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Sinn Féin Ard Fheis 2014 - Presidential Address

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Aitheasc an Uachtarán – 2014

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2014 Presidential Address from Des Dalton to the 110th Ard Fheis of Sinn Féin.

 

 

A Chathaoirligh, a Theachtaí is a chairde go léir. Fearaim céad míle fáilte romhaibh ar fad ag an Ard-Fheis seo.

 

You are all most welcome to this our 110th Ard-Fheis. Since last we met in national conference we have endured a difficult year for Irish Republicanism. We have witnessed increasing repression directed against Republicans including the decision by the 26-County Administration to introduce further draconian laws designed to silence the Republican voice. This is coupled with a deliberate policy of isolating Republicans by elements within the media. On a wider level the process of Anglicisation continues relentlessly. History is being used as a weapon in this fight for our identity and very existence as a distinct and historic Irish nation.

 

The Centenary of the 1916 Rising which is almost upon us is an opportunity to commemorate and celebrate this momentous occasion in our history; an historical moment when our nationhood was asserted and a democratic, progressive vision of a free Ireland was set forth. But importantly the centenary is also an opportunity for us as people to remind ourselves that the sum of our nation is greater than the narrow and limited parts that are presented to us by the political classes of Leinster House, Stormont and Westminster.

 

We are greater than those who would merely “fumble in a greasy till” until they have: “… dried the marrow from the bone”. We say NO: “Romantic Ireland” is not dead and gone. We are inheritors of a proud historical legacy of resistance; it is our trust and duty to complete the task left to us by the heroic generation of a century ago and ensure that the promise to future generations of a new and better Ireland is fulfilled.

 

The year opened with the Haass talks, served up by the British and Stormont political establishments as a distraction from the real issues. No amount of political window-dressing can disguise the fact that the Six-County State is an abnormal and undemocratic political entity.

 

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In recent weeks we again witnessed the Stormont regime lurch into yet another crisis. The two sectarian power blocs within it – the DUP and the Provisionals – are divided on a range of issues such as contentious Orange marches, the so-called legacy issues such as state killings etc and the so-called equality agenda on language and culture, while an Irish Language Bill is as far away as ever.

 

The Stormont institution is deadlocked. Writing in the Belfast Telegraph on September 9 Peter Robinson described Stormont as being no longer “fit for purpose”. According to a Belfast Telegraph/Lucidtalk poll on October 2, 70% of the population of the Six Counties agree with him. On top of this a range of deep cuts in social welfare and other public spending cuts totalling £220 million that now look likely to be imposed by Westminster, as the Stormont parties have failed to agree to stay within spending limits imposed by the British government.

 

The picture emerging is of a dysfunctional state. The former Six-County Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan, speaking at the Kennedy Summer School in New Ross, Co Wexford on September 12 described the Six-County State as being “… still caught in the grip of sectarianism”. This should come as no surprise to any serious observer of the Six Counties. As Sinn Féin warned in 1998 the Stormont Agreement has only served to institutionalise sectarianism and this was further compounded by the St Andrew’s Agreement in 2006 when the carve-up of power between the Provisionals and the DUP was made even more blatant.

 

The Six-County State is an abnormal and fundamentally undemocratic entity and sectarianism has been the glue used by the British Government to keep it in place since 1921. The right to political protest is denied to those who refuse to conform to the parameters of the Stormont Agreement. For the Stormont regime and its British masters civil rights only apply to those who accept the writ of the British Crown in Ireland.

 

 

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The release of Martin Corey from Maghaberry jail in Co Antrim on January 14 was of course welcomed. Martin had been imprisoned since April 2010 in a Kafkaesque process based on secret evidence/closed material and unspecified allegations. The evidence the British State claimed to hold against Martin Corey was not even available to be viewed by a judge.

 

The conditions of his release served to compound the injustice and underlined the abnormality of the Six-County State. He was initially refused the right to return to his own home and instead placed in a form of internal exile while also banned from speaking to the media about the injustice that had been inflicted on him. His basic civil rights continue to be denied him as he is still banned from speaking to his comrades or to anyone with political connections or opinions.

 

The indeterminate sentence handed down to Willy Wong of Armagh is a denial of his rights as he languishes in Maghaberry jail with no end in sight to his sentence, depending on the “good will” of the parole commissioners. A campaign to highlight the injustice of indeterminate sentences, changed to read extended sentences, is in the pipeline and we ask you all to take up that campaign with the same determination as you did for Martin Corey.

