Saturday 25 November 2017

Concerns are raised over Heatons' 1916 'choclamation' bar


The controversial chocolate bar on the shelves in Heatons
The controversial chocolate bar on the shelves in Heatons

A CHOCOLATE bar has sparked fears that 1916 commemorations will become "overly commercialised".

The 1916 Easter Rising commemorative chocolate bar - dubbed the 'choclamation' - bears images of the seven executed rebels and the Proclamation of the Republic on its wrapper. It has appeared on sale in Heatons for the price of €2.99.

James Connolly Heron, the great-grandson of 1916 leader James Connolly, said the bar risked undermining the event.

"There's so much more we can tell about the 1916 leaders than reducing them down to covering a chocolate bar," he told RTE's Liveline.

He said it is important to have the images out to educate the next generation, but did not think that was the reason the bar was released.

"This venture is simply a commercial venture," he said.

"One would expect a certain amount of sensitivity, particularly around those that were executed."

He said that there was nothing that could be done about the use of the images once they were in the public domain.


Fianna Fail Councillor Malcolm Byrne initially raised concerns about the product.

"I believe that, in the same way as the state protects the use of the harp as the national symbol, there is a need for us to ensure that, however we mark 1916, that it's appropriate, that it's not overly commercialised, and that there is some way whereby material used is licensed," he said.

Cllr Niall Ring, whose grandfather and his four brothers were in the GPO during the Rising, said he thought objections were "a little bit childish".

Heatons did not respond when contacted by the Herald. The company has 54 stores across the island of Ireland and last month was fully acquired by UK retailer Sports Direct.

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