Ivana Bacik says 1916 commemoration should not be ‘over-militaristic’

Labour Senator outlines need to recognise social uprising that took place at same time

A  parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the 1916 Easter rising in 2006

A parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the 1916 Easter rising in 2006


The parade to commemorate the centenary of the Rising in 2016 should not be over-militaristic, Labour Senator Ivana Bacik has said. “I was very struck when I watched the parade in 2006, which was the last time there was a full military parade,’’ she added. “I found it troubling.’’

Ms Bacik said she felt at that time the Rising was being commemorated in a way that seemed almost to celebrate the military and weapons. “It made me uncomfortable,’’ she added.

For many who wished to attend the parade with families and children, it would be appropriate if there were some aspects that recognised, for example, the role of women, she said. “We should not commemorate the republican leaders without remembering that a hugely important social uprising was taking place as well,’’ Ms Bacik added. “The origins of the Labour party lie in the work of Larkin and Connolly, and that was a very important movement at the time, as was the suffragette movement.’’

Mark Daly (FF) said they would be celebrating “the lives of the ordinary, but extraordinary, men and women who did an extraordinary thing on that ordinary day, Easter Monday 1916’’.

They had struggled, he said, to achieve a common aim. “The aims set out in the Proclamation were equal rights, equal opportunities and civil and religious liberties,’’ he added. “They are aims and objectives which elude us still, and 100 years on we must reflect on how far we have come and how far we have yet to go to achieve them.’’

Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys said she wanted to build on the understanding of the history of the period and ensure the Rising was marked in a way that was inclusive, respectful and appropriate.