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Gerry Adams suggests alternative celebration for Queen’s visit: a celebration of republicanism

Sinn Féin party leader outlines a range of alternative activities including the release of 1,000 black balloons during the royal visit.
May 16th 2011, 6:59 PM 4,199 55

BRITAIN’S QUEEN Elizabeth is due to arrive in Ireland tomorrow for a range of official appearances and events during her four-day state visit.

To mark the royal visit, Sinn Féin party leader and Louth TD Gerry Adams has suggested an alternative schedule of events, which includes:

  • the release of 1,000 black balloons across the Dublin skyline
  • vigils to commemorate the famine and the Dublin-Monaghan bombings
  • a wreath-laying ceremony organised by Justice for the Forgotten in memory of the victims of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings
  • a celebration of republicanism on Sullivan’s Quay in Cork.

In a piece written for TheJournal.ie, Adams reaffirmed his party’s opposition to the royal visit as “premature and insensitive”, especially given the anniversary of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings.

Adams said that “British interference in Irish affairs has come at a huge cost to the Irish people”, and added that the Good Friday Agreement acts as the foundation on which new relations between Ireland and Britain “can be forged”.

In full: Gerry Adams TD on the visit of the English queen:

Sinn Féin opposes the imminent visit of the English queen. We believe that it is premature and insensitive particularly given the fact that it will coincide with the anniversary of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, the files on which have yet to be released by the British Government.

Understandably the visit is troubling for many Irish citizens, particularly victims of British rule and those with legacy issues in this state and in the North. It is for precisely this reason that we in Sinn Féin oppose this visit.

The party will be holding alternative events in Dublin and across the state during the visit under the general theme of ‘a celebration of republicanism’.

This will include the release of 1,000 black balloons across the Dublin skyline; vigils to commemorate the famine and the Dublin-Monaghan Bombings; a celebration of republicanism on Sullivan’s Quay in Cork among others. We will also be supporting a wreath-laying ceremony organised by Justice for the Forgotten in memory of the victims of the Dublin-Monaghan Bombings.

British interference in Irish affairs has come at a huge cost to the Irish people, including partition and its consequences which are still being felt to this day.

Ireland is still partitioned, until such a time as this is rectified there is still a long way to go before our relationship with our nearest neighbours can be described as normal.

The Good Friday Agreement is the foundation upon which this new relationship, between unionists and nationalists, and between Ireland and Britain can be forged.

Increasingly, decisions affecting the lives of people in the north are being made in Ireland and not in Britain. Republicans want to continue and to accelerate this process.

The united Ireland that republicans seek to build must embrace our island’s diversity in its fullest sense, including the sense of Britishness felt by many unionists, as well as our indigenous and traditional Irish culture and the cultures of people who have come to Ireland in recent times.

Read: President McAleese sees royal visit as “extraordinary historical moment” >

Read: Diversions, shutdowns and traffic restrictions: How the royal visit will affect us >

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Susan Ryan

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