With Easter just over, you may be forgiven for missing the news that €22m is to be spent on commemorations for the Easter Rising in 1916 over the coming year, what with all that chocolate going around.
The year-long tribute to the event which saw Ireland take a huge leap towards independence, will begin on the August 1st of this year, with a re-enactment of the funeral of Jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa and will run until August 3rd of next year, with celebrations to mark the centenary anniversary of the execution of Roger Casement.
For most there may be fears that this year will mirror similar commemorations for the First World War, which ended up monopolizing news and current affairs for days at a time. Those fears may be allayed by the list of events which was released by the Irish Government this past week.
The commemorations are set to be the bedrock from which a host of educational, arts and heritage events are to be launched. One of the most interesting introductions will be a new subject, Politics and Society, which will be trialled in schools around Ireland in the coming academic year.
Perhaps more historically important though will be the exhibitions and retrospects which are bound to be a huge part of the commemorations. The National Library of Ireland is currently looking at approximately 23,000 different documents relating to the signatories of the proclamation, while the National Archives are to publish court-martial files from 1916, along with Dublin City Metropolitan police surveillance.
Furthermore another outdoor festival is set to be added to a growing list of options for music-lovers, as Glór na nGael is organising Rave-lóid as part of An Teanga Bheo, the programme focusing on the heritage and role of the Irish language.
Beyond Ireland, exciting things, like the contribution of €2.8m towards a three-part documentary on the rising by the University of Notre Dame, are set to take place. The diasporic element in Irish society around the world will see the United States, Argentina, the UK and Australia, amongst others, host events in commemoration of The Rising.