General Industry

Tourism Minister Publishes Programme For Final Year Of Decade Of Centenaries

By Dave Simpson
Tourism Minister Publishes Programme For Final Year Of Decade Of Centenaries

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, on behalf of the government, has published the 2023 Decade of Centenaries programme.


This is the final year of the programme, presenting a range of initiatives and projects to commemorate centenaries occurring this year. Minister Martin, along with the chair, Dr Maurice Manning, and the deputy chair, Dr Martin Mansergh, of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations, visited the National Library of Ireland to mark the publication of the programme for the year ahead, and to acknowledge the role played by national cultural institutions in the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023, from the outset of the programme.

The year 2023 will bring the Decade of Centenaries programme to a close, with the centenary of the admission of the Irish Free State to the League of Nations in September. The centenaries of some of the atrocities of the Civil War will also occur, as well as the ending of the conflict. Key cultural and societal milestones will be marked, including the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to W. B. Yeats in 1923.

The programme is based on the guiding principles set out by the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations and informed by the views of the all-party consultation group on commemorations.


Marking the publication of the programme, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said, “Over the past ten years, as a people and a nation, we have endeavoured to move from memory and contested history – often still deeply personal and deeply felt – to mature reflection and historical exploration of the events that have shaped our country. It has not always been easy or uncontested, but we have striven to better understand, and to acknowledge that we may share a common history, but not always a common memory or understanding of events and their consequences.


“Thank you to the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations, for their guidance throughout this period, the all-party consultation group on commemorations, for their input, and also the various stakeholders, with particular thanks to the local authorities partnering with their communities. Together they have worked to ensure a meaningful, sensitive and nuanced programme to engage the public in this complex period of history. Community-led commemoration continues to be a cornerstone of the state’s approach to commemoration.”

Tánaiste Micheál Martin TD said, “I am pleased to have contributed to some of the key centenary events over the past two years, and have been struck by the maturity of the debate, the breadth of the programme, and the willingness of Irish people to embrace the stories of our past.

“I would like to thank all who have contributed so thoughtfully and expertly to these series of events, marking this period. This year we reflect on some challenging centenaries, but we are supported in this reflection by the work of our institutions of learning, historians and archivists, national cultural institutions, local authorities, artists, and creative communities – and this year includes the centenary of Ireland joining of the League of Nations, which was a significant and hugely positive step forward by the state into the international arena. Over the past ten years, the impacts from engagement on centenaries have been immense – historically authentic, citizen-focused, imaginative initiatives, aimed at engaging diverse audiences of all ages and traditions.”

Minister Catherine Martin TD said, “I would like to thank, sincerely, all of the stakeholders who have contributed so enthusiastically and thoughtfully throughout the Decade of Centenaries, and particularly those leading initiatives in this, our final year. Together, we have addressed the complexity of our history and the challenges linked to commemoration, and we will continue to do so this year, as we navigate through this sensitive final phase, marking the emergence of an independent Irish state in the midst of a traumatic civil war. While perspectives may have varied, we have engaged in respectful debate and discussion, supported by a wealth of scholarship and material from national and local archives, including newly digitised sources. Our artists have also immersed themselves, with new and established audiences, in exploring the historical events and themes under the creative-imagination strand of the programme. This element is further supported in the 2023 programme through ART:2023, the Yeats Society programme, marking the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature to W. B. Yeats in 1923, and continued support for the Markievicz Award and the artist-in-residence scheme.”

Full Programme

The full programme is available in Irish and English here.


Read More: New Exhibition For Decade Of Centenaries Programme Launched

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