- Oglaigh na hEireann Easter Statement
- Republican Network for Unity Easter Statement
- CIRA Pow’s in Maghaberry Easter Statement
- Leader of Republican Movement Easter Statement
- Eirigi Easter Statement
- 32CSM Easter Statement
- IRSP Easter Statement
- Republican Pow’s in Portlaoise Easter Statement
- Galleria Fotografica
- Scatti di Andrea Aska Varacalli a Milltown
The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann extend Easter greetings and solidarity to all our friends and supporters both nationally and internationally, we extend our thanks to anyone who has helped the republican cause in any way and express our gratitude in advance for your assistance in the future. Everyone can make a contribution to the Irish freedom struggle, no part is too small.
The Republican movement wish to commend our volunteers for the courage, commitment and discipline they have shown in the face of huge odds, the republican struggle is entering a crucial phase with our enemies united in trying to end republican resistance once and for all, they will fail. In order to combat the forces of repression and partition republicans must think strategically and pragmatically. Republican unity must remain a key objective and aspiration for all republicans, for our part the IRA have worked closely with other organisations in every way and we will do so in the future. A united republican base is much more able to withstand the onslaught of the united forces of occupation.
Special mention must be made of the republican POW’s in Maghaberry and their continued resistance to the torturous prison regime in place there. To those who say that the British occupation of Ireland has changed we say why, 30 years after 10 brave comrades died in British jails in Ireland, are Irishmen still fighting for political status and still being brutalised for doing so? We ask for your continued support for these captured volunteers who will never submit to degradation and criminalisation. We send greetings to the IRA unit in Portlaoise and send solidarity and support to republicans held overseas.
Oglaigh na hEireann call on any young nationalist who may have been sold the lie that the RUC/PSNI is somehow an reformed, non political police service to think again, those who think they are serving their community are in fact serving the occupation and will be treated as such.
The GAA, Catholic church and constitutional nationalism will be unable to protect those who turn traitor, they are as liable for execution as anyone else regardless of their religion, cultural background or motivation.
The IRA repeat our warnings to civilians to stay away from the scenes of IRA attacks or alerts, we have noticed a pattern developing whereby the RUC/PSNI are deliberately putting civilians at risk. These so called modern day heroes were brave enough to allow hundreds of non combatants to pass a large IRA bomb in Newry,we do not believe that this was sheer incompetence of their behalf but a calculated action aimed at putting civilians in the danger zone to protect themselves and discredit republicans. With this in mind we ask both the public and all volunteers to be careful and vigilant, with the occupation forces coming under increased pressure from the resistance movement they are more likely to take drastic action out of desperation.
It has come to the attention of the republican leadership that in a number of areas across the country criminal gangs are using the cover of republicanism to further their own selfish ends, this will not be tolerated, a harsh sentence will be dealt to anyone misusing the name of the IRA. Too many have paid the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of our noble ideal to allow it to be sullied by criminals masquerading as republicans, anyone involved in this should stop and stop now.
Oglaigh na hEireann urge all self respecting Irishmen and women to resist the upcoming insult that is the visit of a British monarch to Irish soil, the criminal free state government invite is not on behalf of the Irish people but to further the selfish interests of a self serving elite.
Despite the best efforts of the media, big business, and other power blocks to portray this visit as acceptable we clearly state that the Irish people will not capitulate. The queen of England is wanted for war crimes in Ireland and not wanted on Irish soil. we will do our best to ensure she and the gombeen class that act as her cheerleaders get that message.
Finally we wish to state clearly and unequivocally that the leadership of the IRA is not in any negotiations with the British government, Free state government or anyone that represents them. Those who continually repeat this lie must explain their actions and we must clearly question their motivation, to them we say, don’t judge the IRA by your standards. If the British are serious about discussing the restoration of Irish sovereignty then we will listen to their proposals, anything else is a waste of time. The IRA, in cooperation with others will continue to resist occupation to the best of our ability, anything less would be a betrayal of all those Brave men and women who fill our graveyards this Easter.
Victory to the IRA, Beir bua.
On behalf of the Republican Network for Unity (RNU), I’d like to welcome you all here today, on the 95th Anniversary of the Easter Rising, to commemorate all those Irish Republican Patriots who died in Active Service and those who dedicated their lives to the struggle for Irish freedom. RNU is proud to hold its National Commemoration in Dundalk today and we honour all of those who lie in graveyards all over this Ireland who have given their lives to the Republican struggle.
County Louth has a long and noble history. The Megalith Monument at Ballymascanlan dates back thousands of years to the Ui Meith Clann who ruled this area and even defeated the Danes in 672. The legendary Cu Chulainn was born here and it is where St. Brigid is also buried.
During the Conquest of Ireland, the English Pale was created to protect invaders and their plans to extend their control over Irish life. As part of that expansion, Dundalk was fortified by high walls, castles and moats in a bid to protect English settlers from rebel Ulster. Scottish King, Edward The Bruce was killed in battle by the English at Faughart in 1318. English mass murderer, Crownwell used Dundalk as a base to attack the town of Drogheda and Ulster where his army massacared tens of thousands of Irish citizens across the country.
For the next few centuries, the town held a strategic position and controlled the passage north. However, Ulster’s Chiefs like Eoghan Roe O’Neill and his army fought a successful guerrilla campaigns against English invaders. During the Confederate and Williamite Wars, the same tactics were also used by Irish rebels.
One hundred years later, the first Irish Republican Rising took place under the United Irish Society. Their aims were radical and new, over 100,000 rose to break the connection with England. It was a short-lived and brutal Rising. Although, it began a series of events that would change Irish history. Scores of Republicans mobilised in Dundalk in preparation for the 1916 Rising.
After the Partition of Ireland, the new Free State Army took hundreds of Volunteers prisoner until they were freed by the IRA, who also took control of the town before moving south to Dublin. During the thirties and forties, the Port of Dundalk was used extensively by Volunteers travelling to England to take part in the bombing Campaign. In the fifties, people in County Louth experienced the tragedy of Edentubber where four Volunteers and a householder lost their lives. Dundalk, Ardee and Omeath hosted hundreds of Belfast families who were forced to flee their homes after the Unionist Pogroms of August, 1969. As they did throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, whenever Volunteers had no choice but leave the Six Counties. One such Republican was my late Father, who enjoyed great support and solidarity in this county after his escape from Crumlin Road Gaol in 1971. He was captured by the Free State Army after a lengthy gun-battle in early 1972, with British Troops at Drumgooley. The only casualty that day was a prize pig from South Armagh! He and his comrades were aquitted of involvement by a Dundalk Judge who fought on the Republican side during the Civil War. I can recall visiting Dundalk every weekend with my siblings and mother for over a year and have fond memories.
Although the past plays an important part in Republicism and informs us of our roots in the struggle, we also need a firm footing for our future role in the battles that lie ahead. Every Easter, Republicans march to graveyards throughout the country to commemorate our Volunteers. This was pivotal time in history, when Irish men and women asserted their right to sovereignty in arms, for national freedom and who gallantly faced the might of the British Empire in pursuit of an Irish Republic.
For the past two centuries, Republicans have been to the forefront of progressive change on this island. We have been the people who drove the goals forward of Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet, James Stephens, Constance Markievcz, James Connolly, Bobby Sands and Mairead Farrell. In spite of executions, imprisonment, harassment and intimidation, Republicans have carried the flame of Irish freedom from one generation to the next.
Why do we commemorate the Rising? We do so to honour the sacrifice of those Volunteers because it revived the necessity to restore Irish soverignty. The brutal executions that followed the Easter Rising proved to everyone that Britain ruled Ireland with an iron fist which needed crushed. Those rebels captured went onto redesign the Republican Movement and in particular the IRA. Thousands of POWs’ were held in various prisons in Ireland, England and Wales. They and their supporters outside became the conscience which drove the Movement onward.
British Royal Visit
The visit next month by the Commander-in-Chief of the British Crown Forces to Ireland while six Irish counties are still occupied is nothing but provocative. It must be opposed by all right thinking citizens and we should join with other Republicans, Socialists and Democrats in organised protests to show our disgust.
Irish Republicans should travel to Dublin on the 17th May, where we can illustrate our opposition to the Dublin Government spending over 9 million Euros of tax payers hard-earned money on a Sectarian Head of State! While ordinary people are worried about where the money for their next mortgage payment or rent is coming from!
Although RNU is relatively young, we are rooted in history with equality as it’s very core. We are an entity in our own right. Our Network doesn’t claim to have all the answers, nor a blueprint for the future. However, we are determined to design our own contribution to Irish freedom, unity and socialism as defined by the 1916 Proclamation & 1919 Declaration of Independence. During the past year, RNU has made significant progress despite intense harassment from Free State and British Forces. Surprisingly, a few Republican organisations who should know better, have also attempted to discredit our Network through a series of slander and lies. We have proven them wrong at every turn, robustly defended our integrity and continued our project uninterrupted. Since then, we have formed Cumainn in Counties Fermanagh, Tyrone and Donegal. We now have a presence in America and a large branch in Scotland. All our Cumainn from Derry, Belfast, Newry, Longford, Dublin and of course Dundalk have grown in confidence and comradeship.
RNU advocate political resistance to the British occupation and imperialism in Ireland. We renounce the Stormont and Leinster House Assemblies because they attempt to give Partition the veneer of democracy. We also reject the Unionist Veto over Irish reunification. The Belfast, St. Andrews and Hillsborough Agreements have not advanced social & economic justice nor freedom in Ireland. We reiterate our commitment to the 32 County Socialist Democratic Republic outlined on Easter Monday 1916. Our Network propose a return to core Republican values and principles. The Irish people have the right to national self-determination and RNU defend that right.
Response to Sinn Fein
Sinn Fein Leaders recently said that they couldn’t find the Republican Network for Unity and accused RNU and others of hiding away. Well according to Gerry Adams’ election papers, he now lives in Dundalk and here we are in the same town holding our Easter Commemoration.
