As the countdown to the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising begins, plans are afoot to commemorate the historic event in each Irish county, and Longford is no exception.
â€œWe see it as belonging to everyone, so it will have a bottom-up approach,â€ explains Mary Carleton Reynolds of Longford County Library, which is co-ordinating local events. â€œWeâ€™re inviting everyone - young and old - to get involved. The main commemoration will take place on the week of April 24, but there will be events taking place throughout the year.â€
To this end, the organisers arranged a consultation workshop last Tuesday, April 21, at the Backstage Theatre in Longford town.
â€œIdeas for commemorative events will come from the community. We have an open mind towards it,â€ Ms Carleton Reynolds continued.
So far, County Library staff have identified 10 individuals with Longford connections who were involved with the events surrounding 1916: Francis McGuinness, Joseph McGuinness, Rose McGuinness, Brighid Lyons-Thornton, Alfred McHugh, Eilis NÃ Riain, Ãine NÃ Riain, Patrick Belton, Thomas Bannon, and Patrick Connaughton.
The County Librarian is appealing to the public to provide information on others who may also have participated.
â€œWeâ€™re asking people to get in touch if they have any information on family members who were involved, or if they have memorabilia from the time,â€ Ms Carleton-Reynolds said.
Other plans for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising will centre around educating schoolchildren about the significance of the event.
â€œFlags and copies of the Proclamation will be sent out to every school,â€ she explained. â€œWe will be inviting children to read the Proclamation and to write their own interpretation of it, so that they can get a better understanding of it.â€
See page 31 for this weekâ€™s guest speaker column from Minister for the Arts, Heather Humphreys on how Longford can celebrate the centenary of 1916.