Commemorations must not glorify violence, urges bishop
The Catholic bishop of Cork has appealed for commemorations of 1916 to respect "all past differences" and warned that they must not "glorify violence retrospectively".
At a special Mass for peace and reconciliation at the Capuchin Holy Trinity Church in Cork city, Bishop John Buckley said it was a time for reflection, not celebration. "We visit our history, not to find what divides, but what unites us," he said.
The Mass was attended by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Chris O'Leary; the Defence Minister Simon Coveney; the retired Church of Ireland Bishop of Limerick, the Rt Rev Michael Mayes; as well as relatives of those involved in 1916 and those who served in the British forces.
Speaking ahead of the event, Bishop Buckley said: "If we only remember one side, we are telling ourselves that the conflict is not truly over."
Expressing concern that celebrations would contribute to increased tension in Northern Ireland, the bishop said the Good Friday Agreement had "democratically and peacefully removed any remaining cause of conflict".
He added: "There is no moral legitimacy whatsoever for violence today."
The Mass included prayers for the 485 men, women and children who died violently in 1916 "on whatever side or none".