Citizens of Dublin “immensely proud” of men and women of 1916 – Cllr. Mícheál Mac Donncha
Speaking at a ceremony in Glasnevin Cemetery to commemorate the members of Dublin Fire Brigade who participated in the 1916 Rising, Dublin City Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha said that the citizens of Dublin are immensely proud of those who fought in the Rising. He said that despite the contentions of some, there was no democracy in Ireland in 1916.
“I think I speak for the vast, vast majority of the citizens of Dublin when I say that we are immensely proud of the men and women who took part in the Easter Rising of 1916. Unreservedly, unapologetically we
say that these men and women were heroes in the true sense of the word, because they risked everything they had. They challenged, in this city, the might of the British Empire, the greatest empire the world had ever seen, and they fought bravely for the freedom of the Irish people. Let us have no hesitation in saying that – we should be nothing but proud of them. They were heroes.
“We are being told by some that these men and women had no mandate, even that they were anti-democratic. But let us be very clear – there was no democracy in Ireland in 1916.
“The graves of the Easter Rising dead in this cemetery are far outnumbered by those killed in the European War, a war into which this country was dragged, at huge cost in Irish lives, by a foreign government.
As the Irish Volunteers and the Citizen Army and Cumann na mBan said at the time, only an independent national government, truly representative of the Irish people, had the right to decide on matters of peace and war. And it was to establish such a democracy, an Irish Republic, with equal rights for all, that these men and women took their stand at Easter 1916.”
Cllr Mac Donncha also stated:
“Great appreciation is due to Dublin Fire Brigade and to all involved in organising this very significant event in our 1916 centenary calendar. Fáilte spesialta, a special welcome, to the families of the men we honour today – Joe Connolly, George Connolly, Tom Coyne, Tom Smart, Robert Malone, Denis Fitzpatrick, Tom Kavanagh, Paddy Kelly.”