Dublin City Council defends College Green 1916 banner

Henry Grattan, Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and John Redmond shown

The banner at College Green Bank of Ireland  is on the front of what was the Irish parliamentary building before the Act of Union in 1800.

The banner at College Green Bank of Ireland is on the front of what was the Irish parliamentary building before the Act of Union in 1800.

 

Dublin City Council has defended its decision to put images of four constitutional politicians, three of whom had died long before 1916, on a banner commemorating the Easter Rising.

The banner, which features Henry Grattan, Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and John Redmond, has attracted some criticism as well as confusion as to why the four individuals were chosen.

Grattan, O’Connell and Parnell died respectively in 1820, 1847 and 1891, while Redmond described the Rising as a “wicked and insane” event.

Dublin City Council deputy city librarian Brendan Teeling said the idea for the banner had come from the Department of the Taoiseach. The council, the Department of the Taoiseach and the OPW have been liaising on how to dress the city up for the parade on Easter Sunday, which will be the biggest event of the Rising commemorations.

Proclamation

The banner is on the front of what was the Irish parliamentary building before the Act of Union in 1800. It was known as “Grattan’s parliament”.

Mr Teeling said it was part of a series of banners to be erected in the coming days. Two will feature the signatories of the Proclamation and another will commemorate the role of women in the Rising. A banner featuring the Proclamation is already on the front of the council offices in Wood Quay.

He said the commemorations were intended to remember the Rising in all its aspects.

He said parliamentary nationalists had been supported by the majority of Irish people prior to 1916 and it would be “unhistorical” to leave them out. “It is not making a grand claim. It is not part of this revisionist stuff that’s going on,” he said.

The banner provoked hostility on social media. The Rubber Bandits, who made a spoof documentary about the Rising, tweeted: “Sickened that the official centenary celebration has managed to be more absurd than our 1916 documentary.”

Sinn Féin councillor Paul Donnelly tweeted: “Tourists will be torturing the poor guides with ‘so, where did these guys fight?”