‘Decade of Centenaries’ website launched

Published in Issue 1 (January/February 2014), News, Volume 22

www.decadeofcentenaries.com

decade

In late November the official ‘Decade of Centenaries’ website was launched—an initiative of the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, in association with History Ireland. Over the course of the next ten years, a wide range of centenaries are going to be marked, and the new website is intended to keep a record of how they are being commemorated, while at the same time helping to chart a path through exactly what is being commemorated.

The period from 1912 to 1922—the ‘Irish Revolution’—was one of the most eventful in Irish history. From the campaign for (and against) Home Rule, through the First World War and the Easter Rising of 1916, to the War of Independence, the foundation of the Free State and the Civil War of 1922–3, this was a decade of great change. And alongside these political upheavals came campaigns for social reforms—highlighted by the suffrage movement and the 1913 Lockout, for example—and milestones in cultural life and the arts. Nationalists, unionists, loyalists, republicans, feminists, socialists: all will have events that they might wish to commemorate. The state’s official ‘Decade of Centenaries’ programme, of which the website is a part, aims to commemorate each step that Ireland took between 1912 and 1922 in a tolerant, inclusive and respectful way.

The ‘Decade of Centenaries’ website is intended to serve as a central point of reference, with notices of commemorative initiatives brought forward by government, local authorities, national cultural institutions, colleges, military and local history associations, ex-service organisations and community groups in Ireland and abroad relating to the political, cultural and socio-economic history of the revolution. It will also provide a record of commemorative events undertaken in the ‘Decade of Centenaries’, along with a profile of the events that took place in Ireland in 1912–22, in a manner that might provide an impetus for future commemorative events at local and national level. Last but not least, it will serve as a ‘portal’ to collate and access relevant background material and source material to explain these events (Century Ireland, History Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, the National Museum, the National Archives, and relevant institutions in the UK and further afield).

Above: ‘Volunteers 1913: two traditions or one?’—Revd Brian Kennaway (Irish Association) introduces the History Ireland Hedge School in Belfast City Hall on 10 December 2013 with (left to right), Tommy Graham (chair), Philip Orr (co-curator of the Ulster Museum’s current exhibition on the Ulster Covenant), Michael Laffan (UCD), Timothy Bowman (University of Kent) and Lar Joye (National Museum of Ireland).

Above: ‘Volunteers 1913: two traditions or one?’—Revd Brian Kennaway (Irish Association) introduces the History Ireland Hedge School in Belfast City Hall on 10 December 2013 with (left to right), Tommy Graham (chair), Philip Orr (co-curator of the Ulster Museum’s current exhibition on the Ulster Covenant), Michael Laffan (UCD), Timothy Bowman (University of Kent) and Lar Joye (National Museum of IrelandThe website began to be developed in early September 2013, and since then it has been showcased at a number of the public consultations being conducted by the government’s expert advisory group. So far this has brought us to Listowel in September and to Cork in November, and in between we showcased the new website to the History Teachers’ Association of Ireland’s annual conference in Ballinasloe in October; it can also serve as a means to access primary and secondary material at both Junior and Leaving Cert level, and would have a definite relevance to core curriculum topics for Leaving Cert, not to mention the ‘research study’.

Readers of History Ireland will know that this is a period that has always been represented in our pages, and as part of the agreement with the department we will be making available our rather large back catalogue to help guide people through the decade by linking it to the record of commemorations. But this will be part of our broader commitment to the decade of centenaries, in which we will be taking a very active interest. We have already published a very successful special issue on the 1913 Lockout, and have another special issue on the First World War pencilled in for July/August 2014. And the revolutionary decade has been reflected in our ongoing Hedge School programme, with more lined up for 2014. Details @ https://www.historyireland.com/ hedge-schools/. HI

John Gibney is Content Manager for the Decade of Centenaries website, www.decadeofcentenaries.com.

'


Copyright © 2022 History Publications Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel. +353-1-293 3568