Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

British rule has always been resisted

Speaking at Republican Sinn Féin’s annual Fearghal Ó h-Anluain commemoration on Sunday January 10 at Lathlurcan cemetery Monaghan, the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton said:

“Throughout Irish revolutionary history in each phase of the freedom struggle the sacrifice of individual Irish patriots have come to personify the fight for Irish freedom. Following their deaths Seán Sabhat and Fearghal Ó h-Anluain names would be forever more linked together. They represented in the eyes of people both at home and abroad the historic demand of the Irish people for national independence.

“ ‘Thoughtful, well read, deeply convinced and dedicated Irish Republicans’, was how Ruairí Ó Brádaigh described both men on the 50th anniversary of their deaths in 2007.

“Fearghal Ó hAnluain came from a staunchly Republican family imbued with a passionate love for his language – like Seán Sabhat he was a fluent Irish speaker - his games and his culture. A footballer of note he represented Monaghan at minor, junior and senior level.

“Fearghal Ó hAnluain took his part as a member of the Pearse Column in the attack on Brookborough RUC barracks on the evening of January 1 1957. His presence in Brookborough on that fateful evening was for him the natural and practical expression of his deeply held Irish Republicanism. Like Pearse he believed that in the face of continued British rule in Ireland ‘the only honourable attitude for Irishmen and Irishwomen is an attitude of revolt.’

“The sacrifice of Sabhat and Ó hAnluain was acknowledged within months when four Republican Sinn Féin TDs were elected to an All-Ireland parliament –including Fearghal’s brother Éineachán. Songs and ballads eulogised them and GAA teams were named in their honour .

“While the flame of Irish nationality burns their names will live on in the hearts of the people.

“Sabhat and Ó hAnluain died so that future generations would live in a Free Ireland.

“British rule in Ireland has always been met with resistance by a section of the Irish people. The attacks in recent days and weeks on British Crown forces testify to this iron law of Irish history. There are those who would wish it otherwise but that is the reality, which must be faced if a lasting settlement is to be secured for all of the Irish people.

“Irish history is a cycle of coercion - mixed with pacification - and resistance. It is time to break that cycle and for that to happen the British Government must accept that the only constructive role they have to play in our country is their leaving of it.

“A public declaration of intent by the British Government to withdraw from Ireland would create the dynamic within which all of the Irish people could negotiate the basis for a New Ireland.

“We believe that the EIRE NUA proposals can provide the framework for the pluralist, non-sectarian and Democratic Socialist Republic set out in the 1916 proclamation. Such a Republic stands in stark contrast to the present discredited, sectarian scandal and crisis ridden Stormont and Leinster House regimes.

“In Lurgan, Ardoyne and other areas of the Six Counties young people have taken on the forces of British occupation. They have been dismissed as ‘A-political and anti-social by Westminster, Stormont and Leinster House.

“Again those who have signed up to holding Ireland for the British Crown are not prepared to face up to the reality confronting them.

“We salute this new generation of Irish people who have neither been purchased nor intimated. It is the duty of Sinn Féin to give clear leadership and a political voice to that section of the Irish people who refuse to accept British rule in our country.

“Thomas Davis said: ‘The people of the country are its wealth’, believing this to be true we must view our struggle to be both political and economic. The struggle for a free Ireland must be about bringing fundamental change .

“In both partitionist states within Ireland today the political establishment is intent on squeezing the most vulnerable and weak in order to protect the vested interests of the powerful and wealthy. Protecting the discredited political and economic system whatever the cost in human terms is the priority in Lenister House, Stormont and Westminster.

“In a recent collection of essays published by Social Justice Ireland Prof PJ Drudy of Trinity College Dublin points out that the measure of what is a successful economy needs to be based on meeting the needs of people: ‘Indeed, we need to turn away for good from the obsession with economic growth and the philosophy of the market to focus instead on a philosophy and a set of values and ethics which facilitates and nurtures human development.’

“This is the philosophy which underpins SAOL NUA Sinn Féin’s proposals for economic democracy. As Irish Republicans we must always return to Wolfe Tone: ‘Our strength shall come from that great and respectable class, the men of no property’. Political and Economic democracy must be the twin pillars of the New Ireland for which we strive.

“On the 1st anniversay of Operation Harvest on December 12 1957 the Republican Movement issued a manifesto setting out the task that remained to be completed: ‘We must win for the Irish people democracy, unity and sovereignty. To achieve these objectives we must end forever interference in our affairs by an outside power. We must drive from our shores the forces of this outside power. We must establish national independence.’ It is a task which remains for us to complete.

“We believe like Pearse that: ‘our patriotism is measured, not by the formula in which we declare it, but by the service which we render.’ We must live up to the legacy of Sabhat and Ó hAnluain by rendering that service.”


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