1916 was a crucial moment in the development of modern Ireland. The year is famously associated with the Easter Rising that provided an inspirational event for the emergence of the independent Irish Free-State in 1922. However, for Unionists in Ireland, 1916 is remembered for quite a different military encounter, the Battle of the Somme, which continues to hold an important place in constructions of Unionist identity. Beyond the political sphere, 1916 marked the publication of James’ Joyce’s first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and was the setting for Sean O’Casey’s seminal play The Plough and the Stars as well as one of W.B. Yeats’ most anthologized poems, ‘Easter 1916’. Indeed, 1916 also saw the foundation of Ireland’s first indigenous film company, The Film Company of Ireland, whose co-founder James Mark Sullivan was arrested after the Rising and charged with complicity. 1916 was also the year in which Ireland was aligned to Greenwich Mean Time for the first time, supplanting Dublin Mean Time, bringing the island temporally closer to the rest of the United Kingdom in the same year that would mark an important point in the changing political relationship between the UK and Ireland. As we approach the centenary of 1916, the continuing resonance of events in that year to contemporary Ireland was evident in the November 18 2010 editorial of The Irish Times the day after it was announced Ireland was to receive a financial bailout from the EU and IMF. ‘Was it for this?’, the editorial asked, ‘the men of 1916 died’ thus highlighting the gendering of commemoration. This conference featured contributions on the theme of ‘TOWARDS 2016: OLD AND NEW IRELANDS’ from a variety of perspectives and disciplines including history, gender studies, politics, economics, diaspora studies, cultural geography, digital culture, literature, theatre, folklore, film and media studies, language, sociology, philosophy, psychology, trauma studies, theology, ecocriticism, sport and cultural studies. This is in line with the concern of EFACIS to develop, in a European context, teaching and research in Irish Studies as an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field of study. It is envisaged that a series of publications further to this conference will be published to coincide with the centenary in 2016.