chairde agus comradaithe.
It is an honour to be speaking here today in memory
of the Republican Socialist volunteers from this area
who lost their lives in defence of the republic and
the advancement of the republican ideal of a free,
united and socialist Ireland. These men did not sit
in backrooms telling others how to fight a war; they
had the courage of their convictions and enough belief
in their ideals to fight the war themselves and to
die. There are some in the wider republican family
who use events such as this to announce further ideological
retreats from republicanism, some who use the sacrifices
of others in the past to justify or sell what they
are doing today. However we are not hypocrites. We
remember these men with pride, secure in the knowledge
that what they fought and died for will be achieved.
Republicans are again under extreme pressure, we have
been here before. However there is a gradual realization
that the republican community has been failed by its
self appointed leaders and by the Good Friday Agreement.
It is now up to we republicans to push forward with
our republican alternative, we must not be elitist
and must be conscious of the fact that Irish Freedom
and liberation will not be won by the 32 County Sovereignty
Movement nor the Irish Republican Socialist Party
but by the Irish People themselves. It is our role
to guide and encourage the people but first we must
re-convince the wider republican community of the
merits of true republicanism before we can hope to
convince Irish Nationalism or Unionism.
The Sovereignty Movement would like, at this point,
to thank the Republican Socialist Movement for the
comradeship they have extended to us in the past number
of years, particularly on the issue of prisoners and
the Justice for Seamus Doherty Campaign.
doubt there will be many occasions in the future when
we will require your support and we thank you in advance
for it. We also pledge our support to you in a spirit
of solidarity and revolutionary republicanism. Both
our organizations have been the subject of black propaganda
and smear campaigns from the British, Free State and
the pro-agreement establishments and from this we
must conclude that we are doing something right, we
have hit a nerve somewhere or perhaps pricked a few
Finally, it is important to remember when honouring
fallen comrades, particularly the Hunger Strikers,
not to project retrospectively attitudes or opinions
that were not their own. No one can speak for the
fallen or claim what it is they would have thought
of any given political situation. All we can know
for sure is what they died for, in the case of the
INLA volunteers, the socialist republic envisaged
by James Connolly. What we have in this country today
are two dispensations which neither are nether socialist
nor respect the integrity of the republic.
was Connolly who penned these next few lines after
the death of O Donovan Rossa and they are as relevant
today as they were 90 years ago: "The burial
of the remains of O Donovan Rossa in Irish Soil, .........must
inevitably raise in the mind of every worker the question
of his or her own mental attitude to the powers against
which the departed hero was in revolt. That involves
the question whether those who accept that which Rossa
rejected have any right to take part in an honour
paid to a man whose only title to honour lies in his
continued rejection of that which they have accepted.
It is a question each must answer for himself or herself.
But neither can it be answered carelessly, nor evaded."
The question we must ask ourselves here today, comrades,
is: can we in all conscience accept less than what
these men died for? That again is a question each
must answer for themselves,
Go raibh maith agat.
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