Should Ireland have a national holiday to commemorate the day the country became the Republic of Ireland, free from British authority?
Ireland's path to freedom and independence was a gradual one, with the 1916 Easter Rising, the formation of the Irish Free State, and the evolution of the Irish Constitution all key point along the way.
But, internationally at least, it isn't widely known that Ireland did not become a Republic until April 18, 1949. Prior to this, Britain still handled a number of international affairs on Ireland's behalf, including international treaties and signing off on letters accrediting Ireland's ambassadors.
On that fateful April 18 69 years ago, Ireland became a Republic, with much fanfare and celebrating throughout Dublin, as the Irish Times recently noted with a photo of their front page the following day, which shared news of a midnight celebration and thousands gathered in the city center.
This week, at a 69th anniversary celebration, Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar proposed that the celebration of April 18 become more established.
Per the Irish Times:
Speaking at an event to mark the 69th anniversary on Wednesday night, Mr Varadkar said both the 70th anniversary next year and the 75th anniversary in 2024 should be marked as State occasions.
He raised the possibility of a “Republic Day” every year, but he said it would need to be low key except on significant anniversaries as St Patrick’s Day and Easter Monday occur around the same time.
This begs a larger question - should Ireland have a special Independence Day as do so many other countries and call it Republic Day? Or are St. Patrick's Day and the rotating Easter Monday to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising enough?
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