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An Taoiseach opens Ireland’s first 1916 Rising exhibition

Taoiseach visits Dundalk to officially open Ireland’s first 1916 Rising commemorative exhibition


Taoiseach visits Dundalk to officially open Ireland’s first 1916 centenary exhibition

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, has today (Thurs, Feb 26) officially opened Ireland’s first 1916 exhibition - ‘Birth of a Nation – the Evolution of Irish Nationhood, 1641-1916’ - at the County Museum in Dundalk, Co Louth.

Opening the exhibition, An Taoiseach said: “This exhibition, the first in our country to celebrate the 1916 centenary, allows us to find out more about the birth of our nation via the words, thoughts and possessions of those who were there. Included here are names which are already firmly etched in our history books but also those who we are just beginning to find out about thanks to their families, friends and all those who have contributed artefacts to the County Museum here in Dundalk. This
thought-provoking and moving exhibition provides the ultimate inspiration for projects taking place throughout Ireland as we approach the 1916 centenary.”

Mr Kenny was joined on his visit to the County Museum by Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and Senator Jim D’Arcy who is a member of the 2016 Easter Rising Commemoration Committee.
The Taoiseach and Minister Humphreys were welcomed to the museum by Cllr Oliver Tully, Cathaoirleach, Louth County Council; Joan Martin, Chief Executive, Louth County Council and Brian Walsh, Curator.
Many of those who contributed items to the exhibition were in attendance, including relatives and friends of those involved in 1916 and the momentous events in the lead up to the Easter Rising.
Planning has taken place over the past two years with the aim of creating an exhibition which although opening a year before the centenary will evolve over 2015 and through 2016.
Key artefacts include an original 1916 Proclamation, handwritten documents by Patrick Pearse, WB Yeats and Roger Casement to name but a few. Weaponry used over the centuries as well as uniforms, medals and other memorabilia are included along with - perhaps most poignantly – letters sent from prison after the Easter Rising to the mothers of some of those being detained.
Brian Walsh described working on “Birth of a Nation – the Evolution of Irish Nationhood, 1641-1916’ as a privilege which allowed he and his colleagues a valuable opportunity.

“I have been able to work on and with some of the most significant artefacts in our history - items associated with many of the pivotal points in the national narrative. I must confess that when in the presence of these items, and the ensuing discussions that accompanied them, I, and my colleagues, were very aware of the hand of history.”
‘Birth of a Nation – the Evolution of Irish Nationhood 1641-1916’ is now open at the County Museum, Dundalk. For further information contact info@dundalkmuseum.ie or telephone 042- 9392999.