Easter Lily launched

Members of Derry �gra Shinn F�in pictured with Hugh Wilkinson, Creggan Monument Committee, third from left, and Councillor Colly Kelly, fith from left, at the launch of hte Easter Lily badge. (2703MM01)

Members of Derry �gra Shinn F�in pictured with Hugh Wilkinson, Creggan Monument Committee, third from left, and Councillor Colly Kelly, fith from left, at the launch of hte Easter Lily badge. (2703MM01)

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Republicans in Derry have been urged to wear an Easter lily symbol to mark the 96th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

The annual campaign was launched in Derry at the weekend by members of Ógra Shinn Féin at the Creggan republican monument.

The launch was attended by members of Ógra Shinn Féin, representatives from the Creggan Monument Committee and local Sinn Féin councillor Colly Kelly.

Speaking at the event, the chairperson of Ógra Shinn Féin in Derry Eamon McGinley said the legacy of the Easter Rising is as important as ever for republicans today.

“The Easter Lily is an emblem of unity between the different traditions within the nation, as well as recalling the heroism of those who sacrificed so much in 1916. The lily has always had strong symbolic value, though its meaning and symbolism have changed through the ages.

“Today in 2012 it symbolises the possibility of unity, equality and prosperity for all the peoples of the island,” he said.

The teenager also called on workplaces and broadcasters to give the Easter Lily symbol equal treatment with the Poppy symbol used by the British Legion to remember members of the British armed forces who have died in conflicts.

“We have been very active over recent years highlighting problems encountered by people wishing to wear the Easter lily. We’ve held protests outside the UTV and BBC offices in Derry calling on them to give the same standing to the Easter Lily as is given to the Poppy in November,” he said.

The Ógra chairperson called on local republicans to wear the badge over the coming weeks. “The annual distribution of the lilies will take place over the next two weekends.

“A limited number of metal pin badges are also available at our  Ráth Mór office  and Peadar O Donnell’s Waterloo Street,” he said.

He also said details of this year’s event in the City Cemetery to mark the anniversary of the Rising will be announced soon.

“Easter Sunday is on the 8th of April this year and further details on the Derry City commemorations will be released through the local press in the coming weeks,” he said.

The Lily symbol has been used for decades by republicans to remember the Easter Rising.