BEANNACHTAÍ na hAthbhlianna ó Shinn Féin Poblachtach do ár gcomrádaithe, chairde agus lucht tacaíochta anseo in Éireann agus thar lár. Seolamíd teachtaracht tacaíochta cuig ár cimí poblachtánaigh, go háirithe Jonathan Hawthorn í Príosún Port Laoise.
Republican Sinn Féin extends New Year’s greetings to friends, supporters and members both in Ireland and internationally. We also salute Republican prisoners especially Jonathan Hawthorn in Portlaoise jail.
This year is the 100th anniversary of An Chéad Dáil Éireann and will be a year of challenges and opportunities for all Republicans. One hundred years ago was the last time the population of Ireland voted as a single unit and they overwhelmingly voted for a 32-County Republic. Sinn Féin had campaigned on a platform of independence, sovereignty and a total separation from their Imperialist neighbour. This decision was to lead to the War of Independence, and ultimately to the betrayal of the people by Irish politicians who compromised on the ideals of the 1916 Proclamation. Rather than stand fast on principle, they agreed to partition off part of Ireland in exchange for a subservient puppet parliament in Leinster House for 26 Counties, and another at Stormont for six north-eastern counties.
This decision had far-reaching consequences down through the following century, with families split in the defence of the 32-County Republic, a sectarian Administration in the Occupied Six Counties that treated nationalists as less-than-human and it led to a continuation of the struggle for a Sovereign Democratic Republic.
Despite the defection of many so-called republicans into “constitutional” politics, the call for a United Ireland has never been quelled. Republicans have rightly stayed relevant and refused to enter Leinster House or Stormont not because of any oath to a foreign monarch, but because neither of these institutions represent the people of Ireland as they still remain subservient to foreign entities.
This past year has seen an ever-increasing assault on the people of Ireland, on their standard of living and the rights of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland. The neo-liberal coalition of FF+FG has tried their best to force water charges onto the people of Ireland. This has been steadfastly resisted by a peoples’ movement. Evictions are now an all too common sight, with the banks that were bailed out by the taxpayers now selling on their mortgages to vulture funds who, working with the State, then forcibly remove many from their homes. Last December saw the people once again work together to rightly return a farm to its rightful owners, after the KBC Bank used unlicensed thugs to assault the family and a neighbour. This particular eviction was facilitated at the highest level of policing when the thugs were escorted through the back roads of Roscommon to the farm and worse still were the lies told by the MI5 leader of the Irish police when he said “his” police would not stand by as people were assaulted, the video clip clearly shows the police watching people being attacked These actions by the people of Ireland give hope to us all. Working independently of establishment parties they faced oppression and injustices against others. They stood firm and resolute in the belief that this State does not represent them. Let this form of resistance continue, let no political party take over such movements as they have no interest other than to control activists.The disconnect between both States here and the people has never been starker. Politicians in both administrations… continue to be paid huge wages, expenses and other perks while many people live hand-to-mouth. The irony of Stormont representatives being paid while not actually working and the Leinster House representatives getting €1,000 pay rises epitomises all that is wrong with politics in Ireland.
The two States continue to use the old divide and conquer tactic. Whether it is through religion, class or ethnicity they have managed to isolate groups and individuals. In December last we heard 26-County politicians lay the ground-work to blame nurses for any issues that might arise in the future because they want their pay restored to proper levels. Similarly, they blame the scandal of patients lying on trolleys in A+E departments on doctors not working longer hours. Earlier in the year it was the fault of teachers looking for pay parity causing cuts in spending in other areas of education. Strange how there is ample money for politicians pay-rises, their perks and expenses. Now is the time for the people to stand together, shoulder-to-shoulder against the whole political class that seeks to impoverish us.
The Republican Movement has long promoted Federalism as a way forward in a unified Ireland. The Éire Nua policy of Republican Sinn Féin calls for four provincial parliaments as well as regional parliaments. These would give voice to people on how issues are dealt with locally. It would give a strong voice to our unionist brothers and sisters in a nine-county Ulster Dáil. Today more and more people are talking about the Éire Nua document and of Federalism in general. This is a good thing. Now is the time to engage with people locally and nationally to promote this concept. It is and has been a viable way to deal with the problems that have beset Ireland since partition. Even those who called the Éire Nua programme “a sop to Unionism” did secretly engage in discussions on its merits with Unionists.
With the deadline for Brexit there will be challenges for Republicans here in Ireland. The fact that it is Ireland and the British-imposed border that is causing so much angst has thrust the unnatural situation here into the limelight. Irish Republicans, who consistently refused to accept any form of British border in Ireland are to thank for this situation. If it were up to any of the constitutional politicians in either jurisdiction, the issue would have been brushed over many years ago. The old saying “England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity” has never rang truer. We need to keep this issue in the forefront of the media. We need to highlight the very obvious answer to this difficulty for Britain, ie, removing all vestiges of British rule from our country. While the self-serving Establishment will not publicly admit it, the time is fast approaching where the balance of power will shift in the Occupied Six Counties.
We as Republicans do not engage in a sectarian head-count, but by the divisive method set down over many years by both British and Irish politicians the day is coming when internally in the Occupied Six Counties a majority will want to reunite with the 26 Counties, though in a new Ireland, not the flawed 26-County State.
Internationally, we send greetings to all struggling peoples around the world, we again stand in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters who remain resolute in declaring their right to the homeland in the face of increased aggression from Zionist forces. The rise of fascism globally is alarming. We see in Europe a rising number of people giving the fascist salute from Kiev to Madrid; in the USA minorities are being increasingly oppressed with an increasing number of attacks on Black, Hispanic and others. In many other countries fascists and neo-liberal leaders are on the rise. Left-leaning political parties are undermined through proxy “peoples’ risings”, sponsored, at times, by Imperialist countries. The left must rise to these manipulations, we must work together to bring the working-classes together, for a more equal society.In the coming year let us resolve to advance the cause of the All-Ireland Republic, proclaimed in Easter Week and established by the will of the Irish people on January 21, 1919.
Ranganna:[RSF News] Statements