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Decade of Centenaries

Decade of Centenaries Donegal

Commemorations Programme Culture Divison 2021


Lectures, History, Art, a Virtual Tour, Memorials

and More to Form Part of 

Donegal’s Decade of Centenaries 2021 Programme






Donegal County Museum is delighted to announce funding has been secured by Donegal County Council’s Culture Division from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media under the Community Strand of the 2021 Decade of Centenaries programme as part of the Decade of Centenaries Initiative 2012-2023. This funding will enable the Culture Division to deliver 8 exciting and innovative projects across a wide range of themes.   The projects are:


Historian in Residence

A historian in residence will carry out research on two of the Donegal County Archives Collections -  The Joseph Murray Collection (Vice Brigadier, 4 Brigade, 1st  Northern Division, South East Donegal) and on selected Rural & Urban District Council minute books from 1918 – 1925. The outcome of the research will be six published essays and a series of online talks.


Wainfest Children’s’ Activities

During Wainfest, the Donegal Library Service will organise a number of online talks by Irish authors aimed at primary aged children across Donegal. There will also be an educational live presentation in libraries by John D Ruddy, Creator of Manny Man and the YouTube history series Manny Man Does History.


Donegal Library Service Lecture programme

The Donegal Library Service will organise a series of online lectures exploring a variety of themes connected to the revolutionary period.  The talks will be delivered by both local and national experts.


Open call for Artists 

Artists of all disciplines (resident and working in/or from County Donegal ) will be invited to submit proposals for a creative project exploring, responding to or reflecting on aspects of life in Donegal during the period 1919 to 1923. One artist and one project will be selected through an Open Call.


Artist in Residence

Donegal County Archives and the Donegal County Museum Services will engage an Artist in Residence to create new artistic work/s in response to their collections of material pertaining to the period 1919-1923.


WWI database based on the County Donegal Book of Honour

Donegal County Museum will create an on-line database containing all the listings published in the 5th edition of the County Donegal Book of Honour, The Great War 1914-1918 along with additional information uncovered by the Museum in their research.


Virtual tour of the exhibition ‘From Conflict to Division, Donegal 1919-1925’

Donegal County Museum will develop a virtual tour of its exhibition ‘From Conflict to Division Donegal 1919-1925’ so visitors can access the exhibition despite the restrictions of the Covid 19 pandemic. 


Audit of Memorials

As part of the implementation of the County Donegal Heritage Plan, Donegal County Council will commission an audit of publicly-accessible memorials relating to the Decade of Centenaries (1912 – 1923). 


The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media works with partner Departments and stakeholders to support and facilitate commemorative actions and events under this initiative, with local authorities including Donegal County Council  holding a key partner role in coordination, planning and delivery of the programme.

For information contact Donegal County Museum, High Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal T 074 9124613 E











-         Revolutionary Times



Donegal County Museum, the Regional Cultural Centre and the Museum and Heritage Service of Derry City and Strabane District Council commissioned and produced a series of six short video pieces which highlight the experiences of women during the Revolutionary Period (1919-1923).  These videos provide snapshots of the period, exploring the stories of women during the struggle for Irish independence.


The Donegal video pieces highlight the varied experiences of local women.

The first video features Eithne Coyle, an active member of Cumann na mBan. During the War of Independence she carried out a one woman campaign holding up trains, seizing goods and burning British newspapers. In September 1922 she was arrested and remained in jail until the end of the Civil War. She was President of Cumann na mBan between 1926 and 1941.  

The second video features Mary Ballantine who was married to Head Constable Joseph Ballantine of the Royal Irish Constabulary. In May 1922, Joseph who had just retired from his position was shot and killed at his home in Raphoe.

The third video features Rose Ann Logue, an Instructress with the Congested Districts Board, who was held up by two armed and masked men who threatened her and cut off her hair.



The Derry films feature Lady Lillian Spender on a tour along the newly-established border in June 1923. Lady Spender describes in her diaries events along the Border in places such as Clady and Pettigo.



The videos were released as a weekly series beginning in February  23rd  with Eithne Coyle and Lillian Spender.

To view the Donegal films visit



To view the Derry Films, beginning on Monday 23rd February, visit



The video pieces were produced by Dark Daughter Productions with videography by Oath Film Studio. Use of the Diaries of Lillian Spender is by courtesy of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.


These videos have been supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.







