Lá na Poblachta Bill to be debated in Dáil – Ó Snodaigh
Lá na Poblachta Bill to be debated in Dáil – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD
Dublin South Central SF TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh will be debating a Bill he has tabled in the Dáil today (Thursday) that seeks to designate the 24th of April a national holiday in honour of the Irish men and women who fought to establish an independent Irish Republic.
Titled “Public Holidays (Lá na Poblachta) Bill”, its purpose is to enshrine in law a national holiday around which a programme of events would be organised across the 32 counties in recognition of the central role played by the 1916 Proclamation in encapsulating the ideals of Irish republicanism.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“Lá na Poblachta would be designated an annual public holiday on April 24th. A programme of events would also be held in each county of Ireland annually in appreciation of the many people who gave their lives and liberty in the pursuit of Irish independence.
“The Bill would also establish ‘Bord Lá na Poblachta’ to organise and co-ordinate the series of events that would help create a discourse around the ideals contained in the key revolutionary documents of Irish republicanism and the events leading up to the declaration of the Irish Republic.
“I believe that the public’s enthusiasm, at home and abroad, for the various 1916 commemorations in the past year supports my belief that it is entirely appropriate to designate a day annually as ‘Lá na Poblachta’.
“The passage of this Bill would encourage the study of the Proclamation and the ideals contained within it and of citizenship. Moreover, when we celebrate the historical significance of this milestone year in our history, we should also enshrine the day the Proclamation of the Irish Republic was read on the steps of the GPO 100 years ago, so that it becomes part of our ongoing public consciousness.”
Deputy Ó Snodaigh explained that the Government rejected the Bill when first debated last year, a decision he believes showed a complete lack of vison and a rejection of the sacrifices made by the men and women whose struggle paved the way for partial Irish independence and a failure to understand the affinity that most Irish citizens have with the ideal of the Proclamation.
“The State has only nine designated public holidays, 2 fewer than the European average of 11.
“As recently as last week FG MEP Brian Hayes highlighted this disparity when he said that in the light of public pay restoration talks, additional public holidays should be granted to acknowledge the ‘sacrifices made during the economic crash’.
“I hope that the Government act to implement my Bill and it is before time that the State marked this seminal time in our history. For the vast majority of people, the spirit of the 1916 Rising encapsulates the bravery, foresight and selflessness of the men and women who fought for Irish independence and it is only right that we honour their memory and sacrifices through a national holiday.”
Note: A copy of the Bill can be accessed at: https://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=33210&&CatID=59