The Fianna Fáil party can become the true heirs to the 1916 Rising, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said tonight.
Mr Ahern told 600 delegates at the Ogra Fianna Fáil conference in Ennis that his party can build a new republic that the Easter rebellion leaders had dreamed of.
“Ireland’s future lies in building, in a new century, the Republic proclaimed four score and ten years ago,” he said.
He added: “In a different world, Fianna Fáil remains true to the same radical and republican values that inspired our patriots that are the foundation of our party and that sustain our State today.
“Ireland enjoys a proud inheritance of political freedom and institutional stability. It is our challenge today to build on this inheritance and to remain the radical and republican heirs of Padraic Pearse, of Thomas MacDonagh and of Joseph Plunkett.”
The Taoiseach said Fianna Fáil had political responsibility to manage the country’s economic success, build more infrastructure, expand public services and protect the environment.
Mr Ahern said the party had the largest youth organisation in the country but it was continuing to renew its membership and revise its ideas in the light of a rapidly changing world.
“With these republican values, we can take courage, we can chart change and we can leave a lasting legacy to our country,” he concluded.