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Sinn Féin Launch Easter Lily Campaign

21 March, 2007

Speaking today at the launch of the annual Easter Lily campaign in Stormont, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams was joined by members of the National Graves Association and the National Commemoration Committee. The Sinn Féin President encouraged people to wear an Easter Lily and to take part in one of the many marches, commemorations and wreath laying ceremonies being organised across the island.

Mr Adams said:

" This year marks the 91st 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 seen Republicans once again seizing the political initiative. The historic decision by the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis on Policing has liberated the political process. We want to share power with Ian Paisley's DUP and with the other parties. But the days of a DUP veto have gone and the process will move ahead regardless.

"In the recent Assembly election Sinn Féin once again increased significantly our electoral strength. We now face into the elections in the 26 counties with confidence.

"Republicans are rightly proud of our heritage and our struggle and will not allow it to be tarnished or demonised in any way. There are over 100 commemorations throughout the island and scores more smaller events taking place over the Easter weekend. 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

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