started this petition to
President of the Republic of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins
Public apology and re-affirmation of
support for a true Irish Republic
Make an open, public apology as President
of the Republic of Ireland to the memories and the descendants of the heroic
men, women and children who gave up their lives during the Easter 1916 Irish
Rising – exactly one hundred years ago - to create a fair, just and equitable
society - one in which, regardless of color, creed, gender or ethnic
background, all people living within the borders of Ireland would never suffer
discrimination of any kind, shape or form.
And to re-affirm support for the creation
of a true Irish Republic based on the principles inherent in The Proclamation of
the Republic (as Gaeilge: Forógra na Poblachta) as read out by Padraig Pearse
outside the General Post Office on Dublin’s main O’Connell Street during Easter
Not only did the majority of Irish people not
actively support these brave people then but even failed in any way to
recognize their efforts to establish a democratic society, until they were dead.
Worse, these brave people were mocked by Irish onlookers as they were marched
off by their guards along Dublin streets on their way for incarceration in prisons.
Fairness and timeliness
Not only is the centenary of the Irish
Revolution approaching this Easter (Sunday, March 27) but a key general election
also draws closer (national voting will take place at the end of this week,
Friday, February 26). Both these historic events act as reminders to people of
the invaluable legacy those brave Irish ancestors bequeathed: a citizen's right
This petition reinforces this inalienable
As people ready themselves to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising,
I believe Irish people, both in Ireland today and in other countries, have an
opportunity through this petition to publicly voice their support for the brave
acts of these heroes and heroines of 1916 and deeply apologize on behalf of
their own descendants for not recognizing them back then and instead allowing
them to die in such humiliating circumstances.
Rather than be hailed as honest, decent, brave people making the ultimate
sacrifice for an ideal they firmly believed in, these men, women and children
were humiliated on Irish streets and in its prisons by the vast majority of the
Irish population, then marched out - injured or not, one leader, James
Connolly, tied to a wheelchair - summarily executed by firing squad in a
nondescript stone prison courtyard and buried in non-descript graves, to be
forgotten by so many. All simply because they had the vision to see CHANGE was
necessary for the betterment of ordinary peoples’ lives and that COMMON DECENCY
was the God-given right of every man, woman and child.
This international petition, both an act of
public support and a formal apology to the memories of those martyrs, is
launched this year, 2016, exactly one hundred years after the historic
insurrection that took place in Dublin and other places within Ireland.
struggle these heroes fought, to achieve freedom and fairness, is still being
fought today, thus giving each one of us a unique chance this Friday with the
national elections to put things right and make certain their ultimate
sacrifices to create an open and equitable society within the Republic of
Ireland were not in vain.
The Proclamation of the Irish Republic in 1916 read out publicly outside
Dublin’s General Post Office on the city’s main street, by Padraig Pearse, one
of the leaders of the Easter 1916 Rising, stated in part… “The Republic
guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to
all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and
prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the
children of the nation equally…”
Yet, RTE, the official Irish national broadcaster, hosted a documentary within
the last six months (September 2015) focusing on the wealth gap in Ireland with
research showing the most affluent 20 per cent of people in Ireland own 73 per
cent of the country’s wealth and the poorest 20 per cent own just 0.2 per cent.
As for the top 5 per cent, their combined wealth is nearly double that of the
entire ‘squeezed middle.’
Severe cost-cutting to public services over
the last five years has meant the closure of schools and hospitals and nurses
and teachers being made redundant, leading to the sick and elderly waiting in
long lines along hospital corridors for medical treatment that sometimes never,
or comes too late, and to schoolchildren receiving sub-standard education due
to overcrowded classrooms and lack of proper equipment.
Further, water and septic
tank charges and a plethora of other hidden taxes have been introduced making
life for ordinary families to make ends meet all the more difficult.
At the same time, policies by successive
legal and political leaders have meant that the gap between rich and poor has
continued to widen, with the rich controlling an ever greater share of the
nation’s scare resources. This has ultimately led to the strengthening of ‘elitism’
It should never be too late to embrace
freedom, diversity and fairness.
I believe this petition will help make sure
Posted: 21 February 2016 (Updated: 24 February 2016)