A dissertation submitted to the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Ulster in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science
This dissertation is an original and authentic piece of work carried out by myself. I have fully acknowledged and referenced all secondary sources of information. It has not been presented in whole or in part for assessment elsewhere. I have read the regulations and the statement on plagiarism in the course handbook and am fully aware of the potential consequences of any breach of them. I understand that supervisor approval does not necessarily contribute to a pass mark.
Signed: Pauline Lavin
List of Tables, Figures and Illustrations………………………………………………
Chapter 1: Introduction
Structure of Thesis
Chapter 2: Methodology
Chapter 3: Context to the cultural and political rising 1912 – 1923
3.2 Political and cultural risings
3.3. Music & commemoration
3.4 Conclusion and summary
Chapter 4: Leveraging built heritage for marketing during Decade of Commemorations
4.2 Leveraging built heritage as a performance space and rural tourism hub
4.3 Applying for WHS Status and cross border cooperation opportunities
4.4 Conclusion and summary
Chapter 5: Intangible and dissonant heritage – The challenge on the island of Ireland 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Dissonant heritage – The challenge on the island 5.3 Shared heritage, identifying commonalities and the effects of disinheritance 5.4 Select commemorations 5.5 Market segmentation and attracting military interest tourists
5.6 Case Study – Leveraging built heritage to showcase intangible heritage from the Island of Ireland – Monreagh Heritage Centre, Donegal, Ireland
5.7 Conclusion and summary
Chapter 6:Potential event trends and themes for Decade of Commemorations - Creating commercial opportunities 6.1 Introduction 6.2 Commercial opportunity or respectful commemoration?
6.3 Drawing on myths and cultural legends to bring a city to life
6.4 Reaching out to Generation Y with DOC events 6.5 Using the city as a canvas for cultural connections and trails
6.6 Case Study:Edinburgh festival city – Marketing a city under one Banner/one canvas
6.7 Events models and trends
6.8 Using digital technology to promote DOC conferences and events
6.9 Sponsorship and Income – Developing a DOC brand that can be capitalised and leveraged
6.10 (1) Merchandising and ephemera
6.10 (2) In-kind arrangements
6.10 (3) Broadcast rights
6.10 (4) Grants
6.10 (5) Ticket sales
6.10 (6) Fundraising
6.10 (7) Sponsorship
6.11 Case Study Tall Ships Royal Greenwich 2014 – Sponsorship of a large civic event
6.12 Economic and cultural aspects
6.13 Conclusion and summary
Chapter 7 Engaging the Diaspora – Research at Luton Irish Forum 7.1 Introduction 7.2 The Irish in Britain 7.3 Workshop methodology and context 7.4 Research findings 7.4 (1) Commemoration or celebration – Mood as to how a state reflects on the legacy of 1916 7.4 (2) Leveraging DOC to generate tourism and enticing migrants to visit or return home
7.4 (3) International perceptions of the 1916 Rising and reaching out across the globe with 2016 events
7.4 (4) Engaging the international community
7.4 (5) Relatives only or all welcome to commemorate?
7.4 (6) Irish commemorations in the UK
7.4 (7) Connecting DOC stories from Ireland to the UK
7.4 (8) Examining the British side to the 1916 events
7.4 (9) Legacy of events
7.4 (10) Engaging Unionists and British nationals in 2016 Commemorations
7.4 (11) Accessible records
7.5 Conclusion and summary Chapter 8 Developing stakeholder cooperation between GB/ROI/NI
8.2 Existing stakeholder cooperation between NI/ROI/GB
8.3 Cooperation opportunities, where they are and realising the potential
8.3 Existing stakeholder cooperation between NI/ROI/GB
8.3 (1) Distance of time between DOC events and governments setting the ‘tone’
8.3 (2) Crossing divides and creating inclusive communities through DOC engagement
8.3 (3) Engaging the Diaspora & attracting GB Tourists to Ireland with DOC events
8.3 (4) Cross border cooperation and joint education Initiatives
8.3 (5) Potential tourism projects. 8.3 (6) Single identity venues and single identity events 8.3 (7) Including Unionist perspectives in 1916 commemorations withoutcreating false or bogus symmetry 8.4 Conclusion and summary
Chapter 9: Conclusion and recommendations 9.1 Cooperation opportunities, where they are and realising the potential, recommendations for joint work
Chapter 10: Literature Review
The author is especially grateful to the politicians, diplomats, civil and public servants and representatives from the unionist and nationalist community namely Aengus O’Snodaigh Sinn Fein party Ireland, Unidentified source Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Ireland, Paddy Mathews Failte Ireland, Sean Sherwin, Fianna Fail party Ireland, Mark Durkan, SDLP, Northern Ireland, H.E. Mr. Dominick Chilcott British Ambassador to Ireland, Niall O’Donnchu Department of Arts Heritage and Gaeltacht Ireland, Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Office, Northern Ireland Timothy Cairns, DUP party, Northern Ireland, Mark Daly, Fianna Fail party, Ireland, Michael Conaghan, Labour Party Ireland, H.E Mr. Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to Britain, Stephen Mc Gowan, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Northern Ireland, Unidentified Source Unionist Community Northern Ireland, Professor Stephen Boyd University of Ulster and all the community and staff at Luton Irish Forum who inputted and provided valuable research and background contextual information for the formation of this thesis. I also wish to thank anyone I may have forgot.
