Belfast loyalists invited to mark Rising
Loyalist communities across Belfast will be invited to engage in a range of events to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising, republican organisers have pledged.
All dimensions and perspectives on the insurrection against British rule in 1916 in Dublin must be reflected in the anniversary programme, chairman of the organising committee Tom Hartley said.
The former Sinn Féin mayor acknowledged some unionists may not want to commemorate an event that effectively paved the way for Irish independence, but he said others appreciated the Rising's significance in Irish history.
"What I find inside loyalist communities is there are many, many people who are already engaging in history and hopefully we can create a template where we can deal with what I call the combustible period of Irish history in a way that allows engagement and discourse," he said.
The programme of events to mark the Rising in Belfast includes re-enactments, exhibitions, a walking trail and a weekend focusing on the contribution of Winifred Carney, the Co Down-born suffragette, socialist and trade unionist who was secretary to one of the Rising's leaders, James Connolly.