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Sinn Féin Launch Easter Lily Campaign

24 March, 2005

Speaking today at the launch of the annual Easter Lily campaign in Stormont, Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly said that this weekend would see tens of thousands of republicans taking part in marches, commemorations and wreath laying ceremonies across the island.

Mr Kelly said:

"This year marks the 89th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. It is an important time for Irish republicans. It is a time for remembering our friends and colleagues who have given their lives in pursuit of our republican ideals and goals. It is a time for reflecting on these ideals.

"We recall the words of the 1916 Proclamation - an historic document - one of the most progressive documents ever written. The Proclamation spells out the demand for social and economic justice and democracy, of cherishing all the children of the nation equally, irrespective of colour, religion, gender, ability or race, equally.

"Easter is also a time of renewal - a time when we as Irish republicans rededicate ourselves to the legitimate and achievable goals of independence and unity for the people of this island.

"The past year has undoubtedly been both a challenging and indeed very difficult, year for republicans and the peace process. We made a massive breakthrough in the elections in the 26 counties yet ended the last year with the failure once again of unionism to agree the share power on the basis of equality and respect.

"This year Easter comes with the political establishment set once again on a course of criminalizing the republican struggle and by extension our patriot dead. This weekend provides republicans with the opportunity to send a clear message that we are rightly proud of our heritage and our struggle and will not allow it to be tarnished or criminalized.

"There are over 100 commemorations throughout the island and scores more smaller events. Internationally many Irish exiles will also take part in commemorations. I am calling on people to wear an Easter Lily and to make this years Easter Commemorations and events bigger and better than ever before." ENDS

Note to Editors

In this the 100th anniversary of Sinn Féin, republicans throughout Ireland

will gather on Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday to honour and commemorate

Ireland's patriot dead.

Please see below for a list of the main commemorations - dates, locations

and speakers.

Main Commemorations

Easter Sunday:

Dublin City -- Assemble 1.30pm Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square and

March to GPO. Main Speaker: Martin McGuinness MP

Belfast -- Assemble 1pm, Beechmount Avenue. Main speaker: Martin Ferris TD

Derry City -- Assemble 2.30pm at the Bogside Inn, Westland Street march to

City Cemetery. Main Speaker: Gerry Adams MP

Tyrone -- (Carrickmore) Assemble 3.30pm. Main Speaker: Pat Doherty MP

County Waterford -- (Killrossanty) Assemble 3pm. Main Speaker Mary Lou

McDonald MEP

Fermanagh -- (Tempo) Assemble 2.30pm at Doon Lane. Main Speaker: Michelle

Gildernew MP

Monaghan Town -- Assemble 3pm, O'Hanlon Memorial, Clones Road. Main Speaker:

Gerry Kelly

Galway -- (Conamara) Assemble 3.30pm. Pearse's Cottage, Rosmuck. Main

Speaker: Bairbre de Brún MEP.

Armagh (Newry City) -- Assemble 12.30pm at Patrick Street. Main Speaker:

Conor Murphy

Armagh -- (Crossmaglen) -- Assemble at 10.30 am, Rangers Hall. Main Speaker:

Matt Carty

Cavan -- (Kilnavart) Assemble 12 noon Kilnavart Cemetery. Main Speaker: Sean


Cork (Bandon) -- Assemble 12.30pm, Republican Plot, St Patrick's Cemetery.

Main Speaker: Toireasa Ferris

Cork City -- Assemble 2.30pm National Monument, marching to St Finbarr's

Cemetery. Main Speaker: Sean Crowe TD

Derry - (The Loup) Assemble 2.30pm, Ballyronan Road and march to grave of

Brigadier Seán Larkin. Main Speaker: Arthur Morgan TD

Donegal -- (Drumboe) Assemble 2pm, Johnston's Corner, Stranorlar. Main

Speaker: Alex Maskey

Down -- (Castlewellan) Assemble 4pm at Lower Square march to monument. Main

Speaker: Caitriona Ruane

Drogheda -- Assemble 11am St Peter's Church to the Halpin/Moran monument,

Marsh Road. Main Speaker Martina Anderson

Dundalk -- Assemble 3pm Market Square, march to Republican Plot, St Patrick's

Cemetery. Main Speaker: Martina Anderson

Kerry -- (Tralee) Assemble 3pm, the Pike Man, Denny Street. Main Speaker:

Gearoid O hEara

Limerick City -- Assemble 12.30pm Munster Fair Tavern. March to Republican

Plot, Mount St Laurence Cemetery. Speaker: Killian Forde

Mayo -- (Achill) Assemble 10am, Dookinella. Main Speaker: Rita O'Hare

Wexford Town -- Assemble 11.45am Crescent Quay, parade to Republican Plot.

Main Speaker: John Dwyer

Easter Monday:

Armagh City -- Assemble 2pm Irish Street. Main Speaker Conor Murphy

Down -- (Downpatrick) Assemble 6pm Scotch Street, proceed to Republican

Monument. Main Speakers: Caitriona Ruane/Alex Maskey

Meath -- (Ashbourne) Assemble 11.30am at church and march to Republican Plot.

Main Speaker: Joe Reilly

Monaghan -- (Clones) Assemble 1.30pm, The Diamond. Main Speaker: Caoimhghín Ó

Caoláin TD

Easter Tuesday

Co Antrim (North Belfast-Ardoyne) Assemble 1pm Elmfield Street. Main

Speaker: Gerry Kelly

Toomebridge -- Assemble 4pm. Main Speaker: Barry McElduff

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