NIO – Northern Ireland Office DOC – Decade of Commemorations NI – Northern Ireland ROI – Republic of Ireland
EU – European Union
DUP – Democratic Unionist Party
SDLP – Social Democratic Labour Party
VFR – Visting Family and Relatives
IFI – International Fund for Ireland
DCAL NI – Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Northern Ireland
GB – Great Britain
PUP – Progressive Unionist Party
UVF – Ulster Volunteers Force
UDA – Ulster Defence Association
UFF – Ulster Freedom Fighters
UDA – Ulster Defence Association
TUV – Traditional Unionist Voice
UUP – Ulster Unionist Party
FG – Fine Gael
GAA – Gaelic Athletic Association
ABOD – Apprentice Boys of Derry IP – Intellectual Property WW1 – World War 1
CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCTION
Events have emerged as important for destinations, not only in terms of their economic benefits but also with regard to legacy development and building community cohesion (Quinn 2013, Allen, O’Toole, Harris, Mc Donell & Foley 2011) and have become a key leisure experience of the new millenium. Within an Irish context, this dissertation sets out to evaluate the potential themes under which events could be developed during the Decade of Commemorations period (2012-2023) which could impact on peace building, generate commercial revenue, engage the Irish and British diaspora in Britain and Ireland (Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland) and provide opportunities for stakeholder collaboration.
The Decade of Commemorations, a 10 year period from 2012 – 2023, marks the 100th anniversary of a number of significant events in Irish, British, European and global history. Potential exists to develop inclusive commemorative events that examine the period 1912 – 1923 and attract audiences of both unionist and nationalist persuasion. Tourism bodies in Ireland have evaluated potential tourism impact and largely concluded it is limited. A particular type of niche tourist (military or political) will engage with the dates rather than holidaymakers which may have deliberately targeted visiting for these events or be a serendipitous tourist visiting at the time events take place. The research problem is how to promote large civic events towards both domestic and international tourists as well as those who have a sense of awareness about their national identity. Identity issues are strongly evident amongst citizens across the European Union at present. There is a growth in pseudo nationalism, a juxtaposition which contradicts the wider EU ‘mobility’ ethos. This social activism is based on political and ethical ethos and nationals aiming to create ‘separate’ heritage. This growth, is largely due to recession and the impact of austerity in the British and Irish isles. The EU however is trying to preserve core principles such as mobility and freedom of movement and integrate its citizens. As salient issues remain in present day Ireland (north and south) that originate from the partition of Ireland in 1922 the potential exists for these key dates to aggravate community tensions.
