Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

New Year Statement 2012

A vision of hope and inspiration
New Year Statement from the leadership of Republican Sinn Féin

Republican Sinn Féin extends fraternal New Year greetings to all of our comrades, friends and supporters both at home and abroad. The coming year will be a challenging one for working-class people in Ireland and across Europe. The threats facing us are manifold. Economically people are faced with the consequences of the austerity programme imposed on them by the EU political and financial elite. For Irish Republicans increasing repression highlights the reality of the old imperialism of British rule in Ireland.

The economic policies being pursued by the Leinster House and Stormont regimes are all part and parcel of the same finance capitalism which created the present world economic crisis. The very markers of a civilised society – the right to health, education and protection of the most vulnerable – are being sacrificed to uphold a failed and undemocratic EU. This should serve as a call to arms to all who wish to build a new world from the ashes of a failed political and economic model.

In the 26 Counties the introduction of a regressive property tax presents working people with an opportunity to find their own voice and strike the first blows of resistance against the Leinster House political class. Republican Sinn Féin is calling on people to refuse to register as a first step to refusing to pay this unjust tax.

In the Middle East people are being applauded for their courage in taking to the streets to seek political change but in the Occupied Six Counties Irish Republicans are being prosecuted for doing the same thing. In January our President Des Dalton and Vice-President Fergal Moore, along with 35 others, are being tried in Craigavon for taking part in a march in Lurgan in January 2011 calling for the release of the interned veteran Republican Martin Corry. This represents part of a pattern of repression directed against Republican Sinn Féin and all of those who refuse to accept British occupation and the partition of the historic Irish nation. The Craigavon trial is an attempt to force Republicans off the streets. We will not bow to such intimidation and reaffirm our commitment to resisting British imperialism in Ireland.

We also take this opportunity to extend greetings and solidarity to the Republican POWs in Maghaberry and Portlaoise prisons. These men are imprisoned because they refused to compromise on Ireland’s right to national freedom. We pledge our continued support to the Republican prisoners in Maghaberry prison in their ongoing struggle for the right to political status. We also renew our call for the release of Martin Corey and Marian Price, both of whom are political hostages held without trial in Maghaberry prison simply because of their political beliefs.

In 2012 Republican Sinn Féin will be launching our build-up to the centenary of the 1916 Rising with a one-day seminar in Dublin on April 21 entitled Who Fears to Speak of Easter Week. We will be appealing to all who wish, as unapologetic Irish Republicans, to commemorate the sacrifices of the men and women of Easter Week to join with us in planning for 2016. As the legitimate inheritors of the mantle of 1916 Republican Sinn Féin will commemorate 1916 not merely as an historic event but as a task yet to be completed with a living message for the Ireland of today.

As Irish Republicans we are the successors of a revolutionary tradition which stretches back to the foundation of the Society of United Irishmen 220 years ago. For this reason we make no apology for guarding the integrity of that tradition from all impostors or criminal elements who would attempt to besmirch it or misuse its noble title.

The year ahead will be difficult but it also provides many opportunities to further our goal of creating a New Ireland ÉIRE NUA and SAOL NUA set out a vision of hope and inspiration for an Ireland which truly “cherishes all the children of the nation equally”. Our duty as revolutionaries is to confront the twin of British occupation and EU finance capitalism and in so doing shape an Ireland worthy of the high ideals of the 1916 Proclamation.

Fight the cuts by refusing to pay property tax

At its December meeting the Ard Chomhairle of Republican Sinn Féin called on people not to register in January for the 100 Euro property tax.

“We are calling on people not to register for payment of the 100 Euro property tax this coming January. This tax is just the latest in a wave of attacks on working people by the 26-County Administration in order to prop up the failed EU banking system and currency. By refusing to register, working people will be empowering themselves while also sending out a strong message to the political and financial elite that they will not allow the many to be sacrificed in order to protect the vested interests of the few.

“As we predicted, the last 26-County election did not deliver any political or economic change. It was merely a case of exchanging one set of gombeen politicians for another. For too long the Leinster House political class have used working people as voting fodder at election time, the campaign against the property tax allows ordinary Irish people to once more find their own political voice. By thinking and acting in their own interests rather than those of a powerful elite, this campaign can be mark the beginning of the fight back against the cuts and the first step in reclaiming our nation.”

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Des Dalton on Twitter

Follow the Republican Sinn Féin President Des Dalton on Twitter!!/IrelandherownLink

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Pictures from Frank Driver & Kevin Barry Commemorations

Report: Frank Driver Commemoration . . .

Report: Kevin Barry Commemoration . . .

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Republican Sinn Féin supports student occupation of TD’s office

Kildare Republican Sinn Féin expresses its support for the students who have occupied the constituency office of Fine Gael TD Anthony Lawler in Naas. Their action is a positive statement of the determination of ordinary people throughout Ireland to resist the attacks of the financial and political elite on essential social services as well as education and health in both the 26 and Six-County states.

Education is a right for all people and its provision a marker of any civilised society. By its policies the present Fine Gael/Labour administration is sacrificing not only this but future generations to bailout the failed and undemocratic EU political, economic and banking system. The radical action of a new generation in protesting their right to access third level education gives hope for the future.

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The ‘Treaty of Surrender’ and its legacy

This month marks the 90th anniversary of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on December 6 1921. It was renamed the ‘Treaty of Surrender’ by faithful Irish Republicans because its terms subverted the All-Ireland Republic established according to the democratic will of the people of All-Ireland as expressed in the historic 1918 General Election – the last occasion in which the people of Ireland have been allowed to vote as one unit. That election led to the convening of the First 32-County Dáil Éireann on January 21 1919 and the setting up of a functioning Irish Republic.

The All-Ireland Republic quickly established active government departments and maintained a standing army in the field - the Irish Republican Army. Through its Department of Local Government it secured the allegiance of the vast majority of the county, town and city councils and other layers of local administration throughout Ireland. It also established its own policing and court system while internationally envoys and diplomatic missions were set-up.

The British Government’s response to this democratic expression of self-determination by the Irish people was to intensify its repression by introducing martial law in large swathes of Ireland including the entire province of Munster. From England it recruited extra RIC divisions, the notorious Black-and-Tans as well as the Auxiliaries.

This sets the backdrop to the negotiation of a Treaty, which would overturn the democratic will of the people of Ireland as well as partitioning the historic Irish nation. In his authoritive history of the Civil War or Counter-Revolution Green Against Green the historian Michael Hopkinson said of the Treaty: “No document could have more effectively brought out into the open divisions in the philosophy and leadership of the Sinn Féin movement. If it had offered a little more or a little less, it may well have unified opinion for or against it.”

Realising they could not defeat the Republic militarily, the British Government showing all the darks arts of intrigue and manipulation sharpened over centuries of empire building decided on a strategy of division and subversion from within.

Following the calling of a Truce on July 11 the British Government opened a dialogue with the Government of the All-Ireland Republic leading ultimately to the opening of formal negotiations on October 11 1921. The delegates chosen by the Government of the Republic were led by Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins and also included Eamonn Duggan, George Gavin Duffy and Robert Barton. According to Liam Mellows speaking during the Dáil’s Treaty debates, they had clear instructions as to any proposed treaty. Item three of the instructions given to the delegates quoted by Mellows stated: “It is also understood that the complete text of the draft Treaty about to be signed will be similarly submitted to Dublin's and a reply awaited.”. This was disputed by Collins and Griffith who claimed they had full plenipotentiary powers to negotiate and sign.