How many times did Adams and McGuinness stand beside IRA Volunteers graves and invoke the rights of Irish people to resist British rule? Praised the sacrifice and patriotism of those Republicans who made that resistance possible. Those young Republicans who stood and listened to their lead, believed and were inspired to heed their words. As the case of Gerry McGeough proves those same Republican Activists can now be arrested and sent to British Prisons for actions that took place decades ago. Now, Adams and McGuinness praise those who make the arrests and send them to gaol in the name of the English Crown and encourage others to inform on them.
POWs’ & Cogús
At present there are over 80 POWs’ behind bars, who need support as do their families. Some like Louth POW, Micheal Campbell are held in atrocious conditions in a foreign gaol, we call for his repatriation back to Ireland and demand his brother Liam not to be extradited to Lithuania. RNU also demand that Lurgan POW, Martin Corey be released immediately. Martin had already served 19 years in Long Kesh and had his licence revoked at the behest of MI5. Just because Martin had attended Volunteer. John Brady’s funeral. The recent sentencing of Tyrone Republican, Gerry McGeough to 20 years was nothing short of the British State and the Stormont Elite exacting revenge for him publicaly daring to question the so-called ‘Peace Process’. There is also the case of Belfastman, Brendan Lillis a former IRA Lifer who was arrested two years ago in connection with a robbery and the British Secretary of State immediately revoked his licence. Since then, the Courts have said he’s not fit to stand trial due to his medical condition. Despite these facts, he is still incarcerated in the British gaol. Stormont and Westminster Politicians can change the name from Internment to revoking a licence, 28 day detentions but it is still Internment!
In Portlaoise, Political Prisoners are treated with a degree of respect, where they have a limited amount of freedom to organise themselves with the common goal of dignity. We send the POWs’ in Portlaoise our solidarity and support to their hard-pressed families.
In Maghaberry, POWs’ are still treated as common criminals despite the Special Police, Special Laws and Special Courts used to imprison them. They refuse to be strip-searched or humiliated in anyway. Until the POWs’ are treated with dignity they will continue to challenge British and Stormont attempts to criminalise them. RNU share the prisoners and their families concerns and are in daily contact with them, other Political Groups, Parties and Independent Facilitators to ensure that last August’s Agreement is implemented in full!
Today, Republican Prisoners will not be allowed to wear their Easter Lillies with pride outside of their cells. The Prison Regime has ordered a crackdown on POWs’ wearing a National Irish emblem which recognises the huge sacrifice our comrades made in defence of the Republic. Any visitors wearing a Lilly will also be refused a visit to the Gaol today. A typical example of the disrespect they treat honourable POWs’ and Republican families.
Recently, our POW Department adopted the Irish title; ‘Cogus’ which means ‘conscience’. It is the intention of Cogus to highlight the injustice suffered by Irish Political Prisoners, wherever they are incarcerated.This year is the 30th Anniversary of the H-Block-Martyrs and as such we should do our upmost to honour the selfless sacrifice of the ten Hunger-Strikers and ensure that all POWs’ achieve Political Status that these brave men sacrificed their lives for. The Republican Network for Unity ask everyone to redouble their efforts in supporting these men and their families.
At the time of the Easter Rising, imperialism controlled most of the world including Ireland. Now in 2011, our economy is directed by the Brussels and Westminster Parliaments. The assumption that you can squeeze health and education do almost nothing to create employment, lock the economy into a downward spiral and there will be be no social or political consequences is a fallacy. Instead of benefiting economically from the Celtic Tiger, working-class communities still endure high unemployment, growing deprivation and forced emigration. While corrupt bankers, failed Politicians and greedy developers continue to live in luxury. The assumption that RNU’s role is to unite the social and national struggle again, to expose the superficial political changes which have taken place. Our job is shed light on what is wrong in Irish society. Republicans cannot accept making the young, workers fighting for decent wages, those without adequate housing, students who cannot afford third-level education and the senior citizens who deserve proper pensions foot the bill! Our Network won’t keep quiet about the British occupation, oppressive laws to subjugate us, non-jury Courts, internment by remand, Plastic Bullets, Political Policing and the existence of MI5 on Irish soil. The only proper monument deserving of our fallen patriots is the realisation of the dream for which they died; a Republic, free, unfettered and independent from the centre to the sea.
As Padraig Pearse once said; “If you strike us down now, we shall rise again and renew the fight. You cannot conquer Ireland, you cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom. If our deed has not been sufficiant to win freedom, then our children will win it with a better deed!”
We the Republican POWs incarcerated in Maghaberry concentration camp, Co Antrim, would like to take this opportunity on this the 95th anniversary of the Easter rising to send greeting to our comrades in Portlaoise gaol and in Republican Sinn Féin / Sinn Féin Poblachtach. We would also like to pay tribute to the leadership and Volunteers of the ContinuityIRA for your continued fight against the British forces of occupation.
