Dublin’s Spire should be renamed ‘An Claidheamh Soluis’

Relatives of Easter Rising participants say State commemorations plan a ‘shambles’

The Air Corps fly past the Millennium Spire during the 1916 Easter Sunday Commemoration Ceremony at the GPO in Dublin  last year. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

The Air Corps fly past the Millennium Spire during the 1916 Easter Sunday Commemoration Ceremony at the GPO in Dublin last year. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

 

The Spire opposite the GPO on Dublin’s O’Connell Street should be renamed An Claidheamh Soluis (The Sword of Light) in honour of the leaders of the Easter Rising.

The 1916 Relatives Association today called on Dublin City Council to rename the Spire after the newspaper which was edited by Padraig Pearse in the years before the Rising.

Michael Barry, the chairman of the Save Moore Street committee, said no other country would erect a monument as large as the Spire and dedicate it to “nothing or no one”.

“It is about time (the Spire) got some anchorage in our souls or in our history,” he said.

He said proposals to invite the British Royal family and other foreign dignatories to Easter Rising commemorations was part of our status as a “post-colonial people”.

“We don’t need the permission of the Queen of England or any of the myriad members of her Royal family. We celebrate this for ourselves and nobody else.”

Countries such as France hosted Bastille Day without feeling the need to invite former foes to participate. “There are no Panzer divisions driven by descendents of the Nazi troops driving down the Champs Élysées,” he stated.

The association has unveiled what if feels should be the programme of commemorations for the Easter Rising centenary. It boycotted that State commemoration launch claiming they were not being consulted about what was in the programme.

The official programme suggests that relatives will attend an official State reception and also head the main parade on Easter Sunday 2016 but the association has not committed to the idea yet.

Several hundred people turned up for the launch at Wynn’s Hotel off O’Connell Street, which has been associated in the past with different movements during the revolutionary period.

James Connolly Heron, the great-grandson of James Connolly, was scathing about the Government’s launch in the GPO last week, calling it a “shambles”.

He said “not a line, not a name” was mentioned in the programme about the actual men and women who had fought in Easter Rising, nor in the now notorious official video which did not depict them at all.