Il testo integrale del discorso di Francis Mackey, 32 County Sovereignty Movement, letto durante le commemorazioni di Pasqua 2015 al St Finbars Cemetery di Togher, Contea di Cork
The 1916 Easter Rebellion was an armed expression of Irish sovereignty. It was expressed in such a manner because Irish sovereignty was and is violated by the Westminster Parliament. This violation is the root cause of the ongoing Anglo-Irish conflict.
The potency of the Proclamation issued at the outset of the rebellion lies in the clarity through which Irish sovereignty was defined.
“We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.”
In clear and unambiguous terms Irish sovereignty was defined as an inalienable and indefeasible right of the people of Ireland. And in equal measure, whilst recognising that no foreign parliament had the right to violate our sovereignty, the Irish people themselves have no right to give it away.
This places the Good Friday Agreement as a clear breach of these sovereign principles and as such cannot be viewed as the basis for peace between the Irish people and the Westminster Parliament.
Our right to national self determination, to be governed by the collective wisdom of our people’s votes, is not in itself dependant on a vote. Voting is an expression of sovereignty but it is not the basis for it. The joint referenda held to endorse the Good Friday Agreement were an attempt to create such a scenario by making national self determination conditional on the votes of Unionists.
And here is where the clarity of the Proclamation causes fundamental problems for those adherents of Good Friday but also offers clear guidance for republicans in how to address it.
The 32 County Sovereignty Movement took on board this clarity and defended Irish sovereignty from this attack at the United Nations. Our Submission before the UN sets out in the clearest form possible that Partition, and all treaties thereof, are illegal under international law and are clear violations of Irish sovereignty.
The importance of this defence of Irish sovereignty cannot be overstated when you consider that Westminster’s first consideration in the so called peace process was to defend absolutely their claim of sovereignty over part of our country.
They insisted, even though it meant continuing armed conflict, that the entry fee into negotiations was the prior acceptance of the legitimacy of their sovereign claim to the
Six Counties and that all other claims were to be withdrawn.
Their strategy from that point on was to sanitise this treaty by a partitionist vote masquerading as an act of self determination by the Irish people.
In this they were largely successful except for our actions at the UN. That submission remains the only legal challenge to the British occupation of our country. It was made on behalf of the right of the Irish people to national sovereignty for the 32 Counties of Ireland. It is not the property of any group nor is endorsement of any group a precondition to supporting it.
We cannot equivocate on this matter. We cannot depart from the clarity of the Proclamation as a confused strategy to express a political identity. Neither can we reduce the events of Easter Week to mere idealism. The armed rebellion was a definitive political act in pursuit of national rights clearly defined.
And herein lies the true challenge of the Proclamation for Irish republicans today. What will our definitive political actions be in pursuit of its realisation? It’s not enough to pledge allegiance to the Proclamation without making that allegiance synonymous with definitive and credible political acts of our own.
The first step to be taken in addressing any problem is to recognise that the problem exists. For republicans that first step is to recognise that our fractured state is fundamentally incapable of delivering these definitive political acts.
And irrespective of how we tortuously try to justify or lend credence to this fractured state one fundamental reality remains unaltered; no matter which banner you stand under today, no matter which graveyard or monument you attend to remember 1916 we are all wholly united in our collective failure to realise our objectives.
The sooner we recognise this reality the sooner we can progress. How can we claim credible allegiance to those who gave their lives in Easter Week knowing full well that our own efforts are hopelessly below par?
It’s all the more ironic when you consider that the Proclamation and Rising themselves form the perfect template within which we can address our current malaise.
This time next year we will be standing at the Centenary of the most seminal event in our history. What are we to say? Are we to say one group had more flags at their commemoration than another and delude ourselves that that is a victory?
We are confronted by a State who wants to honour the British soldiers who executed our Provisional Government. We have pseudo republican parties throwing vast sums of money in a despicable effort to buy the Centenary as an election ploy for a possible 2016 election.
We have front groups issuing forgeries of the Proclamation in an insidious attempt to facilitate the Good Friday Agreement as in some way not being in contravention of the original document.
All these efforts are being undertaken by groups with vastly more resources than we could ever hope to have. All republicans have at this point in time is each other and all we are being asked to do is act in cohesion for one day out of a hundred years.
Surely that is the very least we can do!