A new gallery commemorating Irish history during the 20th century is going to be established at the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks in Dublin.
Work is starting on the project this year and the new exhibition will be open in 2023 to coincide with the centenary of the foundation of the Irish Free State.
The new project aims to highlight the decade of centenaries from 2012-2023.
Minister for Culture Catherine Martin's department is contributing €2.2m to the initiative.
The centenaries programme for this year is also supported with a budget of €5m in current funding, which is an increase of €3m on last year's funding allocation.
"The programme seeks to empower Irish people to engage with their history" - Taoiseach Micheál Martin announces the programme for the Decade of Commemoration anniversaries for 2021. pic.twitter.com/02HmOVBSYw— RTÉ News (@rtenews) April 27, 2021
The centenaries being commemorated this year include:
· The Burning of the Custom House on 25 May 1921;
· The Truce on 11 July 1921;
· The Anglo-Irish Treaty Negotiations and the Treaty debates; and
· The Signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6 December 1921.
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Tánaiste Leo Varadkar spoke of the need to approach the Decade of Commemoration anniversaries with "sensitivity, respect and appreciation for the complexity of our history." pic.twitter.com/7XZeCgOgN9— RTÉ News (@rtenews) April 27, 2021
A Decade of Commemorations
Dr Marie Coleman, a reader in Irish History at Queen's University Belfast, said that while she welcomes the investment in museums and libraries, she particularly likes the localised focus.
Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, she said this will probably be the biggest investment in local archives since the centenary of Local Government in 1998.
She said she would like to have seen the opening up of large archive collections, such as the Irish Land Commission and Household Returns of the 1926 Irish Free State Census, which she said would tell a lot about the importance of our history.
Dr Coleman also said that as someone based in Belfast, she is conscious of "how little detail" there is on how the Irish State will approach the centenary of Northern Ireland.
News Online will be bringing you in-depth analysis of these events from 22 May, starting with the burning of the Custom House, the climax of the war, and the Truce.