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As the centenary of 1916 approaches, The Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation is hosting an all island event, 1916 and the Ethics of Memory, on Saturday June 27. The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins will deliver the opening address.

Moderated by broadcaster and journalist Olivia O Leary, Philosopher, Onora O’Neill and Dr Johnston McMaster, of the Ethical & Shared Remembering Project, will discuss how we should most appropriately commemorate the year 1916 if indeed we should at all.  This will include comments and questions from participants.

Participants will include politicians, peacebuilders, community representatives, academics and the diplomatic service and include those involved in and affected by the Troubles.

In the afternoon, invited guests will participate in Dialogue Workshops to explore the following topics:

  • Women and 1916: What role did women play, why are their voices silent?
  • Forgotten Voices: Victims, children, pacifist voices, others? How can we have a more inclusive commemoration? Is it possible
  • Political Violence:  Was political violence required?
  • Religion and 1916: ‘God on our side’

William Devas, CEO of The Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, said, “We wanted to host an all Island dialogue event on how to appropriately remember the year 1916.  Both the battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising and the dominant narratives that have arisen from them have helped shape the last 100 years in which political and sectarian violence has been painfully evident.  100 years on it is important that together we critically examine what we choose to remember and how we remember it, which if done with respect and openness can play a positive role in transforming our violent past into a peaceful future.”

Onora O’Neill stated, “What we should above all remember is that we have spent much of the last century killing, damaging and deriding others with whom we share these islands. Whether it is something to commemorate I doubt.”

Dr Johnston McMaster said, “If we remember the past, it is often only our past and not that of the other. Our past usually takes the form of fixed dogma to the exclusion of other fixed dogmas…there is always more than one narrative and even then none of our other many narratives are fixed or final.”

The Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation was founded in 1974 as a response to violent conflict on the island of Ireland, with a conviction that non-violent solutions must be pursued in order to stop the violence and encourage reconciliation within and between communities. The Glencree centre engages in practical peace building and reconciliation in Ireland, north and south, and more recently internationally. The centre works with former combatants, community leaders, victims/survivors, politicians, faith groups, young people and women. The centre aims to transform violent conflict with sustainable peaceful methods by including and respecting all stakeholders.

For more information on The Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation visit:


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