| 16.1°C Dublin

Once-off 'Republic Day' holiday recommended for 2016

THE country could get a once-off additional public holiday in 2016 to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

The recommendation was made by a Government-appointed expert advisory group chaired by leading academic Dr Maurice Manning.

Details of the proposal for a Republic Day emerged in minutes of an All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations meeting seen by the Irish Independent.

The group identified Monday, April 25, 2016, which will be 100 years and one day after the outbreak of the Rising, as a potential date for the holiday.

A final decision has yet to be taken on the proposal, which would need to be approved by the Government.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DAHG) declined to comment on the proposal and several others which have been discussed by the all party group.

As the anniversary of the start of the rising, April 24, will be on a Sunday, the all-party group suggested that the holiday be the following day.

Members agreed the proposal would need to be fleshed out further before being brought to Government for consideration.

The proposals is among several discussed by the committee over the past three years which are being considered by Government officials.

The DAHG and Department of Education are also considering a proposal to send schools a tricolour, at a cost of €20, and a stand, also for €20. This was floated by committee member Senator Mark Daly. If the idea was to be implemented for every school in the country, it would cost around €160,000.

While plans for the military parade which will form the focal point for commemorations in 2016 are still very much unclear, planning for other events and initiatives is more advanced, the minutes indicate.

A decision has already been taken that non-denominational service will be held to mark the executions of the 1916 leaders.

Meanwhile, An Post told the committee it plans to issue a set of 16 stamps, to be known as the Definitive Collection, in 2016.

The committee also considered what to do with memorial stones issued by the British Government in recognition of 36 Irish people who won the Victoria Cross during World War One, resolving they be placed in the National War Memorial Gardens.

Irish Independent