 

Another glaring example of British injustice in Ireland was the increased sentence imposed on John Paul Wooton by a non-jury Diplock court for the killing of a member of the RUC/PSNI in March 2009. This underlines the unchanging nature of British injustice in Ireland. The outcome of the appeal process sends out a message that the discredited “conveyer-belt” non-jury Diplock court system put in place in the 1970s remains in place and continues to imprison nationalists and Republicans on the basis of evidence that would not withstand legal scrutiny in most jurisdictions.

 

The use of discredited witnesses and tampered evidence is the norm for the administration of British injustice in Ireland. Nationalists and Republicans cannot expect to receive justice at the hands of a non-jury system that is designed to deliver verdicts on the basis of political decisions and the imperatives of the British State, rather than the norms of legal due process. We call for the unconditional release of Willie Wong and the Craigavon Two and urge civil liberty and human rights bodies to speak out against these miscarriages of justice, the latest in a long litany of such cases experienced by Irish people at the hands of the British judicial system.

 

The age-old methods of repression continue to be used, such as internment without trial and internment by remand. Special laws and special prisons are used to silence and contain any voices that advocate any alternative to the failed partionist system. The real face of British rule was revealed on March 5, with the arrest in Derry of Diarmuid Mac Dubhghlais, our then Cisteoir Náisiúnta (National Treasurer), Sinn Féin Poblachtach for “refusing to answer questions put to him” by the RUC/PSNI. Diarmuid gave his name and address in Irish to the members of the RUC who stopped him for no reason as he left a friend’s home, but refused to spell it. He was taken to Strand Road RUC Station and held there for the night. Early the following morning he was approached by two MI5 agents and Diarmuid was asked if he wished to help them “with their inquiries into dissident Republican activity in the area”. He refused to even acknowledge their presence. Later that day he appeared in court (March 6), and was released on unconditional bail to appear again on April 3.

The actions of the RUC/PSNI in arresting and charging a person for speaking Irish serves as a reminder that the nature of British rule in Ireland has not changed. So much for the Stormont Agreement’s commitment to “…full respect for, and equality of, civil, political, social and cultural rights, of freedom from discrimination for all citizens, and of parity of esteem and of just and equal treatment for the identity, ethos and aspirations of both communities”.

 

Despite promises to introduce an Irish Language Act for the Six Counties nothing has been delivered and that was always the intention of the British Government. The attempted criminalisation of Irish speakers is only to be expected of a colonial state whose intention is the eradication of any vestiges of Irish nationality, culture or history.

 

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We call on Irish language organisations, civil liberties bodies and activists to speak out against this assault on the right of Irish people to speak their native language in their own country. This should be recognised for what it is and no amount of sophistry or spin by the Stormont regime and its apologists should be allowed to obscure the truth about what is happening here. It is simply the suppression of the most basic civil and human rights, the right to a distinct cultural and national identity. As we are reminded by Pádraig Mac Piarais “Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam”.

 

Ba mhaith linn aitheantas a thabhairt don seasamh a thóg an Coimisinéir Teanga, Seán Ó Cuirreáin, ag tús na bliana nuair a d’éirigh sé as a phost mar gheall ar neamhshuim agus easpa iomlán tacaíochta an Rialtais agus na státseirbhíse i leith na Gaeilge. Molaimidne na daoine ar fad a ghlac páirt in ‘Dearg le Fearg’ agus geallaimid ár dtacaíocht amach anseo. Goilleann dearcadh Fhoras na Gaeilge orainn, go háirithe dúnadh na n-eagras fiúntacha agus freisin easpa iomlán tacaíochta do Nuachtán seachtainiúil clóite.

 

2014 was the year when the Irish Language Commissioner’s patience finally broke. Seán Ó Cuirreáin announced in January that he was going to resign his position as a result of the lack of support by the 26-County Administration for the language. His frustration at the absence of State support was so bad that if he were to continue he felt that would only be participating in pretence, in a sham.

 

Later in the Spring, several ‘Dearg le Fearg’ days of action were organised in Dublin, Belfast, the Conamara and Gaoth Dobhair Gaeltachtaí and brought thousands of supporters of the Irish language on to the streets. We salute the work of Seán Ó Cuirreáin and his most courageous and unparalleled resignation.

 

The Dublin Government’s and the Civil Service Establishment’s attitude to Irish, he reminded us, is one of “ignore it, starve it of resources and finally let it wither on the vine… What started as passive inaction…has moved up a notch or two to active undermining”. Ó Cuirreáin finished by saying that “we have two choices – to look back at Irish as our lost language or forward with it as a core part of heritage and sovereignty”.

