Easter Rising programme announced for Belfast

A programme has been unveiled in Belfast to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising. 

An announcement at Belfast City Hall this week by 'Realising the Republic' included plans for lectures, exhibitions, cycle tours and a walking trail amongst a range of other activity. 

Winifred Carney, the trade unionist and suffragette who served as James Connolly's personal secretary during the Easter Rising, will be remembered during a weekend of events next year. 

Former Belfast mayor Tom Hartley led the announcement and used the event to invite loyalist communities to participate in the programme. 

'What I find inside loyalist communities is there are many, many people who are already engaging in history and hopefully we can create a template where we can deal with what I call the combustible period of Irish history in a way that allows engagement and discourse,' he said.

'There will be some who will engage, others who won't. But we do think it is important for us from early on in this process to say 'look, we want this to be a period of hospitality, of bringing people in and getting other people's views and dealing with difficult views of 1916'. We have no difficulty with that.'

2016 will mark the centenaries of both the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme with announcements for plans being announced to mark both, including those made regarding the Creative Centenaries programme