It is a great honour that we, the Republican POWs here in Maghaberry, have this opportunity once again to address you, the people of Ireland and abroad, on this the 96th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. We extend Easter greetings to our comrades, friends and supporters throughout the world, and would also like to thank Republican Sinn Féin and CABHAIR for all the work done on our behalf. We extend special greetings to our families whose support is invaluable.
As you gather at the graves and monuments of Ireland’s patriot dead you do so with great courage, unbowed and unbroken but mindful of the fact that the road ahead has never been harder. But as true Republicans we have never turned our backs on our struggle.
Those of us imprisoned at home and abroad have been so for our political beliefs. Our belief in the Proclamation of 1916 and all that it entails is steadfast and will remain so. As you are aware we the Republican POWs commenced protest action coming up on a year now. This decision was not taken lightly and is a direct result of the non-implementation of the Agreement which was signed on August 12, 2010.
This agreement was signed by Republican POWs in good faith. It had become clear that the British Government and their relevant departments had no intention of implementing the agreement they signed. Once again the British Government has embarked on a criminalisation policy within this concentration camp against Republicans and as such we had no alternative but to commence protest action.
We are Prisoners of War; we cannot be broken or criminalised and any such attempt to do so will be met with resistance. Our protest will continue until we see the full implementation of the August 12 Agreement.
We thank our families, Republicans and comrades for their renewed and continual support.
We, the Republican POWs, applaud those who took to the streets in protest in our name Once again we pledge our full support to the Leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann and our comrades-in-arms who continue to fight for Irish freedom. We salute you.
We, the POWs, continue to resist all attempts by the NIO to criminalise us and our struggle and with your continued support we are confident of victory. In the words of Liam Lynch “we have declared for a Republic and will live by no other law”.
Continuity not compromise.
Tiocfaidh ár lá.
O/C Republican PoWs Maghaberry