Decade of Commemorations Leveraging the Past to Impact on the Present



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BRITISH-IRISH PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY/TIONÓL PARLAIMINTEACH NA BREATAINE AGUS NA HÉIREANN (2012) “Committee A: Sovereign Matters Decade of Commemorations” October 2012 Document Number 191 Accessed March 2014 http://www.britishirish.org/assets/BIPA-Commemorations-Report-FINAL.pdf

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2012) “Comoradh – Issue 1 Sept 2012 A newsletter for the Irish abroad in The Decade of Commemorations” Accessed 5th March 2014 https://www.dfa.ie/media/dfa/alldfawebsitemedia/ourrolesandpolicies/northernireland/comoradh-issue-1-web-1.pdf

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade “Comoradh – Issue 2 July 2014 A newsletter for the Irish abroad in The Decade of Commemorations” Accessed 5th March 2014 https://www.dfa.ie/media/dfa/alldfawebsitemedia/ourrolesandpolicies/northernireland/Commemorations-Comoradh-Issue-2.pdf

Derry City Council Draft Legacy Plan 2013 – 2023 Accessed 8th May 2015 http://www.derrycity.gov.uk/DerryCitySite/files/45/4508a01e-c282-4951-8ae8-f67511c2aefe.pdf

Failte Ireland (2014) “People, Place and Policy Growing Tourism to 2025” Accessed April 1st 2015 http://www.dttas.ie/sites/default/files/publications/tourism/english/people-place-and-policy-growing-tourism-2025/people-place-and-policy-growing-tourism-2025.pdf

Galway County Council (2013) Commemorative Strategy for the County of Galway ‘Decade of Commemorations 2013 – 2023” Prepared by the Galway County Council Decade of Commemorations Working Group October 2013 Accessed 7th March 2014 http://www.galway.ie/en/media/Decade%20of%20Commemorations%202013-2023.pdf

Institute for British-Irish Studies Annual Conference University College Dublin (2010) Speech by Nelson McCausland MLA, Minister for Culture Arts and Leisure “A Decade of Centenaries: Commemorating Shared History” Thursday 20th June 2010, Accessed Mar 2014 http://www.docstoc.com/docs/106772982/Speech-by-Nelson-McCausland-MLA

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Accessed 3rd March 2014 http://www.ucd.ie/ibis/filestore/wp2011/108_Quigley-Cowen.pdf

Mayo County Council (2013) “Mayo Commemoration Strategy 2013 – 2023” Prepared by the Mayo Commemoration Strategy Committee Accessed 7th March 2014 http://www.mayococo.ie/en/media/Media,21255,en.pdf


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The Gathering Ireland (2013) “Final Report” Accessed March 2014 https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/downloads.thegatheringireland.com/TheGathering_FinalReport_December2013.pdf

Websites for Reference

Ainsworth, Paul (April 14, 2012) Belfast Media Group “UDA will be Suited and Booted at Ormeau Event” Accessed March 2014://belfastmediagroup.com/uda%E2%80%88will-be-suited-and-booted-at-ormeau-event/

Ainsworth, Paul (April 5th 2012) Belfast Media Group “Concerns over feeder parades to Ormeau Park event” Accessed March 2014 http://belfastmediagroup.com/concerns-over-feeder-parades-to-ormeau-park-event/

BBC News (28th Sept 2013) “Thousands Take Part in UVF Belfast Commemoration Parade” Accessed March 2014 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-24315035

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Houses of Oireachtas (2012) “Decade of Commemorations” Statement Accessed March 2014 http://debates.oireachtas.ie/seanad/2012/06/07/00005.asp

Foord, J (2012) The new boomtown? Creative city to Tech City in east London. J. Cities (2012), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ j.cities.2012.08.009”

Irish History Compressed (2013) “Ireland’s Decade of Commemoration: A List of Anniversaries” Accessed March 2014 http://irishhistorycompressed.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/irelands-decade-of-commemoration-a-list-of-anniversaries/

Irish Republican News (April 13th 2012) “Redmond recalled as Dublin launches decade of commemorations” Accessed March 2014 http://republican-news.org/current/news/2012/04/redmond_recalled_as_dublin_lau.html#.VWNv2k9Viko



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Appendices - Programme – Sub Event Decade of Commemorations Conference Programme

A Lingering Unfinished Legacy or a Provocative Forgotten Past?

