Wednesday 20 June 2018

Council defends using City Hall for Sinn Féin military re-enactment

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams launches the O'Donovan Rossa event
Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams launches the O'Donovan Rossa event
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A senior Dublin City official has admitted there were "elements of controversy" surrounding the decision to allow a military-style re-enactment to be held in City Hall.

Assistant City Manager Brendan Kenny said the Sinn Féin commemoration of the death of Fenian leader O'Donovan Rossa proved divisive but insisted the council is not considering changing the rules surrounding the use of its venues.

Sinn Féin organised a full scale re-enactment of the funeral earlier this month which involved dozens of participants dressed in military costume and carrying replica firearms.

Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said the event reminded him of a "bad day in Belfast".

"It was a militarised, unpleasant, hostile situation rather than something that is inclusive," Mr Flynn said.

"We had a situation where people in full military costume and carrying what looked like firearms, parading up and down the street before entering City Hall. It is absolutely inappropriate. I don't believe City Hall should ever be used in this manner," Mr Flynn said.

In response to the claims, Sinn Féin's leader on Dublin City Council Séamus McGrattan said the event was completely positive in nature.

"It was the type of open, inclusive event that one would like to see right across the country over the coming months," Mr McGrattan said.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Brendan Kenny said it is often "tricky" for the council when deciding on applications for use of their venues. "There was an element of controversy surrounding it but we don't get caught up in the politics of these things. Different people have different views," Mr Kenny added.

Irish Independent

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