Call for official Irish Independence Day holiday

It would see January 21st designated 'Declaration of Independence Day'

Call for official Irish Independence Day holiday

Image: YouTube/Ireland 2016 // Éire 2016 - Official Channel

Legislation is being proposed to formally recognise January 21st as Independence Day.

Fianna Fáil Senator Dr Keith Swanick has brought forward proposals to formally recognise the meeting of the first Dáil in 1919.

If passed, it would see the formal designation of January 21st as 'Declaration of Independence Day'.

Senator Swanick explained: "The importance of the events of January 21st 1919, with the meeting of the first Dáil and the Declaration of Independence, should be formally recognised and commemorated.

"The Declaration of Independence and the adoption of the Democratic Programme gave democratic legitimacy to the Proclamation of Independence of Easter 1916.

"This legislation is to ensure that the day is officially recognised as Declaration of Independence Day, irrespective of the day on which it falls.

"There's no plan to designate it a public holiday, but if the Oireachtas did pass this legislation it would allow schools, public bodies and community groups an opportunity to commemorate this hugely important event in an appropriate way.

"It would be extremely fitting that this legislation be in place well in advance of the 100th anniversary of the day in two years' time."

There were calls for a national holiday to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising, but the Sinn Féin motion was rejected.