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WATCH: David Norris calls 1916 rebels 'traitors to their own cause'

The plot thickens…

SENATOR DAVID NORRIS didn’t hang about before causing the first controversy of the new Seanad session yesterday, when he denounced 1916 rebels as “traitors to their own cause.”

Speaking to mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Home Rule bill, on 18 September 1914, Norris began his remarks modestly enough.

I would like to commend John Bruton on his analysis of 1916. The Redmondite tradition is a very honourable one and should be commended.
It is the main tradition of nationalism in this country, going back to the great figure of Daniel O’Connell, Parnell and Redmond, or non-violence.

The Independent Senator became a bit more pointed in his thoughts, however, making reference to the WB Yeats poem “Easter, 1916.”

If one looks at 1916, I believe Yeats was correct in his first impression of some of these people when he said that they were vainglorious. Indeed, they were.
They were afraid that history would write them out.
They were seen by the British as traitors to the Empire but they were traitors to their own cause because Eoin MacNeill, the commander-in-chief, had cancelled the Rising and yet they ignored that.

Seanad referendum Source: Niall Carson

Norris continued, labelling writing by Padraig Pearse “racist pap”, and calling some of the leaders of the Rising “quite ridiculous.”

I have read Claíomh Solais by Pádraig Pearse and all the racist pap in it about the Gaul and the Gael and all this kind of stuff.
His father was an English Protestant. Cathal Brugha was Charlie Burgess and Éamonn Ceant was Edward Kent. It is really quite ridiculous.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Norris’s sentiments were denounced in the Seanad chamber by Fianna Fáil Senator Mary White, who said she took “serious issue” with his and Bruton’s views.

I and my colleagues in the Fianna Fáil Party look forward to the celebration of the 1916 Rising.
We will continue to take on the revisionist and derogatory comments that are made about people who laid down their lives with bravery and without fear.
I assure Senators that Fianna Fáil is the true republican party.

Read: Labour TD sparks another row over Home Rule and WWI – this time it’s about stamps>

Gerry Adams lashes out at John Bruton for calling the 1916 Rising ‘a mistake’>

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Dan MacGuill

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