1916 centenary a time to build new Ireland based on equality - McGuinness
Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said the centenary of the 1916 Rising is a time to build a new Ireland based on equality and partnership.
Speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin's programme of events in the North to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 rising, Mr McGuinness said;
"The Easter Rising is one of the great watershed moments in Irish history. It transformed politics and the public mood.
"The 1916 Proclamation is a declaration of social and economic intent for a rights-based society in which the people are sovereign.
"It is a freedom charter for this whole island and all the people who live here.
"Today, we need the spirit and the vision; the selflessness and generosity of those who struck for freedom almost 100 years ago. Our goal, like theirs is to build a new future and a new Republic.
"We want a new future in which citizens are sovereign and equal; in a society which is tolerant and inclusive of race, colour, class, creed, gender, sexual orientation or disability – an Ireland built on positive change, equality and partnership.
"Our vision for a new Republic in one where wealth is invested creatively and fairly, and where our children are not burdened by poverty, where our schools are properly resourced and where no one lies on a hospital trolley or has no home or a job.
"The measure of any society is how is treats those most in need and its most vulnerable. It is about cherishing all the children of this nation equally.
"So the centenary celebration of the Easter Rising is an appropriate time to build and rededicate ourselves to the achievement of the Republic declared in 1916."