Former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader Tom Elliott says the Easter Rising commemorations must not glorify violence and “give succour to those who seek to follow the failed path trod by previous republican campaigns.”
He said: “In this decade of centenaries there will be a number of events which will challenge both Unionists and Nationalists.
“Unionists do not believe that the 1916 Easter Rising had any justification and certainly any commemoration should be lawful and respectful.”
He condemned one commemoration’s reference to the Easter Rising of 1916 as an “unfinished revolution.”
“This quite clearly goes beyond normal political debate and discourse. This is language which justifies violence as a legitimate political tool and the only people who still believe that are so-called dissidents. Their day is done, they are on a road to nowhere and must be rejected and defeated,” said Mr Elliott.