Donegal Mayor, Sinn Féin Cllr. Cora Harvey this week launched the annual Easter lily campaign at County House in Lifford.
The mayor said this year, the 95th anniversary of the Easter Rising, “is an important time for Irish republicans. It is a time for remembering our friends and colleagues who have given their lives in pursuit of our republican ideals and goals. It is a time for reflecting on these ideals.”
Speaking at the launch, Cllr. Harvey said she would like to see “people all over wearing the lily with pride.”
“Easter is also a time of renewal, a time when we as Irish republicans re-dedicate ourselves to the legitimate and achievable goals of independence and unity for the people of this island,” Mayor Harvey said. “I am calling on people to wear an Easter Lily and to make this year’s Easter commemorations and events bigger and better than ever before.”
The launch was attended by Sinn Féin members of the county council, town councils, Údarás na Gaeltachta, and by the party’s Donegal TDs, as well as by members of the Tír Chonaill Commemoration Committee. Councillors from several other groupings sent their regrets, saying they were unable to attend.
Last week some councillors who did not wish to be identified suggested that the mayor should have reached out to all political groupings on the council before invitations to the launch were issued last week. The launch was held in the council chamber on Monday but was not an official council event.
Speaking on Highland Radio on Tuesday, the mayor said the Easter lily is worn each year by people who don’t necessarily support Sinn Féin. The mayor said that she wore the lily specifically for the men and women who died in 1916 and pointed out that in 1926 Constance Markievicz and Cumann na mBan introduced the lily as a symbol of remembrance for the dead of 1916.
At this week’s launch, Patsy Sweeney of the Tír Chonaill Commemoration committee said, “I would just ask people to wear the Easter lily and be proud of it. There are people in every party who trace themselves back, and proudly, to people who died in the struggle for Irish freedom.”