*** DEBUG END ***
Important information: We are currently experiencing technical issues with the webiste and it is currently running with reduced functionality, some category pages may not contain a full list of articles and the search is not currently working. We apologise for the inconvenience and should have everything back to normal as soon as possible.

Royal presence to mark Irish centenary challenged

02 May 2014


Contemporary picture: an archive photograph taken on 25 April 1916 shows O'Connell Street, Dublin, during the Easter rising 

Contemporary picture: an archive photograph taken on 25 April 1916 shows O'Connell Street, Dublin, during the Easter rising 

A LEADING Irish-history academic has questioned the wisdom of inviting a member of the British royal family to attend celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in two years' time. The Rising sparked off the revolution that led to an independent Irish state.

The mooted invitation was first proposed last September by the Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) of the Irish government, Eamon Gilmore. In her speech at Windsor Castle for the state visit of the Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, last month, the Queen appeared to support the suggestion.

She said: "My family and my Government will stand alongside you, Mr President, and your ministers, throughout the anniversaries of the Great War and of the events that led to the creation of the Irish Free State."

But, last month, Diarmuid Ferriter, Professor of Modern History at University College, Dublin, said that Mr Gilmore's decision was taken without consulting the expert advisory group on the centenary, which includes himself and other leading historians.

Professor Ferriter said that the good relations between Britain and Ireland had led to a noble aspiration to please and to include everybody, but would not do justice to the historic divisions that were there, and which needed to be understood.

"I'm worried that we are heading towards something that is full of holes as to the historical reality at the time." The presence of royalty would cause a significant distortion of the real history, he said.


Forthcoming Events

29 September 2020
Festival of Preaching
A one-day online version of our popular preaching festival. With Mark Oakley, Sam Wells and Anna Carter Florence.   Book tickets


19 October 2020
Creativity out of crisis: Hymns and worship webinar
In association with RSCM, this online event will explore creative uses music and liturgy in the context online and socially distanced worship.    Book tickets

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)