On Thursday 5th May the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight- McQuillan officially launched ‘1916: Impact and Legacy exhibition’ in Coleraine Town Hall.
This extensive exhibition funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and developed by Causeway Museum Service and Mid Antrim Museums Services, explores the global context and local connections to the significant events of 1916 – The Easter Rising and The Battle of the Somme through newspapers, letters and diaries at the time. The exhibition goes on to consider the legacy of both these events throughout the island of Ireland.
The Mayor, speaking at the launch, said, “I have been fascinated to discover the connections between Old Boys and students at Coleraine Academical Institute and the Easter Rising and to see some of the immediate responses to events of 1916 on display.
“This exhibition gives us all an opportunity to reflect on the many sacrifices made by local men and women during the Battle of the Somme and other major theatres of war during World War One.”
The Mayor also commended the work of local volunteers who have researched and developed tours of local commemorative sites. Local people have contributed to Coleraine Museum’s collection on display such as the extraordinary collection of letters from James Henry fighting in France to his father back in Coleraine whilst others such as Alistair Harpur have lent very poignant family treasures for the display.
Students from Coleraine Academical Institute helped to develop the story of their exploration of what the Battle of the Somme meant to the school and in the process discovered their own personal family connections to the story. Ballysally Wednesday Club have created a unique textile piece to remind us of the contribution of women during the War.
Paul Mullan, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund NI added, “On the Brink has been an important project through the Decade of Centenaries. It has been supporting and guiding groups to weave their local and often personal stories on to the complex, turbulent global events.
“The current exhibition marks another milestone for the project, as it brings together the Battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising and lets people explore the history and legacy of these two impactful events. We hope people enjoy and learn from the new exhibition. It is thanks to National Lottery players that we can help support projects such as these.”
1916: Legacy and Impact exhibition is open Tuesday to Saturdays 11am-4pm until the 25th June in Coleraine Town Hall. It will then move to Council’s Cloonavin Offices from 27th June until 6th July, where it will be open during office hours, 9am-5pm. Admission is Free. For further information please contact Causeway Museum Service on 028 7034 7234.