Within the negotiations themselves the British played their hand well dividing the Irish delegates up and concentrating in particular on Collins and Griffith. Thus they ensured that whilst their decisions and actions were tightly coordinated and carefully though out the Irish delegation was in disarray. Duggan, Barton and Gavin Duffy were in the dark regarding much of Collins’ and Griffith’s secret talks with Winston Churchill and British Prime Minister Lloyd George. In the introduction to the Whitehall Diary of Deputy Secretary to the British Cabinet Thomas Jones historian Nicholas Mansergh wrote that the negotiations involved: “concessions wrung by devices, some of which can be described at best as devious…”The care taken by the British in the negotiation is illustrated by a comment by Thomas Jones, in his diary: “….every word used and every nuance was so important.” When the leadership of the Republican Movement were about to engage in talks with the British Government in 1972 for the first time since the Treaty negotiations of 1921 they turned to Seán MacBride for advice as he had been part of the staff attached to the Irish delegation during the Treaty negotiations. His most important piece of advice was not to allow their delegation to be separated.

These were the circumstances in which the hard fought for and fully functioning All-Ireland Republic was undermined. The past 90 years of war and conflict in Ireland has flowed from the decisions made in those fateful months of late 1921 and early 1922. Speaking in the Dáil debate on the Treaty on January 4 Liam Mellows prophetically set out the consequences of abandoning the Republic and setting up a 26-County Free State: “The Government of the Free State will, with those who support it now liking it or not, eventually occupy the same relationship towards the people of Ireland as Dublin Castle does to-day, because, it will be the barrier government between the British and the Irish people. And the Irish people before they can struggle on will have to do something to remove that Free State Government. That, I think, has been the history of this country most of the time, as it is the history of most countries that go the way now urged by those who support the Free State. If the Free State is accepted and put into operation it will provide the means for the British Government to get its hold back again.”

The conspiratorial “internal methods” used to coerce and cajole deputies into voting for the Treaty in the Dáil as well as within the army of the Republic –the IRA – by the Irish Republican Brotherhood would be adopted by others in the years ahead to similarly divert the Republican Movement away from the path to the full freedom of Ireland.

Its legacy was a vicious civil war or more accurately counter-revolution, which robbed Ireland of some of its brightest and best political leaders. It poisoned politics in Ireland dividing families as well as territory. And in buying the pup of the Boundary Commission which in 1925 copper-fastened partition those who supported the Treaty condemned the nationalists population of the Six Counties to decades of sectarian Unionist domination and discrimination and British rule. It is a legacy that we remain burdened with today.

Its is best to leave the final word to Brian Murphy in his excellent book Patrick Pearse and the Lost Republican Ideal: “The Treaty, hailed by those who accepted it as a victory for democracy, has to be accessed in the knowledge that those advocated it, be they from the ranks of the IRB or the Catholic clergy, were influenced by secret manoeuvres which were hardly compatible with the democratic process. If the Treaty was a victory for anyone, it was for the policy of the British administration.”

Brian P. Murphy: Patrick Pearse and the Lost Republican Ideal.
Thomas Jones: Whitehall Diary.
Dáil Éireann: Official Report of the debate on the Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland

Taken from Des Dalton's Blog The Singing Flame . . .

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Protest at gates of Croke Park to presence of RUC/PSNI

Republican Sinn Féin held a very successful protest at the main entrance to Croke Park on November 25 against the presence of the RUC/PSNI in the stadium, defying an attempt by the 26-County police to close the road to any protests. Inside a team from the 26-County police were playing a team from the RUC/PSNI in a Gaelic football match.

Speaking at the protest the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton said: “The protest today is about driving home the message that British occupation of any part of Ireland is neither normal nor acceptable. The presence of the British colonial police in Croke Park is a betrayal of the principles upon which Cumann Lúthchleas Gael was founded. Foremost amongst these principles is Ireland’s right to its essential unity as a nation. The GAA has never recognised the British-imposed border but today the leadership of the GAA has allowed the same British forces who deny that unity of Ireland on to the pitch at Croke Park.

“The GAA is being hijacked by the British and 26-County political establishments to bolster their campaign of normalising British rule and the partition of Ireland. The very fact that this game is being played behind closed doors and under tight security tells us that it is far from normal. If, as we are constantly told, that relations with the British State are now normal why all the secrecy and security? The truth is that British rule in Ireland will never be normal,” Des Dalton said.

U-TV: Security fears over PSNI Croke Park game

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Republican Sinn Féin Ard Fheis held in Dublin

ON Saturday and Sunday, November 12 and 13, delegates and visitors from Ireland, Scotland and England attended the 107th Ard-Fheis of Sinn Féin in Dublin. Members of the International Relations Bureau from Austria, Germany and Italy, an activist of Liberation Irlande from France and members of the National Irish Freedom Committee from the USA were also in attendance.

The Ard-Fheis began with a seminar entitled Education within Sinn Féin, where we are coming from and where we are going, which was chaired by Tomás Ó Clérigh and addressed by Fergal Moore, head of the Education Department.

The Ard-Fheis was addressed by representatives of CABHAIR, Irish Republican Prisoners Dependants Fund, Cumann na mBan and Na Fianna Éireann and all three organisation praised Republican Sinn Féin for its steadfastness during what was a very difficult year. Messages of support were also received from the Continuity IRA Republican POWs in Maghaberry and Portlaoise jails. A message of solidarity wishing the Ard Fheis a successful weekend was received from the leadership of the Continuity IRA.

Plenary sessions took place on Saturday afternoon and throughout Sunday but the highlight of the Ard-Fheis was the address by President Des Dalton.

A full report will be carried in the December edition of SAOIRSE.

You can read the Presidential Address by Des Dalton by following this link:

Furthermore the Presidential Address can be downloaded as WMA-Audio File from this link:

You can read the Ard Fheis Report and the Presidential Address in Spanish by following this link:

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Appeal to the noblest instincts not the lowest

Statement by the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton

The racist comments made by Fine Gael Councillor Darren Scully should serve as a warning of the dark forces only too willing to exploit the present economic crisis. History teaches us that at times of social, political or economic upheaval the forces of reaction and fascism are all too willing to fan the flames of intolerance, bigotry and racism. Darren Scully’s comments give succour to these forces and will be used by them to justify their hateful ideology. The relative silence of Fine Gael on this issue and in particular Darren Scully’s continued membership of their party is a significant indication of the importance they place on the rights of minority communities in our society.

Across Europe working people regardless of skin colour, nationality, gender or religion all face the same social and economic hardship at the hands of the same political and financial elite. It is this elite who are the common enemy of all who believe in a sovereign nation and society, one which is based on the principles of political and economic democracy. As Irish Republicans we take our stand on the historic democratic principles handed down to us by the Society of United Irishmen: “The greatest happiness of the greatest number – on the rock of this principle let this Society rest”. We can only set about that task by appealing to the best and noblest instincts of human nature rather than the lowest.

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Frank Driver remembered

ON Sunday, November 20 Kildare Republican Sinn Féin held its annual Frank Driver commemoration in Ballymore Eustace Co Kildare. Led by colour parties from Republican Sinn Féin and Na Fianna Éireann those taking part marched from Frank Driver’s cottage in Ballymore to his grave in St John’s cemetery.

The ceremony was addressed by Republican Sinn Féin President Des Dalton. A wreath was laid on behalf of the Republican Movement by Celia Conway, Kilcullen and a decade of the rosary was recited by Kitty Hawkins, Ballymore Eustace. Des reminded those present of the long life and service to the Republican cause of Frank Driver.

The parade then formed up and marched back to Ballymore Eustace.

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Kevin Barry commemorated in Rathvilly

REPUBLICAN Sinn Féin marked the 91st anniversary of the death of Kevin Barry in Rathvilly Co Carlow on Sunday November 21. Republican Sinn Féin and Na Fianna Éireann colour parties led the parade to the Kevin Barry monument.

