On 27th April 2021, Minister Martin, on behalf of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media announced the Decade of Centenaries Programme for 2021:
County Wexford’s plans are featured on page 37 of the national programme.
Wexford County Council Decade of Centenaries Plan 2021
Wexford County Council Public Library and Archives Service offered a vibrant and exciting Decade of Centenaries Programme for 2021 which was approved by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. This plan was designed and adapted to fully comply with necessary Public Health restrictions imposed on the community due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The project plan was adapted to enable online delivery and to increase public access to the digital collection for the revolutionary period of the War of Independence and the Civil War in County Wexford.
There were a number of strands to Wexford County Council’s Decade of Centenaries plans for 2021.
Initiatives that support broad public engagement
Historian in Residence Programme
The aim of the residency was to make history more accessible to members of the public and to raise awareness of the resources available through Wexford County Archive and Libraries. Examples of work under the scope of the project (but not confined to these) include lectures, workshops, research, liaison with community groups and publications.
History Ireland Hedge School Podcast
History Ireland Hedge School podcast which discusses historical events in Wexford from 1916 to 1923. You can listen to History Ireland editor, Tommy Graham, in discussion with Bernard Browne, Ida Milne, William Murphy and Kevin Whelan. The panellists are eminent historians and have all published books in relation to this period in history. This podcast is available at Wexford Libraries YouTube channel, https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/history-ireland/id1503109266 and https://www.historyireland.com/hedge-schools/ or wherever you get your podcasts.
Public Lecture Programme
Wexford Public Libraries are happy to announce that they have four online presentations in relation to the revolutionary period (1912-1923).
Podcast on “Sport and War in County Wexford” by Paul Rouse
Wexford Libraries have enlisted Paul Rouse, Professor of History, University College Dublin to create a podcast on sport in County Wexford during this time. Paul has written extensively on the history of Irish sport and he writes a weekly column for the Irish Examiner. He is currently Co-Director of two major public history projects: Century Ireland (www.rte.ie/centuryireland), the main online portal for the Irish Decade of Commemorations, 1912-23; GAA Oral History Project (www.gaa.ie/the-gaa/oral-history/), the largest oral history project undertaken by any sporting organisation in the world.
This podcast is currently available on Wexford Libraries YouTube channel “Sport and War in County Wexford” by Paul Rouse.
Video on “Wexford’s Civil War Dead” by Aaron Ó Maonaigh
Wexford Libraries have commissioned Aaron Ó Maonaigh to do an online video presentation in relation to fatalities in Wexford during the Civil War. Aaron Ó Maonaigh is a native of Dublin with familial ties to Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. A graduate of Coláiste Phádraig (BA Hons) and Dublin City University (PME), he is currently employed by the Department of Education and Skills and teaches English and History at a post-primary school in Co. Dublin. He has previously published and presented on the subjects of Irish cultural identity and the politics of sport during the Irish Revolution (1912-1923), and the Civil War experience of Co. Wexford. His work has featured in publications by Routledge Press, Dictionary of Irish Biography, The Past: Organ of the Uí Cinsealaigh Society, and Cork University Press [forthcoming].
This video is currently available on Wexford Public Libraries YouTube channel “Wexford’s Civil War Dead” by Aaron Ó Maonaigh
Video on “The Role of Cumann na mBan in Co. Wexford and the effects of conflict on women in the County” by Liz Gillis
Wexford Libraries have asked Liz Gillis to give us a glimpse of the experiences of women and children in County Wexford during the revolutionary period. Liz is a historian and author of "Women of the Irish Revolution" which tells the story of the role that women played both directly and indirectly in the Irish Revolution. She is currently Historian-in-residence at South Dublin Libraries. This online talk is brought to you via funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme.
This video is currently available on Wexford Public Libraries YouTube channel "Cumann na mBan in Co. Wexford and the effects of conflict on women and children in the County" by Liz Gillis
Video on “The Railways and County Wexford's revolutionary period" by Barry Lacey, Historian-in-residence
Presentation on "The Railways and County Wexford's revolutionary period" by Barry Lacey, Historian-in-residence at Wexford Libraries. As part of Heritage Week 2021, Barry delivered this talk in-person at Wexford and New Ross library branches. This is the online version. Barry has a higher Diploma in Archaeology and a Masters in Archaeological Excavation. He has a keen interest in the War of Independence in County Wexford and has already created a website dedicated to this research. Barry has worked on Decade of Centenary projects for Wexford County Council in the past, delivering a slideshow showcasing the various incidents that took place during the War of Independence in Wexford. Barry's residency is funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme.
