Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Dennis Spriggs Commemoration

Dennis Spriggs Commemoration
July 2009

A chairde on behalf of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement I would like to thank you all for attending this years commemoration of Volunteer Dennis Spriggs. Like all republican commemorations we look back to such events for inspiration and guidance as we continue the same struggle today. We take great heart from the fact that Irish men and women were and are ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of our country. But we also attend these commemorations to take honest stock of our own efforts and we stand here accountable to all those who went before us. The greatest honour we can do for our patriot dead is to realise the objective for which they died and to achieve this we need to look ever forward.

Dennis Spriggs was executed by British Forces during the War of Independence. British soldiers were executed by the IRA during the same conflict, the cause of which remains with us to this day. But more importantly what we have also inherited from that period of the conflict is the flawed approach of how we resolve it. Treaties which usurp our national sovereignty are unworkable because they deny the Irish people their fundamental right to determine our own destinies. The so called Stepping Stone Treaty of 1922 took three quarters of a century to move to the next step with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement but that was a step backwards for Irish Freedom. Partition has been copper fastened.

It is to positive steps forward that republicans must now concentrate on. The Republican Unity Initiative represents such a move. Recognising the limitations of our abilities and seeking the cooperation of other republican groupings has laid the foundations for the growth of Irish Republicanism. In realistic and pragmatic terms we have addressed the constitutional status quo which has allowed us to set attainable goals and work together towards achieving them. Crucially we have made this process an open and democratic one because we have learned the hard way of the effects of elitist leaderships acting in secrecy. We have begun a continuing series of public meetings to give our views and listen to the views of the people.

In the current economic crisis, the product of capitalism, we are mindful of the words of James Connolly, "If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the Green Flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the socialist republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through the whole army of commercial-industrial institutions she has planted in the country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs. England would rule you to your ruin."

Those that would tell us that the conditions of Connolly’s time are not relevant today need to explain why someone who cannot pay a Television License is imprisoned whilst a multitude of Bankers who squandered billions are handsomely rewarded at tax payers expense. Connolly’s assertions on the establishment of the socialist republic remain supremely relevant. But Connolly also realized that to set about establishing the republic sovereign independence had to be achieved. The proofs of this are self evident. We see it in the internment of republicans. We see it in the slavish attitude the Dublin Government displays towards Brussels. We see it in the bail out of the banks and the wealthy developers. We see it in their weasel deference to the Religious Orders who abused our children whose only crime was to be poor. We see it in their refusing to abide by the decision of their own electorate when they comprehensively rejected the Lisbon Treaty. All these wrongs must be righted. And the only realistic way of securing this is to end partition thereby beginning the ending of their political dominance.

Comrades the way forward is to work together. They worked together in 1916 so the template is already made for us. We have a unique vision for a post partition Ireland. Dennis Spriggs saw this also. No man should die for history but we pledge our lives to our future, free and just.

Beir Bua.

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