Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

RSF give leadership to a new generation

New Year statement by the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton

Speaking at the annual Dáithí Ó Conaill commemoration in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin on January 1 the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton set out the challenges and opportunities which face Republican Sinn Féin in the New Year.

“The coming year presents us all with huge challenges but also opportunities. The two fronts on which it is essential that we engage in 2010 are political and economic.

“Last year and indeed recent days events on the ground in the Six Counties testified to the fact that British rule in Ireland will be met with resistance. The attacks on British crown forces and the wave of repression and resistance, which followed are evidence to the reality that the nature of British occupation in Ireland has not changed but neither has the attitude of a section of the Irish people.

“The young people in the Six Counties who took on the forces of the British Crown were dismissed as ‘ A-political thugs’ or merely representing an ‘anti-social’ sub youth culture. We know what the truth is. These young people represent a new undefeated generation prepared to take on British rule in Ireland. They are young people simply taking their place in the latest phase of the historic struggle for Irish freedom.

“It is our duty in Sinn Féin –the only political organisation representing the revolutionary Irish Republican tradition - to give political expression and leadership to this new generation.

“The coming year is also likely to see an intensification of the normalisation of British rule and partition. Speaking on RTÉ television on Monday night (December 28) the 26-County President Mary McAleese signalled the possibility of a visit to the 26 Counties by the Queen of England. We in Sinn Féin equally signal our intention to oppose such a visit.

“Mary McAleese’s use of the word ‘collegial’ in describing 26-County relations with the British state is worthy of note. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary 11th revised edition 2006 defines collegial as meaning: ‘belonging to or relating to shared responsibility.’ Or alternatively as one of a number of colleges belonging to the same university. This use of such language is a significant pointer as to the thinking of the political establishment in the 26-County State and how they view their relationship with Britain.

“At this time we are also conscious of the Republican prisoners in both Portlaoise and Maghaberry. We extend them our greetings and pledge them our solidarity. Support for the Republican prisoners in Maghaberry in their fight for political status is vital in the coming year. By denying British attempts to ‘criminalise’ them the prisoners in Maghaberry are engaged in a battle to deny the British Government’s criminalisation of the Irish people’s historic struggle for national independence.

“We must recognise like James Connolly: ‘If you remove the English army to-morrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain.’

“A war is being waged on working people globally. Here the 26-County administration faced with a choice between taxing the rich or taking from the marginalised and vulnerable, have chosen to put their hands in the pockets of the poorest. Employers and the state are intent on rolling back any advance made by workers over the course of the last century.

“In the face of all this a weak and reformist trade union leadership were deliberately humiliated and wrong-footed by the Dublin administration in their vain attempts to lay the basis for yet another so-called ‘Partnership Agreement’.

“Tinkering at the edges of a discredited and failed social and economic system is not enough. Real revolutionary political and economic change is demanded. In its obituary of Dáithí Ó Conaill in 1991 SAOIRSE pointed out he ‘viewed the Republican Movement not as a political party, but as the main catalyst of progressive forces to achieve Irish Freedom.’ It is the role which we must live up to.

“We would do well to heed the advice of Connolly given to those intent on building a national movement over a century ago: ‘It must demonstrate to the people of Ireland that our nationalism is not merely a morbid idealising of the past, but is also capable of formulating a distinct and definite answer to the problems of the present and a political and economic creed capable of adjustment to the wants of the future.’

“Armed as we are with a clearly thought out and radical programme for real political and economic democracy - EIRE NUA and SAOL NUA - we can take our rightful place in the vanguard of the struggle for true political and economic freedom.

“The All-Republic for which we struggle has to be – returning to Connolly again – of such a character that: ‘the mere mention of its name would at all times serve as a beacon-light to the oppressed of every land.’

“Just as imperialism is not confined to one country the solidarity in the fight against it must also be international. Over the coming year we must continue to develop our role in the international struggle against imperialism.

“We extend our greetings to all engaged in the noble quest for national liberation. We face a common enemy but also share the common goal of securing and defending the inalienable rights common to all peoples and nations.

“Our work is clearly marked out for us. It is our duty to bring to the task all our energies and abilities."

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"We of Republican Sinn Féin are the nucleus, which represents what Emmet represented,
the soul of Ireland,the prophetic shock minority, those who are neither purchased nor intimidated."

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