CORK County Council is contributing almost €55,000 towards the cost of staging 24 projects and events celebrating the 1916 centenary in West Cork.
The budget for the entire County amounts to more than €300,000 – of which an estimated €120,000 is being provided by the Government – and it is envisaged that the centenary programme will involve over 300 undertakings.
Six projects have, so far, been approved for Clonakilty, including an allocation of €10,000 in relation to the redevelopment of Béal na Bláth site, as well as €5,000, which has been allocated to Clonakilty Duchas Heritage for their 2016 programme of events.
Clonakilty Conradh Na nGaeilge is to receive €1,000 for the refurbishment of the grave of Máire Ní Shíthe in Timoleague and a further €1,000 will go towards a permanent exhibition reflecting the life of Michael Collins from his birth in Woodfield to his death at Beal na Bláth.
Clonakilty Historical Society is to receive €500 towards the cost of erecting a memorial and a historical journal on the Lyre Company; and a further €400 is to go to Colm Scully and Conor MacManus for their “Breakfast with Padraig” spoken word and film performance.
Ardfield National School is to receive €1,500 towards the cost of creating a garden of remembrance, an exhibition of children’s projects, lectures and re-enactments and the Rosscarbery National Committee will receive €2,000 for a remembrance parade and commemoration of the Easter Rising.
Beara Historical Society is to receive €300 towards the cost of erecting a plaque to Padraig O’Laoghaire, a Gaelic League scholar and author and the Irish teacher of Padraig Pearse.
Another Beara project being run by Castletownbere Scoil Phobail will receive €800 for an oral history project.
Cape Clear Island will get €400 towards the cost of an exhibition and a rather unusual remembrance ceremony at sea.
It will take place off Gascannane Rock where O’Donovan Rossa is said to have composed some famous line of Irish poetry.
Another project on Cape Clear – which will receive €1,000 – will see the publication in Irish and in English of John K Cotter’s poems, as well as a lecture and the remembrance of the island’s connection with the landing of guns from the Asgard.
Meanwhile, in Baltimore, €1,000 will be used by the West Cork Maritime Heritage Company, which is planning a week-long historical and cultural festival event with a strong emphasis on usage of the Irish language.
Inchigeela Tidy Towns committee is to receive €1,000 for their garden of remembrance project; and €1,000 will be used by the Courtmacsherry St Patrick’s Day Festival Committee to develop a week-long historical and cultural festival that will also be emphasising use of speaking Irish.
Three Skibbereen projects are to benefit: €2,500 is to be used by Skibbereen Arts Festival to create ‘The People’s Museum of Skibbereen 1916 – 2016’; another €2,500 will be spent by the Skibbereen 1916 Commemoration Committee on commemorating Gearóid Ó Suilleabháin, who raised the Tricolour over the GPO, and one of Ireland’s most famous patriots, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.
Skibbereen and District Chamber of Commerce are also getting very much involved in the centenary celebrations: the Chamber will be using the €2,500 it receives to make the 2016 St Patrick’s Day parade and pageant memorable.
William Rossa Cole, the great grandson of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, has been presented with €3,000 towards the cost of the documentary film “Rossa – Irish Rebel”, which he and his Rossa Williams Cole, began filming in West Cork this year.
A special ‘1916 to 2016: 100 years in History and Art’ will take place at the West Cork Arts Centre, and Cork County Council have contributed €2,000 towards this initiative. And the sum of €1,000 is to go to the Seán O Muirthile Historical Society in Drinagh to mark the 2016 Seán Hurley Commemoration Day.
Bantry Historical Society will be staging a re-enactment march and hosting a historical lecture in 2016 and they have been provided with €1,000 towards their costs.
Finally, Bantry Development and Tourism Association have been granted €3,500 for a community commemorative event that will take place over the Easter weekend.
The organisers say that the activities will include historical lectures, an exhibition of memorabilia and photographs, musical performances, church ceremonies and a children’s art camp entitled ‘Remembering the Past’.
Cork County Council indicated that there have been a number of additional requests for funding by community groups in recent weeks and ‘an additional funding stream for applicants early in 2016 is worthy of consideration.’