Friday 24 February 2017

Suzanne Breen: Sinn Féin selective on the spirit of 1916

Sinn Féin will be all over this weekend’s Easter Rising centenary commemorations like a rash. But an interview Gerry Adams gave to Suzanne Breen on the 75th anniversary in 1991 makes uncomfortable reading now for the party’s president

Suzanne Breen

Gerry Adams with members of Sinn Féin at Leinster House. Photo: Tom Burke
Gerry Adams with members of Sinn Féin at Leinster House. Photo: Tom Burke

The message on the lamp-posts of west Belfast is loud and clear. Beneath portraits of the 1916 leaders sit posters declaring: “If you really want an Irish Republic, Vote for Sinn Féin”. The party sees itself – and is seen by its unionist opponents – as the legitimate inheritors of the tradition of the men and women of Easter week.

But while Sinn Féin may be all over the centenary celebrations like a rash, scratch the surface and the Easter Rising isn’t necessarily comfortable terrain for the party at all.

Because those who stood on the steps of the GPO declaring a republic were out-and-out militarists and revolutionaries, whose words stand in stark contrast to the substantially more measured and moderate policies that Sinn Fein pursues today.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Read More

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice