Gabriel Doherty: Public key to success of 1916 centenary

The success of the 1916 commemorations will be measured by how well the public is converted to the principles behind the Easter Rising, a UCC historian has suggested.

By Gabriel Doherty, UCC School of History

Gabriel Doherty of the school of history at University College Cork said levels of public engagement in community, local authority, and State events will be great if they can match those for last year’s events in West Cork to mark the centenary of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s death, or the State funeral for Thomas Kent.

“The first and probably most important measure of success is the extent to which the principles are adhered to,” said Mr Doherty, a member of the expert advisory group for the State’s 1916 events. “If you can say whatever was done was true to the principles of the Proclamation, it will be a success.”

He made his comments in a talk on Cork before and after 1916 at the Cork County Library last year.

“The real test is to see if activities can convert the people who haven’t got the same instinctive interest in the subject or are bored by it, or who haven’t got family members involved in what happened,” said Mr Doherty.

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