THE escalating row over the 1916 centenary took a fresh twist when relatives of those who fought in the Easter Rising announced that they are to host their own commemoration ceremony, claiming the Government has failed to "engage meaningfully".
The 1916 Relatives group - which includes descendants of the signatories of the Proclamation of Independence - said they had decided to act "in the public interest" by reclaiming the centenary.
They said there was a "shambolic launch" of the official draft programme and controversy surrounding a Government promotional video which fails to depict or mention anyone connected with the Easter Rising.
Descendants of the Signatories will host a meeting in Dublin tomorrow to reveal the plans for their own rival commemorative events.
Patrick Cooney of the Save 16 Moore Street Committee/ 1916 Relatives Group said they had met face-to-face with Arts Minister Heather Humphreys to discuss her plans but were left "with a sinking feeling" and now felt forced into holding their own event.
Mr Cooney described the official 2016 Commemoration video which flashed up images including Bono, Queen Elizabeth, David Cameron, Samuel Beckett and WB Yeats as "pitiful".
Fianna Fail TD Mark Daly, who sits on the All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations, said he had written to Ms Humphreys asking that the video be taken down as the celebration "is not a tourism product" and showed disrespect for those who fought and died in the Rising.
A spokesperson for Minister Humphreys claimed a number of relatives had attended the launch, and were "very pleased" with proposals to have 1916 relatives centrally involved in the centenary, saying that the Commemorations "belong to everyone".
A spokesman for the larger 1916 Relatives Association - which boycotted the Government launch - said they were not involved in plans for alternative commemorations.
But they added that any event "that enforced in a dignified manner the memory and legacy of those men, women and children who gave their lives for Ireland must be welcomed."
He also said that the 2016 Commemoration video needed "tweaking".