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Australia will host 1916 centenary events

April 15, 2015 • Local, News,

1916 site plan

Taoiseach Enda Kenny launches the 2016 commemorative plans.

Australia will play a role in an international commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising next year, the Irish Echo has learned.

A number of projects are in the works, according to Ireland’s Ambassador to Australia, Mr Noel White, including “a possible cultural event” with an “Australian partner”.

In Ireland, the centenary of Ireland’s In Dublin, the 100-year anniversary of 1916, will be spearheaded by a parade from Dublin Castle, down O’Connell Street to Parnell Square on Easter Sunday next year and a special state reception for descendants.

The significant but largely forgotten role of women in the rebellion will also be marked while wreaths will be laid on Easter Monday marking the time when the first shots were fired.

A commemoration of rebel leader James Connolly will also be held at Liberty Hall. The plans were launched at the GPO on O’Connell Street last week where detail of work on a number of flagship projects was outlined.

An avenue of trees will be planted in the Phoenix Park and 16 commemorative stamps will be created, which will reveal interactive material on the Rising, while a specially commissioned set of coins will be released.

Universities will play a central role in remembering and educating people on the history with 20,000 items held by the National Library of Ireland
being made available online.

Universities will also play a role in Australia’s commemoration events.

“We are working with Irish Studies at UNSW and with UNSW at its Canberra campus to organise conferences in Sydney and Canberra.  These will be held around Easter week 2016,” Ambassador White said.

“They would provide a platform to consider the impact of 1916 in particular on the Irish community in Australia and on the wider Australian perception of Ireland.”

The ripples from the 1916 Rising were felt in Australia, especially given this country’s involvement in the First World War as an ally of Britain.

“At the moment we have a number of projects in hand,” the envoy said.

“These, and others, will be developed further over the coming months. We are [also] in discussion with an Australian partner about a possible cultural event which would complement these conferences. We will also be linking in with events and initiatives organised in Ireland to include Australian audiences,” he said.

“Further information on this and more will be available over the coming months and we will post it to our website.  In the meantime, we encourage individuals or organisations that might be thinking of an event, or already working on one, to let us know at the Embassy or the Consulate.”

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