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Theresa Villiers welcomes ‘inclusive' commemorations in Republic for Easter Rising

Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State. Picture by Ann McManus
Staff Reporter

SECRETARY of state Theresa Villiers has welcomed the Republic governments's efforts to ensure inclusivity.

Speaking as the 1916 Easter Rising was commemorated, Ms Villiers said she recognised the significance of the weekend for Irishmen and women across the world.

"Whatever one's perspective, I welcome and appreciate the efforts of the Irish government to ensure that the centenary of the Easter Rising is marked in ways that are inclusive and designed to promote reconciliation," she said.

Ms Villiers had previously said that the British government fully recognised the sensitivities surrounding the decision not to have a British royal presence at the commemoration of the 1916 Rising.

She was responding to comments from Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin last year that it was "extremely unlikely" that a member of the British royal family would attend the 100th anniversary commemorations.

At the time, Ms Villiers said the British government was always going to be guided by what was decided by the Republic's government.

She said both the Irish and British administrations had the shared goal of highlighting reconciliation in an atmosphere of understanding and inclusivity.

"We have seen important joint events. In particular, a reflection on those from the whole of the island of Ireland who died in the first World War was a very important part of the commemorations," she said.

"As for the 2016 events, we fully recognise the sensitivities and we will be guided by the Irish government."

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