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Minister Flanagan to launch the “Ireland 2016” commemorations programme in Britain

This afternoon (Monday) at the Irish Embassy in London, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Charlie Flanagan TD, will launch the busy and exciting programme of creative, community and commemorative events to take place in Britain to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising and historical events of 1916.

Part of the ambitious Global and Diaspora programme for Ireland 2016, the programme is being organised by the Embassy of Ireland in London, Culture Ireland and the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh.

Minister Flanagan said:

“The Irish Embassy team and Culture Ireland are working with partners on a range of flagship events and a wide array of projects for 2016. With even more to come, that list already runs to 87 events! The programme will take place in venues across Britain – from institutions of major cultural significance like the Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall and the Barbican, to community spaces from Glasgow to Camden to Liverpool.”

“This is an exciting and busy programme. It offers an occasion to reflect on what happened in Ireland a century ago and on its impact on relationships on these islands. These reflections will also acknowledge the richness and complexity of these historical events by focusing on their cultural, academic, economic and artistic strands, as well as the broader political narrative.”

Reflecting on our approach to commemorations and the complex and diverse relationships between Ireland and Britain, Minister Flanagan said:

“Our approach to Ireland 2016, and to the Decade of Centenaries, has been guided by the principle that all commemorative activity should be inclusive, appropriate and respectful.

“The Decade of Centenaries has offered us the opportunity to reflect on important aspects of our sometimes shared and sometimes contested history, from the Home Rule Bill of 1912 to Gallipoli, and from the Easter Rising to the Somme. The commemorative programme acknowledges and honours the past in all its complexity but also seeks to look ahead to the future direction of relations between our two countries.”

Engaging with the Irish community in Britain is central to the programme and Minister Flanagan highlighted this at the launch:

“Reaching out to and engaging with our Irish diaspora is a key strand of the 1916 commemorations, including recognising their contribution to Ireland over the last 100 years. I am particularly pleased that 19 community projects will be funded through the Embassy’s Community Fund.

“Stories will be at the centre of the commemorations and the Embassy are supporting what I am sure will be fascinating projects which offer great insight into the period including a digital collection day and a major photography exhibition. These will enhance our understanding of our shared and overlapping histories.

“Throughout 2016, the Embassy will ensure that the major events of that fateful year are reflected, whether they relate to Easter week in Dublin, the battlefields of the Somme or the trial of Roger Casement here in London. This is a moment of great opportunity to reflect on and advance further the productive journey of reconciliation on which our two countries have been embarked for some years now.”

Mary McCarthy, Chair of Culture Ireland’s Expert Advisory Committee, speaking at the launch:

“The Culture Ireland supported events are part of the I Am Ireland programme, which speaks of a contemporary Ireland, of young and established artists, influenced by Ireland's geographic position, history and cultural journey over the past one hundred years. The special focus on Britain recognises our historic and cultural ties and also the importance of Britain as a key global place for artists to present work.”

Note for Editors

  • A full listing for the Ireland Commemoration 2016 Events in Britain is available here and will be updated on the Embassy website.
  • The event at the Irish Embassy in London on 23 November 2015, hosted by Ambassador Dan Mulhall, with the programme launched by Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan also included Mary McCarthy, Chair of Culture Ireland Expert Advisory Committee, Irish singer and performer Camille O'Sullivan who will participate at 'Imagining Ireland' at the Royal Festival Hall, Kelly O'Connor of the London Irish Film Festival and members of Comhaltas (Irish traditional musicians). Many partner organisations from the programme were also represented. For photos (free use) please contact us.
  • The Ireland 2016 programme in Ireland, including State Ceremonials and the commemorative events in Ireland, is led by the Ireland 2016 team in Dublin.
  • The Global and Diaspora Programme is one of the seven strands of the overall Ireland 2016 programme. Ireland's embassies and consulates, together with Culture Ireland, will also be promoting the best of Irish arts and culture worldwide.
  • Culture Ireland's commemorative programme, 'I am Ireland', can be viewed at their website.
  • Ticketing for major flagship events and projects in Britain information below:
Venue & EventDateWebsite/Ticketing information
‘Ireland 2016’ – The Chieftains and Special Guests at Celtic Connections, Glasgow 15 January 2016
Photographer’s Gallery – Easter Rising 1916 Sean Sexton Collection 22 January - 3 April 2016  The Photographers’ Gallery
Barbican Centre – ‘Macalla 1916’, presented by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (Association of Traditional Irish musicians) 4 March 2016
Screening of the 1916: The Irish Rebellion Notre Dame documentary with London Irish Film Festival 16 March 2016  London Irish Film Festival
Wigmore Hall – ‘Irish Culture in Britain – A Centenary Celebration’ 21 April 2016 

Booking for ‘Irish Culture in Britain – a Centenary Celebration’ at Wigmore Hall from 5 February 2016. 

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre – ‘Imagining Ireland’ 29 April 2016  On sale from 26 November 2015
  • Podcasts of some of the Embassy Lecture Series already underway are available under the News & Events page.
  • Find out more about events and projects commemorating Irish participation in World War 1.
  • The Consulate General in Edinburgh has the latest update on events taking place in Scotland in 2016.
  • Find out more about what about special event and projects in connection with and in Wales.
  • Liverpool has a unique role in 1916, find out more about their events in 2016.
  • The Embassy is supporting a number of key academic conferences throughout the UK in 2016, some of the highlights are as follows:
Venue & EventDateContact Information
The University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries and History Faculty will mark the anniversary of the Easter Rising with a two month display, 1916: Responses to the Easter Rising, a web archiving project and a high-profile academic symposium organised by Prof Roy Foster & Prof Senia Paseta.

Bodleian 1 Feb - 3 April 2016

Symposium 10 March 2016 

Bodleian Library For further details on the academic symposium, please contact Prof. Senia Paseta
Churchill College Cambridge will host a high-profile 3-day academic conference, The Easter 1916 Rising in a Global Perspective, organised by Prof. Eugenio Biagini. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Roskill Lecture (speaker to be announced). 3-5 March 2016 Prof Eugenio Biagini -

The 20th Conference of Irish Historians, Irish Revolutions, will take place at the University of Liverpool. The conference will explore the meaning and impact of the 1916 Rising and situate it within the broader context of revolutionary movements in Irish history. 

1-3 July 2016 

Prof Ian McBride -

The Embassy is pleased to support community groups who are organising initiatives as part of the global programme to commemorate 1916. A number of the 110 organisations funder throughout the Emigrant Support Programme are planning commemorations initiatives in the community. In addition, a total of nineteen projects have received direct financial support for their commemorative projects through the Embassy's Community Funding Scheme.