Plans welcomed for diverse Easter Rising centenary commemoration

 Senator David Norris: recalled “with horror the 1966 celebration, which was a grotesque, triumphalist celebration, from which anybody who was not quite heterosexual, republican and Roman Catholic was ruthlessly excluded”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Senator David Norris: recalled “with horror the 1966 celebration, which was a grotesque, triumphalist celebration, from which anybody who was not quite heterosexual, republican and Roman Catholic was ruthlessly excluded”. Photograph: Eric Luke

 


There was sharp criticism of the manner in which the State marked the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1966 during a debate on centenary commemorations.

David Norris (Ind) said he welcomed plans by Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan for a diverse centenary commemoration in 2016.

“I recall with horror the 1966 celebration, which was a grotesque, triumphalist celebration, from which anybody who was not quite heterosexual, republican and Roman Catholic was ruthlessly excluded,’’ he added.

Catherine Noone (FG) said she applauded the remarkable array of scheduled events and publications which honoured all who played their part during that tumultuous era.


Treatment of women
“Unlike the 1966 commemorations, which presented a somewhat monochrome view of history, I am pleased to note that the centenary commemorations will expand beyond the set-piece events to cover thematic issues such as the treatment of women and minorities,” said Ms Noone.

Mr Deenihan said he was confident that “all will be able to transcend the sad elements of the history of former times”.

It had been suggested, he added, that the current difficulties should have precedence in our consideration, inhibiting the scale of commemoration.

“However, the centenary of the Easter Rising is such a significant landmark in our national progress that we must seek to transcend all the issues of the moment and the differences between parties and traditions to ensure the optimal arrangements are put in place for us all to come together in commemoration.”