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Reality Check

This is the second part of the article, Reality Check.

Patrick Lismore • 28 August 2004

2004: We have a split within republicanism; it did happen in 1986, but the more focus that is put on the GFA, the more people will look at the history and see for themselves. Where Iwould differ from Republican Sinn Fein is Ii believe that Provisional Sinn Fein is in there, doing what they can, pushing their mandate. I would like to see an opposition in both governments north and south pushing Eire Nua as an alternative. There is such a stigma placed upon the organisation by the media and the state and other states that there is a fear of joining, also there is major suppression by state media on Eire Nua and incarcerated republican prisioners. However Republican Sinn Fein has an Irish proposal for a just settlement in Ireland, this is the Eire Nua Peace Document. Again, let's be realistic, Eire Nua is a model for a peaceful Ireland.

Republican Sinn Fein are regarded as the true custodians of republicainism because they will not move on their priniciples, but a majority had voted that for progress to be made they had to do away with the abstentionist policy.

Let us realize that there are still Republican prisioners inside British jails and also jails in the republic. As long as prisioners and paramilitary organisations still exsist Ireland is still going to be plauged with murder and the threat of instability. This is always going to be a direct result of continued occupation from Britian. We cannot ignore the fact that these people exist, and we must not forget the Unionist militias because they do exist. Ignoring them and treating them as though they don't exist is only going to supress them for a few years at best. Realistic outlook is that Ireland could well see a repeat of history, realistically it is possible if it is not addressed. Maybe my interpretaion is wrong but that's how I see things.

I propose to the republican community, especially to those people who were adults when the GFA was signed, and to all those others who now become adults in this post GFA stage, I propose that a political organisation be formed or at least have a chance to discuss the possibility of a party that is gonna go into a Stormont and the Dail and push Eire Nua as a mandate and alternative. To build upon the equality legislation and police reform, to engage within a working government to put out and push Eire Nua into the media, get unionists and republicans at least talking about a way of implementing Eire Nua or the like of. I know it's againist the abstentionist policy but at least we know that there is someone in mainstream politics pushing a clear mandate for reunification of Ulster and the setting up of a four province federal Ireland the objective of the creation of an Ireland of self-governing communities in which people will control their own affairs.


The idea behind the Federal proposal is to be fair to all sections of the country. The people who are currently described as Unionist are a part of the Irish nation. Their concerns about domination by Dublin in a unitary state of all Ireland should be listened to, and are in fact shared by the so-called 'peripheral' regions in the 26-County area.

If we are to be realistic, we have seen how far Sinn Fein can go in northern and southern politics. I feel that the time is right, we all can read the GFA for what it is, normalisation and permement change within the north. It is up to all of us to help keep reforming the north to rid it of its deep rooted secterian divisions. With a new political party free from any paramilitry ties and media speculation pushing an alternative for what's best for the people of Ulster foremost and what's best for the people of Ireland equally. In my opinion it's an Idea!!, people.

It was beautifully done, taking the political road, because informers were everywhere (Steak-knife). A British Army agent in the nutting squad of the PIRA!!! Executing soldiers! This man could have taken out some of the best men within that organisation. He had inside knowledge on a lot of things.

So I leave it with, a youth no more, now that we are adults and we choose to make progress within republicinism and seek an alternative or at least give the people a voice for an alternative to P Sinn Fein. We are called dissidents, why can we not be known as those in opposition or equally those pushing an alternative? What about this Ireland of equals!!

Many people have not changed their stance in relation to the British government's intentions in taking the issue of Irish Unification seriously because of this start-stop political process. It is the spin put out by media that labels all Sinn Fein's opposition within republicinism as dissidents. The so-called anti-agreement Republicans — and that refers also to anyone coming up after 1998 and the GFA. It does not necessarily mean everyone who belongs to RSF, for there are many, many people who would consider themselves republican but do not belong to any party.

Let's not get disenhearted with this setback to our Republic; the Brits may have slowed it this time.
Let's not cave in. There is growing resentment about this stage in our struggle for freedom, equality, justice and the Republic. Let it be known that there are still those who believe that no republican has any part in a British political system.

No matter how hard it is; there still are prisoners inside who are calling for help and support and so do their families. There have been darker days. Being realistic, the system is in our own communities, but we can't attack our own people. There is resentment by republicans about Sinn Fein going into politics, being realistic it's done. Realistically, if anyone is going to fight against the system now it means going up agaisnt a majority of the people within republican communities in the north. This cannot be done. We have to win the hearts and minds of our people, let the people choose.

