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20/05/2015 - Donegal preparing for 2016 Commemorations

Ireland 2016 public meeting

Paddy Doherty, Donegal County Council, Cathaoirleach Cllr. John Campbell, Eileen Burgess Donegal County Council and John Concannon Ireland 2016 at the public meeting in Letterkenny


The process of gathering ideas and suggestions on how Donegal as a county should commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising began with a public consultation meeting in the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny last Tuesday night hosted by Donegal County Council.


The well-attended event drew interested parties from various parts of Donegal and those attending heard from the national organising body, Ireland 2016; met those involved in their community and explored and learned about how they can get involved.


Cultural Services Divisional Manager with Donegal County Council Eileen Burgess said the purpose of the meeting was to inform and to stimulate debate and discussion on what a programme of events to mark the event in Donegal should focus on.


In his welcome address Cathaoirleach Cllr John Campbell said that "we are happy to be leading the community participation element of the commemoration and we will be producing a distinctive and unique programme that is reflective of the people of Donegal, our culture and heritage".


Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs, Joe McHugh who is responsible for the An Teanga Bheo section of the celebrations also attended the meeting and said he was confident that Donegal County Council has, over many years, demonstrated a great knowledge and skill set in this area of work and will develop a creative and engaging programme that will pull together the different ideas and strands of these commemorations.


Director of Ireland 2016, John Concannon outlined how the programme was underpinned by five intersecting and overlapping themes: Remembering, Reconciling, Presenting, Imagining and Celebrating and how it comprised seven strands: State Ceremonial, Historical Reflection, An Teanga Bheo, Youth and Imagination, Cultural Expression, Community Participation and Global and Diaspora.


He explained a range of activities and events already planned under each of the seven strands and added that the full details about the work being undertaken is available on


He encouraged people in Donegal, through the County Council, to explore the strength associated with local community involvement and the unique perspectives and creative ideas that participating groups and citizens could offer to ensure that the significant events of 1916 would be brought to life and made interesting and relevant for people of all ages in Donegal.


He added that while some of the events and projects detailed in the programme were Dublin-based, particularly some of the State ceremonial events, given the very significant role that key buildings and locations in Dublin played in the 1916 Easter Rising, it should be noted that Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme was very much a national programme and a range of events was planned across the country for 2016.


Mr Concannon also pointed out that as well as having a programme to focus on events of 1916, it was also envisaged that participants here would also look at the political, economic, social, cultural and community evolution that had shaped Donegal and Ireland since that time.


In a lively question and answer session which followed various suggestions, ideas and proposals were made and noted. These covered a wide range of topics including cultural, maritime, educational, ceremonial, public commemorative and historical projects.


Participants were invited to write their proposals down on the night or send them on to the council by emailing [email protected] .


The meeting heard that a full programme of events for Donegal would be launched in October 2015





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