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Decade of Centenaries

Decade of Centenaries

Decade of Centenaries Project Awards 2020 - Application Form and Criteria (pdf)

Decade of Centenaries Project Awards 2020 - Application Form and Criteria (Word file)

The Decade of Centenaries commemorates an eventful decade in Ireland’s history which included the Home Rule campaign, World War One, the 1916 Rising through to the foundation of the Free State, the War of Independence and the Civil War. It was also a decade of social change which witnessed the suffrage movement and the 1913 Lockout. The Decade of Centenaries programme aims to commemorate these events in a tolerant, inclusive and respectful way.

Local Authorities are involved in the Community Strand of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s Commemorative Programme. Funding is provided annually to each Local Authority and a programme of commemorations is submitted to the Commemorations Unit of the Department for approval. The Community Strand encourages a collaborative approach between the State, local authority network and community organisations.

In Clare, a Decade of Centenaries Project Awards Scheme was advertised by Clare Councy Council in Dec 2019 to encourage applications from community, historical and commemorative groups to commemorate events which happened in Clare in 1920. A limited number of €1,000 awards will be granted to successful applicants. The closing date for applications is 17 January 2020.

The terms of the scheme are based on the guidance of the Commemorations Unit of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and follow the principles laid down by the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations. The Commemorations Unit recognise ‘that local cultural organisations, archives, museums and libraries act in positions of ‘cultural brokers’ and have formed meaningful relationships with local communities.’

In 2019, the Clare Decade of Centenaries Programme included:

- a History Ireland Hedge School in Sept 2019 on The War of Independence in Clare: Reassessment of David Fitzpatrick’s Politics and Irish Life 1913-1921: Provincial Experience of War and Revolution. A panel discussed the topic with contributions encouraged from the audience. The panel consisted of Dr. Tomás Mac Conmara, Dr. Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc, Eve Morrison and Cecile Gordan and was chaired by Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland.

- four showings of the drama Greyhound on a Train with Carnation Theatre, the stories of four women during the War of Independence.

- Mike Hanrahan’s Clare: Songs of Independence with focus on 1919 and the start of the War of Independence. Mike performed in libraries in Ennis, Kilrush and Scariff as well as in Clare Museum.

- Exhibition on the Limerick Soviet in Shannon Library during Sept 2019 and showing of the related documentary.

- War of Independence Film Screenings in various library branches of Wind that Shakes the Barley and Michael Collins.

- Readings by children’s historical fiction author Brian Gallagher to primary school children in Shannon, Ennis, Miltown Malbay and Ennistymon.

- Clare County Library also organised a Lecture Series in six branch libraries:
DeValera Public Library, Ennis on 4 June – Sinéad McCoole lecture on 100 Years of Women in Politics and Public Life #Dail100
Scariff Public Library, Mon 27 May – Tomás Mac Con Mara on The Scariff Martyrs: History and Meaning. Event chaired by Jim Collins of Scariff Library History Group.
DeValera Public Library, Ennis on 17 September – Joe Power on Guerrilla War in Clare
Kilrush Public Library on 18 September – Paul O’Brien on Joe Barrett Archive
Scariff Public Library on 17 September – Tom Toomey on Incarceration of Brigadier General Lucas
Shannon Public Library on 11 June – Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc on Hidden History: Secret Stories from the War of Independence
Ennistymon Public Library on 6 November – Joe Ó Muircheartaigh on Flying the Flag for Ireland – John Burke and the War of Independence.

-Finally, a Project Award was granted to Éigse Thomáis Uí Aodha in Miltown Malbay, organised by Oidhreacht an Chláir. This Éigse included a lecture on the Black and Tans by Tomás Mac Conmara, an exhibition on the 1919 Dáil loan in Kilmurry Ibrickane Parish and events around the life of Tomás Uí Aodha.

The Commemorations Unit of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht oversees the commemorative programme which remember the significant historical events and themes during the period of the Decade of Centenaries (2013-2023).

The Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations chaired by Dr Maurice Manning has advised the Government on the overall approach to commemoration.

The objective of the State Commemorative Programme for the years 2019-2023 is ‘to ensure that this complex period in our history, including the Struggle for Independence, the Civil War, the Foundation of the State and Partition, is remembered appropriately, proportionately, respectfully and with sensitivity.’1 The Programme has a four-strand approach: a State Ceremonial Strand of national commemorations, a Historical Strand of enquiry about this period using archival sources, a Community Strand and a Creative Imagination Strand to encourage artistic and creative expression of events.

Details of national Decade of Centenaries events can be found at

Josepha Madigan, Minister of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltact: “I believe that local authorities have a leading role in supporting the national conversation about this period, by encouraging respectful, inclusive and authentic citizen engagement, debate and analysis, which is sensitive to the local context.’ March 2019.

1 Statement from Minister Josepha Madigan January 2019

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

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