Arlene Foster has ruled out any attendance at events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
Speaking to the Impartial Reporter she said;
The rebellion which took place 100 years ago this Easter was directly to attack the state to which I owe my allegiance. I don’t think I would be invited, but even if I was invited I certainly would not be going to commemorate a violent attack on the United Kingdom.
I don’t think they are going to ask any members of the Royal family for example to attend the so-called commemorations.
History tells us that it happened and it led in many ways to the later formation of the Republic of Ireland breaking away from the rest of the Kingdom in a very violent way. You have to remember that the rebellion led to a loss of hundreds of lives, Irish people being killed, I would say needlessly, at that time. I can understand why those of a republican deposition would want to commemorate that event, but I certainly wouldn’t want to be associated with it,
The incoming First Minister did mention 1916 in her new address saying;
We will reflect too on the centenary of the Easter Rising and the role events in Dublin in 1916 had in the creation of Northern Ireland.
But the historian, Eamon Phoenix was critical of this approach yesterday on Talkback;
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs