Rebel Songs in Australia’ aims to explore the cultural impact of Irish music in Australia through the establishment of a web database which will serve as a cultural repository and educational resource. 

Digitisation of Australian Newsclippings on the Easter Rising – Melbourne

The Embassy is partnering with the University of Melbourne to digitise the scrapbooks of Irish scholar and Melbourne doctor Nicholas O’Donnell, with the kind permission of his family. Dr O’Donnell compiled two scrapbooks in which he tracked the Easter Rising in the Australian press. The digitisation will enable the text to be made accessible and searchable.