 

Foras na Gaeilge, a cross-border body, set up under the Stormont Agreement, continues to also undermine the language. It closed a number of language organisations, notably the voluntary sector umbrella group, Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, and hasn’t adequately catered for the continuation of the work that was done for 70 years. Foras has also refused to grant aid a printed weekly national Irish language newspaper. Online is fine but only as a support to the visible weekly printed paper. In 1892 the founder of Conrad na Gaeilge Dubhghlas de hÍde spoke of “The Necessity for De-Anglicising the Irish Nation”; in 2014 we are faced with the same challenge facing the same forces of cultural imperialism. Once we are robbed of our identity and history our nation will be easy pickings for the vultures of transnational capitalism and imperialism.

 

The recent ceremony held in Glasnevin Cemetery on July 31 marking the centenary of the beginning of the First World War – attended by representatives of both the 26-County State and the British State – was but part of a wider campaign designed to normalise British rule in Ireland by sanitising our history. A narrative is being crafted that places the First World War on the same plane as the 1916 Rising and attempts to incorporate it into our national story. This process involves sanitising our history to the point that it is denuded of any real meaning.

 

It is rarely I find myself in agreement with Ronan Fanning; however I cannot but agree with his analysis of the process of “massaging history” that is being practiced by the political establishments. Writing in The Irish Times on August 16 Fanning stated that what is happening is “…the propagation of a bland, bloodless, bowdlerised and inaccurate hybrid of history, which if carried to extremes is more likely to provoke political outrage than to command intellectual respect, let alone consensus”.

 

 

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An example of this is a listing in the National Museum at Collins Barracks in Dublin of all Irishmen killed between April 24 and May 12, 1916. No distinction is made between those who died in arms opposing British rule in Ireland and those killed while serving in the ranks of the British army in the various theatres of the First World War. Thus for example James Connolly is simply listed among other Irishmen killed while serving in the ranks of the British army on the same day.

 

This is not only unhistorical but does a disservice to those trying to grapple with the complexities of this key period in our history. How are our young people expected to come to an understanding of their history if such a distorted and confused narrative is given to them by the National Museum? By simply listing those killed without any context or explanation the whole period becomes a blur of militarism with nothing to distinguish those who died opposing imperialism from those who served in its ranks.

 

Reading this list of names there is nothing to tell the visitor that James Connolly died facing a British army firing squad in defiance of empire and in defence of Irish national independence. It is impossible to imagine any other self-respecting nation allowing its history to be diluted in such a manner. Such a way leads to the theft of any meaningful national narrative from this and future generations.

 

Can you picture for instance France listing off the names of those who died in the Vichy forces or who collaborated with the German occupation alongside those who died in the French army or with the French Resistance? Would the United States honour those who served the British forces against the Revolutionary Continental Army? All of this may be uncomfortable and does not fit into the new orthodoxy of the so-called peace process but it is our history nonetheless. We should not have to apologise for it.

 

Those Irishmen who died during the First World War were victims of a political class who viewed them as expendable. Many were economic conscripts forced by circumstances into the ranks of the British army while others were duped into believing that by volunteering to serve in the British army they would hasten the granting of Home Rule. The leaders of constitutional nationalism such as John Redmond enticed young men to sacrifice their lives so that they could prove that their nation was worthy of Home Rule. This is a blood sacrifice we hear little about from the revisionist historians.

 

James Connolly was very clear about what was going on, in an article entitled “Tell the Truth: A Challenge to Mr Birrell” published in The Irish Worker on November 28, 1914 (Augustine Birrell was British Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1907 to 1916) Connolly boldly declares:

 

“Let the truth be known! Count every corpse that the Empire requires us to pay for its victory; add up the total of the wrecked human lives of the wounded soldiers, let us know the sum of the tears that the women and children must shed in oceans that Britannia might rule the waves and browbeat the nations.”

 

Unfortunately today we are instead being subjected to a nostalgia fest of militarism based on the myth of the “war for the freedom of small nations”. It is a revisiting of what Connolly described in 1914 as a “…carnival of English jingoism”. Connolly warned that the consequences of embracing this cult of empire would be “…the abandonment of all the high hopes and holy aspirations that sanctified Irish history and made the sacrifices of the past the foundation of noble achievements in the future”.

