12/09/2005

1916 can unify us

I see the issue of next year's Easter rising commeration has been raised in the Dáil. Bertie Ahern has come in for critism for announcing the the celebration at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis. Both Enda Kenny and Pat Rabitte felt that it should not have been announced at such a partisan venue and wile its not exactly the most important of issues, I would have sympathy with their arguement. The government has established an organising committe and invited the other parties to become involved.

I think it is very important that this parade has a cross-party feel for it. As was rightly pointed out, all parties have members with forefathers who took part in the 1916 rising and this celebration should be all the people of Ireland, regardless of party political loyalities. 1916 was perhaps the most pivotal year in Irish history and it is right that the founding fathers of the state should be remembered. TDs should also remember that the Republic proclaimed in 1916 was 32 county Republic and Independent TD Finian McGrath gave a timely reminder that the Dáil should be addressing the issue of the rights of Irish people living across the border to have rights in our national parliament. I agree with his statement that;

“In the democratic spirit of the 1916 Rising, it is time that northern political representatives were allowed to address the southern parliament,”

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