Wednesday 7 December 2016

'1916 day' comes at hefty cost

Published 04/11/2016 | 02:30

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys Picture: Conor McCabe
Arts Minister Heather Humphreys Picture: Conor McCabe

An extra public holiday would cost the Irish economy up to €400m, Arts Minister Heather Humphreys has warned.

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She was responding to a call from Sinn Féin to designate April 24 as Lá na Poblachta in honour of the Easter Rising.

TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh made the proposal in a Private Members Bill yesterday evening, though it has little chance of passing with both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil raising concerns about the suggestion.

Mr Ó Snodaigh said the Centenary celebrations led to "a huge outpouring of enthusiasm ... around what happened in 1916".

He said his proposal isn't simply an extra holiday but an opportunity to acknowledge the sacrifices of those "who kept this nation alive".

Ms Humphreys agreed that it has been a "very special year" but said while Sinn Féin's suggestion "is bound to draw populist support", TDs had to look at the wider implications, in particular the costs to business and the impact on public services.

"We're not talking about small change. It's estimated it will cost anywhere between €250m and €400m," she said.

Irish Independent

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