 

That is exactly what is going on today. We are being asked to abandon the high ideals that inspired that revolutionary generation of a century ago and instead embrace the mythology of empire. It is evident that in the decade of centenaries the political establishments of Leinster House, Stormont and Westminster are determined to draw a line under Irish history. By demonising and isolating Irish Republicanism and refusing it access to public debate they hope that it will simply fade from the public consciousness, robbed of historical or political legitimacy.

 

As we draw closer to the centenary of the 1916 Rising it becomes increasingly evident that the political establishments of Leinster House, Stormont and Westminster are determined to eradicate the revolutionary Irish Republican tradition and with it the very concept of a historic Irish nation. On August 20 the 26-County Justice minister Frances Fitzgerald announced a new wave of draconian legislation designed to silence and drive Irish Republicanism underground.

 

This is nothing new for Irish Republicans; the unbroken chains of continuity from the Society of United Irishmen in the 1790s up to today were forged in the white heat of coercion. It also marks a serious attack on the civil and human rights of all who would row against the tide of political orthodoxy as proscribed by the 26-County political class and their media mouthpieces.

 

The new laws mark a direct attack on the right to hold or communicate political opinions and ideas as set out in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The proposed new laws incorporated into the 26-County Criminal Justice (Terrorist) Offences Act 2005 are intended to silence those who refuse to accept the normalisation of British rule in Ireland and the continued partition of our nation.

 

 

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It is not only Republicans who will be targeted by these laws. These measures can also be extended to cover all forms of political dissent, be that political, social or economic. People need to be awake to this fact and speak out now. Civil and political rights bodies need to protest this gratuitous attack on the human rights of Irish citizens. Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

 

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

 

So all those who are engaged in political activism and challenges the social, political or economic status quo can all expect the “big knock” from the forces of the State when that State feels threatened by them. Nobody is immune. Today it is Irish Republicans but tomorrow it can be striking workers – already the Greyhound workers have experienced the threat of jail and the use of court injunctions in a concerted effort by employers and the 26-County State to break their strike – anti-austerity campaigners on issues such as water rates or household taxes.

 

That is why people must speak out now and raise their voices in protest at this flagrant attack on the most fundamental human and civil rights. The anti-Fascist leader Martin Niemoller warned of the dangers of such complacency in the face of State repression, as each group is singled out, the Republicans, the socialists, the trade unionists etc, it is easy to step back and say what concern is it of mine because I am not a Republican, a trade unionist or a socialist. However as Niemlloer warned: “Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

 

For Irish Republicans our course is clear and our compass is set unflinchingly on our destination: a 32-County Federal Democratic Socialist Republic. The political establishment has not absorbed the lessons of history. They think that they can imprison an idea, that by locking up Republicans they can suppress the desire for a free and independent Ireland.

 

Irish Republicanism has withstood centuries of repression at the hands of both the 26-County and British states. It has endured and will continue to do so because it lives in the hearts and minds of the Irish people.

 

On May 25 outgoing Sinn Féin Poblachtach councillor Tomás Ó Curraoin was re-elected to Galway County Council for the Conamara ward. He received 1,072 first preference votes and was the seventh (of nine) elected on the 13th count on 1,602.

 

In Kerry South & West Sinn Féin Poblachtach candidate Pádraig Garvey of Cahersiveen achieved 489 first preference votes on his first outing, a very creditable performance. Many lessons have been learned from his campaign which will be of value for the future.

 

Tomás Ó Curraoin’s re-election is not merely an endorsement of his hard work and tireless commitment to the people of Conamara but also taps into the general disconnect people have from the Leinster House political establishment. People are seeking real alternatives and a pathway to a New Ireland as opposed to the discredited politics of the failed 26-County State.

 

Both candidates – Tomás and Pádraig – were a credit to Sinn Féin Poblachtach and were able and honourable representatives of true Irish Republicanism. In a statement Galway Comhairle Ceantair said: “Tomás has for the past five years worked tirelessly to represent all of the people of Conamara regardless of their background or whether they voted for him. Tomás is the first Republican to have been elected to represent the people of Conamara in decades and continues as the only Republican councillor in the country as he gives his allegiance to the Republic of Easter Week and not to the partitionist parliaments of Stormont and Leinster House who subvert that Republic.”

 

The result of the local and European elections in both the 26 and Six-County States tell of an electorate seeking an alternative to the tired and discredited politics offered by the political establishment. The election of candidates who are outside the political tent of the big Leinster House parties such as Republican Sinn Féin’s Tomás Ó Curraoin speak for a politics that offers hope of an alternative way forward politically, socially and economically.

