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County Longford Decade of Centenaries

Longford County Library, Heritage and Archives Services are co-ordinating the commemorations of the major local and national events that occurred in the period 1912-23. Those momentous years witnessed the progression of the Irish Revolution, culminating in the independence of our state. In the latter half of the Decade of Centenaries we will be focussing on the War of Independence (1919-21), the Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921) and the Civil War (1922-23).

Our objectives in marking the centenaries are as follows: 

- To promote knowledge and understanding of local events through the promotion of archives and other sources; encouraging research; and holding talks and workshops;

- Community engagement from all sectors and age groups in the county;

- A strong focus on the education sector, with projects aimed at schools;

- Inclusivity and sensitivity in relation to different cultural, political and religious traditions, and viewpoints;

- The importance of creativity as a means of exploring our history and its complexity.

The annual programmes are developed in consultation with key local stakeholders, who are represented on our Decade of Centenaries Working Group: County Longford Historical Society, the Clonfin Commemoration Committee, Granard Area Historical Society, Ballinalee Community Development and Longford GAA County Board.

The 2021 Programme 

12 May: lecture on ‘The South Longford Flying Column’ by Seán Ó Súilleabháin. This lecture is via Microsoft Teams and the link can be obtained by emailing decadeofcentenaries@longfordcoco.ie.

10 June: launch (via MS Teams) of an education pack entitled ‘Ireland and Longford in times of War and Revolution, 1914-23’. Hardcopy and electronic files to be circulated to all schools in Longford.

Mid-June: work in primary schools in north Longford on the Clonfin ambush.

The details of all events in the second half of the year will be confirmed in light of the public health advice at the given times.

Mid-September (TBC): opening of an exhibition on 'County Longford and the War of Independence' in Longford Library. It will move to Granard, Ballymahon and Edgeworthstown Libraries during the following months.

Late September (TBC) - Clonfin Commemoration (in partnership with the Clonfin Commemoration Committee): a weekend programme of events including an exhibition on the ambush; the launch of a book on the North Longford Flying Column; a guided walk of the site; a concert; and a ceremony at the site.

September & October: a lecture in each month – details TBC.

November: History Month

2 November: launch of a film documentary on the Clonfin ambush by Shane Crossan.

6 November: conference on ‘Partition, Truce and Treaty’. Speakers: Dr Cormac Moore (Dublin City Council), Dr Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc (independent scholar), Dr Mel Farrell (RIA), Dr Marie Coleman (QUB).

7 November:  Seán MacEoin Commemoration, Ballinalee (in partnership with Ballinalee Community Development).

14 November: Remembrance Sunday ceremony, Market Square.

17 November: launch of a book on Longford’s Great War dead in Longford Library.

21 November: ecumenical service commemorating all of those who died in Longford during the War of Independence.

Early December (TBC): launch of the creative project  ‘Responding to the Clonfin ambush’.

All online events and some of those held in public will be recorded and made available on the Youtube channel of Longford County Library, Heritage and Archives Services.

The programme is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, through its Commemorations Unit.

For details of Decade of Centenaries events elsewhere, please click on https://www.decadeofcentenaries.com/