Former taoiseach John Bruton has repeated his controversial criticism of the 1916 Rising, saying that it did not meet the criterion of a just war.

Speaking on the centenary of Home Rule in Dublin today, Mr Bruton said the fact Home Rule for Ireland became law 100 years ago, meant that the use of violence in the Easter Rising was not a genuine last resort and had no hope of military success.

He also criticised the leaders of the Rising for explicitly taking the opposite side to their fellow Irishmen in the trenches in World War I.

Mr Bruton said the 1916 leaders were not neutral, but were taking the side of Germany, which had invaded Belgium and France.

Mr Bruton said Ireland could have followed the same peaceful path towards independence that Scotland is now considering taking.

He added he believed living for Ireland was better than dying for Ireland.

But he said he hoped all of those who died in 1916 and the Civil War would be remembered and that he thought the Dáil and Seanad should mark the Home Rule centenary today.

Echoing comments he made earlier this year, the former taoiseach said he believed Ireland would have reached the position it is in today if it had stuck with the Home Rule policy and if the Rising had not taken place.

He said the reality is that, in 1916, Home Rule was on the statute books and was not about to be reversed.

Mr Bruton said if the 1916 leaders had had more patience, a lot of destruction could have been avoided.

Meanwhile, Senator David Norris has described the leaders of the Rising as "traitors to their own cause" because they ignored attempts by the Irish Volunteers chief Eoin MacNeill to call it off.

Speaking in the Seanad this morning, Mr Norris said he commended Mr Bruton's analysis of 1916.

The Independent Senator said the main tradition of nationalism in Ireland, going back to Daniel O'Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and John Redmond, is non-violence.

He said that when they refer to "gallant allies in Europe" in the Proclamation, they are in fact referring to Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.