Tanaiste backs plans to invite Royal Family members to 1916 commemorations
TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore has said the government will consider inviting members of the Royal Family to Ireland for the 1916 commemorations.
The Labour leader has backed Taoiseach Enda Kenny who earlier said plans are being drawn up ahead of the centenary in two years time.
Mr Kenny this morning teed up the prospect of a return visit to Ireland by Queen Elizabeth, who made a huge impact during her visit three years ago.
Speaking in Westminister this afternoon, Mr Gilmore said commemorations of the Easter Rising should take place in cooperation with our British neighbours.
"Both the British and the Irish government are very conscious that we should do this together. That we should commemorate the things that we share together, this is a shared history," the Tanaiste said.
"It is something that we should do together. I think the government will consider issuing a invitation for participation in these events," he added.
Mr Gilmore was speaking ahead of a meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The Tory MP said that commemorating these events will help to "bring people together for the future".
"I think with all these very important centenaries coming up over the next four years, it's very important for us to commemorate these things together in a way that helps to being people together for the future," he said.
"I think all the events, the events period. Remember, how many lives were lost in so many conflicts all around the world in that period? And I think, with all of them, including in commemorating the Easter Rising it is important to observe those principles that I was just talking about that we commemorate them together in a way that helps to bring people together for the future," he added.
Earlier, Mr Kenny said his officials will put in place the necessary arrangements ahead of a potential second visit to our shores by Queen Elizabeth.
"I was actually very pleased to hear the Queen herself speak last night saying that members of her family and her government would stand side-by-side with representatives from Ireland at appropriate commemorative ceremonies and government will work out what's the thing to do about this," he added