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21 February 2013

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Call for new ‘Republic Day’ national holiday

Aengus Ó Snodaigh: 'Many countries celebrate their independence'

This new holiday would bring Ireland up from 9 and closer to the EU average of 11, as called for by Rúairí Quinn – now Education Minister – in 2006

SINN FÉIN TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh is calling for a new public holiday to mark the sacrifice of men and women who gave their lives in pursuit of an independent Irish Republic.

The Dublin deputy today published the Public Holidays (Lá Na Poblachta) Bill 2013.

The holiday would be on 24 April, the anniversary of the reading of the Proclamation of Ireland outside the GPO by Pádraig Pearse in 1916.

It would involve events in each county to raise awareness and understanding of the ideals contained in the key revolutionary documents and events leading to the declaration of the Irish Republic at the GPO on Monday 24 April 1916.

Speaking as he published the Bill at Leinster House today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Many countries celebrate their independence, be it the date of a major battle that won independence from a colonial force or a date when their nation was proclaimed to the world.

“Many nations who have yet to win their independence also have national holidays to mark a date when their nation was declared.

“Ireland should be no different. And while we have yet to secure a fully independent republic we should not allow that to stop us from celebrating the proclamation of our nation and remembering all those who died in pursuit of our independence.

“Ireland currently has nine annual bank holidays.  The European average is eleven.  So this bill would bring us closer to the EU average, as was called for by Rúairí Quinn in 2006.”

Ruairí Quinn is now Minister for Education.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh added:

“It is vitally important, particularly in the run-up to the centenary of the 1916 Rising, that we put in place measures to ensure that future generations are aware of and fully understand the ideals of those who fought for our Irish Republic. I hope the other parties will support this Bill.”

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