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.