Fianna Fáil denies plan to axe bank holiday

Fianna Fáil today denied Opposition claims that it is axing the May Day bank holiday in Ireland.

Former Labour Party leader Ruairi Quinn earlier accused the Government party of passing a motion at its weekend Ard Fheis to abandon the annual international day to celebrate workers.

But Fianna Fáil TD John Curran, who chaired a workshop on the issue at the Killarney event, insisted a motion to designate April 24 as a national holiday for the 1916 Easter Rising was passed.

“Despite the vivid imagination of Labour’s Ruairi Quinn there was no proposal to end the bank holiday at this weekend’s Ard Fheis, in fact there was a proposal at a workshop I chaired to make April 24 a bank holiday to commemorate the Rising. That motion was passed,” he said.

“The motion is publicly available and there were plenty of journalists there to report it.”

The Oireachtas must now decide whether to adopt April 24 as a national holiday.

Mr Quinn earlier said he had been shocked at the decision by Fianna Fáil to change the significance of the May date, which he said recalled great social and economic achievements of the Labour movement.

But Dublin TD, Mr Curran replied: “Fianna Fáil has always prided itself on representing the rights of workers and will not be lectured by Labour on employment rights.

“Deputy Quinn should also remember the Government that introduced the May bank holiday was led by Fianna Fáil.”

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