Elaine Loughlin, Political Reporter
Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald has denied the decision to hold their Ard Fheis on Easter weekend is a cynical attempt to claim the commemorations as their own.
The party are to hold their Ard Fheis in Dublin’s Convention Centre on April 22 and 23, on the eve of the centenary of the 1916 Rising.
Defending the decision to hold the Ard Fheis on those dates Ms McDonald said: “You might more properly say that having the Ard Fheiseanna run through January is a cynical attempt to grab a bit of attention ahead of an election if you were to address that question to the other parties.
“We will celebrate this centenary fully, inclusively; we celebrate it as Irish republicanism and the weekend of our Ard Fheis will mark to the day almost the centenary of the rising and of Easter week,” she said.
The party decided against holding their Ard Fheis before the General Election as they risked missing out on television coverage if Enda Kenny announced a date before that.
Ms McDonald added: “Those that accuse us of trying to wipe their eye or to take possession of the legacy of the rising it seems only a concern for them this year, we have celebrated and commemorated Easter and everything that the Proclamation means every single year.”