Bank Holiday for 1916 stirs controversy
COUNCILLORS unanimously backed the introduction of a bank holiday to commemorate the start of the Easter Rising on April 24, 1916.
Sinn Fein Cllr Johnny Mythen brought the motion, saying it was only fitting to mark such a historic occasion with a bank holiday.
'This was a seismic moment in our country's history. Other countries observe their independence with a national holiday.'
Cllr Deirdre Wadding seconded the motion but Cllr Willie Fitzharris suggested that it would put an additional burden on employers who are 'already stretched'.
'We have a bank holiday for Easter Monday,' he said, opposing the motion.
Cllr Michael Sheehan said given the unique year that is 2016, it would be fitting to have a bank holiday on April 24 to mark the centenary. 'We are on the lower end of the scale in Europe for bank holidays.'
Cllr Mythen said the 1916 bank holiday should stand on its own merits. '11 is the average and we have nine.'
Cllr Martin Murphy suggested that Sinn Fein could consider holding the bank holiday on the 'glorious 12th', expressing concern about the number of bank holidays centred around May.
Cllr Keith Doyle said: 'We have a May Bank Holiday. This is more important that most of these bank holiday dates.'
Cllr Mythen's motion was carried.