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RSF "authentic claimants to 1916"

by IRIS Friday, Apr. 21, 2006 at 11:43 PM

WRITING in the Sunday edition of the Derry Journal journalist and author Éamonn McCann said that in his view, as far as Republicanism was concerned, the most authentic claimants to the political legacy of the 1916 Rising were Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and Republican Sinn Féin.


WRITING in the Sunday edition of the Derry Journal journalist and author Éamonn McCann said that in his view, as far as Republicanism was concerned, the most authentic claimants to the political legacy of the 1916 Rising were Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and Republican Sinn Féin.

He said: "The Proclamation didn't promise a fight to achieve the Republic. It proclaimed the Republic as an actually-existing entity. It is for this reason that IRA volunteers ever since have pledged not to strive for the achievement of the Republic but to defend the Republic already achieved. In this perspective, a deal which others might see as a step towards the ultimate objective will be seen as contemptible retreat from the struggle.

"In detaching himself from the Provisionals in 1986 because they'd accepted the legitimacy of the Leinster House parliament, Ó Brádaigh stood by the Republic established on Easter Monday. Looked at from this angle - as legitimate an angle as any other - there is no question: Mr Ó Brádaigh and his followers stand alone in true succession to Easter Week.

"Those of us who stand rights outside the Republican tradition and who take a socialist view also see Easter Week in the perspective of our own politics, see its enduring legacy in the fact that it was a blow against the most powerful Empire on earth at the time, and regard it as self-evident that its spirit is best represented today in the fight against the imperial power of the US ruling class.

"In this view, the most egregious betrayal of 1916 lies not in grudgingly taking seats in a partitionist parliament but in cheerfully breaking bread with George W Bush."

The Sunday Journal also carried an article entitled "We're the true inheritors of 1916"' - Derry Republican Sinn Féin" on page 4.

"Plans by the Irish Government to celebrate the 1916 Easter Rising are hypocritical, a Derry Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) activist has suggested.

Derry based spokesman for the movement, Richard Walsh says that RSF are the only true inheritors of the historic insurrection and the proclamation of independence. He hit out at the 26-County Administration for "war-crimes" against those who believed in the ideals of the uprising during the Civil War.

He said: "There has been much talk of late about the legacy of the Easter Rising of 1916.

"Bertie Ahern has announced plans by the 26-County State to commemorate 1916 with a Free State military parade.

"Let no-one forget that it was the Free State Army that executed four Republican soldiers in Co. Donegal by firing squad in 1923 as a reprisal for Republican military operations. True Republicans commemorate the Drumboe Martyrs at Eastertide every year.

"The Staters were also responsible for many other war-crimes such as the Ballyseedy massacre in Co. Kerry (also in March, 1923), where eight Republican soldiers were killed whilst strapped to a landmine by Free State forces - miraculously leaving one survivor."

He added that the 26-County government cannot claim ownership to the legacy of the Easter Rising.

"Those who not only betrayed the All-Ireland Republic - proclaimed in arms at Easter 1916, endorsed by the people of Ireland in 1918, and effectively established by Dáil Éireann in January, 1919 - but also actively waged war against it cannot claim the legacy of 1916.

"These people continue to imprison Republicans by using the Special non-jury Court in Dublin - the same building in which Robert Emmet was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered by the English - on the basis of the opinion of the 26-County police [Gardaí]."

He added that the Republican Movement, on the other hand, had "remained loyal to the Republic of Clarke; Mac Diarmada; Mac Donagh; Pearse; Ceannt; Connolly and Plunkett, and have commemorated the 1916 Rising every year since.

"Those who have maintained this continuity are the true inheritors of the noble ideals of 1916."

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