1.3 Overall Aim
Undertake research to examine potential events that could be delivered during the Decade of Commemorations period in Ireland with specific focus on Irish involvement in Gallipoli, The Somme and the Easter 1916 Rising. This would involve:
Development of an events proposal document around key dates during 2015/2016
Assess event trends such as “festivalisation” of cities to gauge if a trend could apply to DOC events that may be politically charged or community focused but have potential to be styled as festivals that could capture a neutral tourist
Assess potential impact the dates could have on peace building and community relations/cohesion
Ascertain how a city could be a “canvas” for a calendar of events and ways to build cross border relations to connect the cities of Dublin, Belfast and Derry
Assessment of commercial opportunities that may arise from events that would be delivered around the key dates
Analysis of Irish/Northern Irish Diaspora in Britain wish to engage in DOC events
Assess and identify potential collaboration opportunities between British, Northern Irish and Irish stakeholders
The overall aim of the dissertation is to examine potential for tourism events connected to the decade of commemorations. The main objectives within this aim are;
To identify ways to use traditional intangible and built heritage that will neutralise events so that all communities feel comfortable to engage
To discuss trends that could lead to capitalisation of tourism events connected to key commemorative dates – exploring the types of events that could be run and examining commercial potential within that scope
To explore ways to reach out to Irish Diaspora in Britain and connect them to DOC events
To identify ways to build relations/cooperation between stakeholders from different regions so that marketing objectives in a commemoration context can be met
Given the nature of this research and type of information/data to be collected, the philosophical position adopted by this researcher is one of interpretivism. The type of information sought involves discussion with a range of actors/stakeholders. The focus is on specific useful information to result over the generating of precise laws, and so understanding the social world around us (in this case the development of a specific events strategy). This requires the researcher to interpret knowledge that will arise from stakeholders that will form opinions and decision-makers. This philosophical approach is also informed given the mix of methods that comprise the methodology; presented here in synopsis form but to be discussed in more depth in a later chapter.
Structure of the thesis
Following this short introduction chapter, a review of methodology is presented in chapter 2. Chapter 3 sets the past and present context for cultural and political commemoration in Ireland, Chapter 4 discusses built heritage examples that could be leveraged for commemoration purpose in Ireland. Chapter 5 discusses dissonant heritage in an island of Ireland context. Chapter 6 sets out commercial models that could be applied to events followed by Chapter 7 which discusses the results of research undertaken with Diaspora in Britain. A final 8th chapter discusses the findings of one to one interviews and feelings communicated by respondents interviewed, a 9th chapter draws conclusions and makes recommendations on opportunities and a 10th chapter provides a literature review.
CHAPTER 2: Methodology
The methodology applied is one of qualitative multi-method consisting within of positivism in interpretation of empirical observations and constructivism/interpretism, as constructionists ‘rather than supressing personal feelings”…”might explicitly and deliberately include them in the analysis’ (Marvasti, A. P.5, 2004). The researcher wished to make direct contact with the social subjects/world to interpret and analyse responses.
The study location was London, Dublin and Belfast/Derry. A number of one to one interviews in the form of qualitative research took place via the telephone, email and in person with tourism experts, politicians, civil servants, Diplomats and other knowledgeable individuals who made a valuable contribution by setting the context and are part of the planning of commemorative events. Questionnaires were drafted by researching government and tourism bodies’ publications on Decade of Commemorations and existing information on heritage leveraging in Ireland. The researcher collated this material however “The process of research is one of dialogue, but this does not mean that cultural studies researchers should assume that knowledge simply derives from experience (the position of empiricism) or that experience simply validates what is said (the position of self-authenticating standpoint theories)” (Pickering, 2008, P.20) rather the methodology was to collate all viewpoints and therein leverage this feedback and opinion to find commonalities between potential stakeholders and therein to ultimately develop ‘grounded theory’ to generate recommendations and frameworks for possible joint working opportunities. To some extent this has been done to the point that this study is now at but stakeholder interviews will need to be examined further as ultimately the objective is to back up the empirical findings with academic support and a series of recommendations and a possible framework for work plans.
Interviews were undertaken in March/April 2014 in Ireland and September 2014 to April 2015 in Britain. All interviewees were asked a number of questions from the body of questions drafted. The methodology was to leverage ‘stories’ as they “are central to the ways in which people make sense of their experience and interpret the social world. In everyday life and popular culture, we are continually engaged in narratives of one kind or another” (Pickering, 2008, P. 7) and ‘experience’ as this “has been drawn on as concrete material for many of the issues which cultural studies has pursued. It has also become a recognised dimension of research practice itself. Its value has nevertheless been con- tested, both as a form of research data and as an analytical concept” (Pickering 2008, P.18). It is the researcher’s objective to begin to analyse and develop quantitive methods which can be integrated into the study at a later point however some attempts at quantifying the numbers in the study are evident in tables included in chapter 3.
These interviews included key tourism experts in Britain and Ireland, politicians from each political party who gave party perspective. Key parties in ROI were represented, one unionist party in NI (Democratic Unionist Party), one nationalist party in NI (Social Democratic Labour Party) and 1 party who represented all island (Sinn Fein). Interviews were also undertaken with Ambassadors to Britain and Ireland. These interviews are all ‘real world’ based and therefore support the academic literature that is also referenced throughout the study thus giving a greater balance of comprehension from both real world and academic through the study.
