Royals to get 1916 celebrations invite
THE Irish Government will invite members of the British royal family to remember the Easter Rising at the centenary celebrations in three years time, Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has confirmed.
Mr Gilmore issued the invitation last night at Queens' College, Cambridge, where Oliver Cromwell was educated. He told the British-Irish Association that he hoped the Irish Government "can host representatives of the royal family and the British government, along with the leaders of unionism, in Dublin in three years' time in remembering the Easter Rising."
Mr Gilmore added that three months after the Easter Rising commemorations he also hoped: "We can all respectfully remember those who gave their lives in British uniform at the Battle of the Somme."
In a keynote speech to the British-Irish Association, Mr Gilmore says this summer of discontent in the North over flags, emblems and marches has damaged community relations in the province. And he said there was now a need for both governments to re-assert their roles as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement.
"The events of recent months surrounding disputes over flags and parades . . . are exerting a harmful and even regressive effect on politics and community relations," Mr Gilmore said.
"This is not an issue on which either the nationalist/ republican or unionist/loyalist community can claim to be fully in the right or fully in the wrong," Mr Gilmore added.