The first two in a series of talks marking the significance of 2016 in a decade of centenaries have taken place as part of Mid Ulster District Council’s new programme of commemorative events.
The programme, titled ‘Remembering the Future’ considers aspects of the 1916 Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme and consists of five talks being delivered across the district between now and the end of March, culminating in a final panel debate entitled ‘1916: A Challenging Debate,’ on Wednesday, 13 April.
The first talk entitled ‘The North Began’: The 1916 Rising and Ulster, was facilitated by Dr Eamon Phoenix and set the scene for the four future lectures and final debate.
The second talk, Ulster and the Decade of Centenaries: ‘Histories and Myths’, took place last week. Delivered by Dr Feargal McGarry, the talk provided those in attendance with much scope for discussion.
The three remaining talks are: Irish Catholic Chaplains in the British Armed Forces during the First World War and The Tyrone Volunteers and the Great War, delivered by Mr Hugh O’Neill and Friends of The Somme Mid Ulster Branch, Tom Clarke, Republicanism in Tyrone and 1916 Rising, facilitated by Dr Feargal Mac Bloscaidh, and Women, the Vote and Revolution in Ireland, with speakers Mr Shaun Harkin and Dr Margaret Ward.
Two exhibitions will also be on display during March and April. ‘Their Story’ on loan from County Museum, Dundalk examines the involvement of the 16th (Irish) and 36th (Ulster) divisions in World War One, the motivations of those who enlisted, their training and experiences at the Battle of the Somme.
The role played by the Irish language movement in the broad Irish revival period from the late 19th Century to the early 20th Century, with a focus on the 1916 Easter Rising, is also told in an exhibition developed by Conradh na Gaeilge.
Speaking at the first talk, Councillor Linda Dillon, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, said: “This lecture series, and a diverse range of other events and activities supported by Mid Ulster Council, reflects the community’s interest in this important period of our history.
“The Council is adopting the accepted principles of ethical commemoration and remembrance in its activities.”
For more information and to register for one of the remaining three historical talks and / or the final debate which are all free to attend, please contact Hannah McCabe on 028 86764714 or email [email protected]