Easter Rising international commemoration programme unveiled

London, Paris, New York and Buenos Aires among cities where events will take place

A symposium on Roger Casement in London and a three week festival in Washington DC are among the events which have been announced for the international Easter Rising programme.

Hosting an international programme as part of the global and diaspora programme is one of the seven strands of the Ireland 2016 programme.

It is a joint initiative between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Among the measures announced are:


- The Culture Ireland International Programme for Ireland 2016 includes major tours, performances and exhibitions involving Irish artists across five key territories (USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).

- The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland, will host a three-week festival of Irish arts and culture entitled Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture.

- The Irish Arts Center in New York will run an expanded programme of activity in 2016 including artists such as The Gloaming, Corn Exchange and Camille O‘Sullivan, while Poetry Ireland will run an Irish writers touring programme to US Literary festivals and events

- Irish Film Institute International will hold a series of international screenings in New York and London including archival feature films relating to the events of 1916.

- Presentation of The Casement Project by Choreographer Fearghus Ó Conchuir as part of the London International Festival of Theatre with a possible symposium partnership with the British Library

- A new operatic version of James Joyce's The Dead, produced by The Performance Corporation and presented at festivals in Canada.

- Macnas will perform at the 2016 South by South West Festival, Austin, Texas, while a major international exhibition will be curated by the Science Gallery in Melbourne, Australia.

Ireland's embassies and consulates, together with Culture Ireland, will be promoting Irish arts and culture worldwide. This will include a concert featuring Irish classical musicians and singers taking place at the Wigmore Hall in April 2016. From March to July 2016, the Irish Embassy in Buenos Aires will hold schools' essay and art competitions, which will encourage participants to reflect on themes that include the Easter Rising and Irish-Argentine relations. A schools' 'Gaelic Football Blitz' will also take place.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms Heather Humphreys said the arts will be at the "very centre" of 2016 events.

“ We want to invite an international audience to get involved in the centenary celebrations with arts event, concerts, exhibitions and so much more. It is also vitally important that we engage with our Diaspora and recognise the huge contribution they have made to this country over the last 100 years.”

The Minister of State with responsibility for Culture Ireland, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, said the ideals of 1916 were born out of a movement that was as much cultural as it was political. “The Gaelic and Literary revivals helped to inspire a new generation who believed Ireland could flourish as an independent nation.”

Full details of the event can be found at inspiring-ireland.ie

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times