An Taoiseach Enda Kenny announces €3 million funding package to support community participation in Ireland 2016
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, was today joined by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, Ann Phelan TD Minister of State at the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Marine and with Special Responsibility for Rural Economic Development, Chairman of IPB George Jones and CEO Ronan Foley for the announcement of a €3m funding package to support the extensive programme of local events planned for 2016 to mark the Centenary of the Easter Rising.
Over 2,000 events and initiatives have already been confirmed for next year as part of the Local Authority led County Plans for Ireland 2016. The programmes contain events and initiatives ranging across all seven strands of the national programme, with a strong emphasis on arts and cultural events. This funding package will enable local communities to deliver on their ambitious programmes for next year. It will also help to ensure the maximum level of participation and engagement, across all sectors of the community, in this once-in-a-century moment in Ireland’s history.
Speaking at today’s event An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, said: “As we approach 2016 and the start of our State programme to mark the events of 1916, the significance and importance of this moment for us, as a nation, is becoming very clear. The scale and diversity of engagement and participation by the citizens of Ireland in marking this moment in our history, in every community across the country, is an indication of how important this is to us. I am particularly pleased to be here today to acknowledge and thank IPB Insurance for their investment in and support of the local communities and citizens who have come together to create something very special in our towns and cities next year.”
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, said: “Community participation will be key to the success of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm, commitment and passion of everyone involved in the creation of the fantastic local County Plans, including the thousands of children who have been participating in our flags for schools programme across the country. This funding package, which includes additional support from IPB Insurance and the Department of Environment and Local Government, will enable everyone to get involved in 2016, which promises to be a very special year in our shared history.”
Minister of State Ann Phelan TD, added “Next year’s programme of activity for the Centenary Programme is the outcome of hundreds of hours of consultations and planning by local communities. I am proud and pleased to support this ground breaking initiative which has produced such an extraordinary range and diversity of events and initiatives for next year. Our local communities, under the guidance and with the support of the Local Authority network, have taken ownership of this national initiative and created exciting and innovative programmes which will have a lasting impact and legacy for them, their children and their communities.”
Speaking at the launch, Chairman of IPB Insurance, George Jones said: “As a mutual insurance company established directly as a result of the foundation of the State, we share a proud history with our local authority Members and Government and we see this initiative, focused on communities, as an ideal fit for us and our local authority Members. Today’s announcement recognises the important role our city and county councils play in delivering national projects to communities nationwide. This is a celebration for all our people. I believe this investment will make a hugely positive contribution in ensuring that the Irish public, through their communities, are placed at the very heart of next year’s centenary celebrations.”
Commenting on the launch IPB Insurance CEO Ronan Foley said: “This €3m public private partnership shows the ambition that can be realised when government and business come together. I am confident that today’s announcement will succeed in delivering high levels of community engagement across the country for what promises to be a special year for everyone who considers themselves Irish at home and abroad. 2016 is an important milestone and one that, I believe, will prove a huge success in reaching out to all members of society in communities nationwide, and one that will encourage debate, reflection and a renewed sense of what it means to be Irish in a wider cultural, social and economic context.”