Plans to mark 1916 centenary rejected

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Plans to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising have been voted down by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

Councillors gave their views on the proposed commemoration of events next year at the recent Leisure and Development committee meeting.

One of the events is an exhibition in Ballymoney Museum to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

At last Tuesday night’s full council meeting Cllr Trevor Clarke said: “I feel it is not appropriate to pay respect to this event. I propose this Council does not commemorate the Easter rebellion of 1916, and revises council’s 1916 museums programme accordingly.

“When we ‘commemorate’ something, we pay respect to it. I do not think the uprising by militant republican organisations in Dublin a century ago is deserving of respect- rather it is deserving of contempt.

“I have no difficult in recognising historical facts, but when looking back at history we should stick only to those facts and not allow the past to be re-told to suit contemporary political agendas.”

This was seconded by Ald John Finlay.

Cllr Philip McGuigan of Sinn Fein proposed an amendment so that the word ‘commemorate’ be taken out and replaced with ‘remember’.

“I don’t think the word commemorate should be used regarding any war, for me the term remember should be used in all circumstances in all council events,” he said.

The amendment was seconded by Cllr Padraig McShane.

A vote was taken for the amendment with 13 voting in favour and 19 voting against.

With the amendment beaten a vote was taken on Cllr Clarke’ proposal. Eighteen voted in favour, eight voted against, with eight abstaining, so the proposal was carried.