 

In the Six Counties the election of a number of candidates who oppose the current process from a broadly Republican perspective contradicts the official narrative that there is no support for those who oppose British rule in Ireland. However it is at moments such as this that people must guard against the sleight of hand of the political “snake-oil” salesmen and women who promise everything but whose only core principle is the attainment of high political office. We say office rather than power as those who clamber over each other are place-seekers who know full well that the offices they seek are those of managers of a political and economic system directed by the power elites of the EU and international finance capitalism.

 

Like the 26-County Labour Party in the lead-up to the 2011 26-County elections, the Provisionals under the leadership of Gerry Adams took up the same populist banner this time around and therein should lie the warning to all. While they preach against austerity from the opposition benches in Leinster House they willingly implement cuts as part of the Stormont Executive, in the Six Counties the Adams cadre have signed off on welfare cuts that could total Stg£600m (€747m). One in 10 welfare recipients in the Six Counties – significantly more than any other part of Britain – are on disability allowance. However they are prepared to impose a Stg£500-a-week (€622) cap on households receiving it.

 

These former Republicans say they oppose household taxes, yet from Stormont they implement household taxes more than ten times higher than the unjust household charge in the 26 Counties. A householder in Derry with a house worth the average price in the Six Counties pays an annual charge of Stg£1,259 (€1,428).They campaign against the introduction of water charges, yet one of their MLAs, Mitchell McLaughlin, has defended water charges as a separate charge on top of the household charge there, and attacked the SDLP for opposing them.

 

The reality is the only thing that changes are the personnel managing the same corrupt system. The Provos only bottom-line is the attainment of political office, nothing else matters but the consolidation of their own political hegemony on both sides of the border. They will willingly collaborate with whoever is willing to facilitate them in doing so by sharing office with them.

 

Vincent Browne pointed out in The Irish Times on May 28: “The issue is: has anything really changed? It hardly matters whether Labour is finished if Sinn Féin fills the vacuum and does the same – ie collaborates with Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil, or does it on its own, in retaining or perhaps consolidating a society of wealthy elite, a compliant middle-class and a sea of misery, humiliation and stress for the rest.”

 

All those who sign up to and participate in the two partitionist states cannot deliver real change because they are locked into a system that is designed to protect and uphold the vested interests of the political and economic elites both here and abroad. A New Ireland will never emerge from either Leinster House or Stormont, it will only come about by the will of the Irish people sweeping away both partitionist states and breaking the grip of the new imperialism of the undemocratic EU Super State.

 

 

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Within ÉIRE NUA lies the basis for building such a New Ireland; an Ireland that would reflect the principles set out in the 1916 Proclamation and the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil. ÉIRE NUA provides for real politics that involves people in making the decisions that affect their lives socially, politically and economically.

This is in contrast to the present corrupt set-up where the powerful are protected, where each new scandal regarding the 26-County police, banking, planning and development etc simply peal away yet another layer to reveal the rotten nature of the structure that lies underneath. It is time to remove the whole rotten edifice. Real change comes by revolutionary action and the will to affect it.

The recent elections merely revealed the mood of the people but changed nothing. Tom McGurk stated in the Sunday Business Post in reference to the 26-County Local and European elections: “Last weekend our democratic exercise was meant to unleash change, but did it? As the Labour Party circles the plinth wallowing in self-publicity, and as in the European parliament the microphones are switched off on unfashionable opinions, whether the democratic imperative of our votes now?”

The actions of communities throughout Ireland in opposing the unjust water tax are something to be applauded. Here we have seen a practical demonstration of people taking back control from the Leinster House politicians. Rather than waiting to be told what to say or think or merely ticking a ballot paper once every five years these people have gone out on to the streets in opposing the theft of our water by an unscrupulous 26-County regime and its cronies at Irish Water. Here we have a company that has been set up with public funding in which a small coterie of political cronies and political appointees profit at the expense of the Irish people by selling back to us a public resource that belongs to everyone in the first place.

 

The resistance to this theft of our water by people the length and breadth of the country is real empowerment and shows the way for those who are not prepared to sit back and watch our nation and people being sold away in order to feed the hungry jaws of European and international finance capitalism.

 

Writing in the Sunday Independent on October 5 Gene Kerrigan lamented the fact that within the current political class there is no alternative: “Democracy is about choice. What we have now is the periodic casting of a vote that can – at best – rotate the personnel implementing the same policies.”

