Scotland shows 1916 Rising a mistake, says John Bruton

Home Rule Speech JBruton 18-Sep-14Ireland could have taken same ‘peaceful path’ to independence with Home Rule

Stephen Collins – Irish Times, 18 Sep 2014

Ireland could have followed the same peaceful path towards independence that Scotland is considering today, according to former taoiseach John Bruton.
In a speech today on the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Home Rule Bill into law (September 18th, 1914), Mr Bruton pointed to the way the referendum on independence for Scotland had come about.

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> Reform Group Seminar 18 September 2014

Image: Reform Group

Ireland and UK Remembrance Shared

PresHigginsIrish Independent – 31 Jul 2014

President Michael D Higgins has described a national sorrow that soldiers who fought in the First World War and their families were shunned for decades in their home country.

Unveiling the first Cross of Sacrifice ever erected in the Republic of Ireland to servicemen and women killed in both world wars, Mr Higgins said the disrespect could not be undone although they are honoured now.

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Also: 31 July 2014: Dedication of Cross of Sacrifice, Glasnevin Cemetery

On Thursday 31 July President Michael D. Higgins led a ceremony to dedicate the newly installed Cross of Sacrifice in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin 11. The erection of the cross is a cooperative venture between Glasnevin Trust and the Commonwealth Graves Commission (CWGC). The service was attended by a wide range of public, diplomatic, and military representatives, along with members of the public. The event was was addressed by President Higgins.

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> Dedication of Cross of Sacrifice, Glasnevin Cemetary, Broadcast Thu 31 Jul 2014

> My Great War, RTE Television | YouTube Clip

> Gay Byrne – My Father’s War

Image: President Michael D Higgins has unveiled the first Cross of Sacrifice erected in the Republic of Ireland. Photo: Irish Independent.

 

Embassy marks centenary of 1914 Home Rule Act

Emb-1914-Panel-discussion-540x320An event to mark the centenary of the Home Rule Act took place in the Embassy with a distinguished audience of parliamentarians, academics, officials, business, community and cultural representatives, and media. The panel of expert guest speakers from Ireland and Britain included former Taoiseach John Bruton, Lord Paul Bew, Professor Michael Laffan and Professor Richard Toye and was chaired by broadcaster Fergal Keane.

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> Broadcast on BBC Parliament on Saturday 5 July

Image: DFA

Bank on booming Britain

davidmcwilliamspDavid McWilliams – 16 June 2014

While you may have been watching the opening game of the World Cup on Thursday night, the Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney sent sterling surging towards a five-year high with his speech at the Mansion House in London.

This move in Britain could have a significantly positive effect on the prospects of the Irish economy.

In the real world of commerce, we have always depended more on Birmingham than Berlin.

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Image: David McWilliams

Commonwealth plays vital role

Kamalesh SharmaSunday Independent –  27 April 2014

Madam – Dan O’Brien (Sunday Independent, April 13, 2014), gives thoughtful consideration to the value to small states of multilateralism in general and the Commonwealth in particular.

However, there is ample evidence to counter his assertion that the Commonwealth is “not a hugely important organisation for any of the 53 countries in it”.

As he himself acknowledges, smaller, more vulnerable states have more to gain from being in to ‘clubs’ where all members are bound by the same rules.

For that reason, and many others, membership of the Commonwealth is central to those of our 31 members with populations of less than 1.5 million, the internationally agreed definition for a ‘small state’. A quarter of the members of the G20 also belong to the Commonwealth.

This offers opportunities for interface, and direct and crucial global advocacy facilitated by the Commonwealth plays a vital role in ensuring that due consideration is given to the concerns of developing and vulnerable nations when decisions are made that can have very significant impact on their trade, environment, social and economic stability, sustainability and resilience, and addressing serious capacity shortages.

Kamalesh Sharma,
Commonwealth Secretary-General,
Marlborough House, London

Sunday Independent –  27 April 2014

Image: Commonwealth Secretariat

All things being equal we have a club to join

IrishRegimentsFlagsDan O’Brien – 13 April 2014 – Sunday Independent

‘States have no eternal friends, only eternal interests.” So said Lord Palmerston, a leading 19th-Century European statesman, prime minister of Britain and Ireland on two occasions and landlord of a 12,000-acre estate in Sligo. Palmerston’s view is the ultimate realpolitik view on relations between states.

While it goes too far – countries whose peoples share values and many personal connections can and do have important bonds of friendship – it is mostly correct. Interests are always the main determinant in how states behave.

Last week provided further evidence of the normalisation of how the Irish and British states behave towards each other with President Michael D Higgin’s state visit to the UK.

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> Kamalesh Sharma – Commonwealth plays vital role

Image: Independent.ie

The Queen’s speech at the Irish State banquet

banquet05_2876536cPublished on 10 Apr 2014

Her Majesty gives a speech at the State Banquet for the historic Irish State Visit at Windsor Castle. The visit, the first official State Visit by a President of Ireland, is taking place over four days in London and Windsor Castle.

http://www.royal.gov.uk

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Image: Sunday World

Commonwealth Day Observance, 10 March 2014

Commonwealth-FlagsCommonwealth Day Observance, 10 Mar 2014

The annual Observance on Monday 10th March at Westminster Abbey, organised by the Society, was a great success. We were privileged to welcome Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex along with High Commissioners and visiting diplomats and 800 young people from 83 schools.

Malala Yousafzai gave the main address and, along with Lord Coe and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson delivered a powerful reminder of the capability of the Commonwealth to be a force for good.

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> Commonwealth Day Observance 2014

Image: theRCS.org

Bruton on trade mission with NI and UK counterparts

RichardBrutonRTE News – Wednesday 12 February 2014

The first trade mission led by ministers from Dublin, Stormont and Westminster is under way in Singapore.

Representatives of 40 companies from the island of Ireland are part of the delegation at the Singapore Airshow, the largest such event in Asia.

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Image: Inpho.ie / Getty Images

Kenny and Cameron make ‘poignant’ joint visit to WWI sites

Dave-Enda-WWISee letter in Irish Times correcting the error RTE made in their site. Willie redmond did not request to be buried separately from his Irish fallen colleagues because he respected the 1916 Rising but for other reasons.

Staff

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has described his visit, alongside the British Prime Minister David Cameron, to a series of Irish and British World War I memorials in Flanders as “poignant and powerful”.

During a carefully balanced schedule, the two prime ministers spent three hours visiting the most solemn and symbolically important World War I sites, with both men acknowledging the sacrifice of the war dead from the other’s country.

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> Read letter in Irish Times

Picture: RTE News