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A 'national day off' for 2016? It should be looked at, says Minister

The idea of a once-off ‘Republic Day’ is being “seriously considered” at by politicians, as plans for the centenary celebrations are put together.

Heather Humphreys
Heather Humphreys
Image: Daragh Brophy/TheJournal.ie

HEATHER HUMPHREYS, THE Fine Gael minister tasked with taking charge of events surrounding the 1916 centenary in less than two years’ time says she has yet to make her mind up on whether the country should have an extra national holiday to mark the occasion.

The possibility of a ‘Republic Day’, to be held on Monday 25 April 2016 (100 years and a day after the Rising itself) was discussed by the all-party consultation group for the commemorations.

According to the minutes of a meeting of the group, held in February, members agreed the idea was worthy of “serious consideration”.

The idea would have to be signed-off by the Government before it could go ahead.

Speaking this morning, Humphreys said it was not something to which she’d given “a huge amount of consideration” but that the issue would be looked at.

The Minister said it was important that all of the events surrounding 1916 were “inclusive and respectful”.

What I intend to do is sit down with all of the stakeholders shortly, and a draft plan will be drawn up.

She said the plan would be put out for public consultation, and that the Government would be taking on board as many points of view as possible.

“2016 is a great opportunity, in terms of what happened in the Gathering, that maybe we could look at something similar [...] because it is a huge event in our history.”

Read: Delay leaves tight, tight deadline to finish 1916 museum

Read: The 1916 relatives had a “surprisingly positive” meeting with Minister Deenihan

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Daragh Brophy

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