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First World War commemorations and the Decade of Centenaries

The NIO is supporting HMG's programme of First World War commemorations to ensure it promotes peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


In Northern Ireland, the First World War must be remembered in the context of wider events during the turbulent decade between 1912-1922. Marking these anniversaries in a spirit of historical accuracy, mutual respect and inclusiveness can support efforts to build a peaceful and shared future for everyone in Northern Ireland.

In commemorating the decade of centenaries, the NIO aims to:

  • ensure that HM Government’s programme for the First World War commemorations is implemented in Northern Ireland in a manner that promotes reconciliation and enhances prospects for a peaceful, shared future
  • support the Northern Ireland Executive and Northern Ireland civil society in their programme of commemorations for the decade of centenaries
  • foster ever-closer relations with the Irish government and work together to promote greater understanding of our shared history


  • Plans are being made to implement HMG’s commemorative paving stones project in the hometowns of Victoria Cross recipients throughout modern-day Northern Ireland
  • We are supporting local arrangements for a cross-community commemorative event at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, complementing government events in Glasgow, Belgium and London on 4th August 2014
  • HMS Caroline, moored in Belfast, has received £13.2 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable this veteran of the Battle of Jutland to open as a floating museum for the battle’s centenary in 2016
  • 14-18 NOW is a major cultural programme taking place across the United Kingdom to mark the centenary of the First World War. It includes an exhibition at the Metropolitan Arts Centre in Belfast from 3 July – 17 August 2014 and and a Derry~Londonderry literature centre residency of a leading performance poet
Published 9 June 2014