Events planned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of 1916 by Sinn Fein in Derry will begin next Monday night with a conference in the city.
Beginning at 7.30pm on March 21 at the Millennium Forum the ‘Uniting Ireland Conference’ will examine the relevance of the 1916 Proclamation a century. Panelists for the discussion include Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein TD Louise O’Reilly, Maggie Lennon from the Scottish National Party, economist Michael Burke, former UUP press adviser turned columnist, Alex Kane, Deputy Editor of the Belfast News Letter Ben Lowry and UUP candidate for South Antrim, Steve Aitken.
In a departure from the normal Easter Sunday parade, this year, on March 27 there will be parades from Creggan, Shantallow, Waterside the Bogside and Brandywell which will all converge to form the main parade to the republican plot in Derry City Cemetery. These demonstrations will be conducted by people wearing period dress and uniforms.
The Centenary coincides with the 35th anniversary of the hunger strike of 1981 and Derry Sinn Fein will mark that with a commemorative march on May 1.
On May 12 at 7.30pm in Guildhall Square, there will be a re-enactment of the Easter 1916 Rising and the military tribunals and executions that followed.
Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney told the ‘Journal’ that the message of 1916 Proclamation is still highly relevant 100 years on.
“Looking at the simplicity of the language, it spells out in very clear terms what it is about. At its core is a message of equality. The concept of equality, suffrage, citizenship, sharing wealth and being part of the nation still resonate 100 years later.
“If you keep striving for equality, you’ll never go far wrong and you won’t define anything improperly if equality is your watchword.”