Statement by the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton
The speech by Stormont First Minster Peter Robinson marking the centenary of the signing of “Ulster’s Solemn League and Covenant” in 1912 in the 26-County Department of Foreign Affairs is the first step in a campaign to dilute and sanitise the Centenary of the 1916 Rising.
The political establishments in Stormont, Leinster House and Westminster have signalled their intention to suppress any meaningful commemoration of the 1916 Rising by burying it in a celebration of the imperialist carnage of the First World War.
The 1916 Proclamation and the so-called “Solemn League and Covenant” symbolise the fundamental difference in the vision for Ireland held by Irish Republicans as opposed to the forces of imperialism. The Solemn League and Covenant was written in the narrow, sectarian and patriarchal language of empire, while the 1916 addresses itself to “Irishmen and Irishwomen” in the inclusive language of democracy, progress and human freedom.
Irish Republicans unapologetically declare that 1916 will remain unfinished business while “the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland” continues to be denied by either the old imperialism of British occupation or the new imperialism of the EU and IMF.