With Ireland about to enter a decade long period of commemoration of the historic events that shaped the nation, Mayo County Council has put together a committee to come up with a definite plan to commemorate the centenary of these historic events.
The first meeting of this committee was staged this week by the council. The committee is made up of the members of the Cultural, Heritage and Corporate Affairs Strategic Policy Committee of Mayo County Council along with two other elected members of the council not on that committee.
Outlining the role of the committee Joe Loftus, director of services for Mayo County Council said: “The main purpose of the committee is to develop a comprehensive and inclusive programme of commemorations for Mayo that is appropriate on the centenary anniversary of the defining decade of our history.”
Fine Gael councillor Eugene McCormack said: “I’m honoured to be on this committee” and “the period of 1913 to 1923 in Mayo was an extraordinary period.” Sinn Féin councillor Rose Conway Walsh added: “I look forward to my role in this committee. I think it’s very important we are all inclusive and those who shout loudest shouldn’t be overshadowed by those who have the biggest voice.” Cllr Al McDonnell concurred, saying: “It’s important for us to be respectful of all sides.”
Mr Loftus asked that all the members would go away and think about what occasions they wanted to see included in the strategy, and to send him suggestions they receive from the public so they can be considered.
The committee will meet again on March 21, where they will be presented with a pre-draft strategy that they will have to agree on before putting it on public display. They will meet again on May 10 to consider submissions from the public before adopting the final strategy with the strategy being presented to the full membership of Mayo County Council for approval on June 10.
The full make up of the elected members of the committee is Cllr Al McDonnell (chair ) and Cllr Margaret Adams, Cllr Cyril Burke, Cll Peter Flynn, Cllr Joe Mellett, Cllr Eugene McCormack, and Ballina Town Cllr Peter Clarke. The two elected members of the committee not on the SPC are Cllr Rose Conway Walsh and Cllr Michael Kilcoyne. The four non political representatives on the committee are SPC members PJ Lynn, Tony Deffely, Mary G Duffy, and Joe Queenan.