Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney has welcomed the series of Antrim and Newtownabbey Council sponsored events marking the 225thAnniversary of the Battle of Antrim and providing an opportunity to more fully understand the Rising by the United Irishmen and women in 1798.
Speaking after attending the re-enactment of the Battle of Antrim in the grounds of the Castle Gardens, the South Antrim MLA said;
“I very much welcome the 225th Battle of Antrim Anniversary events sponsored by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, including the re-enactment of the battle itself, and a series of historical tours exploring key battle sites, and the role of leading United Irishmen and women, including Henry Joy McCracken, and local figures James Hope, William Orr and Roddy MacCorley.
“This programme of events has provided a special opportunity for our community to become more acquainted with, and educated on the background of the Society of United Irishmen and its objectives; and, in particular, the founding values of Irish republicanism, of anti-sectarianism, equality, national independence, and the unity of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter.
“These timeless ideals and the vision of a new Ireland remain even more relevant today. They provide a powerful backdrop for our society 25 years on from the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, and as we continue to grapple with the challenges of ending division and inequality, and securing respect and civil liberties for all.
“This coming period needs to be one of real hope and optimism. The most recent election delivered a resounding message that the electorate wants political progress. Our power sharing institutions need to be re-established to properly serve the needs of all citizens. Looking forward we should take inspiration from the United Irish legacy of 1798.
“I commend everyone involved in organising these events and look forward to this seminal historical period being reflected in a permanent public resource for the people of South Antrim.”