Taoiseach’s refusal to reverse 1916 Mass ban a ‘mockery’

Staff Reporter

Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s refusal to lift a controversial ban on members of the Defence Forces participating in the annual Mass to commemorate those who died in the 1916 Easter Rising has been criticised as a “mockery” by Independent TD Mattie McGrath.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic this week, Mr McGrath, expressed disappointment with a statement he received from the Taoiseach on the matter.

“The Taoiseach’s response was totally docile, ineffective and vague. There was absolutely no reason to ban the Defence Forces from taking part in the ceremony. He should let the great tradition of their involvement continue,” he said.

In his statement, Mr Kenny said the decision for a ban was taken to “reflect the changes that have taken place in Ireland, North and South and the importance of emphasising tolerance and a welcome for
all nationalities and creeds”.

“In this context it is no longer considered appropriate that the Defence Forces, an important institution of the State, should be requested to perform such a role in a religious ceremony,” the Taoiseach said.