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Dublin City Council is standing by its controversial 1916 banner

The banner generated a lot of criticism when it was unveiled at the beginning of the week.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has issued a statement defending the 1916 commemoration banner it erected in College Green in Dublin last week.

The council came under some criticism at the beginning of the week after it erected the first banners in a series dedicated to the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

The banner features images of four historical Irish figures – none of whom took part in the rising. Charles Stewart Parnell features, as does John Redmond (who explicitly condemned the rising), as well as the Irish parliamentarian Henry Grattan and the political leader Daniel O’Connell.

The banner was criticised this week with people calling it historical revisionism and questioning the inclusion of figures who not only failed to take part in the event, but in some cases were downright opposed to it.

However, DCC has strongly defended its decision today, saying that the banner was just one of 10 to be displayed around Dublin in the run up to the centenary, and that the figures displayed were “as much a part of the historical narrative of Irish nationalism as anyone else” and deserved to be recognised on the occasion.

Historical significance

The statement reads:

“During the course of discussions and planning with the other parties listed above and in the context of commemorating the Rising, it was felt appropriate and fitting to pay due respect to the endeavours of some of the great constitutional nationalists and parliamentarians who over the previous 150 years sought to assert, within the contexts of their periods, Irish Sovereignty, dignity and aspirations.

It goes on to say that through their actions, the four Irish historical figures featured on the banner were integral to Irish nationalism and as such should be recognised.

The council said that this approach fits in with their overall commemorations policy which states that it wants to “reflect all traditions, perspectives and points of view relevant to the Decade of Commemorations”.

All involvement, including combatants on both sides and of different nationalities, civilians and the neglected role of women, are relevant.

Banners

The council also said that the banner is just one of several to be unveiled. The full list of locations and banners is:

  • Royal College of Surgeons (Old Building): The Seven Signatories.
  • Royal College of Surgeons ~ (New Building): Portrait image of Countess Markievicz.
  • Palace Street (DCC) Building: Extract from WB Yeats poem – Easter 1916.
  • Citi Hotel Dame Street (Central Bank plaza): Women of the Rising.
  • Bank of Ireland College Green Colonnade: Constitutional Nationalism: Images of Grattan, O’Connell, Parnell and Redmond.
  • Burgh Quay: Seven Signatories.
  • Civic Offices: Proclamation.
  • River House Chancery Street: “Dublin Remembers” branding.
  • Heras fencing – parade route – North Earl St Cable bridge: Streetscapes of the City pre- and post-Rising and images of the seven signatories.
  • Location TBC: Dr Kathleen Lynn.

Read: Poll: What do you make of the controversial 1916 banner at College Green?

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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