New York street renamed Easter Rising Way by city council

Pedestrian staircase in Queens symbolises Irish struggle, says council speaker


New York has a new street: Easter Rising Way. The “step street” in Maspeth in the borough of Queens was officially unveiled at a naming ceremony on Saturday.

Some 300 people turned out for the renaming of the pedestrian walkway which had no name until this date and was full of litter and covered in graffiti. It has now been cleaned up.

New York city council gave approval for the street naming following a visit by a delegation including the city council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to the State commemorations on Easter Sunday.

Easter Rising Way is a pedestrian staircase that runs along 53rd Avenue, from 65th Place to 64th Street in west Queens.

It was chosen because it is in a traditional Irish-American part of Queens and because it overlooks the Fenian Monument erected in 1907 by the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood which was involved in planning the Easter Rising.

The naming was proposed by New York city council member Elizabeth Crowley who represents the district in Queens and who has Irish grandparents.

Watershed moment

Easter Rising Way was a staircase which, she said, symbolised the “struggle of the Irish people, who have fought for freedom and peace for centuries. We honour and remember the Easter rebellion because it was a watershed moment that led to creation of the Irish State.”

From the top of Easter Rising Way the skyline of Manhattan which the Irish had done so much to build was visible, she said.

Speaking at the unveiling Ms Mark-Viverito said: “Today, we commemorate the wilful determination of the Irish people to chart their own future. When our Irish ancestors saw injustices, they fought to make things right, to provide better lives and better opportunities for themselves and their children. These are values that are still fought for today both in Ireland and here in America.”

The Proclamation was ahead of its time in its commitment to equality between the sexes, she told the crowd.

The Proclamation was read to the assembled crowd by Michael MacDermott, a grandnephew of Seán Mac Diarmada, one of the signatories of the Proclamation.

Among those who attended the naming ceremony were Barbara Jones, the consul general of Ireland in New York, and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams who gave the keynote address.