A lecture and workshop was held with the Ambassador of Ireland to Great Britain Daniel Mulhall and an audience of 80 people (Diaspora) in Luton Irish Forum on November 4th 2014 where qualitative research was undertaken in the form of a response based questionnaire which allowed for a ‘democratisation of opinion’ (Marvasti, A, 2004, P.15). It was deemed appropriate to use this research method as a way to “make space for otherwise silent or marginalised voices to be heard, and to present the narratives of their experience directly in their own words” (Pickering 2008, P. 20). These voices tend to be at ground level and have been removed from a fast moving minority of monarchy, political players, civil servants and diplomats who have pushed forward a peace process which has been interpreted by some at ground level of ‘disconnect’ from communities in recent times. This is in effect, disconnect and to ensure that the hierarchy move at the same pace at the lower echelons of society it was important to talk directly to ordinary people who are a target group for engagement in the 2016 events. The Luton Irish Forum was chosen due to its affinity to Ireland and being a support structure for the Irish in Luton and North London and the target group being a demographic for which DOC events would appeal to as tourists or VFR (Visiting Family and Relatives) tourists.
CONTEXT TO THE CULTURAL AND POLITICAL RISING 1912 – 1923
This chapter provides the reader with a historical narrative of past events between 1912 and 1923 and the cultural and political context behind those events. It aims to discuss the appeal of all island cultural projects to feature as commemoration events, having significance for national identity, community pride and cohesion as well as providing commercial opportunities as tourist engagement events. The chapter aims to address ways to use traditional intangible heritage that will neutralise events so that all communities feel comfortable to engage and to discuss commercial opportunities around intangible events thus meeting objectives A and B of the study.
3.2 Political and Cultural Risings
In the 19th century a number of factors combined in Ireland which led to the 1916 Easter Rising, within which cultural nationalism emerged as a predominant force. A movement in the 1830s of historical scholars and poets led by George Petrie were evaluating their place in the new union (Act of Union 1801) which led to national introspection taking place after the Famine and death of Parnell. The intelligentsia of Ireland “turned away in disappointment and disgust and began to think on national destiny in the realm of the imagination” (Githens Mazer, 2006, P.31). This cultural phase honed in on rural Ireland while a ‘collective memory’ of “evocative and ethno symbolic events such as the Famine” created a ‘sense of nationalism’ which generated “Oral histories, rumours, gestures or cultural styles in addition to literature and institutionalised practices”. As a divided identity emerged on the island cultural nationalism rooted itself in “Myths and memories of the Anglo protestant other” and were“kept alive in newspapers and ballad books and on book covers” (Githens - Mazer 2006, P. 90). Cultural nationalism allowed the nation to find a common identity by a “myth, memory or symbol” being “resonant when it strikes a common chord in the nation…for members of the nation” (Githens-Mazer 2006, P.88). This led to the emergence of a group of folklorists at the end of the 19th century which attempted to “unite the disparate and divided religious communities in Ireland by projecting a past Gaelic civilisation on to the island’s contemporary inhabitants in order to bring about the amalgamation and moral regeneration of a secular and artistic Irish nation” (Githens – Mazer 2006, P.88 citing Hutchinson).
Whilst this literary movement started with Standish O’Grady and The All Ireland review in the mid 19th c artists such as Yeats, Lady Gregory and The Irish Literary Theatre continued the trend and modernised and cultivated versions of Irish folklore and myths such as Cuchulainn of Muirthemne.
The folk movement which arose in Ireland was part of a general European movement of romanticism that “encouraged regional literature, folklore and fairy tales” (Githens Mazer 2006, P. 32). Further to this a revival of the Irish language through mediums such as The Gaelic League took place which impacted on the development of cultural nationalism. These myths and folklore were then disseminated to the Irish nation to become a predominant factor that impacted on the national conscience. Pearse and other leaders tapped into this “rich vein of potent nationalist symbolism” and drove forward a romantic nationalism steeped in folklore, influenced by Cuchulainn in whom he saw “the supreme glorification of violence when sanctified by a nobel cause” (Githens Mazer 2006, P. 25) which incited the armed rebellion of 1916.
