could be the inordinate amount of warm weather we
have enjoyed so early in the year but there are some
bizarre goings on in the quiet corners of our green
and pleasant land.
Monday April 21 the Fianna Fail minister for transport,
Seamus Brennan, unveiled a statue of Countess Constance
Markievicz in Rathcormac near her ancestral home Lissadel
in County Sligo.
born into a privileged, land owning family, Constance
Gore-Booth took up the cause of socio-economic and
national emancipation for the Irish people. She founded
Na Fianna Eireann in 1908 and during the 1916 rising,
as a member of James Connollys Irish Citizen
Army, she fought as second in command to Michael Mallin
at St. Stephens Green.
bravery and uncompromising socialist beliefs brought
her into conflict with all those who oppressed the
workers and poor of Ireland be they British Imperialists
or the native gombeen capitalists. She was sentenced
to death for treason by the British and later imprisoned
by the Free State administration when she sided with
the post treaty republican faction.
wonders how she herself would react at the thought
of a minister from a party that will be remembered
mainly for corruption and cronyism having a hand in
commemorating her selflessness and sacrifice.
Easter Monday ceremony is typical of this party, bereft
of any social conscience or scruples, grasping for
some respectability by paying lip service to the memory
of a genuine hero of the long struggle for liberation.
the same day, in a country graveyard in Co Donegal,
a small crowd had gathered to remember the life and
death of Lt. Peter Duffy of the Northern Division
of the IRA who died on active service in 1921.
guest speaker was Pat Doherty Sinn Fein MP for the
South Tyrone constituency at Westminster and an M.L.A.
in the Stormont administration.
been to many such commemorations north of the border
and if Sinn Fein are involved, as most times they
are, things take on a familiar theme. Those being
remembered fought and died as heroes. However, and
more importantly we are informed of a continuum that
can be traced from the 19th century Fenian rising
through the Young Irelanders, 1916 and up to the present
day where the struggle is being perpetuated through
the Belfast Agreement.
sure enough thats how it panned out. Sinn Fein
like their predecessors in Fianna Fail were never
ones to miss the opportunity to climb on the coffins
of our fallen comrades to make political capital.
The name and sacrifice of the dead volunteer is incidental
to the overall drive to sell this squalid little reactionary
deal to the people.
Doherty went further. We were informed the Lt. Duffy
and his comrades help to bring freedom to
this part of our country through their struggle and
the subsequent Treaty of 1922.
where does that leave those who, like Countess Markievicz,
dissented from the Treaty?
many were to be executed with varying degrees of barbarity
by forces loyal to that new dispensation. Is Sinn
Fein now aligning itself with those who strapped nine
republicans to a landmine and detonated it at Ballyseedy
Cross Co. Kerry in 1922? Were the Free Staters right
to execute Liam, Rory Dick and Joe, representing the
Four Provinces, in December of 22?
one examines the timing and manner in which Michael
Collins memory was exhumed and re-deified by
the leadership of Sinn Fein then it is perfectly logical
to expect that their rationale on the deeds of Collins
forces should also be re-examined and revised.
and his regime were, after all, only policing the
process. Now where have I heard those words before?
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