Sunday 15th October, 2017.
The text of the oration delivered by Mary Lou is here: 2017-10-15-MLMcD-TextOfSpeech
There’s video of the oration:
And photographs… lots of photographs
Sunday 15th October, 2017.
The text of the oration delivered by Mary Lou is here: 2017-10-15-MLMcD-TextOfSpeech
There’s video of the oration:
And photographs… lots of photographs
On Sunday 16th July the annual Liam Lynch commemoration was held in the Knockmealdown Mountains, above Goatenbridge in County Tipperary.
Well attended, we heard a lament played by Padraig O Cadhain, a little of which is here:
The oration was delivered by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, the final part of which is here:
Donnchadh reminded us that it is clear to all who look rationally and objectively at the present state of the ‘Republic’ of Ireland that the vision of 1916 and of 1919 has not been fulfilled.
Below are some of the photographs taken at the event, held as always in beautiful Irish July sunshine.
Annual Liam Lynch Commemoration
Tipperary Republican Commemoration Committee cordially invite all to the annual General Liam Lynch commemoration:
Goatenbridge, Co. Tipperary, 2017-07-16.
Guest speaker will be Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD of Sinn Féin (Cork South Central).
Music on the day will be provided by Carrick-on-Suir Republican Flute Band.
Assemble at 14:30. Refreshments provided afterwards.
All are welcome.
– Tipperary Republican Commemoration Committee
This time 220 years ago Ireland was in the midst of dramatic political and revolutionary change.
It was described as ‘The time of the Hurry’ in the poem ‘The man from God knows where’ dedicated to Thomas Russell.
The United Irishmen were the engine of that change.
They took their inspiration from the new democratic and egalitarian ideals of the American and French revolutions.
They were Republican separatists committed to the promotion of anti-sectarianism, fraternity and equality.
They forged alliances across Irish society and mounted an unprecedented military insurgency in every Province.
In my own county the United Irishmen took control of towns like Randalstown and Ballymena. Local United Irish leaders such as Henry Joy McCracken, Roddy McCorley and William Orr remain household names to this day.
Jemmy Hope “The Weaver” from Templepatrick and his farseeing revolutionary vision became an ideological reference point for Fintan Lawlor and later generations of Irish Revolutionaries.
These and others personified the central tenet of emergent Irish Republicanism – the unity of Protestant, Catholic and dissenter.
Wolfe Tone famously summarised the United Irish Republican programme:
“To break the connection with England…and to assert the independence of my country, these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland… and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in place of Protestant, Catholic and dissenter, these were my means.”
As modern day Irish Republicans in the tradition of Tone, we are dedicated to the establishment of a national Republic, built upon equality, fraternity, unity and reconciliation between all citizens in Ireland.
Our primary aim is for an agreed, multicultural united Ireland, which celebrates diversity and equality, and shuns bigotry and discrimination.
Sinn Féin stands against all forms of sectarianism, racism, homophobia, sexism, and intolerance in society.
Today’s Ireland is one of huge social change and political realignment.
Partition continues to be the central fault line at the heart of Irish politics and society.
The imposition of the Brexit decision upon the people of the six counties has now magnified that fault line.
We are clear; Brexit is a by-product of partition and continued British jurisdiction in the North of our country.
It has now become a catalyst for a new realignment of politics in Ireland; in relations between this island and Britain: and, it is redefining politics in the British State and Europe itself.
Irish Unity has become central to the political discourse.
Next Saturday in Belfast at the Waterfront our party will host a major national conference on Irish Unity to build on that discussion.
Many citizens are now looking beyond the Brexit fall out and towards new constitutional and political opportunities.
In the North, greater numbers of ordinary people are now more engaged with politics.
Young people have become increasingly politicised.
All that is reflected in the Assembly and General election results in March and just last week.
The election of 27 Sinn Féin MLA’s and 7 MPs with 239,000 votes is an historic high in electoral support for our party, and for progressive politics.
I want to thank every activist and supporter and all their families who contributed to these spectacular achievements; and also to all of our voters.
There is a building momentum for Irish Unity and in support of anti-unionist and progressive politics.
There is also a new, popular expectation of real, and substantial political change.
The people of the North have spoken.
