HomeNewsArchived Speeches and Press Releases

National Commemorations Programme: Decade of Centenaries, 2012-2022


Appointment of Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations

The Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD, in association with the Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD, today announced the nomination of an Advisory Group of distinguished historians to be chaired by Dr Maurice Manning (Chancellor of the National University of Ireland), supported by Dr Martin Mansergh and including:-

Professor Mary Daly Dr Eamon Phoenix
Professor John A Murphy Dr. Leeann Lane
Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh Mr Francis Devine
Professor Eunan O'Halpin Ms Sinead Mc Coole
Professor Diarmuid Ferriter

The initial work of the Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations
will be towards the preparation of an overview statement to inform the development and delivery of the commemorative programme for the period 2012 to 2016, following which further statements could address annual commemorative programmes and thematic issues.

The Group will continue in being for the duration of the commemorative programme, 2012 -2016.

The Taoiseach indicated that 'the work of the Advisory Group will be of great assistance in the development of the comprehensive and inclusive programme of commemorations that is appropriate on the Centenary anniversary of the defining period of our modern history. I am very grateful to the Chairman and the distinguished panel for their support in this important work.'

Minister Deenihan recognised 'the achievements to date of the members of this distinguished group in researching and interpreting our national history for modern generations which gives great confidence in their contribution towards an informative and engaging exploration of the tides and events in Ireland in the period to 1916.'

Dr Manning outlined the principal role of the new Advisory Group will be to advise Government and the All-party Oireachtas Group on both the overall Commemorative programme and on the many specific issues which will arise. In particular it will seek to set a tone that is inclusive and non-triumphalist, ensuring authenticity, proportionality and openness. It hopes to consult widely with scholars, with universities, with educational and cultural bodies, with local historical associations and committees and with individuals where appropriate. It will seek to encourage original research at local and national level, at all times acknowledging the multiple identities and traditions which are part of the historic story of the island of Ireland and Irish people worldwide.

Oireachtas Consultation Group on Centenary Commemorations

With a view to the continuing development of a comprehensive and inclusive commemorative programme for the Decade of Centenaries commencing in 2012, the government has recently expanded the membership of the Oireachtas Consultation Group on Centenary Commemorations. The Group, chaired by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, Mr J. Deenihan TD now comprises

Mr Dinny McGinley, TD
Minister of State at Department of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht
Ms Heather Humphries TD
Mr Michael Conaghan TD
Ms Anne Ferris TD
Senator Mary White
Senator Mark Daly
Mr Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD
Senator Kathryn Reilly
Ms Maureen O' Sullivan TD
Ms Catherine Murphy TD
Senator Dr Martin McAleese.

The arrangements for the inaugural events of the official commemorative programme are being prepared in consultation with this All Party Oireachtas group and will be announced shortly.

Meetings of this group are also attended by Dr Maurice Manning and Dr Martin Mansergh to ensure co-ordination with the work of the Advisory Group of distinguished historians established to support the development of the commemorative programme and as a consultation body.

Minister Deenihan welcomed the expansion of the Group which he believed would not only bring additional valuable perspectives on current proposals but also wider contacts with interested organisations and communities in Ireland and abroad. Since being strengthened in January, the Oireachtas group has met three times.


Government Press Office
Ph: 01 6194098