Deputy Joe McHugh is leading a campaign to mark the 100th anniversary commemoration of the foundation of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), and he wants the State to foot the bill for the anniversary of the Ulster Covenant.
This controversial statement comes as a time when the Government are planning to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the East Rising in four years time.
Deputy McHugh said “By showing Unionists that Southern Nationalists can respectfully acknowledge an ant-nationalist event, we can all celebrate the coming events that mark armed insurrection against the British crown."
The Donegal Deputy co-chairs the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly along with the Tory Peer Lord Cope of Berkley.
He said the coming decade will be one of commemoration.
“In recent months there has been a focus on the centenary of the Easter Rising and in 2019, we will celebrate the centenary of the first Dáil."
“We will celebrate the centenary of the Truce and Treaty in 2021 and 2022. Our first important commemoration will be next September, which will mark the 100th anniversary of the signing by 500,000 Irish people of the Ulster Covenant.
"The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly will meet in Dublin in spring. At that meeting, we will put the historical significance of the Ulster Covenant firmly on the agenda,” he said.
He concluded by saying that "The decade of commemoration should be "broad and mature because the nature of the commerations will say much about the charachter of the Irish State and the Irish people."
By Oliver McBride
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