Sinn Féin respects the mandate secured by the DUP.
But make no mistake Sinn Féin’s electoral mandate is a vindication of our pledge that there will be no return to the status quo: and I repeat; no citizen or section of society will be put to the back of the bus again.
In 1967 our parents and grandparents and others in this gathering set out to demand civil rights in the North. They were beaten and shot off the streets.
Fifty years later an equality revolution is happening in the six counties and it is being led by young people.
Agus tá siad tiomanta agus diongbhailte. Tá siad dearg le fearg agus tá muid go léir dearg le fearg.
For the first time since partition electoral support for political unionism has fallen below 50%.
These are the new realities.
And this is the new context for the current round of political talks.
Let us be clear – the political crisis in the North can be resolved.
The political institutions can be re-established.
However, that means the DUP and British government need to get the message – which they have ignored since Martin McGuinness’ resignation on 9th January.
So I will spell it out.
The equality and rights agenda is not negotiable.
Agreements previously made on equality, rights, parity of esteem and legacy must be implemented.
The Good Friday Agreement cannot be unpicked.
The political institutions must not be misused to advance institutionalised bigotry.
Continued refusal by the DUP and British government to accept these fundamental positions will create only one outcome: a future of permanent political instability.
The DUP have spent the last week in talks with the British Government trying to strike a deal which will keep the Tories in power.
As with Brexit, any deal with Tories will be bad for the economy, public services and for citizens.
This Tory government cares as little for working-class unionists as it does for working-class republicans.
Working-class unionists did not vote for Tories.
The DUP leadership know that. They know the north is of no consequence in Westminster.
Even Edward Carson recognised this nearly 100 years ago. He said:
“What a fool I was… in the political game that was to get the Conservative party into power.”
The central fact is the political process in the North remains overshadowed by financial scandals.
That is why Sinn Féin stood the DUP leader down from her position last January.
The focus on her future role in an Executive is completely misdirected and premature.
That discussion will only arise when there is an acceptable implementation plan to restore public confidence in the political process and ensures that the institutions will work on the basis of proper power sharing, equality, respect and integrity.
This is a serious situation, which demands a serious focus by all parties.
It is not a game, and it is certainly not a dance.
If the DUP really wants to go into the Executive, that party needs to decide whether it is now prepared to embrace a rights-based approach to government in the North.
Instead of pretending that a crisis does not really exist, the DUP should get with the programme.
If the DUP imagines it can wind back the clock, with a Tory side deal or not, and reestablish the institutions without adherence to equality and rights, then the DUP is indeed living in a fool’s paradise.
As for the two governments, instead of talking up the prospect of a successful outcome to these talks, they and the DUP should reread Martin McGuinness’ resignation letter on the 9th January.
It sets out exactly what is required to restore public confidence, and to create the conditions for proper government in the North.
We don’t need optical illusions; we expect change!
The new Irish government now carries a huge responsibility.
The failure of the last Irish government to fulfil its obligations as a co-guarantor for the Good Friday Agreement is a national scandal.
This dereliction of political leadership must end.
The new Taoiseach and his administration should now publicly disassociate itself from the pro-unionist, partisan position of the British government.
This Irish government should bring forward a comprehensive plan for Irish reunification, including:
– A joint Oireachtas committee on preparing for Irish unity;
– A government White Paper on national reunification;
– And, specific proposals for a unity referendum on the island.
This month 40 years ago and here at Tone’s grave our comrade Jimmy Drumm correctly observed that the achievement of national and social liberation relied upon the development of a popular progressive movement for change throughout Ireland.
Today we live in an Ireland of endemic financial scandal, political corruption, gombeen elites, discrimination and sectarianism.
The strategic position articulated by Jimmy Drumm in 1977 is now more relevant than ever.
The austerity programmes imposed by Fine Gael and the British Tories have entrenched social inequality, both North and South.
None of our children should have to live in fear from poverty or austerity; inequality or discrimination; or from intolerance or sectarianism.
Social inequality is the antithesis of values enshrined in the 1916 Proclamation and the democratic programme of 1919.
Every Irish citizen is entitled to a home, an education, comprehensive health care free at the point of delivery, and, equal pay for equal work.
Instead social inequality, political corruption and financial scandal have become bywords for public policy under Fine Gael.
