Fianna Fail and historians object to Royal presence at Easter Rising centenary


Fianna Fail leaders have slammed the Irish government’s determination to invite Britain’s Royal family to the centenary commemorations of the 1916 Rising.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny is confident that Prince Charles will represent the Queen at the events in 2016.
But senior Fianna Fail deputy Billy Kelleher has branded the decision to invite the Royals as ‘superficial’ and ‘done without thought’.
Kelleher told the Irish Independent that decisions on who should attend the ‘most significant event in recent Irish history’ should not be made without the consultation of all political parties.
He said: “I think before we start issuing invitations on a casual basis, almost without thought, we should sit down as a parliament, and as a people, and discuss it.
“I cringed when I read reports that the Government was hoping to invite Prince Charles and Camilla to the centenary celebrations in 2016.
“It is nothing against the British monarchy, but the primary purpose of this commemoration is to celebrate the 1916 Rising.
“There are a lot of complexities in Irish history and before we start inviting heads of state from around the world, let’s have our own discussion.”
The invitation was discussed during the recent state visit to Britain by Irish president Michael D Higgins.
The report adds that Queen Elizabeth implied the monarchy would attend the commemorations when she spoke during a banquet in Windsor Castle.
The Queen said: “My family and my government will stand alongside you, Mr President, and your ministers, throughout the anniversaries of the war and of the events that led to the creation of the Irish Free State.”
Historian Diarmaid Ferriter has also criticized the Government for inviting the royals without first consulting the expert advisory group it established to advise on the 1916 celebrations.
Ferriter said: “Having royals at the table of all the State’s commemorations will begin to look like the State desires some kind of British approval, which smacks of a post-colonial inferiority complex.”