*Micheál Martin with Cathal Crowe at The Old Ground Hotel. Photograph: John O’Brien
An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin (FF) has appointed Clare TD Cathal Crowe (FF) to the All-Party Consultation Group on State Commemorations.
Deputy Crowe will represent the Fianna Fáil party on the committee which has a role promote a consultative and open approach to commemorations, which seeks to strengthen peace and reconciliation across the island of Ireland.
During his time as Mayor of Clare, the Meelick native received national attention in January of last year for his stance to boycott a national commemoration service for the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). His trend was subsequently followed by several politicians and led to the cancellation of the service.
Speaking on Tuesday, Cathal said he was “deeply honoured” to take on the role. “As we move through the decade of centenaries, we are shortly going to have to face some of the more challenging aspects in terms of state commemorations”.
Crowe added, “The month of May marks the centenary of the partition of Ireland and we are now also approaching the centenary of the Civil War period, which divided Ireland not just at that time but for the decades and generations that followed”.
Commemorations should take place in a historic space, he believed. “I am of the firm view that we shouldn’t take a revisionist approach to how we view these events. It was utterly wrong last year for the previous government to be pushing ahead with plans to commemorate the Royal Irish Constabulary”.
“My own outlook on commemoration has very much been shaped by my local commemorative committee, which has successfully erected seven memorials in the Meelick, Parteen, Ardnacrusha and Cratloe areas. In a Clare context, I very much admire the leadership in commemorations shown by historians like Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc, Padraig McCormack, Tom Twomey and Mary Crawford and her team who have led commemorations for the Mid-Clare Brigade of the Old IRA,” he stated.
It is the second appointment from the Taoiseach for Deputy Crowe since his election to the Dáil last year following on from his elevation as the party’s spokesperson for aviation and tourism.