The new Taoiseach seems determined to take his government further to the right.
If that is his intention, then he should call a general election now, and let the people cast its verdict on that political programme.
In those circumstances Sinn Féin will go forward with our progressive political agenda.
We know where we stand, and it’s not with the gombeen men, the crooks, or fat cats.
To paraphrase Tone Sinn Féin stands with:
“That numerous and respectable class of the community, the men of no property.”
Irish unity has never been more achievable.
But that goal is only inevitable when Republicans successfully persuade sufficient numbers of our people that an agreed, united Ireland will serve their interests.
The refusal of significant sections of political unionism to embrace a shared future, and divisions caused by deep-seated sectarianism, create enormous challenges for Republicans.
Yet despite that, we must continue to show generosity of spirit, and reassurance to our unionist neighbours in the North.
As agents of change it is up to us to reach into the wider unionist constituency.
As republicans in the United Irish tradition we have to demonstrate how their rights, traditions, and identity will be accommodated in a new constitutional framework of an agreed Ireland.
It is for us to convince them that it is far better for Irish unionists to exert their influence over a progressive Ireland, instead of being reduced to stage props for a right-wing British Tory government.
Sinn Féin’s policies on reconciliation and anti-sectarianism represent genuine contributions towards the development of reconciliation between Republicans and unionists, within Irish society, and, between Ireland and Britain.
These need to be internalised and mainstreamed within our political work, both North and South.
Our generation of Republicans are history makers.
Martin McGuinness atá anois ar shlí na fírinne, and whom we greatly miss here today, as well as others in our leadership, have brought us to this point.
Now it is for the rest of us to finish that work.
We must become the nation builders.
We must continue the transformation of Irish society.
Meeting these responsibilities requires a step change in our party.
We need to be always strategically focused, cohesive, flexible and creative.
Let us be clear: building popular support and political strength is not a plan for opposition.
Our political strategy is a road map for governmental power.
So that means Sinn Féin being in government North and South.
This is our road map to achieving national democracy and a united Ireland.
But being in government is not a vanity contest.
This party is not interested in acting as a prop for the status quo North or South.
Political institutions are not ends in themselves: they should be made to work as the means to make positive change.
And of course, we must avoid being defined by the nature of the political institutions.
Sinn Féin participation in the Dáil, Assembly, all-Ireland institutions and European Parliament must be at the heart of a broader momentum for political and social change in Ireland.
If change is to be people centred, then change must be driven by the people.
A popular democratic movement for transformation needs to be developed across Ireland.
That is a progressive coalition of political, civic, community, cultural and labour activists united in support of economic democracy, sustainable public services, equality, rights, and the welfare of citizens.
These are the means of modern Republicans today.
Ireland is in transition. Our party is in transition.
The process of leadership succession has already commenced.
We have begun to implement a ten-year plan to regenerate our party with more youth and women; and enhanced skills and capacity.
Mar sin, más cearta, cothromas agus Poblacht atá uaibh – ná habraigí é – eagraigí, tógaigí, agus déanaigí é.
If you want equality and rights – if you want fairness in Irish society:
If you really want a Republic – then just don’t vote Sinn Féin:
Join Sinn Féin – and get your family and friends to do the same.
We continue to take our inspiration from Tone.
This afternoon in Bodenstown we stand resolute in the tradition of Henry Joy McCracken, William Orr, Roddy McCorley, Jemmy Hope, Betsy Gray and Mary-Anne McCracken.
Now let us go forward reenergised and confident, to mobilise and organise, and to achieve national independence and Irish Unity.
Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has expressed his joy that his work for the return of a flag captured from Volunteers in Limerick in 1916 has been met with success. The flag has been returned to the City and is now on public display.
The flag, which was on display in the Imperial War Museum, was captured by British Forces of the 4th Battalion of the Leinster Regiment in Limerick on the 5th of May 1916 following the Easter Rising in Dublin. It has been in the Imperial War Museum on a loan from the Royal Collection since 1936.
Deputy Quinlivan commented: “A Limerick City Museum staff member first made me aware of the flag’s existence in the summer of 2014. I have been seeking its return to Limerick ever since through regular contact with the Imperial war museum. It was always my hope that it would be back in Limerick for the 100th anniversary of the rising. I am delighted that it has arrived back in Limerick today.
