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Adams slams Bruton remarks on 1916 and asks Taoiseach to 'clarify position'

5 August, 2014 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has criticised the suggestion by former Taoiseach and Fine Gael a Leader John Bruton that the 1916 Rising was a mistake.

He called on the Taoiseach to clarify his own position and that of the Government in light of the remarks by Mr Kenny's former party leader, and the fact that there is concern about the Government's approach to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Rising in 2016.

Gerry Adams said:

"I have been raising for some time now, both in the Dáil and elsewhere, the widespread concern at what has so far been a minimalist approach to marking the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising.

"There is as yet no programme of events for the Anniversary and the only suggestion so far by members of this Government has been around inviting British royalty.

"The Government's treatment of the historic Moore Street 1916 battlefield site has been a disaster, with the desires of property developers getting precedence over the need to preserve and promote our national heritage.

"In this light, the remarks of former Taoiseach and Fine Gael Leader John Bruton that the 1916 Rising was a mistake has caused further concern.

"For the record the 1916 Rising was a seminal event in Irish history, a decisive blow in the struggle for Irish freedom and a beacon of hope for colonised and oppressed peoples the world over.

"The democratic and republican principles of freedom and equality contained in the 1916 Proclamation are as relevant to the Ireland of 2014 as when read aloud by Pearse at the GPO.

"It is incredible that a former Taoiseach - a position that would never have existed but for the Easter Rising and the Tan War - would denigrate the sacrifice of the participants and their families in this way.

"Mr Bruton's promotion of John Redmond as a 'man of peace' in contrast to what he portrays as 'violent men' like Pearse and Connolly, is contradicted by the historical record. It was Mr Redmond who encouraged thousands of young Irishmen to join the British army and fight in World War 1, where 30,000 of them were killed.

"In light of the remarks by his former party leader, the Taoiseach should clarify his own position and that of the Government towards the 1916 Rising and how it intends to mark the Centenary of this key event in the history of our nation."

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