Mr Weir said,
“Each time President Higgins speaks about his boycott of this event, the rationale for his snub becomes more bizarre, backward and offensive.
He should have been open and honest from day one. To mark or not to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland is his right but it speaks volumes about his commitment to reconciliation.
President Higgins now joins Sinn Fein and the SDLP in snubbing Northern Ireland’s centenary. Such narrowness is no way to build a shared future. Big mistake and a backward step.
The explanation from the Irish government that “no clear advice” was given to the President also requires greater explanation.”