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the hunger strikes and 30 years on we still find ourselves once again in a struggle for the restoration of political status – a status that our gallant comrades in the H-blocks and Armagh gaol fought and died for. At present tensions are running high in the gaol. Like our comrades in 1981 we find that a deal brokered between ourselves and the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and in the prison, the agreement is not being implemented. On August 12 an agreement was reached after a protracted protest. A fundamental part of this agreement was to see a total end to the degrading practice of strip searching. Despite this strip searching is still being practiced in the gaol and this is April 2011. So far we have refused to comply with these searches and as a result we are being forcibly striped by the jails riot squad. We the POWs will not stand by and let the NIO and the Brits renege on the agreement – it needs to be implemented in full or we will be forced to take more action.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the ÉIRE NUA programme along with SAOL NUA to provide a way forward for all the Irish people. We must liberate the Irish people and establish a democratic system based on justice and equality, to build ÉIRE NUA – a New Ireland for the people of Ireland. The ideal proclaimed by the leaders of the 1916 Rising still inspires those who today (in 2011) continue the armed struggle for a 32-County All-Ireland Republic that was proclaimed on Easter week by the 1916 leaders. We Irish Republicans today need to continue the struggle for freedom and not allow the deaths of all those who gave their lives for Irish freedom to be in vain.
We must fight on defiantly and pledge our allegiance to the all Ireland Republic; we must carry on the armed struggle until the British leave our country, there can be no compromise whatsoever.
After all we didn’t invite the British they came by force of arms many hundreds of years ago and they are still here. This is not acceptable they are still occupying our country as said by Patrick Pearse “while Ireland holds these graves Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”. The British remain here with a presence of force, we the people of Ireland will always resist their presence in Ireland until we gain a united Ireland and the occupation of British rule in Ireland has been removed. We will not tolerate their presence on our land and so we will continue our resistance campaign of arms until the British leave
There will be no compromise where the British are concerned we will not stop until there is a total withdraw of British rule from Ireland. “In matters of principle there can be no compromise” as said by Terence Mc Swiney.
Victory to the CIRA!
O/C CIRA Maghaberry
On the 95th anniversary of the momentous Easter Rising of 1916 the Leadership of the Republican Movement once again sends greetings to all who are gathered in commemoration at the graves of the patriot dead or at monuments in their honour.
From Easter Sunday 2010 the Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry jail, Co Antrim embarked on a five-month long protest in support of their just demand for political status. That status was taken away when the Provisionals signed the 1998 Stormont Agreement.
On August 12 last this protest ended with an agreement in which facilitators, including the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and others were involved. More than six months later key elements of that agreement were not implemented. Specifically, the “BOSS chair” x-ray machine was installed to replace the strip-searching of prisoners, but despite the availability of that machine the original degrading practice was continued.
As a result Republican prisoners refused to cooperate with further strip searches. This, in turn, led to two prisoners being denied parole. The facilitators of the agreement returned to the prison in March and met the prisoners and the prison governor. The governor refused to abide by the terms of the August Agreement. The responsibility for reneging on the compact entered into in good faith lies with the Stormont Minister for Justice who sits at the cabinet table beside the Provisionals.
The Provos repeat Bobby Sands’s name while as the new jailers they deny Bobby Sands’s objective of political status to present-day Republican prisoners. They flaunt the Easter Lily in Leinster House while they punish the prisoners for wearing an Easter Lily in Maghaberry Prison.
Meanwhile the Continuity IRA has been carrying the war to the enemy and Republican Sinn Féin has campaigned tirelessly in support of the prisoners. To the Republicans prisoners in Maghaberry and Portlaoise the leadership sends greetings and congratulates and salutes their courage and sacrifice.
In the 26 Counties the hard-won rights of working people are under attack and must be defended. World-wide corrupt practices and bad management at home has resulted in almost half-a-million being unemployed and 1,000 per week emigrating in search of work. Whatever economic independence existed has now been ceded to the EU and the IMF. Real revolutionary change is necessary based on the principles of the 1916 Proclamation. ÉIRE NUA and SAOL NUA provide the basis for such a New Ireland.
Now to put the seal on the surrender process and the 1998 Agreement, which is not a settlement, the Queen of England is being brought to the 26 Counties – the first such occasion in 100 years. This is a political action designed to normalise and make acceptable British rule in Ireland.
Republicans must protest and tell the world that the English government will never be normal or acceptable here. The struggle is not over. It never will be over until the English government leaves Ireland – for all time. Spending €8 million on security for the Queen of England is sheer waste of the people’s money.
Up to this when the Dublin Administration and the British government joined together with Stormont in repression and coercion, their objective was, of course, to destroy the Republican Movement. In this they always failed.
In our time, they seek to go further. They are attempting to demolish the basic idea of Irish Republicanism, Irish national independence and control of our own natural resources. They have given away our Six north-eastern Counties to England and have handed over our natural resources for nothing to multi-national companies. The creeping tide of Anglicisation sweeps over our people gradually every day. In all of this they have the support of former comrades masquerading as Republicans.
We must resist this surrender process. We must be true to the ideals of the men and women of 1916 and of those who stood in the Bearna Baoil, the Gap of Danger, before 1916 and since 1916. Let us arise!
An Phoblacht Abú!
A chairde agus a chomrádaithe, go raibh maith agaibh as an cuireadh le bheith anseo libhse inniú chun omós and onóra a thabhairt do na daoine cróga uilig a fuair bás ar son saoirse na h-Éireann.