Therefore as a political Rising took place, a parallel cultural Rising emerged coinciding with the events of 1912 – 1923. Cultural nationalism though associated with political nationalism is independent. It “reinforces the role of historical memory in defining the community of the nation” (Githens Mazer 2006 P.86). Githens-Mazer further states that the cultural movement which coincided with the nationalist movement of the early 20th century in Ireland was part of a form of ‘nationalist movements’ which were “cultural and political, instrumental and romantic, differing in form and content, aims and means”. In a cultural context “these variations sought to give legitimacy and recognition to the nation’s cultural wealth” (Githens-Mazer 2006 P. 4). This romantic movement of nationalism found credence in rural Ireland and amongst “the masses of the Irish nation” and through the Catholic Church (Githens Mazer, 2006, P.6). “Each of these (religious and cultural nationalism) sought to advance the nation through the pursuit of the Irish language, Irish cultural expression and the fundamental regeneration of a ‘corrupted’ and ‘tainted’ contemporary Irish nation, thereby restoring it to a mythical ‘pre english’ golden age” (Githens Mazer 2006, P.84).
3.3. Music & Commemoration
In the context of music, as political Rising took hold in 1916 the parallel cultural Rising saw songs such as “Who fears to speak of ‘98” re-emerge as “Who fears to speak of Easter week”. Irwin Thompson (1967) stated that “broadsides and ballads circulated among the politically awakening masses” and these songs once again re-emerged in folk songs in 1967 through the advent of The Troubles (Dowling, M. Arts Council NI, 2009). During the 20th c. music was deeply rooted in church and Protestantism in the north of Ireland and folk and Gaelic tradition in the south which saw traditional organisations such as Comhaltas Ceoltorai Na Heireann emerge (BBC, 2015). Songbooks associated to both traditions such as “The Orange Order Songbook”, “Poems and Songs of Easter Week No. 1” 1916 (Unknown, ca 1916) and “The 1916 song book” (Irish book bureau, 1916) served as ‘barometers of political tension, giving voice to the agitated, the mournful and the vengeful” (Dowling, M. Arts Council NI, 2009) Songs, poems and ballads acted as chronicles of the events of the day and as a way to remember the dead patriots of both traditions on the island.
While there is a need for a cultural programme to run parallel to the political events commemorating the 1916 Rising, the 2016 programme should hone in closely on a legacy of “intangible heritage” (Unidentified Source, DTTAS, Mar 2014) existing on the island which could be presented across the globe through appropriate marketing channels against a visual backdrop of a rich array of built heritage. Intangible cultural heritage is recognised of importance by UNESCO who state “While fragile, intangible cultural heritage is an important factor in maintaining cultural diversity in the face of growing globalization. An understanding of the intangible cultural heritage of different communities helps with intercultural dialogue, and encourages mutual respect for other ways of life” (UNESCO, 2015). However, “the challenge in tourism terms is how to commercialise that” (Unidentified Source DTTAS Mar 2014) and turn it into a viable proposition. What may be necessary is to invest firstly in a marketing campaign that showcases intangible cultural heritage in a modern light by juxtaposing it on large scale performance platforms alongside mainstream artists. Reward could be sought by marketing impact boosting tourism numbers through increasing visibility and raising awareness of Ireland’s cultural and built heritage wealth.
In 2015 heritage from the island of Ireland is defined by The Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht as having both ‘cultural’ and ‘natural’ aspects’ and that National heritage includes “heritage objects such as art and including works, documents and genealogical records” (AHG, 2015). Traditional arts such as music identifiable and predominantly aligned to the Protestant communities in the North of Ireland and both communities in the South can be considered as a ‘heritage art’. The Irish government approach at moment appears not to deal with examining culture from both traditions and fostering joint works. Though studies have been developed around marching bands in the north but actions have largely not been implemented as the sector is perceived as having ‘negative issues’ (DCAL NI, 2011). In the south a lack of policy could be due to the brevity of responsibility this would entail as Cooke outlines (2003, P.11) “The resulting danger is that ‘the State’s role in relation to heritage could constitute an almost bottomless pit in terms of its potential to consume State resources in conserving, protecting and presenting the national heritage in its widest interpretation”. The approach appears to be to quietly ignore the fringe elements of the culture until it disappears or can be contained.
