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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 16 August 2022

Boris Johnson to announce Northern Ireland centenary plans today

A Centenary Forum and Centenary Historical Advisory Panel will be created.

Stormont in Northern Ireland.
Stormont in Northern Ireland.
Image: Peter Morrison/PA Wire/PA Images

BORIS JOHNSON WILL today outline the first stage of plans to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland. 

A forum and historical advisory panel will work alongside the UK government to commemorate the anniversary.

Johnson is in Northern Ireland today where he will meet Taoiseach Micheál Martin for the first time, as well as First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill. 

“As we mark 100 years since the creation of Northern Ireland, it is important that we celebrate its people, culture and traditions, along with its vital contribution to the United Kingdom,” he said. 

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis stressed the importance that the centenary year would have for Northern Ireland and would promote it globally. 

“The establishment of a Centenary Forum and Centenary Historical Advisory Panel will offer us the opportunity to work with a broad spectrum of people, including those from across the political parties, business, tourism and the voluntary and community sectors, to deliver an ambitious and exciting programme of events to mark this significant national anniversary for the UK,” Lewis said in a statement. 

The celebration of the centenary of Northern Ireland has the potential to be controversial. 

Last September, DUP leader Arlene Foster told an audience that it was time to look ahead to Northern Ireland’s centenary. 

“In less than two years, on 3rd May 2021, Northern Ireland will be one hundred years old. This will be a day and a year that we can celebrate,” she said.

“For all our trials and tribulations over those years, we have endured, and we have succeeded.”

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Northern Ireland was created following the passing of the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which led to the establishment of a Northern Ireland parliament in 1921. 

With reporting from Press Association

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