From a personal viewpoint, I’d like to say that I’m particularly honoured to stand at this memorial plot – the first name on which is that of William James Harbinson. As a child and later as a teenager, my parents would often take me and other family members to an old graveyard known as Laloo – some call it Port Mor – at the edge of Lough Neagh. We had no relatives buried there. The only reason my parents ever took us there was to visit the ‘’Fenian’’ grave – the grave of William Harbinson – a grave where the headstone was then, and still remains, smashed in two and upon which there is no mention of his name. Harbinson was the most senior Fenian in the province of Ulster when he was arrested and imprisoned in Crumlin Road gaol. It was in that gaol he died in 1867.
Belfast with its long and vibrant republican tradition, like so many other cities, towns and counties, across Ireland, has good reason to be proud of its contribution in every phase of the struggle for national liberation.
As we gather here at Easter to remember the men and women of 1916, we also pay tribute to all those who gave their lives for Irish freedom. The struggle taken up by James Connolly, Micheal Mallin, Constance Markievicz and their comrades in 1916 was the same one which the Fenian Harbinson and his comrades had participated in decades earlier.
That struggle was later carried on by Republicans of the highest calibre such as Liam Mellowes, Tomás Ashe and Joe McKelvey; by Republicans like Tom Williams, Seamus Burns, Sean McCaughey and Terence Perry in the 40s, through to more recent years when that same freedom struggle was continued by Jimmy Steele, Patricia Black, Bobby Sands, Joe McDonnell and many other courageous men and women whom we also remember today.
Each and every one of those who gave their lives in pursuit of Irish freedom had to face the personal difficulties and hardships which involvement in that struggle brought to them and their families. Each was an ordinary person faced with extraordinary choices in extraordinary times. They were ordinary people like each of us here today who saw the injustice caused to their people by capitalist exploitation and by the foreign occupation of their country and who decided to take action.
They could have ignored the injustice they saw around them and, instead, have chosen to have lived quiet lives. But their desire for freedom and justice in Ireland was such that they committed themselves fully to the Republican cause. This year also marks the thirtieth anniversary of the 1981 hunger-strike which resulted in the deaths of ten republican prisoners in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh.
The sacrifice made by those ten volunteers and their families politicised an entire generation, and demonstrated the sheer dedication, selflessness and bravery of Irish republicans.
It is right that we remember them and all those who died in the freedom struggle through commemorations such as this and that we also rededicate ourselves into that same struggle for an Irish Republic.
Easter is a time for each of us to remember those close friends and comrades who have given their lives in pursuit of our republican ideals and goals. It is a time to remember the sacrifices endured by their families. It is also a time for reflecting on the ideals which motivated them.
At Easter each year Republicans recall the words of the 1916 Proclamation – an historic document – one of the most progressive documents of its time.
The Easter Rising remains one of the defining events in the modern history of Ireland. The Proclamation of Easter 1916 remains one of the defining political documents of Irish Republicanism.
It spells out the demands for national self-determination, for social and economic justice and democracy, of cherishing all the children of the nation equally, of claiming the wealth of Ireland for the people of Ireland.
Those who came out in 1916 and in subsequent decades were men and women of principle; men and women with a vision for a new, equal and free Ireland.
The events of 1916 are quite well known – what most people are unaware of is that the legacy of 1916 led to an intense class struggle which was waged in the years between 1918 and 1923. There were 5 general strikes in southern and western Ireland between August 1918 and August 1923. Workplace occupations and land seizures began taking place and in Limerick city and other areas, workers’ soviets were declared.
Women got involved in politics on an unprecedented scale, being involved in the war and in the underground republican political apparatus.
The war for independence unleashed struggles by workers and small farmers for control of factories and the breaking up of large ranches. The revolt for Irish independence became a revolt of the exploited classes against their domestic oppressors as well.
That is a legacy of 1916 which is seldom mentioned – it is a legacy which all socialists and Republicans would do well to remember, commemorate and to emulate in coming years.
The two states on this island which were created through partition were, and still remain, hostile to the interests of Irish workers and have acted against the struggles of Irish workers time and time again.
It goes without saying what the position of Connolly and the Irish Citizen Army would have been on present day trade union leaders who fail their members day and daily in this country at a time when capitalism is in crisis and when the working class, the unemployed, the ill, the elderly and the young are under attack across the whole island.
It also goes without saying what the position of Connolly and the ICA would have been to those political parties who claim to espouse working class and republican teachings but who endorse partition and who spend their time knocking on the doors of the right-wing establishment parties seeking coalition government.
Connolly made his own position plain and unambiguous in 1910 when he concluded his pamphlet, Labour, Nationality and Religion, in the simplest and most straightforward terms: “The day has passed for patching up the capitalist system, it must go”.
In view of the events in Ireland and elsewhere of the past few years; the economic crisis caused by the greed of bankers, private landlords and property developers, culminating in the intervention by the EU and IMF in the 26 Counties; and the 4 billion pounds of cuts due to be implemented by the Stormont Coalition; it is clear that message of Connolly’s remains as true today as it was over a century ago – “The day has passed for patching up the capitalist system, it must go”.
Ireland remains divided by imperialism. The livelihoods of the vast majority of Irish people are controlled by undemocratic capitalist forces which stretch from this island to London, to Washington and Brussels. They are no different to those same undemocratic controlling forces which the Citizens Army together with the Irish Volunteers and other progressive forces mobilised against in 1916.
Those undemocratic forces, are supported, both North and South, by a pliant, subservient and self-serving political class. The extent of that subservience can be seen clearly in the manner of their meekness to the dictates of the EU/IMF. It can be seen in absence of their formal opposition to the visit by the honorary head of the British armed forces while Britain maintains its grip on the Six Counties.
That subservience can be seen in their daily collaboration with Britain. It can seen in their lack of active opposition to repressive and draconian British laws, or to Britain’s spying operations conducted by MI5, or to Britain’s deployment of its troops “in mufti” throughout the Six Counties.
Those who support and endorse the structures of partition have placed themselves firmly in the camp of the counter-revolution.
Those counter-revolutionary forces have, to quote James Connolly, “unceasingly strove to divert the public mind upon the lines of constitutional agitation for such reforms as might remove irritating and unnecessary officialism, while leaving untouched the basis of national and economic subjection.”
Make no mistake about this, comrades, over the next five years as the centenary year of the Easter Rising draws near, the forces of counter-revolution will embark upon an unprecedented revisionist propaganda campaign aimed at trying to persuade the public mind that the objectives of 1916 have been secured through the partition of our country.
We must be prepared to confront and to challenge that propaganda campaign. We must again assert, like Connolly, that “the Irish question is a social question, the whole age-long fight of the Irish people against their oppressors resolves itself, in the last analysis into a fight for the mastery of the means of life, the sources of production, in Ireland.”
We should also remember that the Irish freedom struggle has always had an international dimension. From the United Irishmen and their connections with the revolutionary Republican government in France, to the IRB and their links with the First International; from Connolly and his active internationalism, to those Republicans and socialists who joined the International Brigades and who fought and died fighting fascism in Spain. Today, as we remember our own fallen comrades, let us also remember the fallen comrades of other liberation struggles in Palestine, Latin America, and Africa.
While we are gathered here to pay tribute to fallen comrades, let me make it clear that, unlike some others, I do not pretend, or presume to know, what the thoughts or attitudes of those fallen comrades would be on the present situation, or indeed, on any of the developments which have impacted upon our struggle over the last number of years.
I can only state one fact with certainty. The objectives to which they pledged their allegiance; the objectives for which they gave their lives are the same objectives which were clearly and unmistakably enunciated through the IRB Proclamation of 1867, the 1916 Proclamation and the Democratic Programme of 1919. Comrades, those objectives have not been achieved. Settling for anything less than the complete achievement of those Republican objectives was never an option for all those whom we remember and honour today.
The business of Easter 1916 remains unfinished. Even the most cursory reading of the 1916 Proclamation reveals that the goals and objectives of those who fought, were imprisoned and who were executed are far from complete.
While today we celebrate and commemorate the 95th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, more importantly we commit ourselves to continue the struggle for a democratic, independent, and sovereign united Ireland. An Ireland whose total resources will come under the control of the ordinary working people of this island regardless of gender, religion or race – a truly free Ireland. That is our objective. To settle for anything else dishonours the vision of those we commemorate today.
Many previous generations of Republicans experienced dark and dispiriting times. They responded by re-engaging in various facets of the struggle, by re-organising and by building new networks and new alliances with other progressive and radical forces in order to try and bring about revolutionary change.
That is the task before us today, tomorrow and every day after that. The task for each of us is to help build a new Republican and revolutionary potential to drive that vision of a new Irish Republic forward and to re-awaken the inherent desire for true political, social and economic freedom and justice that exists among all people, young and old alike, in our villages, towns and cities, in our workplaces, in every one of our communities.
Comrades, as you leave here today, remember this – in the course of his oration at the grave of O’Donovan Rossa on August 1st 1915, Padraic Pearse said these words: “The Defenders of this Realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything.”
Pearse, Connolly and their comrades later proved that the Defenders of the Realm were completely wrong in their thinking and their assessment of Republicanism. Today, a similar thinking and assessment of Republicanism pervades the mindset of the British government and of the establishment parties in both the Six and Twenty Six Counties who have accepted a two state partitionist settlement and who seek to demonise and criminalise those of us who oppose partition and the corrupt, unjust political, economic and social systems it has spawned.
As we leave here today, comrades, let us go armed with the firm intention of proving such thinking by Britain and her collaborators in Ireland to be completely wrong again.
Let us remember our patriot dead, our fallen comrades and our friends with pride, not for the sake of remembrance only, but so that their example will encourage us all to continue to struggle onwards to achieve their vision of a free, and truly independent, 32 county Irish Socialist Republic.
Beirigí bua, comrades. Ar aghaidh linn le chéile.
32CSM Easter Statement
95 years ago the struggle to end British interference in Ireland generated a clear analysis which thwarted the momentum of the Home Rule Movement.
