36. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when the public consultation into the way in which the significant events of the 1918 to 1923 period will be appropriately remembered will report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20142/18 asked on 09 May 2018)
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): The Decade of Centenaries public consultation process was launched by my predecessor, Minister Heather Humphreys T.D. in October of last year. The original closing date for receipt of submissions was 31st January 2018 and this was subsequently extended to 28th February.
The objective of this process was to give interested parties the opportunity to submit their views and ideas around how the events between 1918 and 1923 might be appropriately and respectfully remembered, in line with the principles expressed in the Second Statement of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations. I was very encouraged by the response - 73 submissions were made, with 20 of these coming from local authorities.
The Government will continue to be supported in its approach to remembering the significant historical events between 1918 and 1923 by the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations, chaired by Dr Maurice Manning and by the All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations once established. The Expert Advisory Group has considered all of the submissions received and is now formulating the guidance that it will provide to Government to inform the State’s approach to the remembrance of significant historical events and themes over the remainder of the Decade. I expect this to be provided to me in the coming weeks.
In relation to the 2018 Commemoration Programme which is already underway; this comprises four thematic strands commemorating the significant historical event which took place in 1918:
- the death of John Redmond and the decline of the Irish Parliamentary Party
- the end of World War 1
- the introduction of voting rights for women and their right to stand in Parliamentary elections
- the emergence and divergence of Irish identity in 1918.
In planning events for the remainder of the decade I am of the view that local authorities will have a key role in supporting engagement and facilitation in local communities and in developing suitable commemorative initiatives at county level and in line with the principles expressed in Second Statement of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations.