Irish President Michael D Higgins has now pulled out of the April 8 dinner following the DUP boycott, which came in spite of an agreement that the signing of the Ulster Covenant, the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme would all be commemorated with dinners.
“There has been a long-standing agreement that three of the main anniversaries would each be marked with a dinner, which would be events exploring the consequences of violence and looking at the significance of each event,” said Councillor Long.
“It was an all-party approach to the decade of centenaries that was respectful to all traditions, and done with reconciliation and building a shared future in mind. Therefore it was disappointing the DUP has decided to not attend the Easter Rising dinner, which has led to President Higgins pulling out of the event.
“It is particularly hypocritical of the DUP, given the party will likely be in attendance at the Somme event in a few months.”