Dundalk Gaol, where anti-treaty forces took part in a break out in 1922
Louth County Council is to receive €50,000 in government funding to support their leading role in developing community-led commemorative activities for the final phase of the Decade of Centenaries Programme.
The announcement was made today by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, where €50,000 will be allocated to every local authority to support their commemorative programming for 2022.
Minister Martin has also made a supplementary fund of €450,000 available to provide further supports to local authorities who have identified additional requirements in relation to specific centenaries of local significance and other larger projects, including cross-border initiatives.
Under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries Programme in 2022, local authorities are to drive and support community-led commemorative initiatives to reflect on local connections to the significant historical events that occurred a century ago, supported by the principles and guidance laid down by the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations.
Examples of the type of initiatives suggested by the Minister's department include, how were events such as the Signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty; the outbreak of the Civil War; and the foundation of the State received or marked locally?
Speaking today, Minister Martin said:
“I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to all of our local authorities for their continued engagement and enthusiasm this year, notwithstanding the ongoing challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our local authority partners have delivered thoughtful, imaginative, and ambitious commemorative programmes that allowed for meaningful public engagement, which encouraged and supported reflection and shared remembrance of key centenary moments in 2021.”
She continued: “Right across the country, community-led commemorative initiatives continue to make such a wonderful and important contribution to our understanding of these historical events – their impact, consequences and legacies. This is only possible through partnership and co-operation.
“In 2022, I plan to continue this collaborative approach between the State, local authorities, and local communities, which has worked so well to date, to ensure that in the penultimate year of the Decade of Centenaries, our shared history is remembered in an inclusive, measured, and balanced manner.
“Our continued confidence and trust in our local authorities is reflected in the €50,000 funding allocation for 2022. Arising from the success of this year’s programme, I have asked local authorities to again allocate at least €15,000 from their allocations in 2022 to support artistic and creative endeavours.
"The interpretation of significant historical events by our artists and creative practitioners provides an important platform to encourage reflection and the consideration of issues, both past and present, which may be challenging, difficult and sometimes deeply personal.”
The Government says its approach recognises the need to be sensitive to the local, historical context and the fact that there was no uniform experience during the Struggle for Independence and the Civil War - within counties or across the island of Ireland.
It aims, it says, to facilitate engagement from all traditions and communities on the island and to acknowledge the significance of local narratives and experiences with a focus always on respectful remembrance and reconciliation.
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