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Ireland 2016 – global programme

Keep up-to-date on our 2016 commemorative events here in Britain.

The Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora Programme is an exciting international programme of creative, community and commemorative events to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

The Irish community and Ireland’s international friends are encourage to get involved in events taking place here in Britain and in cities from Buenos Aires to Paris and New York to Rome to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, including its international dimensions. The international programme is being organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Culture Ireland, and will be an opportunity to share the best of Irish arts and culture with the world. Some of the international highlights and plans for here are outlined below.

Here in Britain, as part of Ireland 2016, the Embassy is developing a range of commemorative, community, cultural, public outreach and academic/historical events in 2016. Our programme will include events, based on five intersecting themes - remembering the past; reconciling and respecting all traditions; presenting Ireland to the world; imagining our future; and celebrating our achievements - drawing inspiration from the ideals of 1916 and the events of that time. As our plans develop, we will keep you updated. You can read the Ambassador’s reflections on remembering and understanding our past from a recent blog. This centenary is a chance to reflect on all that has happened, and to celebrate all that has been achieved, in Ireland and by Irish people in the last one hundred years. It is a timely moment to do so, particularly given recent positive events in Northern Ireland and in light of the progress that has been made on Ireland’s recovery from the economic difficulties of the past number of years. This will also be an opportunity for us to celebrate Ireland today and, looking forward, to create a vision of how we would like to see Ireland evolve over the next 100 years.

If you are planning events to commemorate Ireland 2016 here in Britain, or you want to be kept updated of our plans here, contact the Embassy via the following email address 2016irishembassy(at)dfa(dot)ie

For further information on Ireland 2016, visit the website


Events in Britain, taking the Rising as a starting point, will explore Irish history, culture and heritage as well as celebrating the important role of the Irish diaspora in Britain. The contributions of James Connolly and Margaret Skinnider, both born in Scotland will be remembered and highlighted, as will the story of Roger Casement, a British diplomat, humanitarian and leader of the 1916 Rising.

Ireland 2016 Cultural Event, Wigmore Hall          

A concert featuring Irish classical musicians and singers will take place at the renowned London venue, the Wigmore Hall, in April 2016.  Led by the Wigmore Hall’s Irish Director, John Gilhooly, this major concert will showcase the Irish contribution to classical music as part of the 2016 commemorations.   

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann concert at the Barbican

The Embassy is working to support Comhaltas na Breataine’s 1916 Commemoration Committee as they present a major concert of Irish traditional music at the Barbican Centre in London on 4 March 2016. 

Screening of Notre Dame 1916 film in London      

In March 2016, the Embassy will work with the London Irish Film Festival to screen the Notre Dame documentary, 1916: The Irish Rebellion, at a venue in London.

University of Cambridge Conference

A three-day conference on the 1916 Easter Rising at the University of Cambridge, organised by Professor Eugenio F. Biagini, will see a range of academics and high profile speakers examine the Rising in its global context. 

Conference on Irish Revolutions

The theme of the 20th Conference of Irish Historians in Britain , founded in 1976, will be ‘Irish Revolutions’. This event, which will take place at the University of Liverpool in on 1-3 July 2016, will feature a range of speakers from the United States, Ireland and Britain.  It will include a public outreach event, which will be addressed by Ambassador Dan Mulhall and Professor Joe Lee (New York University).

Liverpool 1916 Commemoration Committee        

The Committee will organise a lecture series in Liverpool, two of which will take place at the Liverpool Institute of Irish Studies, on themes such as the Home Rule Act and the role of women in the Rising. A commemorative pamphlet on Liverpool volunteer participants in the Rising will be printed and distributed. These events will take place throughout 2016.

Abbey rehearsed reading of Of This Brave Time

A production of Of This Brave Time, a play by Jimmy Murphy that was performed on the Peacock stage in Dublin in April 2015, will tour Irish community organisations and venues across Britain, in early 2016. The play is based on 1916 witness accounts from the book Rebels: Voices from the Easter Rising by Fearghal McGarry.

Bodleian 1916 Study and Symposium         

The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford will record the anniversary of the Easter Rising in 2016 through online exhibitions and displays.

