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We're being left out of 1916 plans, relatives claim

Commemoration plans for the 1916 Easter Rising have been blasted by families of some of the revolutionaries.

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys has been forced to defend the 2016 plans to honour the Rising after a group of relatives labelled the plans as secretive. The minister has insisted that the families will play a key role in the events.

"Relatives of those who fought and died in 1916 will lead the main State parade on Easter Sunday 2016, and a special reception for relatives will also be held that weekend," she said.

"I have met with relatives groups on a number of occasions over the last few weeks, and I was pleased to see a number of them at the launch of Ireland 2016 on Wednesday."

However, the 1916 Relatives Association spokesperson Una McNulty said she also feels that the relatives are not being consulted with properly.

"They said that they would include us but our worry now because of our experience with the department is that when they talk about inclusion they just mean photo opportunities," she said.

Inclusion

"That is not real inclusion and we would like to be part of the consultative process. We feel we have a vast amount to offer."

The 1916 Relatives Association currently has 850 members and is growing every day.

Another group, Save 16, have been campaigning to save four buildings on Moore Street that were used during the rising.

Their spokesperson, Nuala O'Rahilly-Price, said that she is pleased with the amount the Government are spending on the project but that the plans were not very specific.

"I was in the GPO the other night and there is nothing too specific about the plans but there is quite a fair bit of money being allocated to the events," she said.

Ms O'Rahilly-Price's grandfather, Michael O'Rahilly - known as The O'Rahilly - was killed after leading a charge from the GPO up Moore Street in 1916. Under the programme, the Government is due to spend €22m on various projects.

The minister said that she wants to ensure that no group is favoured during the commemorations.

"The commemorations don't belong to any one group; they belong to everyone," she said.

hnews@herald.ie


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