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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# sinister exhibition
Micheál Martin reckons Sinn Féin are "twisting history" with their 1916 events
The FF leader’s no fan of the event Sinn Féin is running at the Ambassador.

Updated at 1.20pm

FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin launched a pointed attack on Sinn Féin today in a speech at a 1916 Rising commemoration event at Arbour Hill in Dublin.

His speech, which was released in advance to media outlets, began by noting that when FF was founded it was “led by a group of people who only ten years before had participated in the Rising of 1916″.

Referring to Gerry Adams’ party, he said the current Sinn Féin – founded in 1970 after a split with The Workers’ Party – had supported “a campaign rejected constantly by the mass of the Irish people in vote after vote for quarter of a century”.

“The manner in which they have sought to rewrite history and claim direct continuity from 1916 is an outrage,” Martin insisted.

10/09/15 Pictured is Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Ma Leah Farrell Leah Farrell

Taking direct aim at events Sinn Féin is running to commemorate the 1916 Rising, Martin continued:

“In the very room where the Irish Volunteers first met they are today running an exhibition which claims to be about 1916 but it is solely about twisting history.

“Even though a Sinn Fein officer is running it out of Sinn Fein HQ they pretend to the public that it is an independent exhibition.

They claim that to honour Pearse, Clarke and Plunkett you must honour a sinister organisation which tried to destroy this state and continues to refuse to subject its members to the laws enacted by the Irish people.

As his speech continued Martin said his party insisted “that 1916 belongs to no party – it belongs to the Irish people”.

Sinn Féin and the Rising 

Sinn Féin has organised a raft of events to commemorate 1916 – far more than any other political party, including Fianna Fáil.

Their ‘Revolution 1916′ exhibition at the Ambassador Theatre at the top of O’Connell Street was announced at a major SF press event in February of last year. However, when the event was launched in March of this year, press releases were sent out by an independent PR agency rather than the Sinn Féin press office.

TV ads for the event make no mention of the party either…

mcd productions / YouTube

Martin’s comments that “a Sinn Fein officer is running it out of Sinn Fein HQ” presumably refer to Bartle D’Arcy, the party’s centenary coordinator, whose title is given in press releases for Revolution 1916 merely as ‘exhibition spokesperson’.

Government talks

Meanwhile, on the government talks front Sinn Féin has signalled it’s ready to face into another election should the current process grind to a halt for good.

Things have quietened down a little this weekend, with formal talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil set to begin again tomorrow.

The Labour Party has come back into the mix since yesterday however – with a spokesperson confirming it was considering going back into coalition with Fine Gael as one of “a range of options”.

Speaking to EuroParlRadio, SF MEP Matt Carthy said that his party was ready to proceed whatever the eventuality.

“If a government is formed well and good – we will make sure that our team of 23 TDs and whatever number of senators will get elected put it up to that government in terms of the big issues of the day ,” Carthy, who served as Sinn Féin director of elections during the February campaign, said.

If these talks fail, Sinn Féin aren’t afraid of another election.

Labour pains 

Any Labour decision to go back into government with Enda Kenny’s party would have to be approved by a party delegate conference, which would have to be called were it being considered.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Saturday with Claire Byrne programme yesterday, acting Labour minister for communications Alex White – who lost his seat in the general election – said that his party were “not involved” in current discussions between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

Read: No to Enda, no to Micheál: Dáil fails to elect Taoiseach for a third time

Also: Fianna Fáil ‘will reject’ Enda’s offer for a partnership government

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