“I must acknowledge that the museum in London were very helpful. While a number of technical delays prevented the flag coming back for the whole of 2016, it is still great that it is here now. Following confirmation that the flag would be returned, the Imperial War Museum had to then get permission from the Royal Collection, which is owned by the English Queen. So, she is the one who has basically given us back our flag.
“They agreed to give the flag back to us on a long-term loan, which effectively means that the flag is home in Limerick where it belongs and I would hope that people come and see it, where it is on show as part of the Council’s 1916 display and for the foreseeable future.
“Sinn Féin was determined to ensure that the 1916 Centenary is marked in the most appropriate way possible, as a fitting popular acknowledgement of the past but also, and just as importantly, as a pointer to a better future. Many events have taken place and many continue to take place across Ireland and the world to commemorate this hugely important event which gave birth to the free Irish nation.
“I am delighted that finally this flag has been returned to Limerick where it rightfully belongs. It will serve as a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives and liberty for our freedom.”
Sinn Féin TD and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin today performed the official launch of a report entitled ‘An analysis of the introduction of socio-economic status as a discrimination ground’ in the Mansion House at the invitation of the Equality and Rights Alliance.
The report makes the case for the inclusion of socio-economic status under the Equal Status legislation.
Speaking during the course of his address, Deputy Ó Caoláin said: “As an Irish Republican, the issue of equality is at the core of all I believe in. I believe that all citizens are equal, regardless of the colour of their skin, their religious beliefs or none, their sexual orientation, their abilities or disabilities, their age, where they live or what they do.
“I believe that we all as children of our nation should be cherished equally. Unfortunately, 100 years since that very aspiration was proclaimed, this has not been achieved.
“We have witnessed and continue to see increases in inequality and poverty. Growing evidence highlights the disproportionate impact economic policies are having on disadvantaged groups. There is a glaring divide in Irish society between the haves and the have nots. Those most impacted by the catastrophic impact of austerity policies remain the least well off.
“Low paid jobs, low hours employment, precarity and unemployment are all factors contributing to this stark inequality. Irish society remains an unequal place for women. Gender inequality contributes and results from economic inequalities. In Budget 2017, we saw the blatant discrimination against our younger jobseekers, those under 26 who only saw their allowance increase by €2.70 in comparison to those over 26 who saw it increase by €5. A blatantly discriminatory political choice.
“Creating the conditions for establishing an equal society means recognising that many diverse groups and sections of Irish society need enhanced protection from the State.
“The inclusion of the ground of socio-economic status in our equality legislation is absolutely essential. We need to ensure that both government and public bodies, in exercising their functions do so in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage.
“The time has come for Ireland to take a stand and provide a more just and equitable society for all.”
At the request of Uachtarán Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams TD, many elected Sinn Féin representatives recorded short invitations to join Sinn Féin.
Sinn Féin Tiobraid Árann were pleased top do so, as we acknowledge that the system in Ireland is broken. As it isn’t going to fix itself, we urge you to join us in fixing it, by joining Sinn Féin.
These videos were recorded at the 96th annual Seán Treacy commemoration in Kilfeakle, Co. Tipperary.
This first video features Cllr Martin Brown of Cashel/Golden local electoral area.
This video features Cllr David Dunne of the Carrick-on-Suir/Fethard local electoral area.
This video features Cllr David Doran of the Templemore-Thurles local electoral area.
Cllr Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tipperary has said that the Government has abandoned citizens to their fate at the hands of vulture funds. He says that while Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour engage with presenting schools with tokens of 1916 they are hypocritical in their failure to act on the ideals of the Republic. Speaking at a march in Clonmel, he has called for the declaration of a housing emergency, to include a moratorium on repossessions.
Cllr Browne said: “In 2016 it is totally unacceptable to have thousands of families’ homeless. The government must declare a housing emergency now. With over 2,000 children in emergency accommodation, and a further 3 families a week presenting as homeless, our Government is sitting back and letting this happen. This has to stop, and it has to stop now.”
