2016 Easter Statement from the Leadership of the Republican Movement

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Volunteer of Óglaigh na hÉireann (IRA) steps forward to fire a volley of shots – Easter 2015

On the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Rising we send revolutionary greetings to all who are gathered at the graves and monuments to our patriot dead both in Ireland and around the world. The 1916 Rising reignited the flame of Irish nationality and gave hope and inspiration to all who were seeking to break free from the yoke of colonialism internationally.

The centenary of the 1916 Rising will see Irish people travel from all over the world to mark this historic date in Irish history. We urge people not to be distracted from the essential message of 1916 as set out in the 1916 Proclamation. The 26-County State is engaged in an attempt to dilute the meaning of 1916 by equating it with the imperialist First World War. Their intention is to deny the revolutionary nature of the Rising and to divert attention away from the fact that the partitioned Ireland of today falls far short of the All-Ireland Republic proclaimed at Easter 1916.

In a cynical move designed to disguise this fact the 26-County State has presented a national flag and a copy of the 1916 Proclamation to schools throughout the 26 Counties. Compounding the cynicism and hypocrisy that is entailed in this move, is the exclusion of schools within the Six Counties, therefore denying the school children of the Six Counties and the wider nationalist community their place within the historic Irish nation. This new-found interest in promoting 1916 within the schools of the 26-County State will not undo the decades-long policy of the 26-County Department of Education of teaching a revisionist and West British version of Irish history to Irish school children. Irish Republicans have commemorated each anniversary of 1916 without fail, not merely the significant anniversaries. In the past Irish Republicans have been prosecuted by both partition states for commemorating 1916 and today Republicans still face prosecution for distributing Easter Lilies. We are proud of our patriot dead and the sacrifices they made so that the Irish Nation might live. For Republicans 1916 remains unfinished business until the last vestiges of British Rule have been removed and the historic Irish Nation is restored to its rightful place among the nations of the earth.

We pledge our resolve to continue the struggle against British Rule. The Volunteers of the Continuity Irish Republican Army will continue to strike at will at the British forces of occupation. That is the most fitting tribute we can make to the men and women of 1916.

The Republican Movement also pledges its commitment to undoing not only the political conquest of Ireland but also the cultural conquest. In the words of Pádraig Mac Piarais: ‘Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam. A country without a language is a country without a soul.’

We take this opportunity to extend greetings to the Republican prisoners in Maghaberry Prison. These men are today denied their liberty because of their adherence to the ideals of 1916 and their refusal to accept British rule in any part of our country.

The Republican Movement notes and monitors the ongoing activities of those who have tried to sully and defame the good name of Republican Sinn Féin and the Republican Movement. These people are criminals who attempt to hide their criminal actions under the guise of political ideology. They must be recognised for the criminal enterprise that they are and rejected as such. Furthermore we point out that all those who interact with criminal gangs in any manner, using the name of Irish Republicanism, are by their actions undermining the cause of a free Ireland. We call on them to immediately cease their use of the historic and noble name of Irish Republicanism as a cloak for their criminal activities.

The political and economic liberation of the Irish people can never be delivered by participating in either Stormont or Leinster House. There are no short cuts to the full freedom of Ireland. Our goal can only be achieved by adherence to fundamental principle and wholehearted commitment. One hundred years after the heroic 1916 Rising the continuity of Irish Republicanism remains unbroken. We pledge our allegiance to the All-Ireland Republic proclaimed in Easter Week 1916 and vow never to desist in our efforts until it has been restored to its rightful place and the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland has been vindicated before the world.

An Phoblacht Abú!

— Issued by the Leadership of the Republican Movement, Easter 2016

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