However an argument exists that developing resources for the islands heritage arts could be beneficial for tourism development and sustainable tourism Swarbrooke (2009, P.308) states “Much of the world at the moment is seeing widespread nostalgia in all aspects of its cultural life, for a variety of reasons. We are consciously trying to preserve or bring back old cultures and values”. Community based traditional music on the island of Ireland though divided remains a ‘quiet contagion’, melodies common to both communities created and creates tension when contentious and seditious lyrics are applied. However, the music alone has also crossed divides throughout the last 100 years and allowed musicians to work in cooperation with each other in cultural affinity through projects such as IFI Culture Cavan (2012) in which Ulster Scots and Irish traditional musicians worked together and the Fleadh Cheoil Na Heireann in Derry~Londonderry in which loyalists bands performed in 2013. Chhabra, D. (2011, P.1702) states “It is being increasingly recognised that the foundations of a healthy, socially inclusive, and harmonious society rest on the ability of the public institutions to reconcile dominant cultural heritage perspectives with existing socio cultural values of the local community”. A comprehensive approach to jointly examining historical musical works and “drawing parallels” (Unidentified Source Unionist Community, Mar 2015) between cultural materials, political figures and their comparable counterparts of the DOC period that are aligned to both traditions on the island remains absent in policy and practice by both governments on the island. A structured examination of shared mythology, music and heritage materials resulting in ground level applicable outputs though contested, could be generated from the research and would allow crossover and commonalities to emerge between communities. Timothy & Boyd & (2003, P.264 quoting Charlesworth 1994, Graham 1996, Mc Bryde 1995, Olsen 2000 Tunbridge and Ashworth 1996) state “As conservation and interpretation involve the presentation of messages, sometimes dissonance or contestation is created between groups who share the same heritage”. A shared heritage/shared memories and equal narratives approach will allow a shared sense of identity to emerge on the island but only if cultivated through practice and delivery at ground level rather than purely being policy and buried under reams of un-implementable reports and bureaucracy. Efforts have been made to reach out and engage politically, such as the invitation to Peter Robinson to deliver a Department of Foreign Affairs talk on Edward Carson (DFA, 2012) a parallel equivalent figure has not been drawn to allow reciprocal exchange take place in Northern Ireland. In this respect, consideration should be given to devising policy to review eminent figures of the period and draw comparisons with their opposites. However, Durkan, M. (SDLP, Mar 2014) highlights that “bogus symmetry” should not be applied to Decade of Commemorations and drawing a comparable unless they are historically accurate.
Peter Robinson delivering the Edward Carson Lecture Iveagh House 2012
In the cultural context an opportunity exists to examine shared heritage,revise it to a modern context and entwine aspects of same in new compositional pieces, culminating in public performance. Reinterpreting and modernising old pieces of culture associated with heritage and identity has previously been undertaken through projects such as “Arts Across Borders” Arts Across Borders Soundcloud Audio April 2011 and Arts Across Borders YouTube Promo April 2011 which fused old traditional pieces of musical heritage such as Eamonn An Chnoic and snippets from songs in The Orange Order Songbook around a more modern body to create new compositions that contained key instruments aligned to the identities on the island.
Arts Across Borders Ensemble, Derry Walls, April 2011
These ‘revised’ materials could be combined as one entity, become a joint resource and thus create a sense of collective ownership of the heritage. Githens Mazer (2006, P.12) reinforces this philosophy when he states “The purpose of collective memory is therefore to ensure that knowledge – the content of culture as practised in the transference of memory and ritual – is transmitted across time and built upon by successive generations of the nation”. Though consideration must be made that this culture is largely part of a wider political tourism offering which is “niche” (Unidentified Source, DTTAS, Mar 2014) and government particularly in the north is cautious about developing it as it is deemed to be “toxic” (Cairns, T. DUP Mar 2014). Education of participants and communities involved about the history of music identifiable to ‘traditions’ and cross community talks/events which bring differing identities into direct engagement with each other could also be delivered. Professional development and career opportunity for artists could take place in projects by way of teaching, composition, and devisal and development opportunities. The potential is also there to bring a concept project like this into schools and as a framework methodology to communities across the country north and south and to tour it as a performance and education project.
Witherow’s study1 data revealed that of the 700 bands in Northern Ireland, the vast majority (633), 90% were Protestant in contrast to (54) 8% Catholic, with a remaining (13) 2% of bands describing themselves as ‘non-denominational’
This clearly demonstrates the dominant position of the Protestant community in the parading scene of Northern Ireland. On average each band has 47 members; if this is multiplied by 633, the number of Protestant bands recorded a figure of 29,751 participants is reached.
