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1916 Public Engagement Programme (2016)

The 1916 public engagement programme will take place within our four Museum sites throughout 2016.


Public Engagement Programme

The 1916 public engagement programme will take place within our four Museum sites throughout 2016. The programme will reach out to a wide range of audiences, using the arts to explore the many themes and issues that relate to this period in our history.

The public engagement programme aims to be ambitious and provocative, enabling people to reflect on, explore the narratives of 1916 and to interrogate, one hundred years on, these extraordinary events in terms of their legacy for and significance to contemporary Irish society.

Through this programme, we also want to offer quality and authentic experiences for everyone. We want to be inclusive of many voices, providing active, relevant and participative opportunities for children, adults, families and young people to engage with our programme of events and activities and to access the Museum’s collections.


The 1916 public programme includes:

‘1916 Object Stories’ - Online Learning Resource

Date: Spring 2016
Location: Museum of Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks

Irish Republic Flag, 1916. HE-EW-3224. © National Museum of Ireland

Irish Republic Flag, 1916. HE-EW-3224. © National Museum of Ireland 

A new online resource designed for primary and post primary teachers and students based on key objects from the National Museum's Easter Week Collection will be available from spring 2016. This resource will feature high quality images of a bicycle, medical bottles, flags and many other objects used in 1916. It also includes fact sheets, video, activities and teachers notes.


Dermot Bolger: Writer in Residence

Date: March - August 2016
Location: Museum of Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks and Museum of Country Life, Co Mayo

Dermot Bolger, Poet in Residence at the National Museum of Ireland- Decorative Arts & History in 2016. © Fran Veale

Dermot Bolger, Writer in Residence at the National Museum of Ireland- Decorative Arts & History in 2016.

As part of the 2016 Decade of Centenaries Public Engagement Programme, novelist, playwright and poet, Dermot Bolger, will be Writer in Residence at the National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History.   

The programme will be comprised of four distinct strands: a schools' workshop programme; a local community workshop programme, an Online Mentoring Clinic and the ‘In-conversation with Dermot Bolger’ series of talks.

Full details of the residency and associated events can be viewed here


‘Exploring Collective Identities’

Date: June-December 2016
Location: Museum of Decorative Arts & History

Gaelic League Propaganda Poster by Sadhbh Trinseach c. 1920. HE-EW 1215  © National Museum of Ireland

Gaelic League Propaganda Poster by Sadhbh Trinseach c. 1920. HE-EW 1215
© National Museum of Ireland     

Designer Alison Conneely will work with a number of groups on an exhibition exploring collective identities in this collaborative project between the National Museum and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.

Mise Éire? Identity in the Mix: Shaping a Nation through Design Conference / Call for Papers

The project also features a major interdisciplinary conference in November 2016 with key note speaker, author and artist, Edmund de Waal.


‘Roger Casement, the Humanitarian’

Date: Autumn 2016
Locations: Museum of Natural History and Museum of Archaeology

Small collection of butterflies from the Forest of the Igaraparaná, South  America, given by Sir Roger Casement to the National Museum of Ireland in 1911. NH-1911-248. © National Museum of Ireland

Small collection of butterflies from the Forest of the Igaraparaná, South  America, given by Sir Roger Casement to the National Museum of Ireland in 1911. NH-1911-248. © National Museum of Ireland

This project will consider the life of one of the most important humanitarians who was involved in the fight for Ireland’s independence, Roger Casement. It will focus on his work in bringing international awareness to the terrible working and living conditions of native people in Africa and South America, the dubious ethics of some international trade and the resurgence of slavery at this time.

Two new displays of objects from the Natural History and Ethnographical collections will explore the relatively unknown humanitarian and scientific work carried out by Casement prior to 1911. These will be located in the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Archaeology. A series of talks and other events will be organised to highlight the relevance of Casement’s humanitarian work to contemporary society.


‘The Archaeology of a Decade of War' Lecture Series

Date: Lunchtime talks from January to November 2016
Location: Museum of Archaeology

British Army Crossing an IRA Ambush Trench ©Imperial War Museum

British Army Crossing an IRA Ambush Trench, Cork ©Imperial War Museum 

Throughout 2016, the Museum of Archaeology will host a series of lectures reviewing findings from recent archaeological research in Ireland and Europe relating to the Easter 1916 Rising, the War of Independence, the Civil War and the First World War. These talks will explore the role played by archaeology in discovering new information and artefactual evidence related to key conflicts which took place in the ten tumultuous years between 1913 and 1923.

Please find further details of speakers and dates here.


‘Beyond Sackville Street and the Somme – the impact of rebellion and war in rural Ireland’

Date: Late 2016
Location: Museum of Country Life, Co Mayo

Thatching. OK T.H. Mason Lantern. SF501-550. ©National Museum of Ireland

Thatching. OK T.H. Mason Lantern. SF501-550. ©National Museum of Ireland

The Museum of Country Life will be developing a multi-dimensional programme for 2016 that will look at how the lives of people throughout rural Ireland were affected by the 1916 Rising, its aftermath and World War 1. Other themes to be explored as part of this programme include: the impact of social, cultural and economic changes in this period on life in rural Ireland; the changing role of women and comparisons between experiences of those in rural and urban Ireland as a result of the events of 1916. 


Talks, Tours, Seminars, Re-enactments

Date: Throughout 2016
Location: Museum of Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks

A series of public talks, tours, lectures and re-enactments exploring different aspects of the Easter Rising 1916 and World War 1 will be organised for 2016. These will include school and public tours of the exhibitions. In addition there will be ‘behind the scenes’ tours at Collins Barracks, historical re-enactments of military drills with authentic uniforms and equipment and public talks on military aspects of the 1916 Rising and other events.  All tours, workshops, talks and other events will take place on a regular basis throughout 2016. 


For further information on upcoming events please see here