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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Dolours Price • 9 July 2004

I spend a considerable amount of time rummaging through my head. I come up with bits and pieces, some make me happy, others make me sad, and some make me downright angry, and I mean angry. The reader will know; I think we all rummage.

Last night, when sleep eluded me, I came up with a memory of the night we, as "the Republican Family", were called to meet in the Roddy Mc Corley club to be told why the ceasefire was to be. I say 'to be told' because it was being 'told', no-one had ever asked me to cast my vote 'yea' or 'nay'. We were to be given the opportunity to ask questions after the telling; it would not change the already made decision but it was probably supposed to make us feel that we had in some way 'chosen' what was foregone.

The telling was brief and none too coherent, I still have the picture of the three representatives sitting at the table before us. Funny the seemingly insignificant things that stick in the mind, like the "boys" sitting observing at the back of the room. There was talk about the need to get our people out of prison, the enormous number of Volunteers and innocent people who had died. The usual talk from a tired and confused leadership convinced by their meetings with British diplomatic experts, with rich and sincere and impressive Americans, a President here a Taoiseacht there and a British Prime Minister thrown in for good measure. The Republican leadership were thrown in way out of their depth. Then the truth told as if it were an achievement.

"No deal has been done with the Brits".

I remember thinking,'what? We got nothing?!'

Question-time came and I raised my hand. "Are we being told that with hindsight we should never have undertaken an Armed Struggle, that we should rather have infiltrated (infiltrate was the word I used) the SDLP and taken it over? After all we had no prisoners back then and only a few people had as yet lost their lives? Would that have been the better course of action, was it all a mistake?" I got no answer that night.

Sinn Fein (and I do wish they would change their name just as they have changed their ideology) by their conduct since have given me my answer... a resounding YES.

Yes to Constitutional Nationalism, reformism not revolution (another of those forbidden words!). Yes to joining the establishments, British and Free-State -- remember that the Free-State government are still sending Irishmen to Portlaoise Prison on the word of a Garda Inspector for being members of Oglaigh na hEireann otherwise known as The Irish Republican Army otherwise known as the I.R.A.. I watch it in Green Street Court regularly.

The haste with which Sinn Fein are attempting to jettison their armed past was well illustrated by Mary Lou Mc Donald when she haughtily declared, "there is no whiff of cordite on me!" while being interviewed before the elections. Mary Lou, I also use Chanel no 5.

Do Sinn Fein (you will change the name soon, won't you?) really believe that men died on Hunger-Strike for this defeat? That men walked to the scaffold for seats in Stormont, Westminster (when will you be taking your rightful place there, boys?) and Dail Eireann? That my own aunt lived without hands or eyes with quiet dignity and without complaint for forty years to hear that the tri-colour is lodged in the corner of some office in Stormont. Stormont! The symbol of Republican defeat in 1921? I defy anyone to tell me they did because I will call them liars and hypocrites.

Admit it, lads -- you lost the war; some of us see it as only having lost another battle. You can lose all the battles but only when you surrender do you lose your Soul.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent


Historians and economists {subsidized by governments} are very good at creating and perpetuating myths that justify increasing the power placed in the hands of government.
- Reuven Brenner

Index: Current Articles

11 July 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Miscarriages of Justice
Martin Cunningham

Dolours Price

Yes, Let's Do
George Young

Interview with Bill Lowry:
Forbidden Fruit
Out from the Shadows
Political Policing
Anthony McIntyre

8 July 2004

"Fury at Community Newspaper Funding"
Carrie Twomey

Don't Buy A British Lie
Geraldine Adams

Encouraging Debate
Mick Hall

Magpie's Nest
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Scargill in Ireland
Anthony McIntyre

Rev. Ian Harte
Davy Carlin

Family and Community Workers Concerned at False Reporting
Monkstown Community Resource Centre

Food, Trade and US Power Politics in Latin America
Toni Solo


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