The ceremony was chaired by Jimmy Corcoran of the Myles Shevlin/Tony Ruane Cumann, Carlow. Wereaths were laid on behalf of the Republican Movement, Kildare Republican Sinn Féin and Wexford Republican Sinn Féin. Kitty Hawkins, Co Kildare recited a decade of the rosary. Jimmy then called for a minute’s silence and the dipping of the flags in memory of Kevin Barry and all who died for Irish Freedom.

The oration was given by Republican Sinn Féin President Des Dalton, who recounted the life and sacrifice of Kevin Barry and gave a most inspiring oration.

The commemoration was attended by members and supporters from Kildare, Carlow, Wexford and Dublin; local people also attended including Kevin Barry’s nephew, also called Kevin Barry.

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Republican Resistance Calendar 2012

€ 5,- excl. p+p

available from your local RSF Cumainn, the Kilcullen Cumann Kildare, the Frank Driver Cumann North Kildare and the Myles Shevlin/Tony Ruane Cumann Co Carlow, as well as the Head Office in Dublin

Order now!

The ideal X-mas Present !!!

Republican Sinn Féin oppose RUC/PSNI in Croke Park

Following a meeting of the Ard Chomhairle of Republican Sinn Féin on November 19, the following statement was issued:

The announcement on November 11 that the RUC/PSNI is to play in Croke Park on November 25 shows that the GAA is once again being used to normalise British Rule in Ireland.

Bringing the British Colonial Police into Croke Park - like the visit by the Queen of England in May - contravenes the principles upon which the GAA was founded, namely the essential unity of Ireland as a nation.

This principle is reflected in the fact that the GAA has never recognised the British-imposed border but has remained an All-Ireland Association. Faithful Irish Republicans, many of whom are members of the GAA, will oppose this visit and will use it to highlight the fact that British rule/occupation in Ireland is not or never will be normal or acceptable.

Like James Connolly we say ‘England has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland and never can have any right in Ireland’.

Republican Sinn Féin will be holding a protest on Friday. We will assemble at Quinn’s Pub in Drumcondra at a time to be confirmed.

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Presidential Address 2011

The following is the Presidential Address delivered by Des Dalton at the 107th Ard Fheis of Republican Sinn Féin on Sunday November 13.

You can read the Ard Fheis Report and the Presidential Address in Spanish by following this link:

A Chathaoirligh, a Theachtaí is a cháirde go léir.

Fearaim céad míle fáilte romhaibh ar fad ag an Árd-Fheis seo.

Once again I am honoured to most heartily welcome you all to the 107th Ard-Fheis of Sinn Féin. We gather in national conference to take stock of where we are, to plan for the coming year and most importantly to ensure that we are capable of meeting the challenges that face us in the coming years.

Over the past year Republican Sinn Féin has been targeted by the British State in an obvious attempt to silence us. Your presence here this weekend tells us they have not been successful – and nor will they be.

Today the Irish people are being squeezed between the old imperialism of British occupation and the new imperialism of the EU/ECB/IMF. The need for a truly revolutionary Republican Movement has never been greater.

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the heroic sacrifice of Bobby Sands and his nine comrades who died on hunger strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh in 1981. As we remember the blanket men and women of 1981 we restate our support for the Republican prisoners in Maghaberry prison today who are upholding the same principles in the face of the same enemy.

Since the beginning of the year it has been self-evident that the British and 26-County states have made it a matter of policy to target Republican Sinn Fein. On January 23 Republican Sinn Féin held a very successful march in Lurgan, Co Armagh to protest at the internment without trial of Veteran Republican Martin Corey – who has been held in Maghaberry Prison since April 30, 2010. On February 16 the RUC/PSNI issued a letter to the President of Republican Sinn Féin accusing him of participating in an “illegal march” in Lurgan on January 23. The same letter was also sent to other members. A number of Republicans were arrested soon after this in the Armagh and Lurgan areas. This marked the beginning of what has been a concerted attempt to silence Republican Sinn Féin or indeed anyone who refuses to accept British rule in any part of Ireland.

In May Republican Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle member Cáit Trainor (Armagh), along with a member of the Thomas Harte Cumann in Lurgan Seán Moloney, were arrested and charged with political views expressed in an interview given to Channel Four News in September 2010. If this case goes ahead it will be one of great consequence not just for Irish Republicans but for all political activists because the charges represent an attack on the fundamental right to hold and express a political opinion as set out in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this regard it would have serious repercussions for all who are intent on securing real political and economic change.

We are calling on all human rights and civil liberty organisations to speak out about this attack on freedom of speech and the ability of the media to fairly and accurately report what is happening in the Six Counties.

During the protests in Dublin against the visit by the Queen of England in May the Secretary of Dublin Comhairle Ceantair Diarmuid Ó Dúbhghlais and another member of Republican Sinn Féin were arrested solely because of their participation in the protests. Diarmuid Ó Dúbhghlais was pictured by the media holding aloft the National Flag at the time of his arrest. Later members of the 26-County Police were shown dumping a Tricolour in a Dublin City Council bin-lorry.

On June 30 the home of our newly-appointed National Publicity Officer Geraldine McNamara in Tipperary town was raided by the 26-County Special Branch and her mobile phone was taken. Again this was act intended to silence and intimidate Republican Sinn Féin members and supporters.

The pattern of harassment continued with the arrest of the organisation’s President and Vice-President on July 6. The opposition of the RUC/PSNI and the Six-County Public Prosecution Services (PPS) to bail for both men was clearly an attempt to intern Des Dalton and Fergal Moore by remand. On July 8 Cáit Trainor was once again arrested at her home in Armagh and charged with breaking her bail conditions by attending the picket on Lurgan RUC station on the night of Des Dalton’s arrest. She was taken straight to Craigavon courthouse.

After a court appearance on September 7 Fergal Moore was again arrested as he left the courthouse in Craigavon in the company of his solicitor. He was once more taken to Lurgan RUC/PSNI barracks and this time charged with participating in the 1916 commemoration in Lurgan at Easter this year. To date 37 people have been charged in relation to the Martin Corey march in Lurgan – some also face charges in relation to the 1916 commemorations in Lurgan and Armagh. At a time when people in the Middle East are being applauded for coming out on to the streets to protest, in the Six Counties people are being prosecuted for doing just that.

Westminster, Stormont and Leinster House fear the revolutionary Irish Republicanism espoused by Republican Sinn Féin. It is a cause with deep roots in Irish history and the hearts of the Irish people. The age-old tactic of locking up the messenger as a means of silencing the message has failed in the past and history teaches us it will continue to fail. One is reminded of the words of Pádraig Mac Piarais at the grave of O’Donovan Rossa: “The defenders of this realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us, and intimidated the other half.” Republican Sinn Féin represents that section of the Irish people who have neither been purchased nor intimidated, and never will be.

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strikes. Beginning in March Republican Sinn Féin marked the anniversary with a series of commemorations and commemorative events throughout the country. Events were also held in the United States and Rome. In Ireland this culminated in a very successful commemoration at Bundoran in August and finally to mark the anniversary of the ending of the hunger strike a candle-light vigil was held at the GPO in Dublin on October 5 and finally on October 8 a seminar was held in Wynn’s Hotel in Dublin.

It was an emotional afternoon of songs and poems of the hunger strike and the highlight of the afternoon was an address by former H-Block Republican prisoner Richard O’Rawe.

I would like to take this opportunity to applaud Richard O’Rawe for the great moral and physical courage he has shown in publishing his two books on the 1981 hunger strike. To publish those books required the same moral and physical courage he showed as a blanketman and political prisoner. By his action he has ensured that an important and honest account of the hunger strikes has been placed on the historical record to be read by this and future generations. Maith thú, a Risteárd!

The hunger strikes were a seminal period in our history and served to politicise an entire generation. The men and women of Long Kesh and Armagh prison were not simply engaged in a struggle for political status. There protest was about proclaiming to the world Ireland’s historic right to nationhood. As Bobby Sands pointed out in his prison diary written on the first day of his hunger strike: “What is lost here is lost for the Republic.”

Thirty years later another group of young Irish Republican prisoners are engaged in a prison protest on the same principle in defiance of the same enemy. This protest is a result of the rights won by Bobby Sands and his comrades being signed away under the terms of the 1998 Stormont Agreement.

On March 5 the Republican POWs in Maghaberry announced that because of the failure of the Stormont regime to implement the August 2010 Agreement they were forced to return to protest. They have endured 23 and 24-hour lock-up, degrading forced strip-searches, denial of both family and legal visits.

In their statement of March 23 they declared: “Thirty years ago this year our comrades in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh resisted such criminalisation which resulted in the deaths of ten young brave men. Many others suffered unspeakable horror in their fight for political status. We ask the public, our comrades and supporters to remember them and ensure that this will not happen again.” On August 8 and 9 the Republican POWs went on a 48-hour fast to highlight their protest.
On the outside Republicans have engaged in an active campaign of protests, pickets, and vigils throughout Ireland. Internationally our International Relations Bureau in cooperation with friends and supporters throughout Europe organised an ‘International Day of Action’ on October 8. On that day protests were held in Paris (France), Rome (Italy), Darmstadt, Magdeburg, Hamburg (all Germany), and further protests in other cities and various countries such as Austria and the Netherlands. They are to be congratulated on raising awareness of the Maghaberry protest internationally. An example of true internationalism at work.
The Six-County Prison Review Team in their final report entitled Review of the Northern Ireland Prison Service issued in October described strip-searching as “a procedure which is intrusive and invades the privacy of all prisoners”. While justifying its use the report makes a recommendation that: “Efforts should be continued to see whether there is an effective and less intrusive method than full body-searching of ensuring that prisoners leaving and entering prison are not bringing in contraband.”

Well such a method is already available in the form of the electronic BOSS chair, already in place and which the prison regime has refused to make use of. Republican Sinn Féin repeats its call for the immediate implementation of the independently-mediated August 2010 Agreement.

We extend our greetings and solidarity to the Republican prisoners in Maghaberry and pledge them our continued and active support. We also extend our greetings to the Republican POWs in Portlaoise for their loyal commitment to the cause of the All-Ireland Republic.

This year saw the long-threatened and unwelcome visit by the Queen of England to the 26-County State take place between May 17 and 20. A ring of steel – including members of the British intelligence services — was thrown up, resulting in Dublin being effectively closed down for two days. The estimated cost of the visit varied from €30 to €40 million. The extravagance of the visit with its itinerary of a lavish State dinner and tours of stud-farms contrasts with the savage cuts being applied to the pay and welfare of the most vulnerable in our society.

Irish Republicans ensured that the carnival of reaction which surrounded the recent visit was challenged both on the streets and in the media. In Dublin, Kildare and Cork members and supporters of Republican Sinn Féin held successful protests. In the media the undiluted message of revolutionary Irish Republicanism was given to media all over the world. From Al Jazeera to Iran’s Press TV, to Sky News, CBS and NBC and Fox News in the US, Canadian TV, media from Brazil and Spain, all reported on the fact that this visit was being met with protest and importantly why the protests were happening.

I wish to salute the decision of eight of the nine counties of Ulster not to attend the visit of the Queen of England to Croke Park on May 18. By their actions they have salvaged the honour of the GAA and have spoken for GAA members throughout Ireland who opposed this hijacking of our Association in order to normalise British rule in Ireland.

The GAA and Páirc an Chrócaigh where the All-Ireland Football and Hurling Finals are staged each year embody the essential unity of the Irish Nation. Bringing the head of the British State whose occupation of six of the nine counties of Ulster is a denial of that essential right to unity and right to national freedom. It is a contradiction of the principles upon which the GAA was founded. The announcement on Friday last that the RUC/PSNI is to play in Croke Park on November 25 shows that the GAA is once again being used to normalise British Rule in Ireland. Bringing the British Colonial Police into Croke Park - like the visit by the Queen of England - contravenes the essential principals upon which the GAA was founded, namely the essential unity of Ireland as a nation. This principle is reflected in the fact that the GAA has never recognised the British imposed border but has remained an All-Ireland association. Faithful Irish Republicans many of whom are members of the GAA will oppose this visit and will use it to highlight the fact that British Rule in Ireland is not or never will be normal or acceptable. Like James Connolly we say “England has nor right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland and never can have any right in Ireland”.

On May 29 Republican Sinn Féin held a rededication ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square, Dublin. The Garden was hijacked for the visit of the Queen of England and so the purpose of the ceremony was to rededicate the Garden to its original purpose ie, honouring all of the men and women who have died in pursuit of Irish Freedom since 1798.

On April 20 I had the honour of being the first President of Sinn Féin to visit the United States since Ruairí Ó Brádaigh in 1973. Over the course of the 14-day visit much hard work was put in by Cumann na Saoirse to ensure the visit was a great success. It included the Easter 1916 Commemoration and the Annual Michael and Pearl Flannery Dinner. Meetings were also held with various representatives of Irish American and general public opinion with the purpose of raising awareness of the ongoing protest by the Republican prisoners in Maghaberry as well as promoting our alternative for a New Federal Ireland, ÉIRE NUA.

ed on the political establishments on both sides of the Atlantic quickly emerged when the leadership of the American Ancient Order of Hibernians made a clumsy attempt to stop their members meeting with Republican Sinn Féin. I am delighted to report it is an instruction that has been ignored. Throughout the visit one consistent message was delivered and that was the undiluted gospel of revolutionary Irish Republicanism.
While schools are being closed by the Provo Stormont Education Minister and a 19% cut has been made in social care spending, one area where spending has not been cut is the enforcement of British rule in the Six Counties. All the while the usual round of house raids and random arrests continue. Plenty of money for arrests, courts and jails but not for schools or social services. There is it seems a limitless budget when it comes to repression.

There were three examples this year which show the attitude of the British government to its activities in Ireland has not changed. Firstly, the report of the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry, published on May 24, found that the British State failed to protect Rosemary Nelson before her murder by loyalists in 1999 but did not collude in her killing, despite clear evidence of collusion.

Secondly, the discredited British Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson launched a report on June 24, which ignored the blindingly obvious evidence of British State collusion in the murder of six innocent and uninvolved nationalists at the hands of a loyalist death squad in Loughinisland in 1994. On September 5 the Six-County Criminal Justice Inspection report into the office of Police Ombudsman described Hutchinson’s management as “dysfunctional”. It also found that criticism of the conduct of the RUC contained in reports into some of the most controversial killings during the war in the Six Counties were removed without any explanation.

And thirdly, the refusal of the British government — announced on October 11 at a meeting between the Finucane family and the British Prime Minister David Cameron — to hold an independent public inquiry into the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane in 1989. Geraldine Finucane expressed little doubt as to where responsibility for her husband’s death lay: “I do think it went to the very top of the security and political establishments. They all worked very much in hand. Everybody was informed as to what was going on.”

The loyalist attack on the nationalist community on the Short Strand during the July Orange parades and particularly the response of the RUC/PSNI to it are a clear illustration that the relationship of the Six-County State to the nationalist people has not changed. Following two days of carefully “orchestrated” – the description of the British colonial police themselves – violence by the UVF, the response of the Stormont junta and their police force was to arrest two nationalists and open up talks with the UVF.

