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What county can preserve its liberties,
if its rulers are not warned from time to time that its people preserve the spirit of resistance.

- Thomas Jefferson



An American View of D-Day

Dorothy Robinson


For myself and possibly for others, the latest round of decommissioning is nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders. The first round was the stunning one, the official surrender. Quite frankly, I wish they would decommission everything and get it over with, rather than using each D-Day as a bargaining chip in their little political games.

From the time two centuries ago when the first refugees from the 1798 Rising arrived on American shores, support for a free Ireland has been great. Direct action began in 1867 with men and materiel for the Fenian rising, followed by the rescue of the Fenian prisoners in Australia in 1876, then the financing of the first submarine, the Fenian Ram, and finally with the 1880s bombing campaign in London, funded and carried out from this side of the Atlantic. Most of the money and material for the 1916 Easter Rising came from here.

It is interesting to note that American support is mentioned directly in the 1916 Easter Proclamation, and indirectly in the Irish national anthem. Support, both moral and material, was freely given. A very special relationship existed between the Republican Movement in Ireland and the one here.

Some of my anger toward the provoshinners is on behalf of those Americans who took many chances in acquiring and shipping those weapons. The risks here were far greater than in Ireland - loss of job, loss of home, etc., whether or not the party was convicted. And, of course, whatever the grim conditions in the jails of the U.K. and Republic, they just don't come up to the horror standards of American prisons, where one might end up with the likes of a Charlie Manson as a cellmate.

I am told that at least one of those gunrunning ventures - the theft of weaponry from a U. S. arsenal in Massachusetts - is still an open issue since the party or parties responsible for it could be charged with treason, which has no statute of limitations. At the time I first heard this it seemed a little far-fetched, but considering what is happening to the two American-born Taliban fighters maybe it isn't that far-fetched at all.

Now it would be easy enough to say that anyone who went beyond the law knew what they were getting into and the chances they would be taking, that no one held a gun to their heads. This is true as far as it goes. But I somehow doubt they would have left the comfort of their living rooms to load wooden crates down at the docks in Brooklyn if they knew what would eventually happen to those weapons. Law-breaking and law-abiding supporters alike could have never imagined that for all their efforts Sinn Fein would sign a document that grants ownership of the Six Counties to the United Kingdom.

No one on this side of the Atlantic has any right to tell the Republican Movement in Ireland that they have to have a war, and please do not misinterpret this as such. But the actions of the provoshinners are a profound slap in the face to all those over here who put so much into the concept of a free, united Ireland. Let the weapons rust away underground.



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