How the events of 1912 – 1923 are shaping the Decade of Commemorations

08:30am – Registration and Tea/coffee

09:15am – Official opening of conference – Joint opening speech British Ambassador to Ireland and Irish Ambassador to Great Britain

Theme and Topic: “Decade of Commemorations; The common history amongst our islands and moving on from the GFA – implementation and adherence – Our shared heritage, resources, records and narratives - Case studies of projects that are ongoing between our islands.

Speakers; H.E Irish Ambassador to Britain Dan Mulhall, H.E British Ambassador to Ireland Dominic Chilcott

10:00am: Theme and Topic: The Irish in WW1 – The 10th, 16th and 36th Divisions of the British army – Their role in the Battle of the Somme and Gallipoli.

Regiments such as the 16th and 36th divisions comprised of republican nationalists who showed a valour that is waiting to be remembered. This talk will discuss Irish men who were fighting for home rule and the Thiepval presence that stemmed from Ireland. The involvement of the 10th division at Gallipoli will also be discussed and how more Irish people were killed at Gallipoli then Australians.



Speakers; Dr. Timothy Bowman, Queens University Belfast or Terence Denman

Q&A time 10:45am – 11am

11am – 11:15am – Tea/Coffee Break

11:15am – 12:00pm: Theme and Topic: 1916 – The rising was part of a cultural revolution and the proclamation generated ideas such as equal rights, equal opportunities regardless of religion or gender. Who were the key women in the 1916 events and has the republic become detached from these ideologies or have women of future generations been empowered by the proclamation.

Speakers: Fionnuala Walsh Trinity College Dublin - Fionnuala Walsh is pursuing a PHD in Trinity College Dublin on Irish women in the First World War

What impact did the Irish uprising have on the rest of the world and how is it relevant to the 100 different nationalities that live in our multicultural society today? The topic will also examine the fundamental influence Irelands exit had on the composition of the British realm and how far countries have moved in terms of freedom of small nations and what the wider implications were globally of the Irish example which allowed countries to pursue their own freedom agenda.



Case studies; The influence of the rising and individuals such as Terence Mc Swiney and Dan Breen on India and the inspiration the rising created in Africa.

Speaker: Ambassador Dan Mulhall

Q&A time – 12pm – 12.15pm

12.15pm; Theme and Topic – Unionist perspectives of the rising. The view from pro-British and the north why did the Irish community not connect with the unionist community in Ireland? An examination of the British community left behind in Ireland after partition describes their marginalization and ‘silencing’ by retrenchment into a singular community. What caused these divisions and gaps after the rising? How did figures such as Carson emerge? How does all this relate to the modern day unionist outlook and what future for unionists in 2014 when the union is under scrutiny, what impact would dissolution of the union have on Ireland – can cultural and intangible heritage that is aligned to these communities unite us?

Speakers: David Scott & Dr. David Hume, The Orange Order & Dr. Tomas Irish, Trinity College Dublin

Q &A Time - 13:00pm – 13:15pm

13:15pm – 14:00pm – Lunch

14:00pm – 14:45pm: Theme and Topic – The British and Global stories within the Regiments fighting in the Rising and Irish war of Independence.

Eight Irish regiments fought in WW1 but in 1922 after the foundation of the Irish state 6 were disbanded. This topic will discuss The Irish Regiments in the First World War 1914 namely; The Royal Irish Regiment (Depot Clonmel), Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Depot Omagh), Royal Irish Rifles (Depot Belfast), Royal Irish Fusiliers (Depot Armagh), Connaught Rangers (Depot Galway), Leinster Regiment (Depot Birr), Royal Munster Fusiliers (Depot Tralee), Royal Dublin Fusiliers (Depot Naas).

The role of the Sherwood Foresters and the battle of Mount St Bridge, attack of Portobello barracks which brought 200 casualties to the British and Trinity College ‘the Garrison that held out’ and the 14 soldiers from South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia who fought defending it will also be discussed.

Speaker; Paul O’Brien Author of “Battle of Mount St Bridge”

Profile: Key British military figures such as General Sir John G Maxwell, Brigadier and General W.H.M. Lowe who were behind the executions of Irish leaders and the notorious Captain Percival who fought during the War of Independence.

Speaker: Adrian Hardiman Author of “Shot in Cold Blood; Military law and Irish perceptions in the suppression of the 1916 Rebellion, in "1916, The Long Revolution”

Profile: Tom Kettle MP for East Tyrone and Tom Barry – Irish men who fought in WW1. Emmet Dalton who went onto fight in Irish war of Independence and Micheal Collins right hand man.

