Statement from Republican POWs, Maghaberry jail

A chairde,
It is a great honour that we – the Republican PoWs here in Maghaberry – have this opportunity once again to address you, the people of Ireland and abroad, on this the 93rd anniversary of the 1916 Rising. We, the PoWs, extend Easter greetings to our comrades, friends and supporters throughout the world, and would also like to thank RSF and CABHAIR for all the work done on our behalf. We extend special greetings to our families whose support is invaluable.
As you gather at the graves and monuments of Ireland’s patriot dead you do so with great courage, unbowed and unbroken but mindful of the fact that the road ahead has never been harder. But as true Republicans we have never turned our backs on our struggle.
Like many generations before us we uphold the age-old desire of the Irish people for their self-determination free from the chains of a foreign oppressor. Over the past year we have see an increasing desire by the Provisionals and other pro-British parties to betray those striving to end British rule in Ireland.
These criminals are still trying to convince the world that accepting the continued occupation of our country and supporting the armed wing of the Crown (the RUC/PSNI) is the solution. But true Republicans will never accept this.
Far from advancing the cause of Irish unity, their sell-out has reinforced the partition of our country and reduced the Provos to being servants of the Crown. They have been lured into bed with the Brits – the same bed once occupied by the likes of Collins and de Valera.
None of this has come as a surprise. As Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, the President of Republican Sinn Féin, warned the Provos in 1986, the road they were taking was doomed. He told them that they “couldn’t ride two horses going in opposite directions”, and that the path they chose would lead them into the path of the Brits. Once there they couldn’t and wouldn’t turn back – lured by the prospect of big salaries and power. They are now reduced to informing and administering British rule in Ireland. By doing so they have danced on the graves of those who have so bravely given their lives to remove the British presence from our shores, but Irish history has taught us that as long as there is British interference in Irish affairs, and the continued occupation of our country, there will always be resistance. This has again been seen in recent weeks with the successful military engagements directed at the Crown Forces.
In the aftermath of these military engagements we have seen the Provos calling on the people to inform the RUC/PSNI and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the enemy to call these Volunteers traitors.
We, the PoWs, call on all people to reject the Provos, for it is they who are the traitors to Ireland and who are being paid to do the Brits dirty work. True Republicans are continuing to be arrested at the hands of the RUC/PSNI. They have now tried to detain Republicans for 28 days as was seen in recent weeks. This is internment by another name. When these Republicans challenged their detention and won the RUC/PSNI used the age old tactic of charge and remand – the conveyor belt in full motion. A number of Republicans from Armagh and other counties have been riding this British conveyor belt for almost two years now. All this on the word of faceless invaders, namely the SAS. At a time when the Provos are telling you that the RUC/PSNI are an acceptable police force they fail to mention the fact that Republicans are continuing to be arrested, harassed and their homes wrecked on a weekly basis.
We, the Republican PoWs, applaud those who took to the streets in protest at the detention of true Republicans. Once again we pledge our full support to the Leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann and our comrades-in-arms who continue to fight for Irish freedom. We salute you.
We, the PoWs, continue to resist all attempts by the NIO to criminalise us and our struggle and with your continued support we are confident of victory. In the words of Liam Lynch “we have declared for a Republic and will live by no other law”.
Continuity not compromise.
Tiocfaidh ár lá.

O/C Republican PoWs Maghaberry


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