10 November 2005

Irish government should purchase Finger Printing Machine from 1916 Rising

Sinn Féin

Published: 10 November, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has written to the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern asking that the government urgently intervene to purchase a finger printing machine used by the British to take the finger prints of the leaders of the 1916 Rising shortly before their execution.

Mr. Adams said:

"It has recently been revealed that a finger printing machine, which was used to take the fingerprints of the executed leaders of the 1916 Rising, is to be auctioned in England on December 14th. This is an artefact of national importance. It should not be allowed to remain overseas in private hands.

"I believe that the Irish government should ensure that this machine is secured for the state. If necessary the government should buy it.

"In other countries around the world, particularly those emerging out of colonialism every effort is made to tell the story of how freedom and independence was achieved. The record of successive Irish governments in this respect has been poor - witness the continuing controversy around 16 Moore Street, or the sell-off of the 1916 surrender note by Padraig Pearse.

"The Irish government has a responsibility to preserve, honour and commemorate the men and women who fought and died in pursuit of freedom and democracy." ENDS

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