The Importance of 2016 In Irish History


2016 is a very important year in Irish history and plans are well underway to mark this significant moment through a year-long initiative called the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.

Ireland 2016 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to remember the events of 1916, to reflect on our achievements over the last 100 years and to reimagine Ireland for future generations. The programme, which is divided into seven programme strands, involves a diverse range of historical, cultural and artistic activities designed to facilitate commemoration, celebration and discussion.

Children and young people are at the heart of Ireland 2016 and the Department of Education and Skills has developed a fantastic programme of participation-led activities and projects to engage students and teachers, across all aspects of the curriculum, in 2015/2016.

Whether your passion is History, Irish, Art or English, or you are working with this year’s Transition Year students, there is a wealth of resource material, lesson plans and class ideas in the Ireland 2016 Youth and Imagination strand. Whether it’s inspiring your students to create a brilliant art piece, or challenging them to write their own ‘Proclamation for a New Generation’, or helping them to discover their family’s hidden histories, there is something for every interest in this specially curated education programme.

The events of 1916 were a seminal moment in Ireland’s history. The annual all-island schools’ history competition has a special focus on these events for the centenary year. Local education centres will also run a range of history competitions for all ages, full details available at or at your local centre.

The Department of Education and Skills in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy has developed a special series of post-primary history lesson plans focusing on a selection of special 1916 objects from the ‘Ireland in 100 objects’ series. These will be available at

Ireland 2016 is encouraging everyone to become a detective for a year and trace their family’s history in 1916! Help your students to discover the secret stories of their family, their community or their local area and embark upon a trail of discovery using the resources of our national cultural institutions. The Military Archives has come together with NUI Maynooth to develop a major Transition Year Unit and resource for schools, based on primary source material held in the Military Archives and in the Letters of 1916 project.
Check out and As part of the 1916 ancestry project the National Archives has developed a special resource to show teachers and students how to engage in ancestral research. This will be hosted on and will go live
later this year. Schools are invited to upload the results of their 1916 ancestry project on

At 4 minutes past noon on Easter Monday, April 24th 1916, P.H. Pearse read the Proclamation of the Republic outside the GPO on Dublin’s Sackville Street, now O’Connell Street. The Proclamation remains an important and influential manifesto for a new republic and every school is invited to write a new Proclamation, of up to 600 words, which reflects the values, ideals and hopes of the Generation of 2016. A template will be available to download from
Share your Proclamation for a New Generation with a global audience by recording a video of your class or school proclamation and showcase it on the dedicated Ireland 2016 You Tube channel.

Tuesday 15th March 2016. Save the Date! This is designated Proclamation Day and it is the moment when every school in the country is invited to share the results of its Proclamation for a New Generation and to showcase its creative work, in this unique national celebration.

But Ireland 2016 is not just a history project. It is jam packed with opportunities for teachers and students to showcase creativity and ideas through the arts, using poetry, visual arts, theatre or film.

The Ireland 2016 song competition is a partnership between the Department of Education and Skills and the National Concert Hall. Students are invited to write a song celebrating the modern, multi-cultural Ireland of 2016. Full details will be available at the National Concert hall website
The Department, Department of Education Northern Ireland, the National Gallery of Ireland and the Education Centre Network are running an all-island schools art competition, ‘Imagining the Ireland of 2116’. Full details will be available via the education centre network, and on Scoilnet shortly.

The Libraries and PostPrimary Schools 1916 Poetry Competition invites postprimary students to submit a poem on the wide-ranging topic ‘Your Ireland’, full details available at 2016 from January 2016. The ‘Poetry Aloud’ all-island poetry speaking competition for post-primary schools organised jointly by the National Library of Ireland and Poetry Ireland will encourage poems on 1916 themes. Further information from The Ireland 2016 film award is a partnership between the Department and Dún Laoghaire IADT. It will invite primary schools to submit a short film based on any aspect of 1916. Full details will be on A range of courses and workshops for teachers on 1916 are available through the education centre network at Some of these began in summer 2015 and will continue through 2016.
Full details of all of the initiatives above, and more that are likely to come on stream, will be found on More events, projects and resources which are relevant to schools will be available at
Artwork done by students from Ballbay Community School for launch of Irish independent supplement series.