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1916 Rising




Westmeath Plan for Commemorating the Centenary of the 1916 Rising 

The Ireland 2016 centenary programme is built on Seven Programme Strands which, taken together, reflect the themes of Remembering, Reconciling, Presenting, Imagining and Celebrating.

Date: 29th Jan 2016

Please click on the link below to view/download the Westmeath Plan for Commemorating the Centenary of the 1916 Rising.

Press Release

Launch of the Westmeath 2016 Centenary Programme

The 2016 commemorations were officially opened in Westmeath on Wednesday 27th January last with the launch of the Westmeath 2016 Centenary Programme by Cathaoirleach Cllr. Paul Daly.

The Westmeath 2016 Centenary programme which was developed following a public consultation process, will see an extensive programme of activities across the county to commemorate the events of the 1916 Easter Rising, to reflect on our achievements over the last 100 years and to look towards our future. This programme is part of the Ireland 2016 programme and contains events and initiatives across all seven strands of the national programme.

At the launch, Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, and Chair of the 2016 Steering Committee, Cllr Paul Daly stated that

There is no doubt that the Easter Rising was one of the most critical events in Irish historyand started a process that led to the birth of our Nation.  It is incumbent on us as a nation to honour the courage, dignity and ideals of the events and people of 1916.

The majority of the commemorative events included in our programme are being organised by community groups across the county. This community involvement has been a key essential in developing the programme.  I would like to thank those of you who have stepped forward to lead your community in organising events.  The leadership you have demonstrated will ensure that efforts of previous leaders of our country are not forgotten.”

The launch, which was attended by over one hundred people, took place in the Atrium of Aras an Chontae, Mullingar. It included contributions from Commandant Stephen MacEoin, of the Ireland 2016 Project Office, Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive of Westmeath County Council, a presentation by Gearoid O Brien, Westmeath Heritage Forum, as well as very entertaining performances by musicians from Mullingar Harp School, Mullingar Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, and a dance performance by the Emerald Lakes Dance Academy, all of which gave a sneak preview of some of their activities which form part of the Westmeath 2016 centenary programme.

With over 65 events planned for Westmeath and more likely to be included in the coming months, Westmeath is set for an exciting year of commemorations, where everyone of all ages, both in Westmeath and overseas, will have an opportunity to join in. Lectures and exhibitions, memorial gardens, genealogy workshops, proclamation readings and recreations of life in 1916, are just a few of the activities taking place across the county.

Other highlights of the programme include:

The exhibition “A Terrible Beauty is Born” will open in February in the Aidan Heavey Library, Athlone which gives insights into the key players in the Rising.  It is accompanied by rare material from the Aidan Heavey Collection and Westmeath County Library Archives. This is the first of many events in Westmeath Libraries offering people the chance to explore 1916 through history, drama and literature.

An exciting synergy of music and poetry which sees local composer Enda Seery creating a musical piece in response to renown poet John Ennis’ work on the Elliott sisters, who were founder members of Cumann na mBan from Glasson.

The 100 Art Exhibitionand The People, the Landare two exciting art exhibitions hosted by The Luan Gallery, Athlone. They offer the chance to engage, explore and reflect on art which is inspired and responsive to the events of the Rising and the emergence of a nation.

Please click on the link below to view/download the national programme: