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15 of the best 1916 centenary events you can't miss

A member of the Defence Forces reads the Proclamation outside the GPO
A member of the Defence Forces reads the Proclamation outside the GPO

The celebrations around the centenary of the 1916 Rising are impressive for their diversity and imagination, so don’t let it pass you by without attending an event. And you don’t have to travel to Dublin to be a part of the centenary, as our list of events reveals.

1. Academia
The universities and institutes of technology have developed extensive academic programmes for 2016. A highlight will be a national conference on the Rising and its impact on the life of the nation, hosted by NUI Galway in November.

2. Exhibitions
Cork’s Crawford Art Gallery will hold a number of exhibitions during the year, including Diverging Loyalties (June 4 to August 27) and 1916 in Contemporary Art (June 24 to August 24). 

3. Irish language 
On March 4, Rith, a 32-county relay race, begins in Kildare and finishes on March 14 at the GPO in Dublin.

4. Film
Town Hall Cavan Arts Space will present a series of world films and art films from the 1916 era as part of the Reimagining Cavan in 1916 event on April 23, 2016.

5. Children 
A series of literature workshops with national schools in Cavan will allow children the opportunity to examine the writings of Ireland’s poets and writers, encouraging them to produce similar works based on their own experiences and feelings.

6. Conference 
In June, a conference in Cavan’s 
Johnston Central Library will honour the memory of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, a pacifist republican, who was born in Bailieborough. 
Sheehy-Skeffington was trying to prevent looting in Dublin city centre on the evening of Tuesday, April 25, 1916, when he was arrested by Captain JC Bowen-Colthurst, on whose instructions he was killed the following morning.

7. Culture 
In Clare, the annual Peadar Clancy 
Cultural Festival will dedicate a plaque and garden area to his memory during the weekend of July 15 to 17. Clancy was a hugely influential participant in the Easter Rising and in the War of Independence.

8. Books 
The Ennis Book Club Festival has invited prominent historians and commentators Diarmaid Ferriter, Catríona Crowe and Susan McKay to participate in the festival in 2016. 
The festival, which runs from March 4 to 6, will also include poetry readings and music performed by the Vanbrugh Quartet reflecting on, among other themes, the importance of national identity.

9. Dance 
In Cork city, dance group Firkin Crane is producing a new dance theatre workshop (May 20 and 21) for 2016 examining our ever-changing relationship with our history and the question of how the Ireland of 2016 relates to the ideals of Ireland in 1916. 

The Triskel Arts Centre in Cork will host a major visual arts installation over the Easter weekend of March 26 and 27 by artist Aideen Barry – the grand-niece of Tom Barry – exploring the position of women in Ireland across almost 100 years of independence.

11. Ceremony 
All of the prominent figures and indeed many of the lesser-known figures of the Rising will be remembered in 2016. In Castlelyons, Co. Cork, on May 9 there will be a major community ceremonial event for Thomas Kent, one of the executed leaders of 1916.

12. Festival 
The flagship event in Galway city’s programme will be the Remembering Éamonn Ceannt festival, which will take place from June 13 to 19. 
This will be a week-long celebration of musician, teacher and revolutionary Ceannt throughout the city. 
Ceannt’s role in the Easter Rising and his cultural and political legacy will be explored and celebrated in a series of concerts, conferences and seminars, along with visits to important sites of relevance to his life. 
It will culminate in an international parade of pipes and pipers through the streets of Galway, with bands, musicians and performers from Ireland, north America and Europe. 
Galway County Council will also launch the Éamonn Ceannt Scholarships and the Pádraig Pearse Gaeltacht Scholarships, in recognition of the strong ties to the county that the two men had.

13. Diaspora 
Donegal and Galway are among the many counties hosting diaspora conferences. The New York Leitrim diaspora, who march under the Seán Mac Diarmada banner on St Patrick’s Day, will highlight connections between New York and Leitrim.

14. Culture 
Donegal has a particularly strong arts component in its programme. The Regional Cultural Centre and Earagail Arts Festival are organising Irish and English Folk, from July 14 to 17. This will explore the relationship between Ireland and England through folk songs and music.

15. Women 
A programme of events at the county library in Roscommon runs on September 15 and 16. 
Revolutionaries In Their Own Right: Women and Revolution will look at the role and contribution of women from Cumann na mBan, Inghinidhe na hÉireann, the Irish Women’s Franchise League, and central and local figures active in committees and communities in Co. Roscommon.