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Republic Day holiday to be debated in Dáil - Ó Snodaigh

7 October, 2015 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has criticised the government for their dismissal of his proposed Republic Day holiday to commemorate the men and women who died at Easter Rising. The Dublin deputy has expressed his disappointment, but not surprise, that the government has rejected such a display of honour, considering their knee jerk reaction to all things republican.

The intention of the bill is to have a national holiday, designated in law as Lá na Poblachta, annually in recognition of the ideals encapsulated in the revolutionary document that was the 1916 Proclamation and to pay tribute to those who gave their lives and liberty to pursue the freedom of the Irish nation. The Proclamation was read in front of the GPO in O’Connell Street on April 24th 1916 by P.H. Pearse.

The bill also sets up a board,  Bórd Lá na Poblachta, to organise and co-ordinate commemorative events annually and to raise awareness, encourage an understanding of, and create a discourse around the ideals contained in The Proclamation and the events leading up to the 1916 Rising. It also intends that all programmes would have events of a cultural, community, educational, citizenship and tourism nature across the nation.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“I believe it an insult, though no surprise, to the sacrifices of Irish men and women in the pursuit of an independent Irish Republic that the state refuses to accede to this request. Many other countries have a national day which is a celebration of nationhood and the sacrifices of those who struggled to bring it about.

“This government’s erratic approach to anything republicanism or to the 1916 Rising commemoration and the celebrations of The Proclamation is shown in their rejection of this call, first made by myself nearly 3 years ago. Every step of the way this government has had to be dragged into responding to the demands of the public that there should be a proper and fitting tribute to the men and women of 1916.

“I believe that it would be appropriate that a public holiday be called for this once in a century event and that as a last tribute that annually a series of events reminding us of their vision should be organised by the state. It is worth remembering that for over 30 years, the state ignored or downplayed the Rising.” 

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