01 March 2006

City council to mark 1916 rising


Nationalist councillors in Derry want to commemorate the Easter Rising

The 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising should be officially commemorated in Derry, city councillors have decided.

The proposal was made by Sinn Fein representatives and supported by the SDLP, however, unionists on the council have opposed it.

Sinn Fein's Peter Anderson said the 1916 rebellion should be remembered like other events.

The DUP's Joe Millar has said the council should not support it.

"I don't think that Derry City Council, as a council, should be getting involved in this if they are trying to reflect the views of all the people," he said.

"We would not be supporting something that is anti-British."

Mr Anderson said commemorating the rising was a matter of equality.

"What I was proposing, in my opinion, was just for equality," he said.


"We have been sending councillors all over the world to commemorate World War I and World War II and what I am saying now is that we want an equal playing field."

SDLP councillor Pat Ramsey said he tabled an amendment to the original Sinn Fein motion, which was passed on Tuesday.

Mr Ramsey said he asked for the need to cherish all children equally to be the central theme of the commemorations.

"The 1916 rising was a hugely important part of our history and it cannot be airbrushed out," he said.

"This is not about coat-trailing but about enabling the council to commemorate what was a turning point in Irish history."

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