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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The ‘1916 Uprising Show’ features a mix of music and narration covering the history of Ireland and illuminating the 1916 Easter Rising.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
The Irish Club of WA plays host to an Easter Centenary Commemoration on Monday 28th March featuring music and Irish dancing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Embassy of Ireland is pleased to support the Wellington Irish Society in its plans to commemorate the 1916 Rising.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Embassy is delighted to support the National Celtic Festival's Children’s Theatre production, in collaboration with Irish Theatre Company BarnStorm Theatre.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Embassy of Ireland is pleased to be able to support Bloomsday in Melbourne's original production commemorating the events of 1916.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.