Thursday 23 February 2017

SF rallies around Boylan after she questioned use of daffodils at event

Cormac McQuinn and Niall O'Connor

Colleagues defended MEP Lynn Boylan. Photo: Damien Eagers
Colleagues defended MEP Lynn Boylan. Photo: Damien Eagers

Sinn Féin politicians have rallied behind the party's Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan's bizarre criticism of the choice of flowers used during the State's 1916 Rising commemorations.

Fellow European Parliament member Matt Carthy said Ms Boylan was not trying to be "provocative" and Dublin Bay North TD Denise Mitchell said she thought "there was more pressing issues".

Ms Boylan complained that lilies should have been used instead of daffodils when four children laid flowers in one part of a commemorative event at the GPO.

She questioned if the use of daffodils was a case of "revisionism" even though there were lilies on display as well.

Mr Carthy defended Ms Boylan, who he said was merely asking a "hypothetical question" and said the focus should be on the events that were celebrated across the country.

"Lynn was wondering why daffodils were used instead of lilies; it wasn't meant to be a provocative question as such," the Midlands-North-West MEP told the Irish Independent. "I was at quite a number of events at the weekend. Some were organised by the party, some were organised by community groups. All were fantastic events. From my point of view, we should be celebrating the fact the weekend went off so well."

Ms Mitchell said she thought Ms Boylan was "making a point that's been blown out of proportion", adding that "the lily was always associated with Easter".

She criticised coverage of her colleague's remarks, saying: "I think there's more pressing issues than lilies and daffodils." She cited the crises in housing and health.

Asked about the criticism, Ms Boylan said: "I was asking a question, am I not allowed ask a question anymore?"

Although the lily is a symbol of the Rising, it has also been associated with the Provisional IRA.

Irish Independent

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