Little wonder there is so much anger. We must harness that anger and direct it into working for an alternative to the failed politics of the status quo. ÉIRE NUA provides for an Ireland that is in stark contrast to all of this. It provides for an Ireland that is truly democratic, inclusive and non-sectarian. ÉIRE NUA appeals to the highest instincts of the Irish people and does not pander to the basest calls to corruption and sectarianism that underpin the partitionist system. ÉIRE NUA fulfills the hope and promise of the 1916 Proclamation.

 

In April Cumann na mBan celebrated its centenary and it was a privilege to be there to say comhghairdeas to Cumann na mBan on reaching this milestone in its proud history. On behalf of Sinn Féin we are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our comrades in Cumann na mBan. You have remained steadfast throughout those one hundred years. Loyalty has ever been your watchword. Cumann na mBan has consistently given the lead in defending the All-Ireland Republic and on each occasion that Republic was threatened it is they who have been first to rise to its defence. Cumann na mBan have never merely stood by any organisation or individual, it has stood by the All-Ireland Republic and continues to do so.

 

At a time when the cause of Republicanism has rarely been more under threat your example and your moral courage are needed now as never before. We in Sinn Féin look forward to working with you into the future in our shared goal of re-establishing the All-Ireland Republic of Easter Week.

On September 18 the Scottish people had an opportunity to break the connection with England and begin the vital work of re-establishing their historic nationhood. A powerful array of forces however were ranged against an independent Scotland; Westminster, the EU, the financial sector, including the Bank of England, all joined in a campaign of fear designed to frighten the Scottish people from asserting their inherent right to nationhood.

While as Irish Republicans we believe that the right to nationhood is inalienable and does not stand or fall on the basis of a referendum, we respected the right of the people of Scotland to use this mechanism to express their support for independence. An independent Scotland, with control of its natural resources could take its place alongside a free Ireland in a league of Celtic nations cooperating on a range of areas, economically and politically and in defence of their common national interests. The creation of an independent Scottish nation state will be a major advance for national democracy and will serve to inspire similar demands in Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Brittany.

 

The links between Ireland and Scotland are deep. At many points in our history we have each assisted the other in our respective struggles for independence. In the early 1970s the late Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was approached by Scottish nationalists who wished to support the struggle for Irish freedom. They asked what was the most practical thing they could do to help Ireland; Ruairí replied instantly that getting independence for Scotland was the most practical way to help the cause of Irish independence. The Scottish referendum and its aftermath have exposed the inherent contradictions and undemocratic nature of the so-called United Kingdom. The tide of history is running against that artificial entity and its forced union of historic nations.

 

We are faced with many challenges as Irish Republicans. The forces ranged against us are powerful. However we are armed with a proud history and confidence that comes from knowing our vision of a New Ireland offers real hope to the Irish people.

 

One hundred years ago our predecessors were inspired by high ideals and a belief in the capabilities of the Irish people to forge a better future for themselves as a free nation. We must seize on that same spirit as we advance towards our goal of a free Ireland. We must do so while maintaining the highest standards set by those who went before us.

 

There is no place in the ranks of Republicanism for those who fall short of those standards by tainting it with the stain of criminality or sectarianism. Our cause is a noble one, we must serve it nobly. We are proud of our traditions and history and look forward with confidence to a future in which all sections of the Irish people, Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter can live in freedom, justice and peace. The All-Ireland Republic we aspire to should be one that is worthy of the great sacrifices of our patriot dead and that captures the heart and imagination of this and succeeding generations.

The All-Ireland Federal Democratic Socialist Republic for which we strive, in the words of James Connolly “…might be made a word to conjure with – a rallying point for the disaffected, a haven for the oppressed, a point of departure for the Socialist, enthusiastic in the cause of human freedom.” Let us leave behind the failure and mediocrity of the past and set our sights firmly on the bright horizon of a new dawn for the Irish nation.

 

 

 

Victory to the All-Ireland Republic.  An Phoblacht Abú.

Críoch/Ends

TEAGMHÁIL SINN FÉIN Poblachtach

Head Office;

Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill,

223 Sráid Pharnell,

BÁC 1, Éire.

Teil: 01-872 9747

Fax: 872 9757

R-Phost: saoirse@iol.ie

Ulster Office;

Oifig Bhéal Feirste,

229 Bóthar na bhFál,

Beál Feirste,

BT12 6FB.

Teil: 9031 9004

R-Phost: belfast@rsf.ie

International Relations Bureau:

Republican Sinn Féin, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna, Austria

e-mail: international@rsf.ie

web: http://www.rsf-international.org

 

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