On the other hand loyalist-orchestrated violence met with little or no response from the RUC/PSNI – indeed in Ballyclare, Co Antrim the Assistant Chief Constable apologised to loyalists for removing flags, an action that led to serious rioting. Compare this to nationalist areas where the RUC/PSNI had no hesitation in using plastic bullets and water cannon. There were widespread arrests and in a dangerous development the media were forced to hand over film footage to be used in prosecutions.

One can only judge a State or a society by how it treats its most vulnerable. In the 26 Counties we have witnessed the litany of reports of ill-treatment of the both the young and the old. In the Six Counties the case of Brendan Lillis is just another example of how, for all its boasting about its championing of the rule of law and human rights, when it comes to dealing with the Irish people Britain just can’t break the habits of the coloniser when dealing with the colonised.

The Provisional spin-doctors have written countless words about the “new dispensation” and a “new police force”. What we have is the same old British wolf dressed up in the lamb’s clothing afforded it by the 1998 Stormont Agreement.

The Review of the Northern Ireland Prison Service report finds that in all prisons in the Six Counties there is a disproportionate number of Catholics in the prison population – 55 per cent as compared to 44 per cent of the general population of the Six Counties. The report found there were “apparent and consistent disproportionalities in treatment and outcome in all the male prisons, in areas that depend principally on staff discretion”.

In other words where the prison staff have the opportunity they discriminate on sectarian lines against prisoners who are Catholic.

The report states that Catholics were over-represented in areas such as prison discipline – adjudication, use of force and segregation. Catholics were under-represented in terms of temporary release (for healthcare, emergencies or resettlement). In Maghaberry prisoners who were Catholic were over-represented in the poorer accommodation on the “square houses” and “Protestants over-represented in the newer and better units”. The bottom-line here is that the Six-County State is fundamentally sectarian and undemocratic. All of its institutions reflect this including its police force and its prisons.

This is all far removed from the teachings of Tone, Davis, Connolly and Pearse as you could get. As Republican Sinn Féin have continuously pointed out there is an alternative to all of this. ÉIRE NUA is the key to fashioning a New Ireland. ÉIRE NUA is inclusive of all sections of the Irish people. Because it is only the Irish people themselves who can create an Ireland capable of living up to the principles of the 1916 Proclamation. An All-Ireland Constituent Assembly would provide the forum for all sections of the Irish people to discuss and decide the shape of a New Ireland; to such an assembly we would bring ÉIRE NUA.
Such an open and democratic process is in stark contrast to the shadowy world of the current process where secret deals have been hammered out behind the closed doors of Whitehall and Stormont and behind the backs of the Irish people. ÉIRE NUA replaces the mystery, the intrigue, the sharp practice and the sleight of hand and replaces it with the sovereignty and the democratic will of the Irish people.
In the 26 Counties the people are being confronted by the new imperialism of the EU/ECB/IMF. The Troika have already demanded that the 26-County Administration sell off €5 billion of assets. In other words essential infrastructure such as energy supply, public transport, parks and woodland etc would be sold to the highest bidder. The 26-County Administration merely carries out the directives of their political and economic masters in Brussels, Frankfurt and Washington.

Before the last 26-County election Republican Sinn Féin pointed out that the election was meaningless as it entailed merely replacing one set of gombeen politicians with another. Within less than a month of the formation of the new 26-County Administration it was clear for all who were willing to see that the real political and economic masters were in Brussels and Frankfurt. Fine Gael and Labour fell over themselves to sign up to the austerity programme agreed by their predecessors. It seems it was Frankfurt’s way after all!

Already the effects of the cuts in public spending are being felt by the parents of special needs children with the cuts in Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) effectively depriving thousands of children of their right to an education.

The Irish people are to be sacrificed so that the undemocratic and unaccountable EU superstate can be kept afloat, confirming Republican Sinn Féin’s consistent analysis of the threat the EU posed not only to Ireland but also to the political and economic sovereignty of all small nations.

The most vulnerable and marginalised in society are in the sights of this political and economic elite not just in Ireland but also across Europe. The old, the young, the unemployed and those with special needs are to be the fodder used to bolster up a failed currency and the failed political project that is the EU. It was against this backdrop that on November 2, €715 million was handed over to the anonymous unsecured bondholders of the defunct Anglo-Irish Bank.

We are told there is no alternative to membership of the EU. However as the columnist Patrick Murphy – writing in the Irish News of October 15 – points out: “Norway, also a country of five million people, declined to join the EU, opting instead for membership of the European Economic Area. EEA members have free trade with the EU. Norway’s budget for 2012, announced on Thursday (October 6), projects unemployment at 3.3 per cent (Ireland’s (sic) is 14 per cent), wages to increase by more than 4 per cent (Irish wage levels are flat or declining) and its currency to have increased by 34 per cent in recent years against the imploding euro.”

The crucial difference, of course, is that Norway has retained its political and economic sovereignty and crucially Norwegian oil and gas are largely State-owned, giving Norway a £400 billion wealth fund.

This is in contrast to the 26-County State. In 1987 then 26-County Energy Minister Ray Burke reduced the State’s share of oil and gas finds from 50 per cent to zero. In 1992 then 26-County Finance Minister Bertie Ahern reduced corporation tax on oil company profits from 50 per cent to 25 per cent – making it among the lowest in the world. The result is that Irish oil and gas generate no income for the Irish people. As Patrick Murphy says: “Those who own Irish gas and oil include the Norwegian company Statoil, which is largely owned by the Norwegian government. The sovereign people of Norway own natural gas in non-sovereign Ireland. You couldn’t make it up.”

What would ownership of our resources mean? According to estimates Ireland’s Atlantic Margin contains 10 billion barrels of oil. At present markets prices that amounts to between €800 and €1,000 billion, more than ten times the size of the EU-IMF bailout. The SIPTU Oil and Gas Review Group in its report said that the licensing terms should be reviewed in the light of increasing energy prices, new technologies for extracting finds, and our current economic problems. Republican Sinn Féin would go further and say that Ireland’s resources belong to Ireland and should be utilised for the benefit and welfare of the Irish people. In the coming year we hope to publish a policy document on the ownership and use of our natural resources.

I would also like to once more salute Maura Harrington and the rest of the Shell-to-Sea campaign on their tireless defence of the Irish people’s right to the ownership of Ireland’s natural resources.

People need to get out and get radical just as the people of Greece have shown. By their militancy they have forced their government to hold a referendum on the terms of the EU-IMF bailout while also burning the bondholders to the tune of 50 per cent. At a minimum the people should be entitled to the same right to a vote on an austerity programme which will impoverish not only this but future generations. However in supporting the calls for a referendum in the 26 Counties we should be mindful of the contempt the political establishment in Dublin and Brussels have shown to the democratically-expressed will of the people of the 26 Counties in both the Nice and Lisbon referenda. A referendum in itself is not enough.
In SAOL NUA we set out a vision of a new sustainable economics in which growth is measured against the welfare of people and the development of society in terms of health, education, employment, distribution of wealth, etc. These are the real measures of the health of an economy. Tinkering around the edges of a failed political and economic system is not the answer. People need to seize the moment themselves and in doing so reject a political and chattering class who will never let go of this failed system because it will never be in their own self-interest to do so.
Bliain tar éis don Straitéis Fiche Bliain don Ghaeilge a bheith fógraithe ag Rialtas Bhaile Átha Cliath is cúis imní an ciúnas iomlán ó shin faoi. Idir an dá linn leanann an ghéarchéim teanga sna Gaeltachtaí, stoptar Gaelscoileanna nua á mbunú agus tá útamáil Adams agus a chairde i bhForas na Gaeilge ag tachtadh na n-eagras deonacha.
One year on from publication, nothing but silence surrounds the Dublin government’s 20-year Strategy for the Irish Language, which continues to promote vague discredited one-way bilingualism — the Irish speaker yielding all the time but the English speaker never yielding to the Irish speaker. The original national aim of the restoration of Irish as the primary language of the nation is the only one which will deliver fair, balanced and healthy bilingualism.

We view with alarm the move away from allowing parents and communities to set up Gaelscoileanna, and indeed other Patronage schools, to the present situation where the State decides the areas where the schools are established and by whom. Up to 10 parents’ groups have given up in their efforts to start Gaelscoileanna in the last three years due to this alarming anti-Irish language policy by the 26-County Department of Education.

Meanwhile the Dublin Administration has further downgraded and simplified the Irish language Leaving Certificate, with no reasonable educational challenge for either the Gaelscoil pupils or the Gaeltacht teenagers! As the journalist Eoin Ó Murchú stated in the Irish Times of October 11 regarding the attitude of the 26-County State to the language: “Officially, the language has primary status, but in fact officialdom treats it largely with indifference. A small amount of money suffices to take it off the agenda.”

The present stand-off between Foras na Gaeilge and the language organisations is also to be regarded with great worry. Foras na Gaeilge wants to take away the basic funding of organisations such as Conradh na Gaeilge and Gael Linn, among others, in a way that threatens the core ethos of these groups. Foras na Gaeilge is dominated, since its instigation by the Stormont Agreement, by Adams’s and McGuinness’s people. Where now is their famous commitment to the language and our proud historical language organisations are under severe stress and strain, with their very existence under threat by these proposals?

As Irish Republicans we view Ireland’s long struggle for national freedom as part of the international struggle against imperialism. In keeping with this position Republican Sinn Féin’s foreign policy – first put forward in 1976 – calls for action in three concentric circles: (a) with the other Celtic countries toward a Celtic League on the lines of the Nordic Council or the Arab League; (b) with the stateless nationalities of Europe and the working-class movements in Europe toward “a free federation of free peoples” (which was James Connolly’s goal); and (c) with the formerly-colonised nations and the people still struggling against colonialism such as Palestine.

In this regard we again pledge our support to the people of Palestine in their demand for nationhood and in particular their recognition as a nation-state by the UN. In this regard we applaud the decision of UNESCO – in the face of threats from Israel – in granting full membership to Palestine. The US cut funding to UNESCO as result of its vote. As our National Publicity Officer Geraldine McNamara points out: “Peace has to come about with justice and what is happening to the Palestinian people is totally unjust and immoral.”

The resource wars of the 21st century continue unabated as we can see with the latest imperialist intervention in Libya by Britain, the United States, France and Italy. Once more we are witnessing a scramble for Africa and the control of resources such as oil and water supplies, while the triumphalist parading of the dead body of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shows that when speaking about the sanctity of human life the western political establishment and their mouthpieces in the media apply a double standard.

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. This year in a blatant attempt to sanitise the deaths of 14 Irish people at the hands of the British army it was announced that there would be no longer an annual Bloody Sunday march. This decision was opposed by a number of the relatives of the Bloody Sunday victims. In a statement on January 30 our Vice-President Fergal Moore said: “We support the relatives who are calling for the annual march to be continued and Republican Sinn Féin will facilitate a march in Derry to mark the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday next year and in future years.”

Over the coming years we will with pride commemorate the significant dates in our revolutionary history including the centenaries of the founding of the Irish Volunteers, the Irish Citizen Army and Cumann na mBan as well as the 1913 Lockout. As the legitimate heirs to the legacy and mantle of 1916, as the political representatives of those who have never abandoned the All-Ireland Republic proclaimed at the GPO, Republican Sinn Féin will mark the centenary of the Rising with pride and also conscious of the unfinished work which remains to be done.

We face into the coming year mindful of the threats and challenges, which lie ahead. But we do so armed with the confidence and belief that our proud tradition gives us.

Let us go forward firm in our beliefs and convictions at the forefront of the struggle for Ireland’s political and economic freedom.

Go raibh mile maith agaibh ar fad. Beannacht dílis Dé oraibh go léir.

Long live the All-Ireland Republic.

An Phoblacht Abú.

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Frank Driver & Kevin Barry Commemorations

Frank Driver Commemoration

Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare
Sunday, Novvember 20
Assemble 1pm opposite Driver's cottage in Ballymore Eustace and parade from there to the cemetery.

Kevin Barry Commemoration

Rathvilly, Co Carlow, 3pm
Sunday, November 20

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RSF address to Celtic League AGM

An address to the Celtic League 50th Anniversary AGM held in Falkirk,Scotland on Saturday October 29 from the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton.

For 50 years the Celtic League has been a tireless champion of the political, cultural, social, economic and environmental rights of the Celtic nations. Our Patron Ruairí Ó Brádaigh is a long-standing member of the Celtic League and he joins with me in extending greetings and Celtic solidarity to you all on behalf of Republican Sinn Féin.

As Irish Republicans we view Ireland’s long struggle for national freedom as part of the international struggle against imperialism. In keeping with this position Republican Sinn Féin’s foreign policy – first put forward in 1976 – calls for action in three concentric circles: (A) With the other Celtic countries toward a Celtic League on the lines of the Nordic Council or the Arab League; (B) with the stateless nationalities of Europe and the working class movements in Europe toward “a free federation of free peoples” (which was James Connolly’s goal); and (C) with the formerly colonized nations and the people still struggling against colonialism such as Palestine.

The world of today presents us with huge challenges and threats. In Ireland we are being squeezed between the old and new imperialisms. On the one hand the old imperialism of British Rule is still a reality in the Six Occupied Counties in the northeastern corner of our country. Arbitrary arrest, house raids and harassment remain the stock-in-trade of the British Colonial Police in Ireland.

The past year has seen a concerted effort by the British State to silence Republican Sinn Féin. In May of this year –just days before the Queen of England’s unwelcome visit to the 26-County State – two of our members Cait Trainor from Co Armagh - a member of our Ard Chomhairle (National Executive) - and Sean Maloney also from Co Armagh -a former Republican Prisoner - were arrested and charged as a result of political views they expressed in an interview with Channel Four News in September of last year. The charge is being taken under the draconian ‘Terrorism Act’ of 2006. The arrests and charges are an attack on the basic right to hold and express a political opinion and are reminiscent of the kind of draconian legislation used by the Spanish State in the Basque Country. We are calling on the Celtic League to highlight this case internationally,

In July of this year the President and Vice President of Republican Sinn Féin, Des Dalton and Fergal Moore were arrested in Lurgan Co Armagh and charged with participating in an ‘illegal’ march in Lurgan on January 23. The protest march in question was held to call for the release of veteran Republican Martin Corey who has been interned without trial in Maghaberry prison since April 2010. Again this is a deliberate attempt to put Republicans off the streets of the Six Counties. And we must also note that this year as Irish Republicans marked the 30th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strikes in the H Blocks of Long Kesh young Irish Republican prisoners are locked in a struggle for the same right to political status in Maghaberry Prison.

All of this shows that the nature of British occupation in Ireland has not changed. The British policy of “divisions carefully fostered by an alien government” created and sustained the Six-County State. It was a state built on sectarianism, discrimination, inequality and repression. The Stormont Agreement merely institutionalised sectarianism with a resultant increase in the polarisation of the two communities. Provisional Sinn Féin on the one side and the DUP on the other are more than happy to base their political supremacy on this sectarian divide. Posing as the political face of their respective ‘tribes’.

In the 26 Counties we face the new imperialism of the IMF/ECB and IMF.

The most vulnerable and marginalised in society are in the sights of this political and economic elite not just in Ireland but also across Europe. In Greece the people have been told they must pay the debts of the financial elite at the cost of the ownership of the very land beneath their feet. In Ireland the old, the young, the unemployed and those with special needs are to be the fodder used to bolster a failed currency and the failed political project that is the EU. The political and economic reality is that the 26-County Administration are merely managers of a programme that has been set out for them by the EU/ECB and IMF. It is time to cast off the shackles of the old imperialism of London – in occupation of part of our country - and the new imperialism of the EU/ECB/IMF.