Ó Choimhlint go Deighil -Dún na nGall 1919 -1925


From Conflict To Division – Donegal 1919 – 1925


 A new publication from Donegal County Museum








Donegal County Museum has written and produced a fascinating new booklet entitled “From Conflict to Division: Donegal 1919-1925” which explores the story of the War of Independence, Partition, and the Civil War in County Donegal.

The period 1912 to 1923 is perhaps one of the most important in Irish history. The events that occurred during this decade transformed the island of Ireland and have had a lasting legacy on Irish politics and society, right up to the present day. In the 100 years since, the lines between fact and myth have become blurred and the true story of the revolutionary years was buried but not forgotten. The booklet highlights some of the events from this period that impacted the people of Donegal.

This bilingual booklet was supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012 -2023 Initiative and by the Creative Ireland Programme 2017-2022.


This free booklet is available online and can be downloaded from Donegal County Museum website see



 A limited number of hard copies are available from Donegal County Museum.

Donegal County Museum High Road, Letterkenny,Co Donegal 

E  T 074 91 24613








Ideas Sought For Culture Division’s

Decade of Centenaries Programme


The Culture Division of Donegal County Council is currently putting together a programme of events to commemorate the forthcoming Decade of Centenaries (2021-2023) including the Struggle for Independence, Partition, the Civil War and the Foundation of the State.  The objective is to promote an inclusive, respectful, authentic, measured and consultative approach to commemorations, which encourages a deeper understanding of the context of the time, recognising the differing perspectives on our shared history and seeking to strengthen peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland. 


One of the challenges of these centenaries is that every place and community has a story. However, these stories are largely hidden or almost forgotten.  We are seeking your ideas for themes and activities which could be included in this programme and which could increase our understanding of this complex period of our history.



Themes to be considered could include but are not limited to:


•          Local connections with the significant events


•          The partitioning of Ireland – its impact and legacy on Donegal communities living along the newly established border and farther afield. 


•          The impact of the revolutionary period on families and children.


•          The aftermath of World War I and the experiences of those who were part of the war effort and returned to their communities in a changing Ireland.


•          The Irish language during this period.


•          'Ireland and the Wider World' – local connections with the international dimension, including the role of the Diaspora in the events from 1921 – 1923.




We would particularly welcome suggestions for on-line and virtual activities that we could deliver during the COVID-19 pandemic. Themes or activities suggested will be considered for inclusion in the programme to be delivered by the Culture Division.



Please note that the following will not be included in the programme:

-           Memorials, plaques, busts, statues, commemorative medals or pins;

-           Commercial activities.


The Culture Division programme is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012 -2023 Initiative




If you wish to submit an idea or suggest a theme, please request a submission form by emailing  


 Closing date for submissions: 5pm on Tuesday 26th January 2021.









Culture Division, Donegal County Council

‌The Culture Division of Donegal County Council will deliver the following programme of activities in 2020 as part of the Decade of Centenaries Commemorations. These activities have been supported by the Department of  Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 initiative.




Donegal County Archives 

Digitisation of the Archives (minutes of meetings) of County Donegal’s Ten Rural District Councils during the Revolutionary period in County Donegal, 1918 – 1925


The Archives Service will digitise and make available on-line the bound volumes of the minutes of meetings which are currently stored in the Archives repository in Lifford. These archives are the minutes of meetings of County Donegal’s ten Rural District Councils, during the aftermath of the 1916 Rising, the 1918 General Election, War of Independence, partition, Civil War and early years of the Irish Free State, 1918 - 1925.


For further Information please contact

Donegal County Archives Office

Three Rivers Centre


Co. Donegal

F93 PN3H

Tel: 074 9153900





Donegal County Museum

Decade of Centenaries Booklet


Donegal County Museum will deliver a booklet on the theme of the Decade of Centenaries focussing on the current centenaries – War of Independence; Partition; and the Civil War, as they relate to County Donegal. The booklet will promote a wider understanding of these historical events and their impact in Donegal. It will explore the story from all perspectives and highlight the events of the period using both local and national resources.


For further information, please contact

Donegal County Museum

High Road


Co. Donegal

F92 K123

Tel: 074 9124613




Regional Cultural Centre

Video Pieces


The Regional Cultural Centre working with Dark Daughter productions will deliver a series of  Cross Border video pieces which explore the experiences of women during the Struggle for Independence and the changing role of women in society during the revolutionary period. The video pieces will highlight a previously unexplored aspect of our history and will be presented in a format accessible to a wide audience. 


For further information, please contact 

Regional Cultural Centre

Regional Cultural Centre

Cove Hill, Port Road


Co. Donegal

Tel: 074 912 9186




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