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Sack of Balbriggan to be remembered in 'Fingal Remembers' 2018-2013 Programme

Fingal set out plan to mark key historical events between 1918-1923

Fingal County Council has revealed plans to commemorate the centenary of key historical events in the course of Irish history over the five-year period, 2018-2023, as part of its ‘Fingal Remembers’ programme.

Councillors have been presented with the “Fingal Remembers – Fingal Commemorations Programme”, which sets out the local authority’s plan to mark the 100th anniversary of a defining period in modern Irish history and one which shaped the political landscape of today.

As part of the programme, Fingal County Council has committed to commemorating one major event each year where there is a connection to the region.

The first of these will take place next month with the commemoration of the centenary of the death of Richard Coleman, who led Fingal men in the Mendicity Institute during the Easter Rising.

It will be followed in 2019 by the commemoration of the birth of Seamus Ennis, the renowned uileann piper who lived in the Naul. In 2020, the Sack of Balbriggan during the War of Independence will be remembered, while in 2021, the truce and the end of the War of Independence in Fingal will be marked.

In 2022, the plan is to commemorate the funeral of TD Frank Lawless, which was attended by key political figures of the time including Arthur Griffith, W.T. Cosgrave, Richard Mulcahy, Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera and Harry Boland. Griffith, Collins and Boland would themselves die later in 1922. It is believed to be the last time that Michael Collins and Eamon De Valera were in each others presence. In 2023, the impact of the Civil War in Fingal will be examined.

The Fingal Commemorations Programme also provides guidance on ways for groups and individuals to organised and mark the centenaries of other major historical events of relevance in Fingal during 1918-23.

Fingal County Council will set aside funding for groups which are organising their own commemorative events. Groups applying for funding will be asked to demonstrate how their event addresses at least two of the four over-arching principles set out in the programme. They must show how the event will Engage with Other Groups; Engage with Younger People; Engage with new Communities; and Engage with Fingal’s Digital Repository.

It is also planned to appoint a part-time Commemorations Co-ordinator to assist and support local communities or groups with the organisation of their own events. The annual Fingal Festival of History is another resource provided by the Council to enable the examination and commemoration of historical events or themes relevant to Fingal.

Architectural Conservation Officer Helena Bergin, a member of the Fingal Culture Team, told councillors that the “programme encourages a reflection on methods of commemoration that will develop a more lasting engagement with our past”.

She said: “Its aim is to commemorate events in a tolerant, inclusive and respectful way and the programme will seek to ensure a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of this turbulent period in the history of Ireland.”

Mayor of Fingal Cllr Anthony Lavin said: “It is an exciting programme to mark the period 1918-2023. I am looking forward to them and if past events are anything to by, they will be excellent.”

The programme, which represents the finding of stakeholder engagement, will be implemented by the Fingal Culture Team, which was established under the Fingal Creative Ireland remit.

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