The way forward for the Celtic peoples is to build an alliance of free peoples. In this regard we applaud Scotland’s progress towards independence. The Scots, Welsh, Cornish and even English nationalities or nationalisms are asserting themselves once more. The ties which bind the “Union” are fraying, a certain momentum is building up and we all need to be planning for a better future. We also salute the ongoing struggle of our comrades in Brittany for nationhood. The old order is being questioned more and more, people are receptive to new ideas and the circumstances are opportune again. What better basis on which to build a free, united, federal Ireland of over six million people?

In Ireland we believe that our programme for a Federal Ireland Éire Nua holds the key to building a New Ireland for all of the Irish people and replacing the two failed partitionist states. Republicans have never advocated the achievement of a united Ireland by adding the Six Counties to the 26, under either the 1922 or the 1937 Free State Constitutions. We have never proposed or recommended a 32-County Free State. We have never accepted either state but seek to restore the All-Ireland Republic which was overthrown in 1922.

The central thrust of Éire Nua is the maximum devolution of power from national to provincial, regional, right down to local or community level. The Provincial Parliaments will be elected by the people of each province according to a system of proportional representation.

Unionists and Nationalist, within a nine county Ulster would have a real and meaningful input and control over the political, social, economic and cultural life of their province, regions and communities. Unlike the institutions set up under the ‘Stormont’ and St Andrews Agreements, the governmental structures set out in Éire Nua, would be accountable only to the people who elected them. Under Éire Nua the sovereignty of the Irish people is paramount.

Éire Nua offers a framework within which all sections of the Irish people are the decision makers on the vital issues for their communities, their regions and their nation. “Apart from providing a solution to the Ulster situation, these proposals would bring power nearer to the people and help to correct east-west economic imbalance nationally. Republicans submit that such structures will be necessary to ensure justice for all, including the 18% of the national population who have supported the unionist position.”

Our social and economic programme Saol Nua – A New Way of Life - represents a vision of Ireland based on Republican, Socialist, and Self-reliance and Ecological principles; it identifies the obstacles to be overcome and the goals to be reached if we are to build an All-Ireland Federal Democratic Socialist Republic.

And so comrades and friends let us go forward together advancing the goal of a community of free Celtic Nations. I leave you with the words of the father of Irish Republicanism Theobald Wolfe Tone: “Let the nations go abreast. Let the interchange of sentiments among mankind concerning the Rights of Man be as immediate as possible”.

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No other law

Writing in the series Perspectives on the presidency in the Irish Times of October 13 Tom Hickey; lecturer in the School of Law NUI Galway gives a definition of Republicanism with which one could readily identify.

However he then puts a construct on Irish Republicanism, which is a misrepresentation of a 220 year-old revolutionary tradition. He writes that Irish Republicanism has for many become a “dirty word, gradually conflated with sectarian nationalism.” He goes on then to accuse Irish Republicans of defining Irish nationality along sectarian lines – reserved only for one section of the Irish people.

Irish Republicanism stands as a polar opposite to sectarianism. Drawing from the wellspring of the enlightenment, it rejects the ‘Divine Right of Kings’ and replaces it with the sovereignty of the people and the universal ‘Rights of Man’. The Father of Irish Republicanism Theobald Wolfe Tone could not have been clearer as to the foundation upon which a free All-Ireland Republic would be built: “To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissentions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in the place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter - these were my means.”

This has remained the bedrock of Irish Republicanism right up to the present day. Indeed it is this rejection of sectarianism, which was one of the two primary reasons advanced by Republican Sinn Féin in rejecting the 1998 Stormont Agreement. Because it served only to institutionalise sectarianism in what was already an undemocratic and sectarian statelet in the Six Counties. The other of course was that it copper-fastened British rule in Ireland.

Tom Hickey writes that in a real Republic the two “distinct pillars” are the “sanctity of the public space, and of the common public good.” He then says: “this requires meaningful deliberative engagement on the part of all citizens, and participation.”

The second pillar he identifies as “equal citizenship” and immunity from “arbitrary power.” I would invite Tom Hickey to read Éire Nua if he wishes to see a definition of just such a republic based on real participation and the common good. The Éire Nua proposals make tangible the Republic aspired to by Tone, Emmet, Davis, Lalor, Pearse and Connolly. Éire Nua presents a vision and a programme for a New Ireland that is in stark contrast to both failed partitionist states.

In an article published in Saoirse marking 40 years since the launch of Éire Nua Sean Ó Bradaigh had this to say about the nature of the two partition states: “The partition of Ireland in 1922 created not one, but two unnatural entities, not just a ‘Protestant parliament for a Protestant people’ in the Six Counties, but also a Catholic state in the 26 Counties.

“The Unionist majority in the North behaved very badly in their gerrymandering of electoral boundaries and in discrimination against the minority. The, mostly hidden, hand of the Orange Order was behind serious civil rights abuses. Westminster consistently refused to intervene and the whole thing blew up in all our faces in 1969. This would not have happened in a 32-County pluralist Ireland which guaranteed equal rights and equal opportunities to all her citizens.

“The same unnatural partition affected the 26 Counties also. A 32-County state with its balance of different religions could hardly have brought about the controversy over the appointment of a Protestant librarian in Co Mayo in 1931; the banning of Edna O’Brien’s short novels; the hounding from office of Dr Noel Browne, Minister for Health in 1951; the scandals of the Magdalene Laundries and the Industrial Schools, for examples.”
The opposition of unionists to the idea of being incorporated into such a state is understandable what is not is their treatment over a prolonged period of the minority within the Six-County State something that was shameful and unworthy of the descendants of the first Irish Republicans of the 1790s.
Not unreasonably unionists have expressed frustration at the apparent lack any concrete proposals setting out the shape of a future free and united Ireland. One Unionist, David Adams, writing in the Irish Times on December 3 2009, criticising this percieved failure of nationalist or republican Ireland to propose a blueprint for a united Ireland. He wrote: “Clarity is what the people of Northern Ireland (sic) need.” However he also noted: “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.”

There is an onus on Irish Republicans to be very clear and precise in setting out our vision. Irish Republicans have never advocated a 32-County Free State. We believe that a New Ireland for all of the Irish people is required if we are to advance politically, socially and econimally. In short we seek the restoration of the 32-County Republic which was subverted in 1922.

Éire Nua proposes a Federal Ireland based on the historic four provinces including a nine-county Ulster. This would be horizontal democracy based on sharing autonomy and sovereignty between provinces, regions right down to local or community level within the framework of an independent nation state. This would represent meaningful decentralisation of power and decision-making. A nine-county Ulster Parliament would have considerably more power than any Stormont Assembly ever had. Importantly an Ulster Parliament or Dáil Uladh would be soverign and could not be suspended over the heads of its elected members by an outside parliament such as Westminster, as is the case today.

Again as Sean Ó Brádaigh points out : “Éire Nua includes a Draft Charter of Rights and the right of Petition or Initiative. This right of Initiative is much used in Switzerland. It is a constitutional modus operandi whereby a referendum can be resorted to on an issue of importance if a sufficient number of signatures are collected. This can be done at local, provincial or national level. Issues like Shell to Sea or the M3 motorway near Tara come to mind. This is direct participative democracy at work, as distinct from representative democracy.”

