Programme for the Decade of Centenaries announced

Programme for the Decade of Centenaries including a permanent new 20th Century History of Ireland exhibition

From Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media

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Cultural Institutions and Creativity take centre stage in the Government’s commemoration programme featuring:

  • Substantial investment in new exhibitions and artistic commissions in the National Cultural Institutions to mark key centenaries
  • State Commemoration to mark the centenary of the Truce
  • Enhanced funding for 31 local authorities to support community-led commemorative initiatives
  • Extensive new releases of digitised national and local archival collections
  • New creative partnerships, including with Fighting Words and the Irish Poetry Reading Archive
  • Ongoing support for the Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury research project

Today, 27 April 2021, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D., Tánaiste Leo Varadkar T.D. and the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., announced a major new project as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme to mark key events in Irish history leading up to, and including, the momentous events of 1912-1923.

The 20th Century History of Ireland Galleries will be based at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks in Dublin. Work is starting this year and the new exhibition will open in 2023, coinciding with the centenary of the foundation of the Irish Free State.

These new permanent exhibition galleries will offer visitors an opportunity to reflect on significant events in Irish history over the last 120 years. The National Museum of Ireland’s vision for the project is one that will resonate with a range of audiences. The project will also demonstrate the important legacy of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 Programme. Minister Catherine Martin’s Department is contributing €2.2m in capital funding to the project.

This significant project forms just one part of the Government’s Decade of Centenaries Programme for 2021 being published by Minister Martin today. In addition to the capital funding being provided for the Museum project, the centenaries programme for 2021 is supported with a budget of €5 million in current funding from the Minister’s Department, a significant increase of €3 million on last year’s funding allocation.

The cross-governmental programme highlights a rich diversity of ambitious, engaging and meaningful initiatives, marking the significant centenaries arising this year and related themes, including;

  • The Burning of the Custom House on 25th May 1921;
  • Partition;
  • The Truce on 11th July 1921;
  • The Anglo-Irish Treaty Negotiations and the Treaty debates; and
  • The Signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6th December 1921.

The programme aims to create and support interesting and imaginative opportunities that encourage as many people as possible to consider our shared history, in all of its complexity, in a respectful and supportive environment.

The programme highlights specific initiatives, partnerships and events that are being developed and rolled out throughout 2021. It also outlines the Government’s approach to the final phase of the Decade of Centenaries leading up to 2023. It will remain a living document and will be updated as new proposals and partnerships are confirmed throughout the year. The Programme will continue to be supported by the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations and by the Minister’s engagement with the soon to be reconvened All-Party Consultation Group on Commemorations.

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