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"Embarrassing unhistorical sh*t": 2016 advisor doubles-down on video criticism

The glossy montage posted on the Government’s official site included cameos from the Queen and David Cameron, but made no mention whatsoever of any of the signatories of the Proclamation.

DIARMAID FERRITER — THE UCD historian and member of the 11-person panel set up to advise the Government on the 1916 centenary — has repeated his assertion that the video clip that accompanied the Government’s official announcement of commemoration plans this week was “embarrassing unhistorical sh*t”.

He initially made the comment to the Irish Times in the wake of controversy over the video, posted on the Government’s ‘Ireland 2016’ website on Wednesday night.

The style of the montage has been compared to something that might have appeared as part of the marketing drive for ‘The Gathering’.

Notably, it makes no mention whatsoever of any of the signatories of the Proclamation.


Source: Ireland 2016/Vimeo

Speaking on RTÉ’s History Show this evening, he said his comments weren’t just “an impolite or intemperate” reaction to the footage.

He said that, in spite of having been in existence for two years, the advisory group weren’t even shown the clip before it was published online.

“We were sent the link as so many were the day after the official launch.

And you do begin to wonder who exactly is making these decisions and at what level. And what do they mean by consultation?

Speaking on the same programme, junior minister Aodhán O’Ríordáin said the video was meant to show what the “entirety” of the commemorative year would be like.

But he said accepted the criticism. “If we got it wrong, we got it wrong and we should look at something else.”

The point is that we’re trying not to present a very stiff and stale and unimaginative and cold depiction of what happened 100 years ago, which can almost turn some people off immediately.

Meanwhile, some of the relatives of the men and women who fought in 1916 held their own meeting today to discuss holding their own events to mark the centenary. They said the initiative was for anyone “upset or annoyed” with the Government programme.

Incidentally, the ‘Ireland 2016’ website has been “undergoing maintenance” since yesterday afternoon….

Read: Protester removed from 1916 event after she called Enda Kenny the C-word

Read: Relatives boycott launch of 1916 commemorations, calling it a ‘political stunt’

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