Irish Cultural Centre & St Mary’s University

The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith will present a series of plays on aspects of the Irish Revolution in 2016 and will also work in partnership with St Mary’s University to present a series of lectures on 1916 in its historical context. 

Embassy Lecture Series

The Embassy is organising a lecture series with high profile speakers looking at the significance of 1916, the last 100 years, Irish culture and the Irish economy. 

Commemorating the internment of Irish prisoners at Frongoch, North Wales

The Embassy is developing a programme with the Welsh Government which will tell the story of Frongoch for both Irish and Welsh audiences and will include the production of digital educational resources and an academic event to debate its significance in contemporary events and subsequent history       

1916/2016 Global, National and Local Perspectives

The University of Edinburgh will explore the global significance of the 1916 Rising through a varied programme of activities, while also incorporating a high-profile event on the life and legacy of the Edinburgh-born leader of the Easter Rising, James Connolly. These will take place from January to June 2016.

1916 Rising Centenary Committee (Scotland)

From May 2015 to March 2016, this Committee of local volunteers will raise awareness of the key role of Irish and Scottish revolutionaries in the Clydeside region in the lead up to and during the Easter Rising. The leading role of James Connolly, and the key contribution of women such as Coatbridge-born Margaret Skinnider, will be highlighted.

Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora Programme

The Global and Diaspora Programme is one of the seven strands of the overall Ireland 2016 programme, which was launched by the Taoiseach on 31 March 2015. The Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora Programme is a once-in-a-century opportunity at home and overseas to explore, present, debate and reflect on Ireland then, now and to imagine the next 100 years.  As part of Ireland 2016, Ireland’s embassies and consulates, together with Culture Ireland, will also be promoting the best of Irish arts and culture worldwide. The following are just some of the events that are currently being planned around the globe:

  • A concert featuring Irish classical musicians and singers will take place at the renowned London venue, the Wigmore Hall, in April 2016.  Led by the Wigmore Hall’s Irish Director, John Gilhooly, this major concert will showcase the Irish contribution to classical music as part of the 2016 commemorations.
  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland, will host a three-week festival of Irish arts and culture entitled ‘Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture’.
  • Over the course of the weekend of 27-29 June 2015, a range of events will take place to commemorate the life and death of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa with the support of the Irish Consulate General in New York. These will include a GAA tournament at Gaelic Park in the Bronx; a community and cultural celebration in Queens; and a mass and wreath laying ceremony at the O’Donovan Rossa memorial at St. Peter’s Church in Staten Island. 
  • From March to July 2016, the Irish Embassy in Buenos Aires will hold schools’ essay and art competitions, which will encourage participants to reflect on themes that include the Easter Rising and Irish-Argentine relations. A schools’ ‘Gaelic Football Blitz’ will also take place.
  • In Sydney, a series of performances of Seán O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars will take place during the annual St Patrick’s Day Festival.
  • Next year’s Paris International Beckett Festival will run for the entire month of March 2016 and will include a focus on the 1916 Rising.  The Sixteen16 centennial programme will involve performances that respond to Samuel Beckett’s work by sixteen Irish artists or artistic groups from Ireland’s theatre, dance, literature, visual arts, music and film sectors.
  • The Culture Ireland International Programme for Ireland 2016 includes major tours, performances and exhibitions involving Irish artists across five key territories (USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).
  • The Irish Arts Center in New York will run an expanded programme of activity in 2016 including artists such as The Gloaming, Corn Exchange and Camille O’Sullivan, while Poetry Ireland will run an Irish Writers’ Touring Programme to US Literary festivals and events 
  • Irish Film Institute International will hold a series of international screenings in New York and London including archival feature films relating to the events of 1916 
  • Presentation of The Casement Project by Choreographer Fearghus Ó Conchuir as part of the London International Festival of Theatre with a possible symposium partnership with the British Library 
  • A new operatic version of James Joyce’s The Dead, produced by The Performance Corporation and presented at Festivals in Canada 
  • Macnas will perform at the 2016 South by South West Festival, Austin, Texas, while a major international exhibition will be curated by the Science Gallery in Melbourne, Australia