Friday, 22 July 2011

Unholy alliance of Church and State

First things first. The recent Cloyne Report just like the Ferns and Murphy reports are a shocking indictment of the institutional Catholic Church and its response to the heinous crime of child sexual abuse carried out on the children under its care. These reports paint a picture of an institution more concerned with its own protection than the well-being and protection of the young and innocent victims of clerical abuse.

However we must not allow the shrill grandstanding of Enda Kenny in Leinster House regarding the relationship of the 26-County State with the Catholic Church and the Vatican blind us to the reality of the 26-County State’s culpability in all of this.
Kenny can rant all he likes about the “industrial-school Ireland or Magdalene Ireland, where the swish of a soutane smothered conscience and humanity and the swing of a thurible ruled the Irish-Catholic world.”

The reality is that Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Labour Party and the rest of the 26-County political establishment were more than happy to use the Bishops’s crosier and the clerics collar to whip people into line within their state. Need we remind you of the various Bishops Pastorals used to condemn Irish Republicans over the decades?  In 1929 in Dungloe Co Donegal  the Garda Superintendent spoke to the local Catholic clergy about the Anti- Land Annuities campaign. This resulted in the Bishop of Raphoe William McNeely delivering a withering condemnation of the campaign while administering confirmation in the parish. The Gardai reported it had “a good effect locally”.

In an unholy alliance with the Catholic Church a “Gulag Archipelago” for the poor of Ireland was run through a system of industrial schools and Magdalene laundries. The Ryan Report of May 2009 merely skimmed the surface of this dark chapter in our history. Church and State rigorously applied the policy of ‘out of sight out of mind’ when it came to the children of the poor and dispossessed.

Enda Kenny gets no plaudits for slaying a dragon that expired a long time ago and one, which in the past he and his ilk were more than willing to use against their own people.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Carpe Diem - Seize the Day


The recent furore caused by Enda Kenny, James Reilly and Eamon Gilmore reneging on “election pledges” given during the recent 26-County Election regarding Roscommon A&E and other hospitals sums up the worth of the political class  presiding over this ‘failed political entity’.  The ‘Bard’ wrote: “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”; in this case it is the state that is rotten.

Before the last 26-County election Republican Sinn Féin pointed out that the election was meaningless as it entailed merely replacing one set of gombeen politicians with another. Within less than a month of the formation of the new 26-County Administration it was clear for all who were willing to see that the real political and economic masters were in Brussels and Frankfurt and not in Dublin. Kenny and his cohorts fell over themselves to sign up to the austerity programme agreed by their predecessors. It seems it was Frankfurt’s way after all!

The political and economic reality is that the denizens of Leinster House and Merrion Square are merely managers of a programme, which has been set out for them by the EU/ECB and IMF. Today the ‘Troika’ tell us that the 26-County State is “on track”. But on track to what? you well may ask, ‘hell in a hand cart’ is one answer that springs to mind. The most vulnerable and marginalised in society are in the sights of this political and economic elite not just in Ireland but also across Europe. In Greece the people have been told they must pay the debts of the financial elite at the cost of the ownership of the very land beneath their feet. Here the old, the young, the unemployed and those with special needs are to be the fodder used to bolster up a failed currency and the failed political project that is the EU.

Enough is enough! Tinkering around the edges is not the answer. People need to seize the moment themselves and in doing so reject a political and chattering class who will never let go of this failed system because it will never be in their own self-interest to do so. People need to get out and get radical just as the people of Greece have shown. We must demand a real Republic an All-Ireland Republic. One that is worthy of the definition given to us in the 1916 Proclamation. On Bastille Day we remember the very roots of Irish Republicanism: Liberté, égalité, fraternité. It is time to cast off the shackles of the old imperialism of London – in occupation of part of our country - and the new imperialism of the EU/ECB/IMF.

Finally I would like to pay tribute to the late Liam Cotter of Co Kerry. Liam brought the same unselfish commitment and dedication to everything he did, whether it was for the Republican Movement or the GAA. He was a stalwart of both. Liam Cotter was very conscious of the proud Republican tradition of his beloved Kerry and lived up to that tradition throughout his life. He never faltered or wavered from the straight road to the All-Ireland Republic. When we march to the dawn light of freedom you will march with us Liam. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

You can lock up the messenger but not the message

It is almost two weeks since my last post but a lot has happened in that time. Fergal Moore and myself experienced at first hand the ‘hospitality’ of the RUC/PSNI in Lurgan barracks last week. We were arrested and charged with participating in a march calling for the release of Republican Martin Corey in Lurgan on January 23 last. Martin, by the way was the longest serving Republican prisoner in Long Kesh serving 19 years. He was released in 1992. He was interned without trial in April of last year and has been held in Maghaberry prison ever since.

The arrest of the President and Vice President of Republican Sinn Féin marks the culmination of a clear pattern of harassment by both partitionist states with the clear intention of silencing our organisation. Within a month of the ‘Free Martin Corey March’ in January the British Colonial Police issued a letter accusing me of participating in an “illegal parade”.  Similar letters were issued in relation to other members of Republican Sinn Féin in the Lurgan and Armagh areas. This was followed up a number of arrests.

In May Cait Trainor a member of our Ard Chomhairle along with Sean Maloney a former POW and member of the Thomas Harte Cumann in Lurgan were arrested and charged with “glorifying terrorism” in an interview given to Channel Four News in September of 2010. This is reminiscent of the kind of draconian legislation used by the Spanish State in the Basque Country. This was followed by the arrest of the Runaí of Dublin Comhairle Ceantair Diarmuid Ó Dúbhghlais and another member during the visit of the Queen of England to the 26 Counties on May 20. And finally on June 30 last the newly appointed national Publicity Officer Geraldine McNamara had her home raided by the 26-County Special Branch.

Its obvious Republican Sinn Féin has something to say which Westminster, Stormont and Leinster House don’t want to hear or more importantly don’t want the rest of the Irish people to hear.  What we have to say is simple. British Rule in Ireland and its various institutions are an obstacle to a New Ireland and a lasting settlement. Our message has roots deep in the psyche of the Irish people. It is the same message delivered by Wolfe Tone, Emmet, Davis, Lalor, Pearse, Connolly, Mellows and Sands. In short we want:  “To break the connection with England the never failing source of all our political evils.” You can lock up the messenger but not the message.