Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
68. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when she will publish an indicative programme of State and State-sponsored commemorative events under the decade of centenaries, 1913-1923, programme. [45462/19]
Plans are well underway to mark the significant forthcoming centenaries over the remainder of the Decade of Centenaries, which include the Struggle for Independence, the Civil War, the Foundation of the State and Partition.
My particular focus at this time is to ensure that the significant historical events that occurred during 1920 and related themes, are remembered with a rich diversity of commemorative initiatives that are historically authentic, measured, respectful, and appropriate. While plans are still evolving, I expect to be in a position to publish a substantive commemorative programme for 2020 in January and indicative plans for subsequent years. I have allocated current funding of €2 million to support the Decade of Centenaries programme in 2020, which is a funding increase of €900,000 above the 2019 allocation.
My Department has built significant partnerships with key stakeholders, including local authorities, the national cultural institutions, institutions of learning and custodians of records, the trade union movement and creative communities. All of these will have an important role in supporting the national conversation about the events of this period and encouraging respectful public discourse and debate.
The approaching centenaries present particularly sensitive and complex challenges. I firmly believe that the cultural heritage and stories of all traditions on the island of Ireland must be preserved and told. My primary objective in developing plans for the remainder of the Decade of Centenaries, is to ensure that we promote peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland by encouraging a deeper understanding of the significance of this period, which accepts that the shared historical experiences of those years gave rise to very different narratives and memories.
My plans for the forthcoming period will continue to be informed by the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations and developed in consultation with the All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations.