THE 2022 Programme for the Decade of Centenaries has been announced today to commemorate several significant centenaries arising this year.
Described as "an inclusive, sensitive and meaningful programme to remember this complex and still painful period in our history," the programme will take place throughout the year, with some events having already taken place in recent months.
The centenaries arising this year include the foundation of the State, the Civil War, the destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland at the Four Courts in the opening engagement of the Civil War, and the foundation of various institutions of the Irish Free State.
The programme comprises of four thematic strands: State Ceremonial; Historical Exploration; Community and Creative Imagination.
State partners, local authorities, the national cultural institutions, institutions of learning, custodians of records, media and broadcasting organisations, artists and creative communities, will continue to have a leading role in curating initiatives to support respectful, inclusive and meaningful public engagement with these centenaries and associated themes.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Taoiseach, Micheál Martin reflected:
"2022 will be an important, and sensitive year for commemorations as we remember the centenary of the onset of the Civil War in June," he said.
"The objective of the Decade of Centenaries Programme is to provide opportunities for respectful and meaningful engagement from everyone who has an interest in this period, and to provide ways in which citizens of all ages can engage in our shared history."
Ireland's 2022 Decade of Centenaries programme announced today includes:
🟢Civil War State commemoration
🟢community programmes amounting to €2m
🟢€2.65m new work commissions with @artscouncil_ie
🟢National Cultural Institutions' commissions
🟢Ongoing Mná100 investment
— Catherine Martin TD (@cathmartingreen) February 23, 2022
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar similarly said the programme will mark significant events "in a way that is sensitive, inclusice and authentic, in a way that will provoke thought and discussion without ever seeking to challenge anyone's loyalties."
"Through a variety of different lenses, for example poetry and podcasts, local research projects and art exhibitions, we are able to look in new ways at the birth of the State and the triumphs as well as the traumas of that period," he said.
"In this way the State, our cultural and educational institutions, and our communities can share in this act of respectful remembrance and commemoration, making a strong statement about the Ireland of today as well as about our past."
Some of the highlights of the programme include a national, academic conference hosted by University College Cork to examine and debate all aspects of the period being commemorated, the continued funding of local authority partners in developing community-led programming and a new bursary scheme, led by the Royal Irish Academy, to encourage original local research and acknowledge the significant contribution of local historians.
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media said the programme is a "collaborative effort right acorss Government, comprising national and local partnerships, and contributions from so many arts and cultural groups and institutions of learning."
A detailed look at the 2022 Programme for Decade of Centenaries can be found here.