Civil war over 1916 tributes

Civil war has broken out over ownership of the 1916 commemorations in Co Cork, with some Fine Gael councillors backing Fianna Fáil against Sinn Féin.

Sinn Féin had argued that the council’s arts and culture special purposes committee should be in charge of organising the commemorations. That committee is chaired by Sinn Féin’s Donnchadh Ó Laoighaire.

Fianna Fáil, however, proposed that a special committee should be set up, a move strongly supported by the party’s Frank O’Flynn, who is chairman of the General Liam Lynch commemoration committee.

Mr Ó Laoighaire argued there was no need to do this and several other councillors, notably Independents, agreed with him.

However, Fine Gael’s Gerard Murphy threw a spanner in the works when he supported the Fianna Fáil move.

Sinn Féin’s Pat Buckley accused Fianna Fáil of a sudden “jumping on the bandwagon” because when the arts and culture special purposes committee was set up last summer they were not queuing up to join it.

His colleague, Rachel McCarthy, said all parties were represented on the special purposes committee and she could not understand why another committee was needed.

Fianna Fáil’s Andrias Moynihan said that when that committee formed last summer, “there was no talk of a 1916 commemoration”.

Independent Mary Linehan-Foley told him it should have been obvious there would be a major 1916 commemoration.

The mayor of Co Cork, Alan Coleman, then proposed a vote, which Fianna Fáil won 23 to 22.

Mr Coleman then said an 11-person committee will be appointed, consisting of three members each from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, two each from Sinn Féin and the Independents, and one Labour representative.

After the meeting Mr Ó Laoighaire conceded Sinn Féin had lost control of the organising committee.

Mr Coleman said the committee should make a report to the council by October.

County manager Tim Lucey has told councillors he will provide them with a dedicated member of staff to help them organise events.


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