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It was little surprise that Sinn Féin, as part of its determined effort to highjack the 1916 commemoration, held its own August 1 event at the Glasnevin grave of Jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa.
This blatant attempt to exploit the life, death and burial of O’Donovan Rossa tells us clearly that Sinn Féin respects neither truth nor historical fact.
Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa lived in the United States of America from 1870 until his death, in June, 1915, with the exception of two brief visits to Ireland, in 1894 and 1904.
Sinn Féin was founded by Arthur Griffith in 1905 and O’Donovan Rossa was never a member. He was a Fenian and a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood.
Sinn Féin did not have any role in the 1916 Rising. Indeed, Arthur Griffith went to the GPO during the Rising and he was told to “Go home”. There were, undoubtedly, some members of Sinn Féin who participated in the Rising as individuals, but the organisation was not a participant.
For Sinn Féin to now seek to lay claim to the Rising and its consequences is to deliberately mislead, and to seek accolade where none is due.
When history is deliberately manipulated to perpetuate myth, then not only is truth reneged upon, but the body politic is greatly diminished.
As Sinn Féin, through its elected members, places great emphasis on the importance of truth and integrity, maybe it would have the ‘dignity’ to stand aside from all that is planned in relation to 1916. Failure to do so will mean that they think that we are all simply fools.
Cllr Michael Gleeson
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