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Heather Humphreys has yoinked the 2016 website offline for an overhaul

The site has been down for over 48 hours as “outstanding issues” are dealt with.

THE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT website for the 2016 commemorations has been taken offline for an overhaul to deal with all “outstanding issues”. 

A spokesperson for the Arts & Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys —- the Cabinet Minister tasked with heading up the country’s official plan for the Rising centenary — said she had “instructed that any outstanding issues be resolved” before the site is back online.

It’s understood the website is undergoing maintenance to address issues relating to Irish language content.

There was criticism of the site in the wake of its launch last Wednesday night, after it emerged that an online translation tool had been used to put together some of the text for the page.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said afterwards that “holding text” had been published by mistake and that the correct translation had since been added.

As of this evening, the site has been down for over 48 hours — if you head there at the moment, all you’ll see is an (admittedly, lovely) picture of Benbulben, with some standard ‘down for maintenance’ text…



Video controversy

A promotional video for the centenary year that was included on the site when it was launched at the GPO last Wednesday has also come in for criticism in recent days.

But the Department isn’t commenting on whether it will still be there, once the overhaul is completed.

From the Minister’s spokesperson, again:

“Last week’s video was produced for the launch event on Wednesday.

New material will be uploaded to the website in the coming weeks and months to encourage community involvement and interaction with the 2016 commemorations.

Critics of the video complained that — while it included cameos from the likes of the Queen and David Cameron — it made no mention whatsoever of any of the signatories of the Proclamation.

Ireland 2016 / Vimeo

The UCD historian Diarmaid Ferriter — who also happens to be a member of the 11-person panel set up to advise the Government on the centenary — called it “embarrassing unhistorical shit”.

“If we got it wrong, we got it wrong, and we should look at something else,” was junior minister Aodhán O’Ríordáin’s response to the criticism last night.

Meanwhile, some of the relatives of the men and women who fought in 1916 held a meeting yesterday to discuss holding their own events to mark the centenary.


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