The signatories of the Proclamation saw then if Republicanism did not make a stand, British Rule would continue unopposed and administered by their lackeys in Ireland.
Fast forward and today we witness the same betrayal by those who used the Republican struggle to further their political egos and to turn back the clock 95 years and are now administering British Rule in Ireland.
This West Brit mentality that is being espoused today as Republicanism is the same mentality that allowed the people to castigate Pearse, Connolly and their colleagues.
The 1916 Proclamation outlined how the Home Rulers were wrong in their analysis and this was ratified by the people in 1918 and in the Declaration of Independence.
Those who violate Irish National Sovereignty today, act contrary to both these historic documents. Imagine asking the American people to violate their Declaration of Independence yet that is what the Irish people are being asked to do today.
To implement the revised occupation and partition of our country the Stormont regime, in tandem with British intelligence, have introduced counter insurgency measures to stop any opposition to their betrayal and a central part of that is British Policing in the occupied area.
What we witness today is British Auxiliary police targeting those opposed to British rule in Ireland with stop on sight searches and draconian legislation as a means to harass and intimate. This is followed with house raids and arrests to further emphasise their dominance in protecting and upholding the illegal sovereign claim of their masters. Their mask has slipped and they are proving to be no different than the reviled RUC. This is political policing.
It is irrelevant what religion the person is who wears the uniform of this force, when they are kicking in a door and arresting a father, brother, son, mother, sister or daughter it is the uniform of British policing in Ireland that is behind it.
Neither the 32 CSM nor indeed any Republican takes any delight when Irish insurgents attack the PSNI resulting in casualties and we took no delight in the killing of a policeman in Tyrone.
The tragedy and trauma experienced by his family is the same tragedy and trauma experienced by all who were bereaved as a result of the intransigence of a foreign government.
Those who accepted for political opportunism a deal with the British Government which violated our Sovereignty and who encourage and advocate joining the PSNI must accept their responsibility in his death. Just as John Redmond did before them, when he urged fifty thousand Irishmen to their deaths in World War 1, these ‘constitutional’ politicians have blood on their hands.
It is their flawed analysis that has allowed conflict to continue. It is their failure to uphold the principles of the Proclamation and the Declaration of Independence and their failure to end the cause of conflict that has resulted in that conflict continuing.
Anyone aspiring to be a police man or woman should educate themselves as to what their expected role in a PSNI uniform is going to be. They should be fully aware that just like the RIC and RUC, the PSNI are designed to politically police British Rule in Ireland.
The criminalisation of the Republican position has historically and presently failed and this is recognised by those in Stormont who from time to time make statements critical of the justice system, critical of policing tactics and effectively critical of their own position in violating Irish National Sovereignty.
In the 26 Counties the same tactics are being used against Republicans and in particular there is a concerted effort to play out a propaganda war. Recently we have a concerted move to link members of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement to criminality and to drug and gangland feuding in Dublin, with a compliant media prepared to accept downright lies from the Special Branch naming individuals.
These efforts are proof positive of our continuing growth. They are proof positive that our analysis and political activism is being well received.
The attempts to criminalise the 32 CSM will fail.
It is clear that our analysis on the national question cuts through their continuing deceptions and their only weapon against us is lies upon lies. The 32 County Sovereignty Movement will not be deflected from our own strategy in challenging the legitimacy of British rule in Ireland.
The 32 CSM have put forward a peaceful solution to the conflict in our challenge at the UN and in our documents in 2005 to the political parties and the British and Dublin Governments. We outlined our position and asked them for their analysis and response. To date they have failed to give it.
We particularly address this issue to London’s micro deputy minister in Stormont. Time and time again he has falsely asserted that our Movement has failed to engage with his party. He has repeated these lies at every opportunity to deflect from the real issue at hand; his disastrous leadership and negotiations strategy.
So once again we set it out for all to see. You have our analysis; you have our correspondence with you which sets out very clearly our position on meetings with you. You have continually evaded us because you know our analysis lays bare your political impotence in addressing the core issue of Irish national sovereignty. This is why you are running scared of meaningful interaction, preferring instead the media sound byte and the emotive and despicable exploitation of the dead.
The men and women of 1916 gave their unequivocal response to the Home Rule and West Brit mentality and they were prepared to give their lives for that cause. When the signatories of the Proclamation were executed by the British Government a flame was lit that remains bright today. 1916 was about choices, it is about choices. You have to choose between the Proclamation and Partition; you cannot choose both. And it remains one of the greatest historical ironies that the ones who most ably understand this are the British themselves. And standing on this principle they routed Irish negotiators time after time by first insisting that those same negotiators chose the option which explicitly recognised the legitimacy of the British presence in Ireland. Lloyd George did it with Collins and DeValera and Tony Blair repeated it with Adams and McGuinness.
We stand on the legitimacy of Irish National Sovereignty and say clearly to the British Monarch your violation of that Sovereignty renders you an aggressor in our country. We have no welcome for you whatsoever.
In commemorating and remembering the heroes of 1916 and all volunteers who paid the supreme sacrifice we too remember our responsibilities to uphold the principles for which they died.
