2016 will belong to everyone on this island and to our friends and families overseas – regardless of political or family background, or personal interpretation of our modern history. The Government is committed to ensuring that 2016 will be a year of rich and diverse activities when the full complexity of the last 100 years on this island can be explored and celebrated.

Formal State celebrations will, as they have always done, mark 1916 as the moment when Irish nationalism joined forces with a revolutionary, cultural and language movement to forge an irresistible movement towards self-determination.

The Proclamation of the Republic, drawing on the ideals of that generation, has remained an inspiration over succeeding generations. Ireland 2016, as a year of reflection and engagement for everyone on this island, goes far beyond the formal marking of a key historical moment.

It is a once-in-a-century invitation to people of all ages, at home and overseas, to shape, and then to actively engage in, a diverse range of historical, cultural and artistic activities, all designed to facilitate reflection, commemoration, celebration, debate and analysis, and an active re-imagining of our future.

Ireland 2016 will offer the world an insight into our particular journey towards independent statehood and how we fared post-independence, while at the same time we will deepen our knowledge of ourselves by understanding the journeys of other nations.