This video is currently available on Wexford Public Libraries YouTube channel "The Railways and County Wexford's revolutionary period" by Barry Lacey, Historian-in-residence
Video on “The Miracle of Irish Independence" by Ronan McGreevy
In this online talk, Ronan McGreevy discusses the centenary of the War of Independence and its legacy. Ronan McGreevy is an Irish Times journalist, the author of "Whatever the Firing Line Extends: Ireland and the Western Front" and the editor of "Centenary: Ireland Remembers 1916", the official State book recalling the commemorations of 2016. His latest book "Great Hatred: The Assassination of Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson MP" will be published next year. Prior to joining The Irish Times in 2006, he wrote for The Times, The London Evening Standard and The Irish Post. He was also a radio and television producer with the BBC and Sky News.
This video is currently available on Wexford Public Libraries YouTube channel "The Miracle of Irish Independence" by Ronan McGreevy
Video on “Wexford Women and the Road to Independence" by Historian-in-residence, Barry Lacey
Historian-in-residence, Barry Lacey will explore the role women played during the revolutionary period in County Wexford through their organisation, difficulties and hardships. He will also examine the legacy they left behind. Barry's residency is funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme.
This video is currently available on Wexford Public Libraries YouTube channel "Wexford Women and the Road to Independence" by Barry Lacey
Engagement with Children and Young People
An information booklet was researched, compiled and edited with a timeline of the War of Independence and the Civil War in County Wexford. This will be distributed to schools in County Wexford in Spring 2022.
Access to primary resources and digitised material to aid research and understanding
Public Digitisation Project
An open day was held on Friday, December 10th. This was for members of the public to present medals, correspondence, photos and stories of their family members to be digitised or deposited in the Archive. These memorabilia will then be available to view online in digital exhibition format.
Access to Local newspapers from the period
Completion of the further digitisation of local newspapers from the period making those resources available locally in County Wexford and online.
Cataloguing the TD Sinnott Collection
This is a notable private collection in Wexford County Archive which will be digitised, and elements of the collection will be made available on the Archives website.
Digitisation of Archival Collections
The Diary of Seán Sinnott during his time in Spike Island, 1921 was digitised.
Online exhibition series entitled ‘Archives from the Past’
The War of Independence in County Wexford as reflected in the holdings of Wexford County Archive (this will include the local government response).
The 2021 plan will also include various projects at Municipal District level and a creative community-led initiative which was coordinated by Wexford County Council Arts Department.
Online presentation “Truce to Treaty" by Historian-in-residence, Barry Lacey
To commemorate the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty Historian in Residence Barry Lacey explored the Truce period in County Wexford from the end of the War of Independence, in July 1921, to the signing of the Treaty on the 6th of December that same year.
This video is currently available on Wexford Public Libraries YouTube channel From Truce to Treaty Online Presentation by Wexford Libraries Historian in Residence Barry Lacey
Decade of Centenary 2020
Projects completed under the Decade of Centenaries 2020 programme include:
War of Independence Lecture Series/Short films
Our lecture program of talks, short films or webinars by prominent historians of the revolutionary period includes:
- 'The Road to Independence' - War of Independence in Wexford film by Barry Lacey and Michael Fortune.
- The Burning of Wexford's 'Big Houses', 1919-1923 with Wexford based historian Dan Walsh.
- The intriguing tale of Captain Percival Lea Wilson of Gorey – A Marked Man! A short film from local historian Des Kiely.
- Short video, of various War of Independence sites of activity around County Wexford including old images and interviews with local community with Barry Lacey, archaeologist and social historian.
- A four part series on the War of Independence in Co. Wexford presented by Jarlath Glynn, originally broadcast March 2020 on South East Radio.
Decade of Centenaries 2016
- A short film, 'Bandages and Bullets', discussing the role of Cumann na mBan in the Enniscorthy Rising in 1916, produced and directed by Terence White. This film was commissioned by Wexford County Council and Enniscorthy Municipal District under the Decade of Centenaries commemorations 2016.
Decade of Centenaries 2020 and 2021
All presentations were funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.