1 Figure 1: Denominational Breakdown of Parading Bands in Northern Ireland (Witherow, 2011, P.12)
2 Figure 2; Breakdown of Band Types in Northern Ireland (includes Protestant/Catholic/Other) (Witherow, 2011, P.12)
A lack of creative development opportunities based around musical arts stemming from tradition and identity are evident in Ireland north and south. Single identity groups must be supported through policy and structured opportunities to teach receptive opposite groups the music related to their tradition such as military/marching traditions and Sean Nos singing etc. Education around musical and cultural heritage and talks such as the social, economic and cultural history of the Irish harp and Ulster parading tradition must feature in events that are delivered during Decade of Commemorations.
Orange Order, ABOD and Ulster Scots Speakers Arts Across Borders Public Performance April 2011
In line with UNESCO’s statement in 2005 (Leask & Fyall, 2006 P.38) “Memory is vital to creativity: that holds true for individuals and for peoples, who find in their heritage – natural and cultural, tangible and intangible – the key to their identity and the source of their inspiration”. Young composers and poets must jointly tackle (and be supported by both governments) and examine the rich heritage of songs and lyrics that exist in both identities and explore ways to fuse and modernise those songs to encourage cross community collaboration and engagement. Exploring language from both Irish and Ulster Scots traditions to develop new artistic work in the form of short stories or plays should also be considered but once again rationale must be applied to not create an un-necessary ‘bogus symmetry’ (Durkan, M. SDLP Mar 2014) if there is no justification for same as has happened with the enforcement of a language equilibrium in the creation of institutions related to the Good Friday Agreement. If there is not a rational demand or requirement for it by the larger demographic it must be examined as to whether it can create a positive and cost effective legacy. In terms of civic engagement education talks related to British/Irish identity which explore emerging forms of identity such as ‘Northern Irish’ in 21st century Ireland and the history of cultural traditions in the island should also be considered.
Rather than embracing Ireland’s rich ground level community music culture and engage contentious, marginalised communities both north and south and allow it to flourish, governments north and south remain fearful of musical heritage aligned to traditions which are performed for political purpose. Government aims to ‘tow the line’ (Unidentified Source, DTTAS, 2014) when approaching “shared heritage and stories” (Mathews, P. Failte Ireland 2014). This naïve and neglectful strategy will only allow tradition to remain in a singular perspective and unless properly tackled by policy and strategy and implementation of joint learning could become an acerbated problem if conflict arose again. Thompson (1967) states “sectarianism and the link between culture and religious identity that manifested itself in various nationalist movements, meant that in practice a latent separation existed in the minds of the members of the Irish nation, between themselves and the Anglo protestant other”. Whilst conditions existed that separated political identities on the basis of nationalist and unionist in the 19th and 20th century an opportunity exists that if “cultivated in the correct way, collective memory can form the basis for a collective identity” (Githens - Mazer 2006, P. 12). Structured festivals that bring both traditions together could be the resulting performance outlet for dissonant groups to deliver the outputs of their collaboration. Quinn states that “Communitarian theory values participatory leisure activities such as the arts, very highly because of the social networks and ‘shared meanings’ they create (Quinn, B. 2013 P. 129) and argues that In the face of globalisation cultural festivals can help maintain a regions cultural identity.
However, implementation of joint work could be an issue at community level as bands from Protestant cultural traditions such as Londonderry band forum state that they approach it from an outreach rather than cultural integration perspective and try to “Encourage bands to reach beyond their own communities to engage with other cultural groups and bodies”. They identify mainstream traditional and classical genres as being separated from their cultural heritage and marching band tradition. This, approach is in essence fostering separate-ism and polarising the heritage. Praise is ‘heaped upon’ these genres and members of marching bands are treated with suspicion in their schools and communities whilst “classrooms have musical instruments that are classical or trad” without focusing on other instruments more akin to marching traditions. A lack of political policy, strategy and government funding for marching bands has left them with a “reliance on political or loyal order representatives” and “vulnerable to negative interpretations when there are parading issues” (Moore, D. Londonderry Bands Forum, Sinn Fein Ard Fheis Derry March 2015). Within loyalist and unionist bands there is a strong ethos on identity and community cooperation albeit within a majority Protestant context which remains an issue for fostering integration. Quinn, B. (2013, P.122) states that “Closely aligned to the notion of identity are concepts such as pride in place, kinship and community, all of which are connected to social capital” all of which are evident in the kinsman-ship of community music flourishing across the island. In 2011 DCAL NI commissioned a study that found there was around 700 active community music bands working with in the north and border (DCAL NI, 2011) of which 633 were Protestant affiliated groups (Witherow, 2011, Figure1).
