The weekly series of public lectures to mark historic events of 100 years ago start again on Wednesday evening (18 April) at 7 pm after an Easter break. This week’s lectures take the theme of the Easter Rising. The venue for the series, which began last month, has now moved to Stranmillis University College, Drama Theatre, Belfast.
The series has been organised by the Community Relations Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund and is chaired by historian Dr Eamon Phoenix.
Dr Eamon Phoenix, Chair of the lecture series, said:
‘In Ireland , it has been truly said, we have a common history but not a common memory. For some ‘1916’ conjures memories of Pearse the ‘blood sacrifice’ of the Easter Rising, for others, the ‘blood sacrifice’ of the Ulster Division at the Somme that bloody summer. In the coming decade this society- itself emerging from bitter conflict-will be challenged by the roll-out of a series of centenaries connected with the Irish Revolution and Partition. While opinion remains divided over such iconic events as the Covenant, the Rising and Partition, we must acknowledge that they shaped our destinies on this island, north and south.
Tony McCusker, Chair of the Community Relations Council said:
‘For those who wish to consolidate the success of the peace process, the ‘Decade of Anniversaries’ provides an opportunity as well as a challenge. This series of public talks will attempt to cut away the layers of myth and misunderstanding around the past and promote a more informed and balanced view of the historic forces, events and personalities which have shaped Modern Ireland.’
Ronnie Spence, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said:
‘How we mark these anniversaries over the next decade will set a tone for our society for many years to come. We have inherited simplistic notions about this period, now we have the opportunity to recognise that what really happened was much more complex and interesting.’