The centenary commemoration of 1916 in the county of Cork has been a tremendous success thus far, largely due to the enthusiasm and pride shown by close to 200 of the county’s community groups in honouring the men and women of 1916 in their own locality by organising a range of different events and projects. “The number and diversity of events continues to grow” said Conor Nelligan, Cork County Council’s ‘Ireland 2016’ Coordinator, “and is fast approaching 500, by far the largest community led Centenary Programme in the Country and well in excess of 10% of everything happening nationally and internationally”.
“The sense of community in County Cork is overwhelming, said Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey, and this is easily conveyed given the number of communities involved in commemorations this year. I have attended many events myself and commend the groups involved”, he said.
Due to significant demand and in order to future support community commemorative events in the county, Cork County Council recently ran a second round of the 1916 Centenary Fund, supported by Cork County Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Round One of the fund was announced in December 2015 and saw 94 succesful applicants. Chair of Cork County Council’s 1916 Centenary Committee, Cllr. Frank O’ Flynn, said “the operation of Round Two of the fund clearly demonstrated Cork County Council’s commitment towards ensuring a lasting Centenary Year legacy in the County of Cork”.
Under Round Two, and approved by Cork County Council on May 9th, 2016, one hundred additional applications were successful under the scheme, resulting in an additional allocation of close to €120,000. “From plays and exhibitions to talks and family events, the County Programme is one to be proud of” said Mayor of County Cork, Cllr. John Paul O’ Shea, who has seen firsthand the wonderful types of projects taking place locally, having officiated at such events on a number of occasions. The Mayor added “the allocation of additional monies under the second round of the 1916 Centenary Fund, will add even greater value to the full County Cork Centenary Programme, targeting all of the aspects which are being commemorated on a national basis; ceremonial, historical, the Irish language, Youth, Culture, Community Participation and the Diaspora”.
“On the day that we collectively commemorate the centenary of Thomas Kent’s execution, we take encouragement from the number of community groups looking to organise commemorations locally throughout the year, and as Chair of Cork County Council’s 1916 Commemorative Committee, I am only too delighted that Cork County Council can show its support by way of these financial contributions, said Cllr. Frank O’ Flynn.