Kerry mayor joins other politicians in boycotting RIC commemoration

Kerry mayor joins other politicians in boycotting RIC commemoration

Cllr Niall Kelleher, the Fianna Fáil mayor of Kerry, will not be attending the State commemoration of the RIC in Dublin Castle on January 17, he has confirmed.

His deputy, Cllr Norma Moriarty, FF, will not attend either, he said this morning.

"I will not be attending. For the same reasons as outlined by other mayors who will not attend either," Cllr Kelleher said.

A number of mayors have said they will not attend the event including Waterford mayor John Pratt and mayor for Galway Mike Cubbard.

Yesterday the mayor of Clare described the event as "historical revisionism gone too far".

Cllr Cathal Crowe, who is a history teacher and also a Fianna Fáil general election candidate, said: “I’m not going to attend, it is a personal position. Members of Clare County Council can go, but I will not have any hand, act or part in it.”

Dublin City Council last night voted to boycott the event.

Today the Taoiseach reiterated the government's view that an event to commemorate the RIC is not a celebration.

In a tweet Leo Varadkar says we should be mature enough as a state to acknowledge all aspects of our past.

The government said the event will commemorate those who served in the RIC and DMP.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris will be among those attending the event.

The Socialist Party tweeted: “Dublin Metropolitan Police engaged in brutal oppression of Dublin working class in interests of the Irish capitalist class in the 1913 lockout.

“The RIC brutally evicted poor tenant farmers and landless labourers in the interests of British landlordism.”

Sinn Fein has also called for the event to be cancelled.

The Sinn Féin leader has called for the event to be cancelled.

The ceremony has provoked controversy, with many politicians saying they won't attend because of the role of the force in the War of Independence.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou Mc Donald says it shouldn't go ahead.

"I think the event should be cancelled," she said.

"I think it is disrespectful. I think it is ill-advised. I think it has caused a divisive atmosphere entirely unnecessarily. I think it is wrong of the Irish State to commemorate those forces that acted violently and consistently to suppress Irish freedom."

Additional reporting by Digital Desk and PA

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