Foster invited to 1916 cross-community event

The Republic's Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys. Picture by Hugh Russell.

The Republic's minister overseeing the Easter Rising and Battle of the Somme centenaries has said Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster would be welcome at a cross-community event to mark 1916.

The DUP leader has signalled that she would decline an invitation to commemorate the 1916 Rising but said she would be happy to attend an event that examined the broader historical implications of what happened a century ago.

Heather Humphreys, the south's Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has confirmed that she has extended an invitation to Ms Foster to attend an event in the diocese of Clogher, in which they both live.

"In my own diocese of Clogher, and Arlene is also in the diocese of Clogher, the two bishops there – Bishop McDaid and Bishop McDowell – the Church of Ireland and Catholic bishops have come together," she told the BBC.

"They are going to have an event that will bring the children right across the diocese of Clogher together and they are going to tell the story that starts in 1916 and goes right up to the Good Friday Agreement."

In July, Mrs Humphreys told The Irish News that the events surrounding the 1916 centenary were designed to be inclusive and enjoyed by everyone.

The Cavan-Monaghan TD, a Presbyterian who egularly attends Orange Order events south of the border, described herself as both a "proud Irish republican" and "proud Ulster Protestant".

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