Wicklow Sinn Féin held their Easter 1916 County commemoration in Bray on Easter. A large crowd was led by the Rising Phoenix Republican Flute Band. An all female colour party carried the flags, this was to mark the 100 anniversary of the formation of Cumann na mBan.
The rally was led to the 1798 monument on Castle Street and the proceedings were chaired by Bray Sinn Féin representative Oliver O'Brien. He welcomed the large crowd to the 98 anniversary of the Easter Rising and called on Mary McDonald from Arklow to read the Proclamation of Independence. A wreath was laid to remember all who lost their lives in the struggle for Irish Independence. Oliver O' Brien then introduced the main speaker, Wicklow Sinn Féin County Councillor John Brady.
In the main oration Councillor Brady welcomed the large crowd and said it was time to rededicate ourselves to the Republic that was declared 98 years ago, he went onto say "In two years time, we will celebrate the centenary of the Rising. That will be an occasion to both reflect upon the legacy of the Rising and the Proclamation, and what they must mean for the future. It is an opportunity to build a popular national consciousness on the true values of the Proclamation, and to encourage Irish citizens and the Diaspora to reclaim the spirit of 1916".
He went onto say "Sinn Féin is about realising the vision of 1916 and making the noble ideals contained in the Proclamation a reality for Irish people. We seek to undo the ‘carnival of reaction’ initiated by the partition of our country. Sinn Féin wants to see the reconquest of Ireland by the people of Ireland — a real republic where the citizens and not vested interests — whether in politics, banking, the institutions of state or foreign governments— are in control"
Brady continued "Our vision is of a New Republic for the 21st century, which - like the Proclamation of 1916 - guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities for all citizens; cherishes all the children of the nation equally and is anti-sectarian. This means equal rights for those in same sex relationships, ethnic minorities and those of all creeds and none"
"The enforced austerity by the coalition in Dublin and the coalition in London is the antithesis of everything the Rising and Proclamation envisaged. To stand for the ideals of 1916, must mean standing against austerity; and standing up for the vulnerable, those unable to care for themselves, and the working poor, north and south" continued Brady.
He concluded his oration by saying "Elections have always provided a platform for advancing the republican cause. The Local and EU elections in a few weeks time – where every voter in Ireland, North and South, has the chance to vote Sinn Féin, offers republicans an opportunity to significantly advance the cause of an Irish Republic".
The commemoration ended with the playing of the National Anthem before marching back up to the Town Hall