Dublin mayor seeks to block British royals from 1916 events

Christy Burke says event belongs to families of those who died in Rising

Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke: motion to block British royal presence will be tabled at forthcoming meeting of Dublin City Council.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke: motion to block British royal presence will be tabled at forthcoming meeting of Dublin City Council. Photograph: Eric Luke

Thu, Jun 19, 2014, 01:00

Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke is to seek support for a motion blocking any British royal presence at 1916 Rising commemoration events.

Mr Burke, who left Sinn Féin to become an Independent councillor in 2009, said he was unconcerned about what signals the move would send to the UK, given the stature of his office.

Rather, he said, his belief that any royal participation would be inappropriate was a reflection of what he had heard from the public.

“I don’t want to cause any upset in the UK. I don’t mean to offend anybody. I am just making the point that a lot of citizens have made to me.”

Mr Burke’s motion will be tabled at the forthcoming meeting of Dublin City Council, which will be the first he has chaired since he was elected to office earlier this month.

Ruling coalition

While his motion will further the debate surrounding the centenary, Mr Burke will no longer be in office at the time. A Sinn Féin lord mayor will preside over the commemorations after the party succeeded in forming a ruling coalition on the council.

Mr Burke’s motion will call upon the Taoiseach’s office not to invite members of the royal family to any “strategic positions” during the centenary. This, he said, would include any of the main events. It will stress that the centenary belongs to those who gave their lives in 1916.