Divisions must be healed to realise vision of 1916 - Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said hurts and divisions must be healed if we are to realise the vision of the 1916 Proclamation.
Speaking at the Easter Rising commemoration in Belfast’s Milltown Cemetery, Mr Adams said;
“The Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement marked a historic shift in politics on this island.
“For the first time, the roots of conflict were addressed and a democratic route to Irish unity opened up.
“But there is much yet to be done. Hurts must be healed, divisions ended and the scourge of sectarianism must be tackled.
“There is more to be done right across Ireland. While there have been improvements since it was first established the southern state is not the Republic proclaimed in 1916.
“Current efforts by the Dublin establishment to pretend that it is are an insult to the men and women of 1916.
“There are those who say that honouring the 1916 leaders might retrospectively justify violence.
“But they say nothing critical of John Redmond and Edward Carson’s role in sending tens of thousands of young men to fight Germans, Austrians and Turks - with whom they and Ireland had no quarrel. 38 million people were killed in that imperial adventure. Were John Redmond and Edward Carson not ‘men of violence’?
“A united Ireland means the unity of the people of this island, including those who see themselves as British.
“That is why Irish governments must pursue every avenue to promote all-Ireland co-operation and to build relationships between all our people.
“This must include genuine efforts to outreach to the unionists on the basis of equality.
“The Assembly elections will be on May 5th – the anniversary of Bobby Sands death after 66 days on hunger strike.
“We want to emerge with a stronger mandate that will allow us to continue with our work to deliver a future of equals, in a society of equals for all our citizens.” Ends/Críoch