Friday 23 August 2019

Call for new ethical code for modern Ireland to be drafted ahead of Rising commemorations

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

A PROCLAMATION setting out an ethical code for modern Ireland should be drafted as part of the commemoration of the Easter 1916 Rising.

A report on ‘On the Importance of Ethics’, published following an initiative undertaken by President Michael D Higgins, says the anniversary of the Rising provides an opportunity to conduct a “systematic reflection” of ethics across society, including a “declaration of Irish citizens’ values”.

The work could result in a 2016 proclamation of “an ethical code for modern Ireland”.

Speaking this morning, President Higgins said the initiative was designed to stimulate a national discussion about the type of Ireland that we might wish to create.

Some 60 events were undertaken over the course of last year in third level educational institutions, civil society groups including ICTU, the National Women’s Council, the Society of St Vincent De Paul, The Wheel and Dóchas, as well as community organisations in all parts of the country.

“In the course of these many different consultations I have been struck by the enthusiastic response to this initiative, and by the wealth of ideas on how we can address some of the most pressing and urgent questions facing Ireland at this time,” he said.

“The report demonstrates the great creativity of the Irish people and their capacity to imagine how a vibrant and more inclusive republic might be brought into being.

“It also shows the great appetite among Irish people to take up the question of how such a transformation can be realised.”

He added that all of the proposals were “capable of achievement”, and that the report would “strengthen our resolve as a people to think of ourselves as agents of change; to seek to take action, and take responsibility, to shape our country, reflecting the ideals of a true Republic – a place of inclusion and equality, where we can all be participatory and proud citizens.”

“'On the Importance of Ethics' invites us to build a country of people not afraid to take a stand for values and for what is right, not only that which is compliant or convenient; a country where we encourage each other to lead by example,” he added.

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