Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

Media black-out of Republicans

IN A letter to the Irish Times on May 5, 2012, Des Dalton, President, Republican Sinn Féin, said:

Sir, your editorial of May 1 entitled ‘Still a capacity for mayhem’ displayed an inability to draw any lessons from our history coupled with an unwillingness to even acknowledge the existence of, let alone engage with, the Éire Nua proposals for a Federal Ireland as a credible and coherent alternative to the present failed partitionist set-up.

In the past Republican Sinn Féin offered to engage in debate through the offices of your paper on the merits of the Éire Nua, an offer, which, sadly was not taken up.

You declare that Republicans who have rightly identified the failure of the Stormont Agreement to deliver a just and last peace for the people of Ireland “appear beyond talking to”. This is indicative of a mindset which in the past condemned generations of our people to conflict and war because of its unwillingness to engage with all of the issues including the fundamental cause of that conflict and war – that is continued British occupation and partition. It is in short the mentality which gave rise to the Section 31 broadcasting ban on Irish Republicans.

With honourable exceptions the mainstream media have simply parroted official line peddled by Stormont, Leinster House and Westminster that the Six-County state is now a normal democratic society. The reality is far removed from this. The Six-County State remains an undemocratic and sectarian statelet. The Stormont Assembly has an executive with no opposition while implementing a system which forces people to designate themselves along sectarian lines. The state itself continues to rely on draconian legislation, non-jury courts and a paramilitary police force to enforce its writ. The internment without-trial of Republican veterans such as Martin Corey and Marian Price along with the ongoing struggle for political status by the Republican prisoners in Maghaberry prison all point to the abnormality of this state.

In 1998 during the two state referenda on the Stormont Agreement and the amendment of Articles 2 and 3 of the 1937 26-County constitution Republican Sinn Féin pointed out that the agreement failed on two levels. 1. It failed to address the root cause of conflict in Ireland, which was and remains British rule and partition. 2. The agreement served only to institutionalise sectarianism and would lead only to an increased polarisation of the two communities. This is an analysis, which has been borne out by a number of independent studies including figures released by statutory bodies within the Six Counties.

As an alternative to all of this Republican Sinn Féin have consistently advocated the Éire Nua programme as a non-sectarian and democratic way forward. With its provision for decentralisation of decision making powers from national to provincial, to regional, right down to local or community level it gives all sections of the Irish people a real voice and involvement in the decisions that affect them. On each occasion these proposals have been put to unionists they have been acknowledged as a workable alternative and indeed your one of your columnists, David Adams writing in the Irish Times on December 3 2009 said that it was the only serious attempt to outline what a united Ireland would mean: “The Éire Nua document, authored by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and Dáithí Ó Conaill in the 1970s, remains the only serious bid by any strand of nationalism or republicanism to address the issue at all.”

Éire Nua includes a Draft Charter of Rights and would include the European Convention on Human Rights in the domestic law of a New Ireland. In retrospect, the only problem with Éire Nua was that it was produced by the “wrong” people, those who have been labelled disturbers, subversives, dissidents and terrorists – all undesirables in the eyes of the Establishments. Yet, it has been admired and praised by many scholars and academics It needs to be promoted vigorously.

The old order is being questioned more and more, people are receptive to new ideas and the circumstances are opportune again. Republicans have never advocated simply attaching the Six Counties to the existing 26-County state. We believe both states are part of the same problem and have clearly failed. The Irish people are in need of a beacon of hope now more than ever and way out of the tired and failed politics of partition. At a time when we are being squeezed by the old imperialism of British Rule in the Six Counties and the new imperialism of the EU/IMF we believe Éire Nua along with our social and economic programme Saol Nua are a blueprint for making the All-Ireland Republic set out in the 1916 Proclamation a reality for all of the Irish people. As in the past we are proud to provide leadership based on principled and coherent policies.

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the soul of Ireland,the prophetic shock minority, those who are neither purchased nor intimidated."

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