SOUTH Down Sinn Fein MLA Chris Hazzard has praised the work of all involved locally in organising commemorations and parades to mark the 197th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
A commemoration took place in Downpatrick on Saturday evening with Mickey Brady MLA addressing the crowd, and a parade took place in Newcastle on Sunday afternoon. The main commemoration and parade was held in Castlewellan, where guest speaker Rosie McCorley MLA gave the oration.
Chris Hazzard said: “I want to thank all those involved in organising such well attended events, and those who came along and showed their support for the Republican movement.
“It is important that we continue to remember Irelands patriot dead in a manner fitting to the cause for which they died.
“In the run up to the centenary of the Easter Rising it is imperative that we continue to mark the occasion and carry on the work that these brave men and woman started.
“Rosie McCorley spoke on Sunday of Sinn Féin’s call for a border poll. As we remember 1916, there is no better time to once again re-iterate our call. It is time to let the people decide their future, it’s time for the British and Irish governments to step up and allow a border poll.”
On Saturday evening, at the Downpatrick Sinn Féin memorial in Thomas Russell Park, Chris Hazzard was the reader of the Proclamation, the core creed of Siin Féin. He was followed on the podium by guest speaker Michael Brady whose message was reiterated by Rosie McCorley in Castlewellan the following day.
CHECK OUT THE PHOTOS FROM THE EASTER COMMEMORATIONS – Click link for Facebook Photos.
Michael Brady said that Sinn Féin was still committed to the idea of a united Ireland for all its citizens but this message was further broadened out to include a number of other key pillars. This included equality for all citizens, parity of esteem and social justice. He also said that Sinn Féin as a political party was open to all especially young people and women who were very welcome to join.
He said: :Republicans seek to build the peace process but we need all of our citizens aboard,” and added that the small minorities of dissidents on both the republican and loyalist sides were enemies to all and danger to the peace process itself.