Our challenge to the British Government is to submit to the UN under International Law the evidence of their legitimacy in Ireland and our challenge to those at Stormont is to tell us at what point in time did British Rule in Ireland become legitimate?
As we leave here today let us commit ourselves to the tasks ahead. It is not going to be easy giving the onslaught against us however I believe we are up to the task and we call on all Republicans to stand united in the face of adversity.
IRSP Easter Statement
Comrades, Today we gather to remember and salute the memory of our comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of an Irish republic. An Irish Republic based on the finest principles of socialism – freedom, equality and fraternity.
We remember with pride those volunteers of the Irish National Liberation Army and Irish Republican Socialist Party who lie buried in this plot and further afield.
The struggle for socialism across the globe, as in Ireland has seen many changes in the past ninety-five years, it has witnessed peaks and troughs as the military nature of imperialism and capitalism marauds its way throughout the world on a bloody binge of exploitation in pursuit of greed and profit. Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq are merely the latest a long list of countries and people oppressed and used in this relentless war of attrition by global capitalism. And make no mistake about it, if there was nothing to be gained from attacking Libya, the Americans, the Brits and the rest of them would not be there.
Closer to home the republican socialist movement continues to strive to raise class-consciousness among all sections of our community. Teach na Failte, our exprisoners group, have recently been working with others to commemorate the Irish republican dead from the International brigade in the Spanish Civil war. Two plaques to commemorate Jim Stranney and William Tomlinson have been unveiled in west Belfast and east Belfast to the memory of the men. Two Belfast men from different traditions, who both left Belfast for Spain to fight the Facists, neither was to return home. In Belfast in 2011 we remember them here today. In doing so we are mindful of the hundreds of Belfast workers who lost their lives at the hands of fascists in the Belfast Blitz, hundreds of bombs were dropped onto the streets of the city from the New Lodge to Ardoyne, from Ballymacarret to the Newtonards Road, and they fell indiscriminately. It was remarked recently by a local historian that if more Irishmen and women had of followed brave Stranney and Tomlinson to Spain to confront Fascism then maybe the Belfast Blitz might never have occurred, no-one knows but it is worth considering as we analyse our own personal commitment to changing the political situation in Ireland.
It is necessary that as we remember our brave comrades that we learn from history and attempt to build our revolution on a solid political foundation that will provide the strong basis for a political revolution in Ireland. We have been doing that. For the past two years the Irish Republican Socialist Party has undergone great change and development. This is part of the continuing struggle for socialism in Ireland for without the primacy of politics for which many of our comrades died the struggle would have little to no chance of ever achieving success. The primacy of politics as envisaged by our fallen comrade Ta Power is what drives the entire Republican Socialist Movement.
The IRSP have studied the past and learned from it. We’ve seen our weaknesses and our faults but these are far outnumbered by our strengths and successes. We’ve re-organised and are building. We are building a formidable political organization that is led entirely by the ideals of the men and women who we today gather to remember.
This year the leadership of the Irish Republican Socialist Party took the historic decision to contest a number of Council elections in Belfast, Derry and Strabane. It is our view that this is a natural progression for the Party and in line with the thoughts and ideas of our founders in particular Seamus Costello and those around him who first formed the IRSP. Speaking at a rally in Derry last week a number of close friends described Costello’s approach to electoralism and explained how Seamus used his elected position to tackle poverty head on, to tackle corruption head on and to take the struggles of the working class right into the elected chamber.
Our intervention into electoral politics is not a sign of our acceptance in any way, shape or form of the continuing British occupation of the six counties, it is however a clear message from the republican socialist movement that we are no longer prepared to let the republican socialist political message be marginalised or ignored.
The working class across Ireland are under increasing attack from swingeing cuts in wages, jobs and services from the capitalist government as they kowtow to the banks and the International Monetary Fund. As the greedy capitalists and speculators attempt to recoup their foolish losses off the backs, it is paid for with the sweat and blood of the workingman and woman. We say that must change and we are prepared to take the struggle into any arena where we can make a difference for our class.
As we approach the hundredth anniversary of the 1916 rising it is important that we recognise the vision and commitment of it’s leaders, it is important that we remember all those brave Irish Republicans who have lost their lives in struggle for an Irish Socialist republic in the intervening years. It is our solemn pledge to their memory and vision to pursue our aims with the same commitment and determination. As Irish Republican Socialists we remain fully committed to the republic of Connolly, Mellows, Costello and Gallagher, We will continue to plot the downfall of British rule in Ireland.
The Republican POWs, Portlaoise jail send Easter Greetings to all our supporters throughout Ireland and beyond.
We wish to take this opportunity to thank CABHAIR and all those who support CABHAIR in raising funds to help our families and highlight our situation.
As we come near to the centenary of the Easter Rising, Republicans gather to commemorate those brave men and women who gave their lives for the freedom of our country.
We don’t want a British Royal visit in any part of our country. Considering that part of Ireland is under British rule, we should never accept a visit from any British monarch and as long as they occupy our country we shall always resist them.
An Phoblacht abú!
OC, Republican POWs, Portlaoise jail
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