Ulster Protestant Arts Minister wants inclusive 2016 commemoration

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The Dublin Arts Minister Heather Humphreys says that both as an Ulster Protestant and an Irish Republican she wants next year’s 2016 Easter Rising commemorations to be characterised by respect and tolerance.

Writing in the Irish Times, the Fine Gael Minister, who is from County Monaghan, stated: “At some point in our lives we all take stock; 2016 is a chance for the Irish nation to take stock.

“It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reflect on the kind of Ireland that we have and the kind of Ireland we want to bring about; and it is an opportunity to reflect on the kind of society we aspire to achieve.

“Given my background as a Protestant and an Ulsterwoman who is a proud Irish republican, I appreciate the need to respect the differing traditions on this island.

“Over the past 100 years we have, I believe, grown as a nation that values and embraces our differences as a positive symbol of diversity rather than a negative source of division.

“In 2016 we should not be afraid to celebrate how far we have come and to challenge ourselves to consider what we want for this republic in the future.”