Opportunity to create shared culture of commemoration should be seized - Kearney
Sinn Féin's National Chairperson Declan Kearney has said it is important that people from all sections of the community take part in this year's centenary commemorations to develop a greater understanding of the events of 1916.
Mr Kearney said;
"Those who struck a blow for freedom at Easter 1916 fought to create a new Ireland for all.
"They did so at a time of intense militarisation, not just in Ireland but across the world.
"This year, we will be commemorating the centenary of not just the Easter Rising, but also other landmark events of that year, most notably the Battle of the Somme. All of these commemorations should be inclusive and respectful. They can and should be harnessed as a real opportunity to develop a shared culture of commemoration in our society.
"The Proclamation of the Irish Republic is one of the most revolutionary documents from the period and it is every bit as relevant today 100 years later.
"It is the epitome of democracy and enshrines the right to universal suffrage as well as civil and religious liberty for all.
"The ideas of the Proclamation, and the actions of the men and women of 1916, were endorsed by the vast majority of the people of Ireland in the 1918 elections with a resounding Sinn Féin victory.
"To claim that the Rising was undemocratic totally misses the point of what happened in 1916 and the years that followed and highlights the need for the participation of all sections of society in this year's commemorations.
"This year should be an occasion for all political leaders to promote mutual respect, parity of esteem and to lead by example towards developing a phase of reconciliation and healing among all sections of our people."