NI 100

Ards and North Down set to celebrate Northern Ireland Centenary

Mayor holds blue board with NI 100 text

Ards and North Down Borough Council is planning to deliver a programme of activities during Northern Ireland’s centenary year including celebrating the Borough’s centenarians and centenary babies, organising community engagement activities, delivering educational activities for our younger residents and a programme of lectures and exhibitions.

Mayor Trevor Cummings has welcomed the announcement, saying:

“Many in Ards and North Down are looking forward to celebrating this centenary and it is important to me that our celebrations are as inclusive as possible so everyone in our borough can be involved. The centenary celebrations will give us the opportunity to look back on what we have achieved over the past 100 years, telling local stories from a local perspective and we hope that our reflections will be an opportunity for us all to look forward to the future together.”

We recognise that the Covid-19 pandemic is still with us and have been mindful of potential restrictions during our planning so that while some activities are subject to restrictions many can be adapted for delivery online. 

Calling all Centenarians!

If you, a relative or a friend in the Borough will celebrate their 100th birthday in 2021, we would love to hear from you. We want to recognise anyone born in 1921 in this centenary year. To get involved email with the following information:

  • Name of recipient
  • Date of birth
  • Applicants contact details (email address and phone number)
Event Description Date
The Establishment of Northern Ireland

Ards and North Down Borough Council’s  Good Relations team invites you to attend ‘The Establishment of Northern Ireland’ programme of events. The programme comprises four sessions:

  • Monday 21 June: ’The Establishment of Northern Ireland in June 1921: Historical Background to the Partition of Ireland 1900-21’ (using a newsreel archive with Ann Donnelly of NI Screen) - Dr Éamon Phoenix
  • Tuesday 22 June: ‘Stretch out the Hand’:  A drama written by historian Philip Orr depicting the King’s visit to Belfast in 1921. Followed by a Q and A session.
  • Wednesday 23 June: ‘Triumph and Failure: Carson and Craig and the Political Settlement of 1920-25’ - Dr Éamon Phoenix
  • Thursday 24 June: ‘The Worst Form of Partition’: ‘Joe Devlin, the Northern Nationalists and the Partition of Ireland, 1914-25’ - Dr Éamon Phoenix

All sessions will be conducted via Zoom. To register, please email:

Monday 21 June –Thursday 24 June  2021, 7-9pm.
Stretch out the Hand

Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Good Relations team invites you to join us for a film screening about the inauguration of the Northern Ireland parliament in 1921.  King George V was part of this momentous event in Belfast and delivered a speech with a call for reconciliation. 

Entitled ‘Stretch out the Hand’, the film features a young couple who played a role in the ceremony and depicts both their excitement and worries about the future. 

Written by author Philip Orr and performed by Christine Clark and Glenn McGivern, the film includes black and white footage from the period and is an ideal prelude to discussion. 

Join us via Zoom. To register please email

Tue 23, Wed 24 or Thu 25 March 2021, 7-8pm.
NI100: Our Borough, Our People

To mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Northern Ireland, North Down Museum has put together a special exhibition -' NI100: Our Borough, Our People' which explores local people who have made a national or international impact in their field over the past 100 years. 

Ards and North Down is home to a wealth of talent and this exhibition celebrates the achievements of individuals across eight different categories: - Arts, Entertainment, Leaders, Literature, Music, Science & Industry, Sports and Wartime.

North Down  Museum | Community Gallery 

Dates TBC (subject to restrictions)

NI Centenary: Local Leadership, National Impact

North Down Museum’s NI Centenary: Local Leadership, National Impact exhibition explores the history of how Northern Ireland was established and puts it into the local context of the time.

Like all historical narratives, the lead up to the partition of Ireland and the formation of Northern Ireland is complicated.  The outcome was never straightforward, and the negotiations and political manoeuvring took many years.  While it was hard-fought on both sides; there were some who were happy with the outcome and some who were not.

The exhibition highlights many local people who were at the forefront of the unionist movement at the  time, including Comber native, John Miller Andrews, who played a pivotal role in the opposition of Home Rule, establishing Northern Ireland and sitting in its first Government cabinet. 

North Down Museum | Long Gallery

Dates TBC (subject to restrictions)
Centenary Babies

Celebrating the future of AND 

Recognising that children are the future of our place, we are celebrating the birth of our new residents who will go on the shape the future of our Borough. 

All babies born May – Dec 2021 will have the opportunity to receive a special commemorative birth certificate along with their original certificate to mark their birth in this centenary year. 

*Commemorative certificates will be offered at time of Registration with our Registration office.

Ongoing May to December 2021
NI100 Grants

Northern Ireland Centenary Grants for Community and Resident Groups 

Ards and North Down Borough Council has opened a funding scheme for local constituted community and/or resident’s groups who wish to apply for funding towards the costs involved in organising local neighbourhood events, within Ards and North Down in celebration or commemoration of the setting up of the State of Northern Ireland. 

A maximum grant of £500 is available.

Application forms, guidance notes and criteria are available at:

Applications open from Tuesday 4 May 2021.