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Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

The 1916 relatives had a "surprisingly positive" meeting with Minister Deenihan

Some relatives have raised concerns in recent months they could effectively be frozen out of the centenary celebrations.
Jul 5th 2014, 8:15 AM 7,295 22

RELATIVES OF THE men and women who fought in the 1916 Rising say they’re heartened by the response of the Minister tasked with overseeing the 100th anniversary commemorations.

Some relatives have raised concerns in recent months they could effectively be frozen out of the centenary plans.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie after yesterday’s meeting with Arts & Heritage Minister Jimmy Deehihan, a spokesperson for the newly-founded 1916 Relatives Association said the Government had failed to inform them — or the public in general — about State events in recent months.

Some relatives hadn’t received “any advance notice” of last November’s commemoration of the founding of the Irish Volunteers at the Garden of Remembrance, for instance, Barry Lyons said.

However, today’s meeting was “surprisingly positive” he said, adding that Deenihan had agreed to a series of further meetings — the next of which is scheduled to take place in mid-September.

“He clarified a lot of our concerns.”

Lyons, whose grandfather Ned Lyons was stationed in at the Jacob’s factory during the Rising, said the relatives weren’t looking for preferential treatment.

Absolutely not. We’re just looking for access and we want to insure there’s full public participation in the process.

“Obviously we’d have a vested interest, being that our relatives took part.”

He said he thought it would be appropriate for written information to be sent to members of the group in advance of events.

“A lot of the relatives at the meeting, some of the grandchildren, wouldn’t exactly be au fait with Facebook and Twitter,” he said.

The 1916 Relatives Association is made up of various family members of those who fought, including signatories of the Proclamation.

Read: Here’s how €22 million will be spent on 1916 Rising commemorations>

Read: After 98 years, Moore Street buildings are to become 1916 Rising commemoration>

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Daragh Brophy

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