The aim of the County Kildare Decade of Commemorations Programme was to establish the most appropriate way in which to mark the centenaries within the county. A committee was formed and a strategy document designed to help direct the process, while active engagement with the public informed and gave perspective. Discussions began in March 2014 and it was decided to formulate a policy for the Decade of Commemorations in Co. Kildare. A draft document was submitted and following a resolution at the July County Council meeting, a committee was appointed in September 2014. The County Kildare Decade of Commemorations Committee is comprised of elected members of Kildare County Council and staff in the Heritage, Community, Libraries and Arts departments. Work began in earnest on a commemorative programme 1913-1923 to consider the most appropriate manner to mark the centenaries throughout the county with particular focus on all aspects of life in County Kildare and notable Kildare people in 1916. At a meeting of the Committee on 8 December in Áras Chill Dara, Cllr. Fiona O’Loughlin was appointed to the Chair. Critical decisions involved finance and the appointment of a Historian in Residence for a period of two years. A draft strategy document was circulated to the various sub groups of Kildare County Council. The Decade of Commemorations Strategy Document 1913-1923 was approved at a County Council meeting on 23 February 2015. The strategy document was discussed at a public consultation in the Osprey Hotel, Naas on 14 May 2015. The nature of the programme was expansive, delivering a series of commemorative events, school programmes, publications, talks and walks, concerts, drama, sculpture and song, with the intention of creating a legacy of research, cultural and artistic material for future generations. The delivery of the programme was to take account of all aspects of life in Co. Kildare in the period 1913-1923. As the county prepared to celebrate the birth of the nation and the momentous events of the most significant decade in our history, it was fitting that the strategy would be comprehensive and respectful; that it would be broad, accurate and appeal to every citizen of this county. The greatest challenges lay in the depth of public feeling and the breadth and scope of expectations. The county became a stage, a ball of malleable clay, and individuals, groups, schools and communities moulded their hopes and ideas into a myriad of actions, giving life to hundreds of individual events, performances and creative outpourings of every kind. Reflection MINUTES KCC 23 February 2015 06/0215 Decade of Commemoration Ms Higgins, Library Services, presented the Decade of Commemoration Strategy Document 1913 – 1923 to the members for consideration and approval. The Mayor acknowledged the presentation and the work that has been undertaken by the committee to date. The Chief Executive thanked Ms Higgins for her presentation and commended the work of the committee and their approach on preparing the strategy. The Mayor and the members contributed to a discussion around the positive nature of the presentation, the benefits for education, preserving our heritage and encouraging community participation and they hoped that the strategy document would support a strong case for funding. Resolved on the proposal of Councillor McEvoy, seconded by Councillor Miley, with all members in agreement, that the Decade of Commemoration Strategy be adopted. 9