Nov 10 2016 Posted: 09:22 GMT

NUI Galway is delighted to host a major international academic conference as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme , entitled 1916-2016: The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty. As the Centenary year draws to a close, this conference, which is free and open to the public, offers an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of the year and to explore what it means to be a republic in the 21st century.

The conference, which opens today Thursday, 10 November will be held in the Bailey Allen Hall until Saturday, 12 November, with contributions from leading Irish and international scholars, reflecting on a century of national sovereignty and examining how the Irish State has delivered on the promise of Easter 1916.

At the opening of the Conference, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D. said: "The idea for a major academic conference came from the expert advisory group on commemorations, which we set up when we entered government in 2011, chaired by Dr Maurice Manning. This conference is about the new scholarship of 2016 – an exploration of what we know at the end of the Centenary Year that we didn’t know before. Over the course of the last twelve months, what began as reflections on patriotism became conversations about political values and civic culture. We thought we were looking at the past, but it turned out that we are more interested in looking to the future, but a future based on the finest values of the past. The Centenary Year – and this national conference in Galway - gives us the opportunity to articulate and define what this generation must do to create a legacy worthy of the legacy bequeathed to us."

Speaking at the opening address, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “For the next three days, NUI Galway is proud to be the venue for a landmark moment in this year of national reflection as we host the academic conference, Ireland 1916-2016: The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty. As the centrepiece of The Centenary Conversations this conference is intended to round off this special year and to begin a conversation about Ireland’s identity and choices for the next 100 years.

We will reflect on a century of national sovereignty and examine how the Irish State has delivered on the promise of Easter 1916 and we’ll be prompted to question what the future holds for Ireland as a small nation state on the periphery of Europe, in an increasingly globalised world. NUI Galway is pleased to host this important national conversation and I am particularly pleased that the all universities on the island of Ireland are represented in the conference programme… along with institutes of technology, other colleges, independent scholars and cultural institutions.”

The conference will feature a host of internationally-renowned academics, historians and special guests, and will explore and debate some of the most important issues and challenges facing us today.  The conference will be opened by An Taoiseach and participants will include Minister Humphreys, Professor Roy Foster (University of Oxford), Professor Philip Pettit (Princeton University), Professor Louise Richardson (University of Oxford), Professor Clair Wills (Princeton University), Fintan O’Toole, and Professor Brendan O'Leary (University of Pennsylvania), as well as academics from across the entire third level sector in Ireland.

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys T.D. added: “This conference at NUI Galway is one of the final flagship events of this centenary year, and it will provide us with an important opportunity to reflect on the year to date and to consider what’s next. We will hear from some of the leading historians who helped to us to understand the events of 100 years ago, and we will also consider the impact the centenary celebrations have had on our views of culture and identity. My focus has is now turning to the legacy we can build for the future, with a renewed focus on culture and creativity as central to Irish life.”

A specially curated Fringe programme of talks, exhibitions, performances and special events will also take place in NUI Galway and in venues across the city.  Highlights of the fringe programme include:

  • Ceann Comhairle, Hector Ó hEochagáin will convene a special sitting of the 2116 Parliament, where ten guest speakers will deliver a five-minute motion to the Assembly, after which questions may be taken from the floor.
  • Look beyond the headlines and seek out the complicated and sometimes inconvenient truth in The Experts Bite Back, where experts fact-checks claims by politicians and the media on recent controversial issues and in a mission to get to the truth of the matter.
  • Award-winning 16 x 16 Next Generation artist Sian Ní Mhuirí presents 16 and Rising, the story of a secret revolutionary organisation of women and men who gather in a basement to plan an insurrection that will transform the city, and challenge the survival of the 32nd Dáil.
  • Host of the popular Hedge School series, Tommy Graham comes to Galway with the History Ireland Hedge School: All Changed, Changed Utterly … from 1916 to Brexit. A discussion with a difference, and considerable good humour!

Those who may be interested in attending this free event can find a full Conference Programme here and Registration details here or see www.ireland.ie

-Ends-

 Mórchomhdháil Chomórtha Céad Bliain ag oscailt in OÉ Gaillimh

Cúis áthais do OÉ Gaillimh go mbeidh mórchomhdháil acadúil idirnáisiúnta ar siúl anseo, mar chuid de Chlár Comórtha Céad Bliain ar 1916, dar teideal Éire 1916-2016: Gealladh agus Dúshláin na Ceannasachta Náisiúnta. Agus deireadh ag teacht leis an gComóradh Céad Bliain, deis atá sa chomhdháil seo, atá saor in aisce agus oscailte don phobal, le breathnú siar ar oidhreacht na bliana agus machnamh a dhéanamh faoin gciall atá le poblacht san 21ú haois.

Cuirfear tús leis an gcomhdháil inniu Déardaoin, an 10 Samhain, i Halla Bailey Allen agus beidh sí ar siúl go dtí Dé Sathairn, an 12 Samhain. Beidh scoláirí mór le rá as Éirinn agus níos faide i gcéin ag labhairt ag an gcomhdháil faoi chéad bliain de cheannasacht náisiúnta agus faoin gcaoi a bhfuil Stát na tíre seo ag comhlíonadh ghealladh na Cásca 1916.

