Sunday, 4 April 2010
Cork Easter Commemoration 2010
Easter Commemoration 2010
A chairde, fellow republicans, on behalf of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement I welcome you all here today.
The people are the nation. As republicans concerned with the welfare of our nation we are by default concerned with the welfare of our people. We continue to strive for their national rights so that the full potential of our people’s well being can be realised. These rights continue to be denied. Around this denial a malignant politics has evolved which feeds off the divisions which partition has created. It needs partition to preserve its powerbase which explains why they are implacable opponents of Irish unity. The reunification of our country is the panacea to the ills they help to fester.
Pearse and Connolly knew this well. That is why they were implacable opponents of Home Rule. They knew well that Home Rule was the framework within which the pro British elements in Irish society would thrive. Home Rule could not bring the changes required for the true liberation of the people. It represented another layer of British rule, soaked in the blood of the fodder on the Somme. Those who routinely condemn the physical force tradition should bear in mind this salient fact; constitutional nationalism urged fifty thousand Irishmen to their deaths on the promise of Home Rule, a promise which was broken under the threat of unionist violence. That is the nature of British Rule in Ireland and that is the nature of those who administer it on her behalf.
1916 was all about choices. It remains so today. In 1916 The Proclamation declared a Republic and asked the Irish people to choose between sovereignty or occupation. Those who took up arms vowed to defend their right to choose against British arms determined to deny that choice. When we made our choice our leaders were executed, our government declared illegal and our country was partitioned. The choice that faces us now is this; have we as a sovereign people the inalienable right to self determination or, is the British will to prevail, that we do not have such a right and that partition is legitimate? You cannot have it both ways, you cannot stand on the principles of the Proclamation and administer British rule at the same time. You must choose one or the other. We have made our choice and are deeply committed to defending it.
The Good Friday Agreement does not address the issue of Irish national sovereignty. Those who signed that agreement had already accepted that such sovereignty does not exist. What they accepted was the absolute right of the British Parliament to pass Parliamentary Acts to determine
the governance over part of Ireland. This is what Wolfe Tone rejected, as did Emmet and Lalor, Davis and Mitchell, all the Fenians, the Gaelic Movement, Thomas Clarke and the other Signatories, the people in 1918, the first and second Daileanna, Tom Barry and Liam Lynch, Russell and McCaughey, South and O’Hanlon, Drumm and Sands, Hughes and McLoughlin and countless others. What those in Stormont call us they call these also.
Stormont is not a new beginning. Stormont is a product of the conflict not being resolved. Legitimising partition to end partition has failed. The hysterical abuse being directed at us from those sitting in Stormont confirms this fact. If they call us traitors they call the Seven Signatories traitors also. It’s a language we’ve heard before when deValera brought over the Englishman. Renaming Stormont as the Assembly or the RUC as the PSNI is the same dialect only spoken by different people.
Our great patriots throughout our history have striven to reach a balance between our people’s national rights and their community and individual rights. Lalor and Connolly contended that the struggle for one right is the struggle for all rights. They were both correct. Republicanism cannot exist in an ivory tower. We cannot be detached from the people we claim to represent. But neither can we be all things to all men. This is the balance we need to achieve. We need to be clear about our political actions and we need to be clear to our people why we engage in such actions.
1916 brought clarity to the political debate. If we arm ourselves with this clarity we can neither stray or be deflected from the political path to Irish freedom. The Proclamation is an inclusive document; it’s relevant to all sections of our people. To cherish all of the children of the nation equally begins now. This includes protecting them and the communities they live in. We do not have the resources of a state to address all of their problems but we will stand in the frontline and confront those who use poison and violence against our people. This scourge is the source of many social ills and our resolve will not be deflected by the condemnations of those who are better placed to deal with it, but choose not to.
Our movement is growing, our message is spreading. We know this because our opponents are forced to talk about us. In time they will have to talk to us and Irish sovereignty will be firmly on the table. They have tried to ignore us and have failed. They have tried to marginalise us and have failed. They are trying to criminalise us and they will fail in this also. We are bringing the Proclamation to our people, into our communities, and showing them that there is another way. They don’t need to be prisoners to drug barons and developers, bankers and parish pump politicians. What they fought for in 1916 we fight for today and with the empowerment of our communities we will achieve what is rightfully ours, a sovereign republic for all our people.