Programme of events to mark 1916 centenary in Australia announced

An exhibition will run in Melbourne for four months, alongside an academic conference and free documentary screenings

exhibition, conference, centenary, australia, 1916, announcement, melbourne

General View of Melbourne City Centre and Yarra River. Image: David Jensen / EMPICS Entertainment

A programme of events to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Australia has been unveiled.

Nearly seven million Australians have Irish heritage and it is hoped the events will give them an insight into the impact the Easter Rising had Down Under.

The initiative of the University of Melbourne and the Library State of Victory includes rare documentation and footage from the 1920 St Patrick's Day parade where 100,000 Australian's gathered to support Irish independence.

An exhibition at the State Library Victoria in Melbourne will run for four months after opening on St Patrick's Day.

Other events will include an academic conference and free documentary screenings.

Kilkenny native Eoin Hahessy is one of the organisers. Explaining why they are putting on the events, Eoin says the two countries "share a deep historical lineage... the sentenary of 1916 gives an opportunity to illustrate that history for both a younger and older generation".

He also says the Rising helped bring sectarianism to the fore in Australia and questioned Catholic loyalty to the country during the First World War.

Ambassador of Ireland to Australia, Noel White, said, “it is particularly appropriate that we mark this occasion in Melbourne, a city with deep and enduring links with Ireland and the Irish".