Agus an Chomhdháil á hoscailt aige, dúirt an Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D.: "Tháinig an smaoineamh faoi mhórchomhdháil ó shainghrúpa comhairleach ar chomóradh faoi chathaoirleacht an Dr Maurice Manning, a bhí bunaithe againn nuair a thosaigh an rialtas seo in 2011. Bun agus barr na comhdhála seo is ea scoláireacht nua 2016  – scrúdú ar an méid atá foghlamtha againn faoi dheireadh Bhliain an Chomórtha. Thosaíomar amach dhá mhí dhéag ó shin le machnamh ar thírghrá agus anois tá plé againn faoi luachanna polaitiúla agus cultúr cathartha. Shíleamar gur ag breathnú ar an am a caitheadh a bhíomar, ach i ndáiríre is mó suim atá againne san am atá le teacht, ach é a bheith bunaithe ar ardluachanna an am a caitheadh. Deis atá i mBliain an Chomórtha – agus sa chomhdháil náisiúnta seo i nGaillimh - cur síos a dhéanamh ar an méid a chaithfidh an ghlúin seo a dhéanamh chun oidhreacht shaibhir a chothú agus a chruthú."

Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne mar óráid tosaigh:“As seo go ceann trí lá, is mór an onóir do OÉ Gaillimh an chomhdháil acadúil a bheith ar siúl anseo, Éire 1916-2016: Gealladh agus Dúshláin na Ceannasachta Náisiúnta. Ag croí na comhdhála seo beidh Comhráití an Chéid chun clabhsúr a chur le bliain speisialta agus tús a chur le comhrá faoi aitheantas na hÉireann agus a cuid roghanna as seo go ceann céad bliain.

Breathnófar siar ar chéad bliain ceannasachta náisiúnta agus déanfar scrúdú ar an gcaoi a bhfuil Stát na hÉireann ag comhlíonadh ghealladh na Cásca 1916. Iarrfar orainn machnamh a dhéanamh faoi thodhchaí na hÉireann mar stát beag ar imeall na hEorpa agus muid ag feidhmiú níos mó ar leibhéal domhanda anois ná a bhí riamh. Is mór an onóir do OÉ Gaillimh go mbeidh an comhrá náisiúnta seo ar bun anseo agus táim an-sásta go mbeidh ionadaíocht ag gach ollscoil ar oileán na hÉireann i gclár na comhdhála… mar aon le hinstitiúidí teicneolaíochta, coláistí eile, scoláirí neamhspleácha agus institiúidí cultúir.”

Beidh lucht acadúil a bhfuil cáil idirnáisiúnta orthu mar aon le staraithe agus aíonna speisialta i mbun cainte ag an gcomhdháil agus déanfar plé ar chuid de na deacrachtaí agus na dúshláin is mó atá romhainn sa lá atá inniu ann.  Osclóidh an Taoiseach an chomhdháil agus i measc na rannpháirtithe beidh an tAire Humphreys, an tOllamh Roy Foster (Ollscoil Oxford), an tOllamh Philip Pettit (Ollscoil Princeton), an tOllamh Louise Richardson (Ollscoil Oxford), an tOllamh Clair Wills (Ollscoil Princeton), Fintan O’Toole, agus an tOllamh Brendan O'Leary (Ollscoil Pennsylvania), chomh maith le lucht acadúil as earnáil tríú leibhéal na hÉireann.

Dúirt an tAire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta, Gnóthaí Réigiúnacha, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta Heather Humphreys T.D.: “Tá an chomhdháil seo ag OÉ Gaillimh ar cheann de na hócáidí móra deireanacha sa bhliain chomórtha seo agus is deis thábhachtach a bheas inti breathnú siar ar an mbliain go dtí seo agus ar an méid atá le teacht. Cloisfimid ó staraithe mór le rá a chuidigh linn tuiscint a fháil ar imeachtaí 100 bliain ó shin agus déanfaimid machnamh ar an tionchar a bhí ag an gcomóradh céad bliain ar ár ndearcadh faoi chultúr agus féiniúlacht. Tá an bhéim anois ar an oidhreacht a d'fhéadfaí a chruthú don todhchaí, agus béim láidir ar an gcultúr agus ar an gcruthaitheacht i saol na hÉireann.”

Beidh clár Imeallach cainteanna, taispeántas, léirithe agus imeachtaí speisialta ar siúl chomh maith in OÉ Gaillimh agus in ionaid eile timpeall na cathrach.  Seo a leanas cuid de bhuaicphointí an chláir:

  • Tabharfaidh an Ceann Comhairle, Hector Ó hEochagáin, Parlaimint 2116 le chéile áit a labhróidh deichniúr cainteoirí ar rún áirithe ar feadh cúig nóiméad don Tionól. Beidh ceisteanna ón urlár ansin.
  • Beidh deis féachaint ar chúrsaí reatha an lae le The Experts Bite Back, imeacht ina seiceáiltear fíricí a rinne polaiteoirí agus na meáin maidir le hábhair chonspóideacha le déanaí agus fírinne an scéil a fhiosrú.
  • Ealaíontóir í Sian Ní Mhuirí a bhfuil gradam buaite aici do 16 x 16 Next Generation. Cuirfidh sí 16 and Rising inár láthair - scéal faoi eagraíocht rúnda ban agus fear a thagann le chéile in íoslach chun éirí amach a phleanáil a athróidh an chathair agus a chuirfidh an 32ú Dáil i mbaol.
  • Tá Tommy Graham, a chuireann an tsraith Chois Chlaí i láthair, go Gaillimh le Scoil Chois Claí History Ireland: All Changed, Changed Utterly … from 1916 to Brexit. Plé neamhghnách a bheas anseo lán le greann agus le gáire!

Tá Clár iomlán na Comhdhála le fáil anseo agus tá sonraí Clárúcháin le fáil anseo nó féach www.ireland.ie

-Críoch-

Marketing and Communications Office

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