Speaker: Anthony B. Quinn ‘Author of ‘Wigs and Guns, Irish Barristers and the Great War’

14:45pm – 15:00pm Q&A time

15:00pm – 15:15pm – Tea/Coffee Break

15:15pm – Theme and Topic - Tourism Opportunities in Doc – Untapped potential for tourism or sectarian vehicle that could be turned into a dissonant heritage narrative by communities?

What work is being done to examine intangible heritage stemming from cultural identities such as the Scots Irish and political heritage that is a legacy of Britain’s involvement in Ireland such as war graves, Ex-British ports and distinct physical heritage such as buildings that are silent at the moment? How best can this be brought back to life? What are the potential tourism development opportunities and how best can we mobilize those who are interested in British military history to visit Ireland? How can we make the commemorations be viewed as a distinct part of Irish and British heritage which families can connect their children into and how best can we attract the Diaspora to visit Ireland and the UK during the Decade of Commemorations period.



Case Study – ‘Independence Dubline Trail’ – Developing the Dubline trail, capitalizing on living history and determining the factors of how much of 1916 is cultural heritage rather than political heritage. Speaker: Paddy Mathews, Failte Ireland

Case study: Inchicore/Kilmainham Heritage Group - Regeneration of Richmond Barracks and the missing chapters of 1916. The barracks were where court Martials were held after 1916. This topic will also examine how to open up spaces that are identifiable as ‘single identity’ venues by communities. Speaker: Chairperson Inchicore/Kilmainham Heritage Group

Case Study: Spike Island regeneration project. Speaker: To Be Identified

16:00pm – 16:15pm Q&A

16:15pm – 16:45pm identifying the common history between the islands James Connolly and Jim Larkin originated from Edinburgh and Liverpool and worked in Belfast organizing people. Irish volunteers such as Bob O ‘Flanagan from Derry~Londonderry were part of the group who ambushed British military at Monks Bakery which led to Kevin Barry’s arrest, key instigators of the IRB and Irish volunteers such as Bulmer Hobson and Eoin Mac Neill were born in Antrim and Belfast and Tomas Kettle was an Irish MP who attended Westminster. This topic seeks to examine how best we can identify natural connections between the cities on the islands under the Decade of Commemorations theme and ways we can develop and connect emerging research into tourism offerings.

Speaker: To Be Identified

16:45pm 17:30pm - Branding Decade of Commemorations and dealing with Dissonant Narratives. Lessons that could be learnt from ‘The Gathering’ and single identity events such as the Castlederg and UVF marches.

John Concannon was the key instigator behind the brand development and selling of ‘The Gathering’ concept. Deirdre Mc Bride is the Director of Cultural Diversity in the Community Relations Council Northern Ireland.



As political commemorations remain sensitive but an important narrative which tourists want to explore this topic will discuss the potential for branding of Decade of Commemorations events and how best to approach and entwine dissonant heritage and narratives and foster community relations and community engagement. How to identify funding streams from new models that are emerging such as crowd funding and specialist funds being developed for DOC themed events. How to develop strategies to engage Irish and Scots Irish Diaspora without it being perceived as an ‘identity crisis’ and ways to create a cohesive identity and brand between the islands for tourism benefit as political dynamics continue to emerge on the islands creating a space which needs to be populated by the state to ensure commemorations pass off peacefully and what lessons have been learnt from commemoration events that took place in Castlederg and the UVF march in Belfast. This topic will also discuss the potential for joint events and possible themes that could arise for festivals and community events based on the shared stories from the period 1912 – 1923 between Britain/Ireland.

Speaker: John Concannon, Director of Market Development Failte Ireland & Deirdre Mc Bride Director of Cultural Diversity, Community Relations Council Northern Ireland

19:30pm/20:00pm - Gala networking dinner for Irish/British relations

Event Proposal Number 2 – Civic Concert “A Celebration of Commemoration”

Musical collaborations in 2016 – examine (Madeline O’Connor ?) and perform music from 1910’s/1920s – have modern key artists (stars) perform those works in a large civic concert with community musicians as the support orchestra.

BBC Artistic Director Guy Freeman, BBC1 Radio 1 Head of Music George Ergatoudis, BBC Head of Events Phil Dolling (?)




Pauline Lavin June 25th 2015
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