Events to honour Proclamation signatories announced as part of 1916 programme

Public response ‘overwhelming’ as 1,800 community events drawn up for 2016

A Kerry event next year will remember Roger Casement’s landing at Banna Strand

A Kerry event next year will remember Roger Casement’s landing at Banna Strand


An event at Banna Strand, Co Kerry, marking Sir Roger Casement’s ill-fated attempt to be smuggled into Ireland has been announced as part of the Easter Rising community programme for next year.

The event, which is organised with Kerry County Council, is one of 1,800 community events announced on Thursday as part of the Ireland 2016 programme.

There will be events to commemorate leading Rising figures in their respective counties.

An expanded summer school commemorating Seán Mac Diarmada will be held in his Co Leitrim birthplace. Galway city will remember Eamonn Ceannt, another signatory of the Proclamation.

Kilkenny will host the launch of a Royal Irish Academy biography of Thomas MacDonagh, who taught in St Kieran’s College.

Carlow will host events to honour Michael O’Hanrahan, one of 15 leaders executed following the Rising.

Roscommon will remember Fr Michael O’Flanagan, the rebel priest who was a leading figure in Sinn Féin.

Mayo will create five exhibitions to remember Dr Kathleen Lynn, the Irish Citizen Army medical doctor during the Rising. Other events nationwide will remember the women of the Rising.

Louth will remember Constable Charles McGee who was shot dead during the Rising, and Cavan will commemorate Francis Sheehy Skeffington, the pacifist from Bailieborough who was shot dead by a British officer during Easter Week.

Meath will remember the poet Francis Ledwidge. Despite being a British soldier who died at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, he expressed some sympathy for the rebels.

The public’s response to a call for events to be organised has been described as “overwhelming” by John Concannon, the director of the Ireland 2016 programme. “The energy from citizens to engage with this has been enormous,” he said.

Mr Concannon said the overwhelming view about 2016 was that the events of 100 years ago should be used not to look back but to “contextualise the actions of the revolutionary generation in the present, as a guide for our future”.

There will be 31 local authority plans announced, one for each local authority in the country.

Mr Concannon said they set out originally to have 26 public meetings, one for each county, but ended up having 84 because of the interest generated by county committees.

Of the 1,800 events confirmed, 161 will be State and local ceremonies, 540 will be of historical reflection, 152 will have an Irish-language theme and 78 will have a global and diaspora role.

All 15 scout groups from Wicklow will plant 500 native trees over 16 acres to commemorate those who died in 1916 on March 5th and 6th next year.

More than 3,000 relatives of those who fought in the Rising have expressed an interest in participating in the parade on Easter Sunday next year. The deadline for expressions of interest was September 30th.

Originally, it was planned that they would take part in the parade, but it is now likely they will be allocated seating on O’Connell Street instead.

The programme is being unveiled by the Taoiseach, who described the programme as representing “the outcome of many hundreds of hours of reflection, consultation and discussion involving thousands of people all over Ireland.

“The story and events of 1916 belongs to all of us regardless of political or family background, or personal interpretation of our modern history,” he said.

“I am delighted that the local authorities have reached into the heart of the communities you represent to ensure that next year will be a truly inclusive one - where all citizens’ views can be listened to and respected.”

The launch at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham will also feature the Tánaiste Joan Burton; the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys; and the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly.