The Leader of the Rural Independent Group of TDs, Mattie McGrath, has strongly criticized a proposal put forward by Green Party TD Patrick Costello to introduce a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland on the twelfth of July. McGrath described the idea as offensive and ludicrous, stating that it showcases the Green Party’s detachment from reality.
Addressing the issue from Tipperary early this morning, Deputy McGrath expressed his astonishment, saying:
“Clearly, the Green Party has gone raving mad with one of their TDs proposing to hold a public holiday on the twelfth of July to mark the victory of Protestant William III at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Suggesting that recognising this as ‘inclusive’ goes against common sense.”
“While the twelfth of July holds significance for members of the Orange Order and certain Protestant, unionist, and loyalist communities, it does not justify considering a public holiday in the Republic. The Twelfth of July is a celebration of dominance by Unionism over nationalists here in Ireland. It maintains strong links to unionist political parties, and Catholics cannot join the Orange Order or participate in the Twelfth of July. The core message of the twelfth is ‘we are in charge,’ and it is crazy for an Irish government TD to propose celebrating this day.”
“Loyal order parades, by their very nature, are divisive. Historical disputes such as the Drumcree issue in Co Armagh, where a ban on marchers walking on the predominantly nationalist Garvaghy Road sparked long-standing community tensions.”
“Moreover, for most Catholics living in the north, the twelfth of July remains a sectarian event that instils fear and danger. The aggression associated with bonfires, where the destruction of the Irish flag is celebrated, is not something we should entertain or formally acknowledge.”
In addition to the proposal’s insensitivity, the economic implications of introducing an additional public holiday cannot be overlooked. Such a move would cost Ireland an estimated €220 to €300 million, impacting various sectors of the economy, especially small businesses, many of whom are already struggling to survive. Deputy Patrick Costello’s proposal shows a colossal lack of awareness of both the ground realities in the north and the economic challenges faced by families in the state.”
“Misappropriating the customs and traditions of others is not the solution we need for true reconciliation,” concluded Deputy McGrath.
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