Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

Complete the task of national liberation

Speaking in Armagh on Easter Sunday, April 4, the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton said:

“The 1916 Rising marked a highpoint in the struggle for a free Ireland and was a beacon of inspiration for those engaged in the fight against imperialism and colonialism across the world.

“We commemorate the anniversary of 1916 to merely mark a significant event in our history. Our commemoration is more profound than that, 1916 carries relevance for the Ireland of today and tomorrow. Recognising that 1916 remains for us unfinished business we pledge our continued commitment to realising its goals.

“The1916 Proclamation declares the:‘ right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible’. It goes on to declare that centuries of occupation and repression have not extinguished that right, ‘nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people.’ It continues:. ‘Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and its exaltation among the nations.’ Nowhere will you find a clearer or more explicit statement of nationhood

“The 1916 Proclamation is a defining document of revolutionary Irish Republicanism. It sets out the historical basis of the struggle to rid Ireland of English occupation. But it goes further, it sets out the principles upon which the full freedom of Ireland should be established; the very nature of the Republic for which we struggle.

“The Proclamation is not some dusty historical document. It is a living document and serves as the compass of our movement and our struggle. “From minds alight with Ireland’s vivid intellect it sprang, in heart’s aflame with Ireland’s mighty love it was conceived. Such documents do not die.” (Thomas Mac Donagh address to Court Martial May 2 1916)

“Today the forces marshalled against us are as formidable as any in the proud history of the fight for Irish freedom. Westminster, Leinster House, Washington and Brussels are all underwriting British occupation. There has been a significant addition to the arsenal of British rule in Ireland. For the first time a former section of the Republican Movement has been co-opted to directly administer as well as police British occupation in Ireland. The Provisionals are now poacher turned gamekeeper as they ‘don the Peeler’s coat’ in order to do the bidding of their English masters.

“The much vaunted devolution of certain British policing powers to Stormont - which is planned for April 12 - have been described as an ‘extension of self-determination’. The exercise of the duties bestowed on Stormont by Westminster is merely the administering and enforcing of British rule in Ireland and to describe it, as anything else is to make a mockery of the concept of Irish national self-determination.

“Political policing will be directed as before, from London as set out in both the St Andrews Agreement and the Hillsborough Agreement. With an increased budget and new HQ in Palace Barracks in Hollywood, Co Down MI5 will lead the British war machine in Ireland with the support of the RUC/PSNI and British army.

“The soundings are ominous that communities across the Six Counties will have loyalist marches imposed on them in order to meet the demands of the DUP and the Orange Order. It will be nationalist communities across the Six Counties who will be expected to foot the bill exacted from the Provos by unionist threats.

“We in Sinn Féin pledge to stand by these communities on the Garvaghy Road, in the Ardoyne or elsewhere in resisting any attempt to force loyalist marches through their streets or roads. It is our duty as Irish Republicans to give these communities a political voice. To show leadership as well as giving active support.

“The apologists for British rule tell us that we now have democracy in the Six Counties. Some have even gone as far as describing it as ‘a modern functioning democracy’. This certainly does not stand up to scrutiny. An assembly and executive with no opposition based on an enforced sectarian headcount do not constitute democracy functioning or otherwise. We warned that this would be the outcome in 1998.

“The nature of British rule has not changed as communities such as Craigavon, Lurgan, Armagh, Newry and others throughout the Six Counties can testify only too well. These communities are under a state of siege from the forces of the British state. Their homes have been ransacked, their children stopped and searched while going to school. People face arbitrary arrest and detention. In March the British Colonial Police fired plastic bullets in Craigavon. History has not ended; here in Occupied Six Counties we see the true face of British imperialism in action.

“The young men and women of these communities have been vilified and dismissed, written off as ‘disaffected youth without either aspiration or hope’. This is done in a vain attempt to deny the reality. We know that that these young people represent a new risen generation proudly following in the footsteps of those that have gone before in asserting Ireland’s right to freedom. They have shown they are prepared to take on the forces of occupation, full of aspiration and hope for a new and better Ireland. Their attitude to British rule is that of Pearse: ‘the only honourable attitude for Irishmen and Irishwomen is an attitude of revolt’. We salute them.

“We further say that Irish Republicans will also actively oppose any visit by the Queen of England to any part of Ireland as long as Ireland remains partitioned and occupied.

“The historian Peter Beresford Ellis writes: ‘History demonstrates that at no time, in any generation, did the Irish people accept the ‘legitimacy’ of the conquerors.’
If the nature of British rule has not changed the same can said of the response to it.
Since the successful attacks on British Crown forces in March last year the past 12 months have seen an increase in the level of armed resistance to British rule. Irish history teaches us that such resistance is an inevitable consequence of British occupation and these are the ‘hard realities of the situation’ which have to be faced as Ruairí Ó Brádaigh pointed out in March last year.

“A full British withdrawal from Ireland is the only basis for a just and lasting settlement and until that happens British occupation will be met head on by the forces of resistance; the volunteers and leadership of the Continuity Irish Republican Army who provide the cutting edge of the struggle for a free Ireland. We also salute the Republican prisoners for their unwavering allegiance to the All-Ireland Republic.

“Historically confusion, falsehood and division are all weapons employed by the enemies of Irish Republicanism and today is no different. Since last September the tabloid gutter press have been used to attack the Republican Movement with a sustained campaign of lies, innuendo and disinformation. Republicans must see and reject this material for what it is. Now is a time that calls for cool heads and wise counsel. It is a time for unity of purpose and coherent action based on the principles of the 1916 Proclamation. The only vehicle, which can deliver al of this, is the Republican Movement.

“Our Irish Republican tradition gives us the progressive, non-sectarian analysis necessary to bring about a settlement for the people of our nation. Looking at the 26-County State we see a regime in Leinster House that is prepared to sacrifice not just this but future generations in order to bail out a corrupt and failed banking system. Those yet to be born have been mortgaged to protect the ultra-capitalism, which has brought the economic ruin we see all around us.

“We believe like Connolly that it is not enough to rid Ireland of British rule if we do not set about the essential task of building a 32-County Democratic Socialist Republic. The struggle which comes following British withdrawal will be equally important if we are serious about creating a New Ireland for all of the Irish people, Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter.

“Irish Republicans wish to break out of the failed sectarian politics of partition and the proposals contained within Éire Nua for a Federal Ireland with maximum decentralisation of power and decision making provide a credible and clear alternative.

‘The greatest happiness of the greatest number. On the rock of this principle let this society rest.’ Theobald Wolfe Tone declared. It has always been on this basis that Republicans believe a New Ireland should be fashioned.

“Taken together Sinn Féin’s political, social and economic policies EIRE NUA and SAOL NUA chart an Ireland based values of human progress and sustainable development. EIRE NUA and SAOL NUA make tangible the Republic of Tone, Pearse and Connolly.
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“A columnist in The Irish News recently posed the question: ‘Are we to become beggars at the table of an almost bankrupt Republic?’ The answer of course is that Irish Republicans are not seeking the incorporation of the Six Counties into the 26-County State. We seek a New Ireland within which all of the Irish people will take their place at the table not as beggars but as citizens of a New Republic.

“Writing in the pamphlet Ghosts Pearse tells us that ‘the chain of separatist tradition has never once snapped during the centuries.’ It is a chain forged in the flames of revolution and tested by the white heat of tyranny and oppression. It is up to this generation to forge another link and complete the task of national liberation.”
An Phoblacht Abu!

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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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