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A parade through Dublin and several new proclamations: Here's how we'll mark the Rising's centenary

What do you make of the government’s plans?

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Updated: 21.42

THE GOVERNMENT HAS unveiled its plans for commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

The Fine Gael Labour coalition came in for criticism after the draft programme was launched last November.

Since then, they’ve been working on a year-long series of commemoration events, which have now been made public.

The plans include:

  • A major exhibition of 1916 archival material at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks
  • ‘Proclamation Day’, which will be held in all schools on 15 March 2016
  • The national flag and a copy of the Proclamation will be delivered to every school in the country
  • A series of state commemorative events, including a parade from Dublin Castle to Parnell Square on Easter Sunday 2016 and a special state reception for relatives
  • Seven new public projects at the GPO, Kilmainham Gaol, Pearse’s Cottage, the Military Archives and other sites
  • A multi-location public event, to be broadcast on television on Easter Monday 2016, telling the story of Ireland through music, dance, drama and song
  • A series of conferences on 1916 in universities
  • Cultural events around the globe, to be co-ordinated through our embassies and Culture Ireland, including Irish cultural festivals in Washington and London

Speaking at the launch in Collins Barracks this evening, Enda Kenny said the Rising’s huge historical significance needs to be celebrated.

“There are some moments in history when a seed is sown and the old order changes forever. Easter 1916 was a moment when Irish nationalism joined forces with a revolutionary cultural and language movement to forge an irresistible campaign towards self-determination.

Ireland 2016, as a year of reflection and engagement for everyone on this island, goes far beyond the formal marking of a key historical moment. It is a once-in-a-century invitation to people of all ages, at home and overseas, to shape and take part in a diverse range of historical, cultural and artistic activities, all designed to nurture reflection, commemoration, celebration and debate.

In good news for Kenny, there were no protesters this time around.

Tánaiste Joan Burton said the government is determined that Ireland 2016 won’t be “a programme for the elites and the people in the know, but a platform and programme for all our people”.

1916 711 Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

We are all of us equally entitled to call ourselves republican. We are all equally entitled to be inspired by the values espoused in the Proclamation of the Republic. We are all of us equally charged to make good in our time on the challenge posed to us by the men who penned that document all of a century ago.

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys said the programme will “reflect on our achievements over the last 100 years and collectively re-imagine our future”.

She said she was “particularly excited about the education programme, which will be rolled out to every school across the country and will ensure children are at the centre of the commemorations”.

1916 744 Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Humphreys also said school children will be asked to draft their own versions of the proclamation, showcasing what’s important to them. This clarified comments made by the Taoiseach this afternoon.

Moore Street

Earlier today, the government announced it’s buying 14-17 Moore Street in Dublin. Number 16 was the location where the Rising’s leaders decided to surrender. The house along with the surrounding buildings was made a national monument in 2007.

The launch was attended by opposition TDs including Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Sinn Féin’s Aengus Ó Snodaigh – both parties have already launched their own commemoration plans.

1916 846 Liam Cosgrave and Enda Kenny Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Former taoisigh Liam Cosgrave and Bertie Ahern were also in attendance.

More information on Ireland 2016 can be found here.

Originally published: 18.15

Read: The government insists it’s not rewriting the proclamation

Read: The government is going to buy the historic Moore Street site

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Órla Ryan

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