Robert Emmet once said, "No man or No Party has the right to stop the march of a nation."

It is a sad day when so-called revolutionaries leave it to a few men to negotiate the future of our Republic & decommission weapons that belong to the Irish people for the protection of their community. There must be a lot of trust placed in those few and their must be a lot of trust in the government. What is hard to take for many republicans is a lot of people remember '69, a lot of people's homes were burnt to the ground. Collusion between the police, army and unioinst militia was real, this is fact.

So this brings me to the present day. We have been left with a deep division. Young people, that’s 18 - 20, are getting disillusioned with politics. Some want to be involved but see no alternative to Sinn Fein, so they stay quiet; but let me say the risen people are not stupid. Republicans don't want in-fighting and discontent, for we want to be a united people. We have to give support to open debate and discussion on bringing on board the younger people who want to build upon what has already been achieved.

To the opposition. It is going to be extremely hard because the British government are pumping millions into here. Their plan is pacification.

Sweet, as, lads, there is a new generation coming, and if Provisional Sinn Fein are not going to be pro-active and take time with the young adults to show how we can build upon what has been achieved. If they don't, naturally they are gonna look else where and someone needs to be there we can't let wasted talent stay quiet we could have our republic sooner if we utilized everyone.

Republicans should not be intimidated by their own people because they maybe see a different avenue to go down; that defeats the 'Ireland of equals' slogan. Young adult Republicans should not fear their own people for it is healthy to encourge debate amongst Republicans.

To Provisional Sinn Fein and supporters, I respect your decision to follow this GFA and the political road because it's almost 20 years since you chose to go into politics; in 10 or so years, you will be striving for politics almost as long as the war was on. I respect your choice and your right to take that path. I say, don't suppress other voices, don't try and silence them.

People don't want to be intimidated or be in fear for opposing your view. Don't do what the British did to you, because opposition will not go away. We are Irish men & women.

I would maybe support Provisional Sinn Fein if they actully sold the GFA to younger people, people who did not live through internment, hunger strikes and the really bad bits of the troubles, those who are living through the workings of the GFA. It would be nice if you's got out there into the communites and explained your policies, your way forward and didn't leave the electrate with no vision, didn't lead with promises. Get out there and tell us how it's better than, say, Eire Nua, or a Independent Northern Ireland, because there are alternatives out there that people have suggested, or show us a way forward after full implementation of the GFA.

Eire Nua is a classic model for maximum devolution and reunification of our Ulster counties. It gives the people of Ulster (all of Ulster, 9 counties) the chance to take part in some sort of government on this island, the exact same chances to govern as say, those in Cork or Galway or Dublin. As part of the UK, no one from Northern Ireland is ever gonna get into a position of running the UK. It's simply not gonna happen, and the same if there was a New Ireland and Dublin had the government centralized, the same, no one from the north would probably get a look at key positions with respect to running a country. Only a political model that guarantees separation of church and state, a bill of rights to safe-guard all people on this island, and the ability of Ulster to decide its own legistation, deal with its own taxation and higher education without interferance from any other state, give our children something better to dream for.

Let's get good clean debate and discussion amongst Republicans. Let's try and unite our people, whether it be for the GFA or against, at least facilite those disscusions in good faith. Let's be honest with ourselves and our people. Let's build upon our strengths and get stronger.

Let us unite for the benefit of our children.



This is the second part of the article, Reality Check.





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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

6 September 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Not In Our Name
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Child Murderers
Anthony McIntyre

32 CSM Urges Russian Government: Recognize Chechen Independence
Sean Burns

Who is Really to Blame?
George Young

Resistance, by ANY Means.
David A' Gardner

Reality Check
Patrick Lismore

Fairy Cleansing
Seaghán Ó Murchú

The Culture of Lies and Deceit
Liam O Comain

Labour Steps Up Pressure on IRA to Disband
Paul Mallon

30 August 2004

The Knackers Yard
Anthony McIntyre

Spin Cycle
Mick Hall

Reality Check
Patrick Lismore

32 CSM Pays Tribute to Memory of Republican Socialist Volunteers
Marian Price

Let Them Stay
Davy Carlin

"Fine Words"



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