Fine Gael National Press Office Press Statement by Senator Joe O’Reilly Cavan/Monaghan

Thursday November 11th 2010

Huge disappointment as FF dismiss Armistice Day moment of silence – O’Reilly

Fine Gael Senator Joe O’Reilly expressed his disappointed today (Thursday) after Fianna Fáil members of the Seanad refused to back his call for a minute of silence to be observed in the Seanad at 11 am today.

Senator O’Reilly added that he has written to the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad requesting that such a gesture be observed next year.

“On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the first World War finally came to an end. Approximately 210,000 Irishmen fought in the war and, sadly, 35,000 died.

“Regardless of how we look retrospectively at what they did, these Irishmen went for the best of reasons. Some of them went as a result of economic hardship, others out of a belief it would achieve Home Rule, while others went because of a range of other idealistic beliefs such as the defence of small nations.

“It is right that they are remembered, even with a small gesture, and I believe that the Seanad is a perfect place to do this. Throughout Ireland’s history, the Seanad has attempted to embrace and encompass all of the cultural and identity strands of the nation. I thought today that, given its history and the reason for its existence, it would be very appropriate for the Seanad to specifically honour the victims of World War One through a minute’s silence at 11am.

“I called for the Chamber to be suspended for one minute this morning but disappointingly, Fianna Fáil refused to back my call. As a result, Armistice Day was not marked in the Seanad. Almost 100 years after World War 1 began, I believe it is past-time that we mark such an occasion and not, like Fianna Fáil, be bound by old prejudices and an obsolete world view. I have written to the Cathaoirleach to ask that, next year, a minute’s silence be observed at 11am on November 11th.”

Ends

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website