Bairbre de Brún, who spoke as part of the President's Forum series on Monday, April 17, reminded her audience of the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising, and the 25th anniversary of the Prisons Hunger Strikes.
The Easter Rising of 1916 was when — on the day after Easter — Irish men and women challenged the right of the British Empire to rule Ireland and declared a Republic through the Easter Proclamation.
The 1981 hunger strike was when 10 young men died in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh Prison in protest of Irish republicanism being labeled as a criminal conspiracy. One of them, Bobby Sands, had recently been elected to Parliament.
In her talk, titled “Building Peace in Ireland,” she also spoke of the upcoming May 15 recall of the government that's been suspended since 2002, and her hope that the new government be based on the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, and dedicated to “a peaceful, democratic and egalitarian Ireland.”
DeBrún is one of two Sinn Féin members of the European Parliament and one of three representing Northern Ireland.
An advance text of her talk appears on the party's Web site, http://sinnfein.ie/news/detail/13892#top.