News & Media

Labour Leader welcomes idea of Civil War Commemoration Monument

2 January 2020

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin has welcomed the idea of a national monument or memorial to commemorate all those killed in the Civil War as proposed by the Chair of Government’s expert advisory group on the Decade of Commemorations.

Deputy Howlin said:

“As Ireland descended into Civil War in 1922 and 1923 the Labour Party, not for the first time, sought to play the role of an honest broker between the two factions. This included a national day of industrial action – a strike against militarism - in April 1922.  Unfortunately, our efforts were not successful.

"For decades the divisions of the Civil War loomed large in Irish politics. Indeed, so much so, that they masked the ideological agreement between both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

"The personal enmities that defined that era are no longer with us thankfully and it is time for us, as a society, to mark that period in our history.  Let the proposed memorial stand as a testament to what can happen when politics breaks down.

"The Expert Group’s advice to the Government on the tone of the remembrance of the war is appropriate but I think it would be reinforced by a physical manifestation or memorial. I would favour the idea of a green field site for such a monument.  I don’t believe the cenotaph in Leinster House is of sufficient scale even if access issues could be addressed.

"I commit the Labour Party to engage constructively on any proposal for such a monument and welcome the beginning of a public discussion and debate."