Belfast Telegraph

Grandson of 1916 rebel condemns today's dissident republican violence

By John Brennan

The grandson of 1916 rebel Cathal Brugha has warned the upcoming centenary of the Easter Rising doesn't give dissident republicans a mandate to carry out violence.

Professor Cathal Brugha, whose grandfather and namesake suffered and survived some 25 bullet wounds in 1916, said contemporary republican hardliners cannot use the centenary to propagate and continue their own so-called "armed struggles".

Prof Brugha is associate Professor in the Quinn school of business in University College Dublin.

He rejected the idea that terrorist groups claiming the IRA name had a justification to continue these armed struggles. Prof Brugha called them "illegitimate" and added that it "is not comparable" to the violence seen 100 years ago on Easter week.

His comments come after Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr said the PSNI foil four out of five attacks by dissident republicans. In the past week alone, reports suggest that a number of attacks have been halted by the PSNI, MI5 and An Garda Siochana.

Protecting the legacy of 1916 is important to Prof Brugha, but he dismissed comparisons between current republican hardliners and the leaders and rebels of 100 years ago.

"There is hardly any comparison. The 1918 election endorsed the actions by the leaders of the 1916 Rising. That means the British executed what would have become the government - Cabinet ministers."

Prof Brugha explained that he felt his grandfather and other rebels were justified in carrying out the rebellion. He felt the Rising "was more about standing up for ourselves and calling a halt to the attacks than about starting a fight".

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