cracks already evident in the "Pan Nationalist
Front" should, by the time the next Dáil
elections come around, be of Grand Canyon dimensions.
The existing, relatively minor, differences revolve
around the timing of the total surrender of IRA weaponry.
The real crunch will arrive when two of the elements
of the "front" hit the hustings vying for
the republican vote.
their metamorphosis from physical force nationalism
to constitutional conservatism Fianna Fail have insisted,
despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, that
they are "The Republican Party." They have
and will continue to use this addendum on all of their
come in from the political fringes, jettisoning all
revolutionary republican principles on the way, Sinn
Féin too will be proclaiming themselves to
be "The Republican Party" or even the "Real
has already been declared and we can already see a
curious symmetry in the respective battle-lines and
tactics of these former bedfellows.
weeks ago there was a "National Day" of
commemoration in Dublin for the 10 men who died in
the H Blocks in 1981. We were led to believe that
this parade was the result of a spontaneous demand
amongst the masses to give due recognition to these
ten brave men. But spontaneity needs a bit of a nudge
here and there and the usual Sinn Féin heads
were at hand to make sure it all went well and maybe
even to scoop up some of the resulting kudos.
following Sunday the streets of Dublin were once again
resounding to the stomp of marching feet as thousands
turned out to pay homage to ten IRA men who had given
their all during the War of Independence. Having lain
for over eighty years in prison clay they were at
long last given due recognition through a state funeral
and reinterment in more fitting resting places. The
Fianna Fail government had arranged for the exhumation
and re-burial of the volunteers. This belated gesture
had more to do with out "Sinn-Feigning"
Sinn Féin that genuine concern for the families
of ten IRA men.
use of coffins as political platforms is nothing new
in Irish politics. Throughout this 20th anniversary
year of the H Block hunger strikes the Sinn Féin
leadership has not missed an opportunity at the many
commemorations. We were all informed that this is
the most "revolutionary leadership" ever
and that those who died would, without doubt have
swung in behind the present policies. Leaving aside
the fact that three of the dead were not from the
Provo axis this is a highly dubious claim from a party
that has expressed its readiness to 'administer British
rule in Ireland for the foreseeable future'. That
these men, who died rather than criminalise themselves
and our struggle, would be at all at home in a movement
that is becoming more and more tied up in criminal
activity and with dodgy diesel is a highly contentious
then when has truth and integrity ever got in the
way of a good party political broadcast, even one
made from atop the coffins of our patriot dead?
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