Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

Interview with Des Dalton in Italian newspaper

Or the English Leave Ireland or there will be terror

He says no to the peace accords. No to “British dominion” and the presence of the English army in Ulster. No to the Stormont and Dublin parliaments. Criticises the republican leaders of the Sinn Fein who, after thirty years of armed and political conflict, have reached an understanding for the future of the North of Ireland. And he tells it with unequivocal words: “They are not doing it in the interests of the island but they have behaved as ministers of the English Crown”. Because for him only a single Ireland exists: united and free from the British. No compromise with London. Until that dream has come true the battle will go. He is Des Dalton, 37, and for ten of them leader of one of the more controversial movements in Ireland, Vice President of Republican Sinn Fein (RSF), the organisation that the American Department of State, the Dublin Government and the London one considers the political arm of the Continuity IRA (CIRA), the group of republican terrorists that has claimed the attack which left a policeman dead a few weeks ago in Craigavon.

Dalton represents approximately a thousand of irreducible faithfuls to “the republican” cause, the most numerous group of Catholic dissidents in Ireland. “Abstentionist” a political movement centred in Dublin and Belfast (in the Catholic stronghold of the Falls Road) and refuses to work within the institutions until Ireland is a united and independent entity. In visit in Italy for a few days, Dalton has decided to speak exclusively to Il Giornale.

What’s happening in Ulster? Why has the violence returned?
The central issue is still the same one: the permanent British dominion in Ireland. The root cause of the conflict is this and must be faced.

A justification of terrorism?
An ascertainment. We need only read the history. And the history of Ireland says to us that until that the British government and the British army leave the island, the resistance will go ahead.

Is this the reason that a few weeks ago two English soldiers and a police officer were killed…
We have said it before and we will repeat and it. We regret the loss of human lives. But whether people like it or not, this situation will go ahead until British soldiers are no longer on the streets in the Six Counties.

Nevertheless for all the Irish, the peace process is by now a conquest, a point of no return. The enemies of a time, the catholic-republicans of [Provsional] Sinn Féin and the unionist-protestants of the DUP, sit in government together.
Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, with Provisional Sinn Féin, have always professed to be revolutionary but in the end they have become part of the system. What they have decided to do goes against the ideals that they have defended for a lifetime. The GFA has done nothing other than to strengthen the English dominion in Ulster. A dominion born from an artificial division of the island, studied so as to guarantee the majority to the Unionists. A dominion that the Provisional Sinn Fein has legitimatised.

What does it mean to be a dissident republican? And how do you become one?
I come from a family that it has always believed in free united Ireland. My grandfathers fought in the old IRA and the age of ten, even if I was still a child, lived through the impact of the hunger strike of Bobby Sands. And I have grown with those ideals.

What are these ideals?
Opposition to the British occupation of our island. I believe in the right of being able to determine our future free from interference from Westminster.

It is not an obsolete battle? The Republic of Ireland and a “province” like Ulster that is part of United Kingdom. Is the battle not over?
For us the war continues because the GFA has changed nothing, it simply recognised a fact: the British presence in Ulster.

The American Department of State considers your movement to be terrorists of the Continuity IRA. Is it? Is it your armed wing?
We are a political movement. If the members of the Continuity IRA share our ideals this is an issue that regards them. We want a pacific revolution for the future of Ireland and want to create the conditions for a long-lasting agreement on the island. What will happen in future, who knows.

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