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County Longford Decade of Centenaries

Longford County Library, Heritage and Archives Services are co-ordinating the commemorations of the major local and national events that occurred in the period 1913-23. That momentous decade witnessed the progression of the Irish Revolution, culminating in the independence of our state. In the latter half of the Decade of Centenaries we will be focussing on the War of Independence (1919-21), the Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921) and the Civil War (1922-23).

Our objectives in marking the centenaries are as follows: 

- To promote knowledge and understanding of local events through the promotion of archives and other sources; encouraging research; and holding talks and workshops;

- Community engagement from all sectors and age groups in the county;

- A strong focus on the education sector, with projects aimed at schools;

- Inclusivity and sensitivity in relation to different cultural, political and religious traditions, and viewpoints;

- The importance of creativity as a means of exploring our history and its complexity.

The annual programmes are developed in consultation with key local stakeholders, who are represented on our Decade of Centenaries Working Group: County Longford Historical Society, the Clonfin Commemoration Committee, Granard Area Historical Society, Ballinalee Community Group and Longford GAA County Board.

The programme for November 2020 will be delivered online due to restrictions on gatherings. 

3 November, at 7pm

‘The burning of Granard, 3-4 November 1920’, a talk by Fr Tom Murray PP.

Fr Murray is a well-known local historian and a member of the County Longford Decade of Centenaries Working Group.


4 November, at 7 pm

‘The Battle of Ballinalee, 4 November 1920’, a talk by Bernard Sexton.

Bernard is an expert on the North Longford Flying Column and a grandson of one of its members. He is a member of the County Longford Decade of Centenaries Working Group.

5 November, at 7 pm

A reading of Canon James Butler’s lecture on the burning of Granard, by Tom Pettit, Granard.

Canon Butler was a witness to the destruction of Granard and he gave the lecture on the 50th anniversary in 1970. Tom Pettit’s family premises were destroyed in the attack on the town.


6 November, at 7 pm

‘Ballinalee: Dawn of Victory’, performed by the Ballinalee Players.

This is a specially-commissioned piece, dramatising aspects of the battle.


14 November, 11 am to 6 pm

A conference on ‘County Longford and the War of Independence’.

The contributors are: Dr Marie Coleman (Queen’s University Belfast), Dr Mel Farrell (Royal Irish Academy), Dr Paul Hughes (independent scholar) and Prof. Eunan O’Halpin (Trinity College Dublin).

The conference will explore the military and political dimensions of the war in Longford; the work of Laurence Ginnell; and the ‘Dead of the Irish Revolution’ project.


25 November, at 7pm

‘The 1920 local elections in County Longford’, a talk by Martin Morris.

Martin Morris is the Archivist in Longford County Council and the Decade of Centenaries Coordinator for the county.


The above will be made available on the Youtube channel of Longford County Library, Heritage and Archives Services at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVa8Z_ohzcuhS530lvJRtng, with links to them from the Decade of Centenaries - Longford and Longford Heritage and Archives Facebook pages.

The programme is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, through its Commemorations Unit.

For details of Decade of Centenaries events elsewhere, please click on https://www.decadeofcentenaries.com/