Minister Alan Kelly met communities in Cloughjordan last Monday evening and took part in a workshop to support communities develop plans and programmes in the village to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising, and, in particular, to remember and honour their local hero, Thomas McDonagh.
In attendance at the event was the 2016 Project Office, which has been established by the Government to support the development of a year-long programme of activity to mark the events of 1916.
The Government’s Centenary Programme reflects on Ireland’s achievements over the last 100 years. The programme includes seven strands; State Ceremonial; Historical Reflection; An Teanga Bheo/The Living Language; Youth and Imagination; Cultural Expression; Community Participation; Global and Diaspora.
Minister Kelly highlighted the importance of participation by all communities in commemorative events during 2016. As the Minister with responsibility for Community, he said his core objective was to encourage and facilitate participation by, and the inclusion of, the citizens of Ireland to the greatest extent possible in the centenary events.
Minister Kelly emphasised that the Republic belonged to every citizen.
“I am honoured to be part of the development of the Tipperary Commemoration Plan for 2016. Easter 1916 was a pivotal time in Ireland’s history, and as Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, I am determined that local authorities maximise engagement with, and participation by, members of the public, young people, community organisations, historical societies, artists, writers and other interested parties within their areas to determine how they would like to see this significant centenary commemorated.
He said that he was confident that the people of Cloughjordan will have a rich programme of events in place during 2016, which will reflect the rich heritage and culture of the county.
“No doubt the Tipperary programme will reflect the Tipperary connections of signatories of the Proclamation. We are all very proud of Thomas McDonagh and I know that the community of Cloughjordan will pay fitting tribute to Thomas McDonagh during 2016 and will ensure that there will be a permanent reminder of McDonagh in Cloughjordan for generations to come,” he said.