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Thursday 28 August 2014

Dublin mayor denies attempt to block royals from 1916 celebrations

Published 19/06/2014 | 10:29

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Sein Fein's Cllr Christy Burke, who was today announced as the party's candidate in the forthcoming Dublin Central By election. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 10/5/09
Christy Burke

THE new Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke has insisted he is not attempting to stop member of the British Royal family from attending next year’s 1916 Rising centenary celebrations.

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The former Sinn Fein councillor was reacting to a story in the Irish Times which claimed he would look for support at next month’s Dublin City Council meeting to stop the British Royals from being present.

But speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland this morning, Mr Burke said his aim was solely to ensure no royals are in the front row.

He said he had been in consultation with some of the families of 1916 participants on the issue.

"I'm not setting out to block any member of the royal family from attending any event in Dublin,” the Independent councillor said.

“I'm asking the Taoiseach if he would consider not putting any members of the royal family in the front row or strategic positions during the 2016 commemorative, given the fact that relatives of men and women of 1916 have yet to be told that they will be even in attendance."

The Lord Mayor said he had been asked to make representations to the Taoiseach on the issue, amid concerns that the presence of members of the British royal family could deflect media attention "away from the focus of what we're commemorating".

He said he had “no beef” with anyone, nor held anyone in contempt.

He added: "If the Taoiseach is going to invite members of the Royal Family to dinner, or (President) Michael D (Higgins), that's fine by me. Who am I to stop it? The Queen arrived in Ireland.”

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