Tom Hickey concludes by saying if we are to “renew our Republic (sic) in advance of 2016 we must first restore the idea of republicanism.” I would agree with this sentiment but would go further and say that we must also restore the Republic of 1916, a Republic that was stolen from us and reconnect with the ideals enshrined in the 1916 Proclamation. To quote Liam Lynch: “We have declared for an Irish Republic and will not live under any other law”

Taken from Des Dalton's Blog

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Candle Light Vigil at GPO marks 30th Anniversary of End of Hunger Strike

Republican Sinn Féin marked the 30th anniversary of the ending of the hunger strikes in the H Blocks of Long Kesh with a candle light vigil at the GPO in O’Connell St in Dublin on October 5.

Addressing the crowd the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton said that the hunger striker was not simply in pursuit of political status. “Bobby Sands and his comrades gave their lives that the All-Ireland Republic might live. These young Irishmen were willing to give their lives that their children might live in a New Ireland. 30 years later the fact that there are young Irishmen in Maghaberry prison locked in a struggle for political status tells us that nothing has changed. Ireland still suffers British occupation and partition. Here in the 26-Counties the people are being sold out to the new imperialists of the EU/ECB and IMF. The most fitting monument we can erect to the martyrs of 1981 is to bring about that All-Ireland Federal Democratic Socialist Republic.” He concluded by quoting from the statement issued by the Republican POWs: “There were several reasons given by our comrades for going on hunger-strike. One was because we had no choice and no other means of securing a principled solution to the four-year protest.

“Another, and of fundamental importance, was to advance the Irish people's right to liberty. We believe that the age-old struggle for Irish self-determination and freedom has been immeasurably advanced by this hunger-strike and therefore we claim a massive political victory. The hunger-strikers, by their selflessness, have politicised a very substantial section of the Irish nation and exposed the shallow, unprincipled nature of the Irish partitions bloc.

“Our comrades have lit with their very lives an eternal beacon which will inspire this nation and people to rise and crush oppression forever and his nation can be proud that it produced such a quality of man hood.

“We pay a special tribute to the families of our dead comrades. You have suffered greatly and with immense dignity. Your loved ones, our comrades and friends, were and would be very proud of you for standing by them. No tribute is to great.

“Also, we give a special mention to those families who could not bear to watch their loved ones die in pain and agony. We prisoners understand the pressure you were under and stand by you.

“We thank the National H-Block/Armagh Committee, the H-Block movement, the nationalist people of Ireland, and all those who championed our cause abroad, we are indebted to you and ask you to continue your good work on our behalf.

“Lastly we reaffirm our commitment to the achievement of the five demands by whatever means we believe necessary and expedient. We rule nothing out.

“Under no circumstances are we going to devalue the memory of our dead comrades by submitting ourselves to a dehumanising and degrading régime.”

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Sham politics in a sham state

The ongoing soap opera, which we will laughingly refer to as the 26-County Presidential Election is an obscenity in terms of the cost estimated at €20 million and the fact that it is being used by the political elite as a very convenient distraction from the harsh economic realties faced by Irish people the length and breadth of the 32 Counties.

The office itself is a meaningless and empty position carrying no political weight. It was a position created by Éamon De Valera to replace the old position of Governor General when he introduced his 1937 Free State Constitution. The blandness of the rhetoric coming from the candidates reflects the shallowness of the well-paid position they are all jockeying for.

Martin McGuinness tells us he wants a “New Republic”. Perhaps Martin could enlighten us as to how he will “lead us to the Republic” from the Vice Regal lodge.

Martin has said he will fearlessly uphold all the institutions of the 26-County State – including its army and police force. Well at least here he is consistent, as he has already made a similar pledge to uphold the institutions of British rule in the Six Counties. It seems if Martin is going to uphold partition it’s a case of all or nothing!

This election is a parody of democracy a case of fiddling while Rome burns. The political class are playing their little games hoping that the people will be distracted enough not to notice that their country and the future of their children is being sold off. All the elements that go towards creating a civilised society – access to health at the point of need – equal access to education – socia protection of the young – the old – those with special needs either physical or mental are being sacrificed. The effects of this will be felt not just by this but also by future generations.

So as the rhetoric flies and the platitudes are trotted out by the various candidates telling us they “believe in people” or want to “encourage and inspire” or God preserve us “build bridges” just remember you can register your disgust and protest at this sham politics in a sham state. Either stay at home on polling day or if you do feel the need to go to the polling station write an appropriate slogan across the face of the ballot paper and send them your own message of protest and your aspiration for a truly New Ireland.

Taken from:

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Boycott 26-County election

Statement by the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton

The forthcoming 26-County Presidential election is a costly distraction from the very real issues confronting the people of Ireland such as the fact that political and economic sovereignty have been signed away to the unelected and unaccountable elite of the EU/ECB and IMF.

Our people are being sacrificed in order to bailout the undemocratic EU Superstate and its failed currency. While essential services such as health and education are being slashed €20 Million is being spent on a meaningless election to a meaningless position.

We are calling on people to register their rejection of the failed politics of a failed state by boycotting this election. It is time for a New Ireland based on the principles of the 1916 proclamation and the reestablishment of: “the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland”.

Statement in Spanish 'El R.SF propugna el boicot a las elecciones presidenciales en los 26 Condados' . . .

Statement in German 'Republikaner rufen zu Wahlboykott auf' . . .

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Beware false prophets

A time of economic crisis provides a moment in time when the revolutionary can more readily get the ear of the people. At such times people are open to the possibility of radical change. It is of such a juncture that Lenin wrote: “A revolution is impossible without a revolutionary situation” however he also warned “not every revolutionary situation leads to revolution”.

A climate of economic crisis not only opens up possibilities for the genuine revolutionary but also for the false prophet of racism and fascism. Germany in the 1920s and early 30s is an oft-quoted example of the kind of conditions that breed such hateful ideology. The pattern is the same the world over however: find a scapegoat for joblessness, poverty, cuts in social spending etc. Such a scapegoat will usually differ from the majority in skin colour, religion, language culture, nationality or gender. These false prophets then go to work on increasing paranoia and bigotry among the majority against the minority based on the false premise that salvation of the majority lies in the destruction of those that differ from the rest. The purpose is always the same to climb to a position of political power and hold it by creating fear among the population towards each other thereby ensuring their control by the state.

All of this is anathema to the very ethos and philosophy of Irish Republicanism. When Wolfe Tone, Thomas Russell, Samuel Neilson and others came together to found the Society of United Irishmen they were explicit as to what its purpose was to be: “This Society is likely to be a means the most powerful for the promotion of a great end. What end? The Rights of Man in Ireland. The greatest happiness of the greatest number in this island, the inherent and indefeasible claims of every free nation to rest in this nation. . . The greatest happiness of the greatest number – on the rock of this principle let this Society rest; by this let it judge and determine every political question, and whatever is necessary for this end let it not be accounted hazardous, but rather our interest, our duty, our glory and our common religion. The Rights of Man are the Rights of God, and to vindicate the one is to maintain the other. We must be free in order to serve Him whose service is perfect freedom.”

This is why it is all the more reprehensible when those who masaqurade under the banner of Irish Republicanism attempt to hide their hideous mantra of hate, bigotry and intolerence under such a noble standard. People should be awake to those who attempt this sleight of hand and treat them with the same contempt and suspicion one would any imposter or confidence trickster. Indeed I would argue even more so for such characters are worse than any fraudster because by their words an deeds they bismirch the very name of Irish Republicanism.

Irish Republicanism is no narrow insular dogma – it is an international philosophy of freedom and democracy drawing on the best and noblest instincts of human nature rather than the lowest. Our cause is the cause of humanity. Again we are back to Tone: “Let the nations go abreast. Let the interchange of sentiments among mankind concerning the Rights of Man be as immediate as possible”. It is a philosophy which invites people into the brightness of enlightment and progress rather than the shaows of fear and intolerence.

Taken from Des Daltons Blog

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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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