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Unionists unwelcome at our Easter Rising commemoration, says republican group

By Suzanne Breen

Published 28/10/2015

GPO in ruins 1916: Soldiers survey the interior of the post office in Sackville Street, Dublin, during the Easter Rising of 1916. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
GPO in ruins 1916: Soldiers survey the interior of the post office in Sackville Street, Dublin, during the Easter Rising of 1916. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Scene from O'Connell Street in Dublin, during the Easter Rising in 1916
Post Office Ruined...Soldiers inspect the interior of Dublin's General Post Office, viewing the complete destruction of the building after being shelled by the British during the Easter Rising 1916. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)...I
INDH28 Easter Rising 1916: British troops loading vehicle. Published 1920. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH22A Easter Rising 1916: Head office of ITGWU, destroyed following the 1916 Rising. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
Library pic dated 11/05/1916 of the damage wrought on Dublin's General Post Office during the Easter Rising.
INDH22C Easter Rising 1916: Ruins of Freeman Press and Telegraph, 1916. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
Easter Rising:Anniversary/Standard bearers head the parade into Milltown Cemetery, Falls Road, BELFAST, for the graveside ceremony. 12/4/1966
Library filer dated 11/05/1916 of a view of Sackville Street (O'Connell St) and the River Liffey at Eden Quay in Dublin, showing the devastation wrought during the Easter Rising.
GARDEN OF REMEMBERANCE OPENS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN APRIL 1966 IN CELEBRATION OF THE 50YRS ANNIVERSARY OF THE EASTER RISING
INDH29 Easter Rising 1916: British troops searching a car. Published 1920. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH22 Easter Rising 1916: Coliseum theatre, Henry Street, destroyed following the 1916 Rising. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH22B Easter Rising 1916: O'Connell bridge and street, 1916. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH22E Easter Rising 1916: Troops being marched to barracks, 1916. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH26 Easter Rising 1916: Troops searching bread van for arms. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH23 Easter Rising 1916: Troops inspecting car on Mount Street Bridge. Published 1916. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
INDH27 Easter Rising 1916: British troops barricade City Hall. Published 1920. (Part of the NPA/Independent Collection)
Easter Rising:Anniversary/Standard bearers head the parade into Milltown Cemetery, Falls Road, BELFAST, for the graveside ceremony. 12/4/1966

A hardline republican group has said that unionists won't be welcome at their event to commemorate the 1916 Rising.

While Sinn Fein has invited unionists to take part in a series of events to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, the organisers of a commemoration in Belfast said it would be an occasion only for republicans.

The Easter Rising Commemoration Committee said that while Sinn Fein had the right to invite unionists to events it was organising, the committee was taking a traditional republican stance.

In a statement, the group said: "We in the Easter Rising Committee would like to make it clear that we are unrepentant Irish republicans who uphold the right of those who took on the might of the British empire to do so by force of arms. We make no apologies for that.

"Those who fought and died for our freedom not only fought the British but also their colonial forces in Ireland, the RIC/RUC and the Black and Tans, these were mainly from the unionist community in Ireland.

"We will not be inviting unionists, loyalists or any manifestation of the British state to our commemorations." The committee said its event in West Belfast next April 24 would be "strictly Irish republican" .

Unionists have already rejected Sinn Fein's invitation to its events to mark the centenary.

Read more

Unionists slap down Sinn Fein invite to join Rising centenary celebrations

Loyalists invited to join in Belfast's Easter Rising centenary commemorations  

Launching a programme of events in Belfast City Hall, former Sinn Fein Lord Mayor, Tom Hartley, said all "dimensions and perspectives on the insurrection against British Rule in 1916 in Dublin [would] be reflected in the anniversary programme".

But DUP MLA Nelson McCausland said republicans would be better desisting from acts such as naming children's play parks after IRA men than inviting people to "this farcical commemoration".

Belfast Telegraph

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