and Comrades, it is an honour to be asked to speak
at this unveiling of a memorial plaque to the memory
of two volunteers of the Irish National Liberation
Army who hailed from this district. Mickey and Patrick
were two fine young men cut down in their prime of
life for standing up for what they believed in.
today's hectic world with everything happening so
fast it is little wonder that the youth of today,
spoon fed on a continuous diet of wall to wall trash
TV and designer music to deaden the soul have swallowed
whole the manufactured cardboard heroes, held up by
a partisan mass media for them to admire. So who cares
if Westlife endorse "Poppy's" to remember
with pride the army that tied Connolly to a chair
and shot him. Who's Connolly? Where did Article's
2 and 3 go? what were Article's 2 and 3 anyway.
our children walk past this plaque many of them will
be more concerned with "Rave" culture than
the plight of the community in North Belfast were
kids of the same age or younger are blackmailed in
to spying on their defenders. They'll stand under
it and talk about "Big Brother" as their
every move is observed by the Ascendancy's cameras.
They would be wise to emulate both Patrick and Mickey,
look beyond the hype and have something more to believe
knew Mickey Kearney in life, gave the oration to him
in Milltown the day we buried him. I could not do
justice to his character then, nor can I do it now.
16 years have not diminished my inability to articulate
the multifaceted character that was Mickey Kearney.
died at the hands of fellow Irishmen who were duped
into doing the work of the British Imperialist war-machine
and trying to wipe out the Republican Socialist Movement.
He died in defence of this movement and our presence
here today and our unveiling of this plaque shows
he did not die in vain. We did not go away, you know.
Republican Socialist movement today is as strong if
not stronger than it has ever been. Our policies and
politics are today even more, if that were possible,
relevant to the lives of our young people as when
Seamus Costello set about re-establishing the tradition
of Republican Socialism.
philosophy of Republican Socialism is based on the
needs aspirations and hopes of the Irish working class.
That class that labours, North and South, Prod and
Taig, to produce all of the wealth of the country
but only receive a pittance from the Boss's table.
It encompasses the Republicanism of Wolfe Tone, the
socialism of James Connolly, the radicalism and militancy
of Liam Mellows, the humanity of Peadar O¹Donnell
and the vision and passion of Seamus Costello.
was this set of beliefs that attracted both Mickey
and Patrick to the banners of this movement. Often
there is a tendency within the broad Republican tradition
for people to sanitise the memory of those Republicans
who were killed in action. Patrick and Mickey were
no saints - they had the same faults, habits,
and customs of thousands of other young men living
through a war. In short, they were just two working-class
lads. But both also had something else, something
special. They had beliefs, courage commitment and
dedication. That is what made them different to the
thousands of others, they looked deeper than the gloss,
pushed themselves to the front and said, enough.
young Paddy Bo -- I didn't have the privilege to know
Paddy Bo, he was born the year Seamus Costello, founder
of the INLA was assassinated at the hands of the Official
IRA. He grew up in troubled times and saw what was
happening to his own land and to his own people. When
able, he joined the INLA to play his part in liberating
his class and country. Unfortunately he died at the
hands of the drug dealing scum he was defending his
adopted community from.
deaths weigh heavily on the living. Families are left
with memories of the good and bad times. Friends may
remember the pranks played and the days of craic and
laughter. Comrades may remember the days of training
and operations carried out. But what will future generations
walking under this plaque know? Will they know that
these volunteers were heroes of the working class?
Will they look at these plaques with pride or just
shrug their shoulders and walk on by?
answer to these questions lies with this generation
with you-with me-with us all today. For, to make meaning
of their sacrifices and deaths we must strive to build
a better world for our children. As I look around
this gathering today I see many comrades of Mickey
and Paddy Bo, past and present some still active in
the movement, some not active in politics, some fell
out with us for past decisions. To them we say, your
home is with us, as it always was, in trying to bring
about this new world both ideologically and politically.
we cannot say that what is now passing for politics
on either side of the border will build a better world.
Stormont is a farce, a charade, joke! A place for
place-seekers, for the gin and tonic set, for the
great and the good, for the wanes and for the
has-beens, a place for the small minded, for the YES
men and women to swan about in. It is an obscenity
for any self-respecting republican to give credence
to that administration in the White House on the hill.
as for the Dail - the stench of corruption both from
the body politic and the body holy is reaching to
high heavens. All the great institutions of that ill
begotten and bastard born state are corrupt, venal
1969 Seamus Costello clearly laid out what attitude
should be adopted by elected Republicans to the existing
said, "Breaking the confidence of the people
in the existing Parliamentary institutions should
be one of the main functions of our TD's. They should
be full time Revolutionary Organisers in their own
attitude of Sinn Fein councillors should be to avail
of every possible opportunity to demonstrate that
we are fundamentally different from all of the other
parties and we should not yield to the temptation
to let up on the attack, either for some short term
advantage, or because some of them just happen to
be nice people."
believed that the Republican should enter the partitionist
assemblies with the intentions of Guy Fawkes and "Use
it as a forum from which to advance our revolutionary
ideas thereby creating a lack of confidence in the
why we are republicans. And more importantly today
that was why Paddy Bo and Mickey were Republicans.
Corruption and capitalism go hand in hand and neither
can be reformed. They must be destroyed.
Stormont nor the Dail but the Republic is what we
demand, the Republic of Connolly, of Costello, and
of Kearney and Campbell.
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