Proud republicans take ownership at Stormont commemoration
Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff speaking at the Sinn Féin Stormont Easter commemoration in the Long Gallery urged unionism to rise to the challenge of building a future for Planter, Gael, New Citizen and Dissenter by working in government with Sinn Féin.
The event was dedicated to the memory of Sinn Féin stalwart Siobhan O'Hanolan.
Mr McElduff said:
"It is fitting that republicans from the length and breadth of Ireland have come together to honour those who gave their lives for Irish freedom.
"Stormont is full of the echoes and resonance of unionist domination. A time when unionists wouldn't have a fenian about the place. A place where unionists abused power for decades. Today I am proud to be an unrepentant fenian here and proud to remember Ireland's patriot dead in the company of so many republicans.
"It was at Stormont that unionists tried to ban Easter commemorations. Here today is proof that they failed. The inspiration given today to young men and women is as strong as it was 90 years ago when the men and women of 1916 rose up and proclaimed a 32 county republic. Against all the odds it was a triumph of the human spirit over oppression and adversity.
"We pay tribute to them all. But today a new generation, like the generations before, have taken up the gauntlet and risen to the challenge of the unfinished business of creating an Ireland of Equals.
"Sinn Féin has been consistent in honouring the men and women of the 1916 Uprising and in recognising the powerful message that it and the proclamation hold. We welcome the rediscovery of the importance of 1916 by the Dublin government. More importantly everyone to re-examine its powerful message and the core values and principles within the proclamation.
"Indeed it contains a powerful message to unionism about the intention of republicans. Yes, we are unashamedly for Irish Unity. And yes, we want to build a society of equals that is free from sectarianism and bigotry. Can unionism can rise to this challenge? Unionists need to rise to the challenge of building a future for Planter, Gael, New Citizen and Dissenter by working in government with Sinn Féin." ENDS