Skip to main content

Decade of Centenaries

  • About the Decade of Centenaries programme

    Funded by The Executive Office, our Decade of Centenaries Programme commemorates a decade of key historical moments and events between 1912 and 1922 that shaped Northern Ireland and Ireland.

    We have been awarded funding from the Shared History Fund, which The National Lottery Heritage Fund is delivering on behalf of the Northern Ireland Office to deliver a number of projects to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary year.

    These projects, which fall under our Decade of Centenaries programme, are:

    • a drama and animation programme, including a re-enactment of the King’s speech in the Council Chamber on June 22 2021, exactly 100 years to the day that the Northern Ireland Parliament was opened by King George V
    • the conservation of two chairs, currently in the Council Chamber at City Hall which were used by King George V and Queen Mary at the inauguration of the Northern Ireland Parliament
    • a digital trail of artefacts and stories relating to 1921
    • Lord Mayor’s time capsule project for younger residents
    • a Decade of Centenaries conference, scheduled for March 2022

    These events and projects form part of our wider Decade of Centenaries programme, running until March 2022.  To be kept up to date on the full programme as it is confirmed, you can sign up to receive our monthly Good Relations emails.

  • Lord Mayor’s Time Capsule

    We are asking young people from throughout the city to submit their ideas for items to be included in the Lord Mayor’s time capsule.

    All suggestions are welcome, but should be something that is particularly relevant to 2021 and the times we’re living through.

    You can send suggestions to the Lord Mayor’s office by emailing rsvp@belfastcity.gov.uk. You can also share your ideas on our social media channels, using the hashtag #BelfastTimeCapsule

    The deadline for suggestions is 4pm on Wednesday 19 May.  All suggestions we receive will be considered by the Lord Mayor for inclusion in the time capsule which will be stored at City Hall until it is opened in 2121.

  • Upcoming events

    We are marking Northern Ireland’s centenary year with events which will take place in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time of each event.

  • Previous events

    Reflections on the past 100 years

    This varied programme of online content showcases some of our best local talent and brings the city’s history to life through a range of different mediums.  This content originally formed part of the Belfast May Day Weekender programme.  While some of the content was streamed live over the Bank Holiday weekend, much of the content remains accessible throughout May.

    You can access the programme at belfastmayday.org (link opens in new window)

    Panel discussion: 100 years of Northern Ireland

    This panel discussion, hosted by well-known local broadcaster, Tara Mills, looked at the last one hundred years from a range of different perspectives.

    Panellists for the session were:

    • Lord Paul Bew, Chair of the Northern Ireland Office Centenary Historical Advisory Panel
    • Prof Mary E Daly, University College Dublin and Royal Irish Academy
    • Prof Thomas Hennessey, Professor of Modern British and Irish History, Canterbury Christchurch University
    • Dr Marie Coleman, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen's University Belfast
    • Dr Seán Byers, Researcher at Trademark Belfast and author of a number of pieces on trade unions, economic and political strategies

    You can watch a recording of the panel discussion on YouTube (link opens in new window)

    Violence, Conflict, Militarisation and Displacement virtual conference 

    Between July 1920 and September 1922, Belfast experienced a series of outbreaks of rioting, violence and killing, resulting in huge loss of life and displacement of people from neighbourhoods across the city.

    In October 1920, the Ulster Special Constabulary was founded and by 1922, the A, B and C specials numbered 32,000. On 22 June 1922, the RUC was founded.

    This was a significant period in the city of Belfast’s history. Our ‘Violence, Conflict, Militarisation and Displacement’ conference was originally planned for spring 2020, as part of our Decades of Centenaries programme, but was cancelled as a result of COVID restrictions. The videos feature the speakers who were due to address the conference. There is also a panel discussion featuring all of the speakers.

    Watch the Violence, Conflict, Militarisation and Displacement conference

Read aloud icon Read aloud