“Vulture funds are reviled around this country by all right-minded people but we have a Minister for Finance that is a big fan of these. Ulster Bank recently sold 900 home mortgages to such funds at discounted prices; which means a large number of these families will get evicted from their homes. Recently we saw thugs in balaclavas moving on a house in Clare and try to throw a family out of their home.”
“At least banks can give some excuse – no matter how poor it is – that they have to answer to shareholders. But what excuse has the government for selling thousands of homes to these funds? They have sat back and watched while NAMA sold massive property portfolios at a fraction of what they are worth.”
“It has been three years since the governor of the central bank warned of the consequences if this continued. But Fine Gael & Labour drove on with this policy and we condemn them for this. The most frightening thing about this is that at present 46,000 Irish mortgages are operated by these vulture funds. That’s the equivalent of all the houses in a large town like Drogheda.”
“It is time they dealt with the problem, as all the evidence points to this crisis getting worse. In 2006 only 10% of the population were renting. By 2016 this had jumped to 20%. Last year it was announced that 1,700 social houses were now shovel ready. Not one of those has even started.”
“All of the blame cannot go on the last government. The seeds of this began with the Fianna Fáil & Green Party government. We must not forget that. But while we are constantly being told that there is no money in the country, the top 300 citizens in this country have a combined wealth of €88 billion. That is an increase of 3.9% in the past 12 months.”
Speaking at the march in Clonmel, Cllr Browne called on the Government to:
Since the prospect of commemorating the 1916 rising arrived in the public consciousness, there has been renewed examination of the operation of southern State, and renewed conversations about unity of the island.
Sinn Féin county PRO Fachtna Roe said: “In November RTE held a Prime Time Special in conjunction with BBC NI. As part of that programme a survey was carried out to determine what levels of public support there are for re-uniting the island.”
“RTE and BBC NI linked the question of re-unification with taxation levels, which necessarily skewed the results of the survey. Most people feel that we don’t get enough good quality service for our taxes anyway, so the prospect of increased taxation was always going to reduce support levels.”
“What wasn’t properly analysed in that programme was the benefits that might accrue from such unity. Thankfully, others have provided some information in this regard, and just as Sinn Féin has said for some time, there are benefits and efficiencies that would arise. Below is quote from the article.”
“Apart from the aspiration for a whole-island for cultural reasons, there are obvious advantages to not having two Governments, two police forces, two civil services etc.”
“Increasingly there is also evidence that this re-combination would have financial advantages. According to the Irish Post estimate there would be a boost to an All-Island economy of in excess of €30 billion from such a restored unity. This has been reported in some media, such as The Irish Post (http://irishpost.co.uk/united-ireland-would-boost-irish-economy-by-25billion-report-finds/), though there has been less coverage of the idea in Ireland. (http://www.thejournal.ie/ireland-northern-ireland-unification-2672681-Mar2016/)”
Cllr David Doran said: “There’s no logic to justify the continued separation of this island. Both parts have to provide the same basic supports. In addition Belfast is beholden to London for finance.”
“Because there is duplication of effort on both parts of the island, there is money spent twice on the one thing. That money can’t be spent elsewhere. We can see the harm of that in the levels of Austerity that have been applied.”
“Austerity hits the poorest the most, but there is more Austerity when there is recklessness spending. What can be more reckless than having two separate Governments on one small island – along with all the costs that entails?”
“At some point we are going to have to examine closely what our intention as a Nation is. Certainly in the south there has not been enough conversation around this question.”
Fachtna Roe added:”The RTE survey results in November 2015 may have answered the re-unification question to the satisfaction of some. But clearly, not so for all.”
“There is mounting evidence that the changes brought about by peaceful re-unification will be positive on the whole. There will be costs, no one can deny that. But Europe must stand ready to help us, just as we supported Germany when it had the opportunity to re-unify.”
“It is better for the southern State to start examining this question more closely now, rather than later. If Brexit does occur, the opportunity for careful planning will be gone. At that point gone also will be the attention or interest of whatever Government sits in London.”
“Deciding to re-examine the border and it’s meaning may also provide an opportunity to redesign both the southern and northern States from the ground up. Doing so may remove the last inequalities that stand between us and being a Republic, by using the best ideas from both sides of the border to create a State even the women and men of 1916 would be proud of, while yet being a State that Unionists can feel at home in.”