Kearney to represent Sinn Féin at Irish State Commemoration in Dublin.
Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney will represent the party at the State commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin this weekend.
Mr Kearney said,
“I will be very proud to represent Sinn Féin at the Irish State commemoration of the Easter Rising in Dublin this weekend, where I will join with the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
“The Easter Rising was a pivotal moment in the history of the island. It had a defining effect upon Irish society throughout the twentieth century. This centenary anniversary is an opportunity for all our people both at home and across the Irish diaspora, to reflect upon and commemorate the seminal events of Easter week 1916.
“The legacy of the Rising belongs to every Irish citizen. It continues to find expression in the timeless vision and ideas set out in the Easter Proclamation. The ambition of the Proclamation is still to be achieved in modern day Ireland. Sinn Féin remains dedicated to bringing that about by working to create the circumstances for an agreed, multicultural and United Ireland.
“2016 will also mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. It too had a lasting effect upon Ireland. The Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme centenaries symbolise the divided traditions in our country. Both deserve to be respected with dignity, equality and parity of esteem. This particular year of commemoration should be embraced by all political leaders as an occasion to give positive leadership north and south. It should be harnessed as a powerful opportunity to end divisions, build reconciliation, facilitate healing, and open a new phase of the peace process.
“Today's Ireland is a very different place one hundred years after the Rising. In recent years the Irish Peace Process has helped transform the lives for many of our people north and south. However, while economic inequality, social injustice, the absence of good health care, unemployment, homelesness, and emigration exist, the vision of the Rising remains incomplete. Too many children of the nation are not being cherished equally. The Easter Rising's fundamental principle of an Ireland of Equals must become our collective work and aim.
"Many thoughtful and fitting commemorative and educational initiatives have already taken place; many more events will be organised this Easter; others will occur on the actual centenary weekend itself at the end of April; and, throughout 2016. I urge everyone from all sections of our community, north and south, to actively participate in this national year of remembrance, to become inspired by the patriotism and vision by the men and women of Easter Week, and together shape our future. Is linne go léir oidhreact na Cásca, bígí páirteach."