Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

Republicans never abandoned message of 1916

Statement by the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton

Speaking in UCD on May 20 the head of the 26-County administration Brian Cowen accused Irish Republicans of seeking to “hijack” the centenary of the 1916 Rising. It is an accusation that does not stand up: Republicans cannot hijack something they have never abandoned. Irish Republicans will commemorate the centenary of 1916 as well as the anniversaries of the other landmark events in Irish Revolutionary history, just as we have in the past.

Each year Irish Republicans both in Ireland and abroad have commemorated 1916 without fail. The 26-County state on the other hand has alternated between ignoring the anniversary and banning commemoration of it. 1916 commemorations throughout the 26 Counties were banned by the Dublin administration in 1937. In 1976 Republicans were prosecuted – including Fiona Plunkett sister of Joseph Mary Plunkett - and some jailed for their participation in a banned commemoration at the GPO. Each year Republicans face the prospect of prosecution for selling Easter Lilys.

For forty years the 26-County administration ignored the anniversary of 1916 but since 2006 it has opportunistically seized on it in order to sell the big lie that history has come to an end and British rule in Ireland is now accepted.

1916 remains unfinished business while Britain holds any part of Ireland. The message of 1916 could not be clearer: “Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”.

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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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