Heritage like this is fed by “bequest demand” as defined by Timothy & Boyd (2003, P. 63) “a desire to be able to pass on to future generations the heritage acquired from preceding generations” community music and tradition and passing on the culture to others in the community is rich across Ireland. The problem is this rich community heritage is not prominent in the hierarchal chain of heritage importance and the features that Irish tourism wish to market to overseas audiences. Swarbrooke (1999, P. 311) argues that “the needs of the tourism industry can also lose to a loss of authenticity” and Mathews P. (Failte Ireland Mar 2014) points out that “There is certainly plenty of opportunity” but this type of music often is “unscheduled and it can happen late in the evening” which means that tourism bodies find it difficult to market as most tourists will be going to bed at that time and that “On the Northern side, within the orange community that sort of expression of culture tends to happen within the community”. Tourism bodies acknowledge that it would take a lot of work to get the marketing around this put in place but are fearful of the impact that politicised music could have on their marketing which could cause tourists to feel unsafe “The culturally curious want to know about a place, so they are there the ones who might be desperate for Irish music in a pub. They will want to engage with the story of a place but equally they won’t want to feel there is any kind of danger or edge” (Unidentified Source, DTTAS Mar 2014). Performance of new work developed during this period should be paramount at key events that Irish and Northern Irish governments are planning to host during Decade of Commemorations. A two or three-day festival of heritage and culture that rotates north/south or around the island(s) could be a joint initiative of Fleadh bands, Maiden city bands and Loyalist marching bands but a proper stakeholder engagement process brokered between these orgs to steer them effectively into a shared heritage project would need to be put in place firstly. Swarbrooke (1999, P.312) states that “Future cultural tourism will depend on us recognising and promoting emerging modern cultures, rather than simply continuing to promote long established cultural resources which have become the icons of modern tourism”. Within this the populous must be willing to embrace low brow culture rather than just highbrow cultural attractions and activities. A structured event which showcases low level community heritage would support this approach. The challenge could be how to encourage the demographic to support and attend low level arts events that do not have the marketing appeal or ‘star’ draw of mainstream high level arts and popular culture. A laboratory possibly, could be established in the year prior to a major event in which local bands could rehearse on a scheduled basis and major stars could ‘dip in’ and ‘dip out’ of rehearsals which is when marketing collateral for YouTube promos, images and press articles and snippets of the songs could be developed to build anticipation towards the main event. This would help build awareness, generate a ‘timeline’ for marketing in the build-up period and generate a ‘buzz’ around an event. Further to this Foley, Mc Gillivray and Mc Pherson (2012, P.76) states that cities as part of their ‘wider destination branding strategies’ are preferring ‘manufactured’ events in favour of ‘indigenous’ ones as they ‘fail to portray the desired aesthetic or represent the ubiquitous cosmopolitan ethos being sought in city place promotion’ and that “the manipulation or exploitation of more or less ‘authentic’ cultural expressions causes conflict and tension once in the hands of place marketers’ as their job is to create ‘desire for the city’ and not make it a ‘socially rewarding environment to live in’ (2012, P.79). Tourism agencies in Ireland will have to grapple with this issue due to music and culture being key components of commemoration and the approach should be to embrace and understand rather than deny and reject which may leave a more positive legacy. In the context of leveraging built heritage for cross border cooperation; If a location such as Grianan Aileach hosted an event showcasing the outputs of work developed by community bands the site is rural enough for an indigenous eco-friendly event to take place in its environs but close enough to a city that it would not interfere with the cosmopolitan image that Derry city wishes to radiate. Quinn (2013, P.120) argues that social capital indicators include “community identity, community pride, social cohesion and enhanced community image” which could all be realised if an effective strategy and policy was put in place towards community heritage arts development with outcomes at the end including a festival of performance of new work developed. ‘The Flight of The Earls’ commemorations in Donegal & Tyrone in 2007 theme was ‘Shared Heritage, Shared Identity’. The heritage, legacy and place of certain musical instruments in Republican and Unionist identities throughout the history of the island should be examined and where possible fused in new musical works.