Ireland announces global programme for 1916 centenary events

Ireland announces global programme for 1916 centenary events

THE IRISH government today revealed an ambitious programme of events which will take place across the globe to mark next year’s centenary of the Easter Rising.

Paris, Tokyo, Washington DC and Buenos Aires will all host events on the international schedule, while the London offering will feature a collection of Irish classical musicians and singers at a concert at Wigmore Hall next April.

In the US, Irish arts festivals, GAA tournaments and historic memorials will take on the centenary theme over the course of the year, according to the Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora Programme which was revealed in Dublin today.

“From Washington to Tokyo, and from Paris to Buenos Aires, an exciting range of historical, cultural and arts events will take place over the coming year to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said today, ahead of the launch of the programme at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland this evening.

“I would like to invite Ireland’s global family and friends to come together to remember the events of a century ago, reflect on what we have achieved and what we need to continue to strive for and to look forward to the next 100 years,” he added.

Arts Minister Heather Humphries hopes the programme, jointly organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Culture Ireland, will bring the “best of Irish arts” out to the wider world.

“The arts are at the very centre of Ireland 2016,” she said today.

“Through the Global and Diaspora strand of the programme, we want to invite an international audience to get involved in the centenary celebrations with arts event, concerts, exhibitions and so much more. It is also vitally important that we engage with our Diaspora and recognise the huge contribution they have made to this country over the last 100 years.”

She added: “The Ireland 2016 programme, which will be developed further in the coming months, will bring the best of Irish arts to some of the world’s greatest cities, including major events in New York, London and Sydney. The Irish are renowned globally for our artist excellence and through 2016 we can utilise the arts as a unifying force that brings people together at home and abroad.”

While further events are due to added to the Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora Programme, those announced today are listed below:


A concert featuring Irish classical musicians and singers will take place at the Wigmore Hall in London in April 2016.  Led by the Wigmore Hall’s Irish Director John Gilhooly, this major concert will showcase the Irish contribution to classical music as part of the 2016 commemorations. Elsewhere, a presentation of The Casement Project by choreographer Fearghus Ó Conchuir will take place, as part of the London International Festival of Theatre.


Next year’s Paris International Beckett Festival will run for the entire month of March 2016 and will include a focus on the 1916 Rising.  The Sixteen16 centennial programme will involve performances that respond to Samuel Beckett’s work by sixteen Irish artists or artistic groups from Ireland’s theatre, dance, literature, visual arts, music and film sectors.

Washington DC:

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland, will host a three-week festival of Irish arts and culture entitled ‘Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture’.

New York:

Over the course of the weekend of 27-29 June 2015, a range of events will take place to commemorate the life and death of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, with the support of the Irish Consulate General in New York – including a GAA tournament at Gaelic Park in the Bronx; a community and cultural celebration in Queens and a mass and wreath laying ceremony at the O’Donovan Rossa memorial at St. Peter’s Church in Staten Island.

Elsewhere in the city, the Irish Arts Center in New York will offer an expanded programme of activity across 2016, including artists such as The Gloaming, Corn Exchange and Camille O’Sullivan, while Poetry Ireland will run an Irish Writers’ Touring Programme at US Literary festivals and events.


Galway street theatre company Macnas will perform at the 2016 South by South West Festival in Austin, Texas.


A new operatic version of James Joyce’s The Dead, produced by The Performance Corporation, will be presented at arts festivals taking place across Canada in 2016.

Buenos Aires:

From March to July 2016, the Irish Embassy in Buenos Aires will hold schools’ essay and art competitions which will encourage participants to reflect on themes that include the Easter Rising and Irish-Argentine relations. A schools’ ‘Gaelic Football Blitz’ will also take place.


In Sydney, a series of performances of Seán O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars will take place during the annual St Patrick’s Day Festival 2016.


A major international exhibition will be curated by the Science Gallery in Melbourne, Australia in 2016.