Tipperary solicitor questions the way council funding is to be spent on 1916 commemorations

A Tipperary solicitor has questioned the amount of money and the manner in which the centenary of the Easter Rising is to be marked by Tipperary County Council.

A Tipperary solicitor has questioned the amount of money and the manner in which the centenary of the Easter Rising is to be marked by Tipperary County Council.

Michael Collins, in a letter to the council’s heritage officer, said that he objected strongly to anything which will amount to a celebration of 1916, of the Easter Rising or of the participants in the violence which plagued this island not just between 1916 and 1923 but which has continued up to very recent years.

He said that he had read reports that the council planned to spend €1m on such “commemorations and if this is true, then it is a disgraceful and shameful waste of taxpayers’ money, which I also vehemently oppose.”

Mr Collins, who has offices in Borrisokane and Nenagh, asked people to imagine what this sum would do for the many voluntary Tidy Towns organisations around the county.

“To my mind, violent events and people who have either promoted or participated in violence should never be celebrated in any right-thinking civilised community. We just have to look at what such violence actually means, It means that some parent, some brother, some sister, even some child, is killed, maimed or forced to leave the community because the perpetrators do not agree with them, do not like their religion and do not share democratic values. It means death, destruction and endless bitterness,” said the solicitor.

Mr Collins said in his letter that the “so-called 1916 heroes” promoted violence as a means to an end and that some of them had no compunction whatsoever about innocent civilians being killed if it advanced the cause and “neither did the perpetrators of the more recent Omagh bombing or the perpetrators of countless other atrocities who drew their inspiration from these ‘heroes’”.

Roisin O’Grady, Tipperary County Council’s heritage officer, told the Tipperary Star that the letter was in response to their calls for the public’s submissions on commemorating 1916 as part of the national commemmoration proposals.

“It will be considered as part of the consultation process,” said Ms O’Grady.

She also pointed out that the council did not have €1m to spend.

“That is a national figure and will be divided among 31 local authorities. We will have €31,000 to spend,” she said.

Full report in this week’s Tipperary Star.