Minister launches NUI Galway 1916 programme of events

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD has just launched NUI Galway’s 1916 Programme of Events, ‘A Nation Rising: Commemorating 1916 and Beyond’, as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.

The university will mark the centenary year with a host of exhibitions, conferences, publications and seminars, both in Irish and English. The programme features artistic, dramatic and musical performances with established and emerging artists. It will also reach out to the wider community, sharing knowledge through public talks, festivals and workshops.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Heather Humphreys said NUI Galway, as one of our foremost universities, will play a very important role in reflecting on the events of 1916 and the impact they had on the West of Ireland in particular.

"Our third level institutions are a vital element of next year’s commemorations; our universities in particular will provide a platform for discussion and debate for their students, staff, alumni, and indeed a national and international audience. I would like to thank NUI Galway for the strong partnership approach it has adopted in putting together this impressive programme for 2016, which includes one of the key national conferences to be held next year.”

Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, added that the men and women who shaped the events of 1916 had different backgrounds, beliefs and ideas, but they shared a drive to create a better Ireland.

"As a nation joins together to commemorate their vision, so too does our diverse university community. I am delighted to see so many colleagues contributing to the programme from across many disciplines, in particular from the Arts and Humanities. The expertise, energy and passion they bring to the commemoration is a fitting tribute to the legacy of 1916. It gives me great pleasure to invite you to join us in reflecting on a remarkable year in the making of our nation.”

As part of the Commemorative Programme, NUI Galway will host the major national academic 1916-2016 conference in November 2016, with academic contributions from a broad range of Ireland’s universities and institutes of technology as well as from a number of leading international figures.

The University has appointed a 1916 Scholar in Residence to co-ordinate and curate many of the events in the University’s Commemorative Programme. Based in the Moore Institute at the University, Dr Conor McNamara will conduct research on the 1916 Rising and its context in Co. Galway and the West of Ireland. He will prepare a catalogue of resources, in English and Irish, from the University’s archives and elsewhere, with a view to facilitating future research on the revolutionaries of 1916-23. Throughout the year, he will also engage with local community groups across the country, and assist with a planned exhibition marking Galway’s role in the Great War and the Irish Revolution.

Dr Mary Harris, Senior Lecturer in History at NUI Galway and Co-ordinator of the University’s 1916 Commemorative Programme, noted that the largest mobilisation outside Dublin in Easter Week 1916 took place in Co. Galway, where over 600 men and women rose.

"Many dreamed of a Republic, others were motivated by the prospect of land reform. In previous years, however, those involved in the Gaelic and Anglo-Irish revivals saw the West in a more romantic light, as the repository of authentic Gaelic culture. This commemorative programme examines the events of 1916 from a variety of perspectives at local, regional and national levels.”

For more information on NUI Galway’s events commemorating the 1916 Rising visit


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