DUP leader to attend event in Dublin marking 1916 Rising
First Minister Arlene Foster distinguishes between ‘commemoration’ and ‘considered discussion’
In agreeing to attend the event organised by the Church of Ireland Historical Centenaries Working Group, First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster was anxious to make the distinction between an “event” and a “commemoration”. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
In agreeing to attend the event organised by the Church of Ireland Historical Centenaries Working Group, Ms Foster was anxious to make the distinction between an “event” and a “commemoration”.
Last month, the DUP leader said she would not attend events commemorating the Easter Rising as she believed the rebellion gave “succour” to violent republicanism. She subsequently softened her stance to say she would be happy to attend a conference or symposium discussing Easter 1916.
She has now agreed to attend the event entitled “A State of Chassis – Ordinary People in Extraordinary Circumstances in Dublin in 1916” in Christ Church Cathedral at 7.30pm Wednesday night.
Ms Foster said the event, chaired by broadcaster and historian John Bowman, was “not a commemoration” but a “more considered discussion” about 1916.
Reflecting the sensitivity of her attendance, the Church of Ireland press office on Tuesday issued a clarification stating it had in an initial press release “inadvertently” used the word “commemorate” in the title of the release.
The Church of Ireland said that the event is “not a commemorative one but one which is designed to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising by exploring its historically”.
The event will feature contributions from historians Dr Fearghal McGarry of Queen’s University, Belfast and Dr Jason McElligott of Marsh’s Library, Dublin and also allow an opportunity for discussion and questions from the floor.