The Irish government has again been criticized for its lack of planning for the centenary of the 1916 Rising – this time by its own expert committee set up to commemorate the Easter rebellion.
The chairman of the government’s own committee and one of Ireland’s leading historians have both voiced their anger at the lack of planning for the 1916 Rising celebrations.
Just weeks after the families of those who fought and died in the Rising voiced their disapproval at the poor planning, both advisory group chairman Dr Maurice Manning and Professor Diarmuid Ferriter echoed their dissatisfaction.
Chairman Manning has told the Irish Times that no program of events to mark the centenary has been sent for consideration to the expert committee advising the government.
He added that the expert advisory group had been ‘impatient for a while’ about the failure to bring forward a blueprint for marking the centenary of the Easter Rising.
Historian Ferriter, who is also on the committee, has written in the Irish Times about complaints from relatives of the 1916 combatants who said they were being kept in the dark about plans for the Rising centenary.
He added: “Members of the Government-appointed expert advisory group on commemorations, myself included, have repeatedly asked for concrete information on what the plans are and we have been stonewalled.
“Either those plans do not exist, or they are an even bigger secret than were the plans for the Rising itself.”
The government’s expert committee chairman Manning told the Irish Times that he had been told by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny as late as last week that concrete plans will be made available in the near future.
He had previously written to Kenny seeking clarity on what is happening with the Easter Rising centenary in just 18 months time.
Manning said: “It is time for something to be done. We’ve been assured that they will be out in the very near future and this time we take the assurances seriously but we are impatient.
“We would like to see things moving ahead and specific items being put out there for discussion.
“We are urging the Government to put their plans in the public domain as soon as possible so people could have their say. We need to put a plan out there.
“It doesn’t have to be the last word, but at least people will be able to engage with it over a specific period of time and get moving.”
The Irish Government has allocated $5million in the budget for next year for commemoration activities around the Rising with a separate allocation to be made for 2016.
Another $26million has also been allocated for capital projects, most notably the interpretative center in the GPO and the refurbishment of Richmond Barracks in Dublin.