The Republican Network for Unity extends fraternal greetings to our Activists, supporters, and friends and to all republicans at home and abroad, especially to all Irish political prisoners in Maghaberry, Portlaoise and Lithuania.
Let us start by re-affirming our belief that the “long usurpation” of Ireland’s right to freedom and national sovereignty by the British government, Britain’s partition of our country, and the injustices of social and economic inequality inherent in partition, have always been the root causes of conflict in Ireland.
Today across the nation and the world as Irish republicans gather to honour their patriot dead, the modern legacies of historical injustices are plain to see. The men and women of Easter 1916 proclaimed, fought and died for the equal right of all Irish people from every part of Ireland to national freedom and sovereignty. They proclaimed this right to be indefeasible- meaning it could never be sold or signed away. Those patriots, who fought for Ireland then and in generations since, did so pledging themselves to this right.
Yet there are some today in Ireland who would have you think that this right disappears at Belleck, Jonesborough, Coshquinn and the many other plethora of border towns and parishes which were written out of Irish freedom by the treacherous Free State treaty of 1922.
They are happy to accept and promote the notion that those Irish citizens residing in the six counties still held by Britain, should accept that their right to freedom does not exist or at best exists subservient to a unionist veto. These custodians of power and privilege, the politician class both north and south operate under the disgraceful understanding that some citizens should be content with their lot because others have been gifted with seats and ministries at Stormont.
They passionately ignore the fact that the Irish working class have been blighted by the legacy of partition, and the economic manipulations made possible because our country and our peoples mind-sets have been unjustifiably and deliberately divided.
On this the 96th anniversary of the Easter Rising, we remember all of the Volunteers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of the national, social and economic liberation of Ireland. We salute their bravery and we are inspired by their courage and vision and we will ensure that their sacrifice will never be in vain.
As Irish Republicans we gather every Easter to renew our faith in our ideology and pledge continued loyalty to the legacy bequeathed by our patriot dead.
Today in Maghaberry prison under a compromised justice ministry appointed and re-appointed with Sinn Fein backing, Irish republican prisoners will also commemorate our fallen; they unlike us however will face the force of prison batons for doing so, because today in Ireland the Easter lily is a “banned” item in Maghaberry prison.
The island of equals that was promised to us doesn’t, it seems extend to honouring Irelands dead. Nor are some who claim the mantle of Republicanism unduly troubled that they stand behind a British justice regime which brutalizes Republican political prisoners for honouring the legacy of 1916.
This is of course only one of many injustices which those in the corridors of power would gladly have us ignore if only our sense of justice was as shallow as theirs.
We in RNU demand an end to the Internment of former Hunger-Striker Marian Price. She should not be in prison. She was not out on licence. Marian was pardoned which means that British secretary of state Owen Patterson had no power to revoke her licence.
Marian’s family and legal team have now been told that these pardon documents have been lost possibly shredded! Is this what passes for justice in Ireland today? How long will her former comrades, like Gerry Kelly continue to lend credibility to the British regime that randomly jailed her?
Lurgan Republican Martin Corey is also languishing in Maghaberry Prison without any charge against him. He has already spent 25 years of his life in British prisons but because he remains committed to his republican beliefs that it seems is enough to Gaol him once again. Today RNU also call for his immediate release!
The continued imprisonment of Veteran Republican, Gerry McGeough again demonstrates clearly that Irish citizens who dare disagree with the ‘new’ Stormont regime will be subjected to British injustice, intimidation, retaliatory arrest and imprisonment.
RNU call upon our supporters and everyone concerned with civil liberties to work together to win immediate release for these patriots. Remember these test cases of British repression are but the beginning. If the British succeed against them, others will be next.
In Maghaberry Prison Cogús POWs along with comrades from other republican groupings have been engaged in a “dirty-protest” against brutal and humiliating strip-searches and against controlled movement.
Thirty-one years after the tragic death of ten courageous Volunteers in the H-Blocks, Cogús POWs’ true to the legacy of 1981,are engaged in a fight to ensure that they are recognised as political prisoners, not criminals.
They are resolute in defence of their human rights. Republican prisoners have withstood H-Block style strip-search brutality still are determined to see the 2010 Agreement fully implemented.
Theirs is a fight made harder because the political party that once led the struggle against criminalization now appoints a British minister who tries to impose the same policies of Margaret Thatcher.
We in RNU salute the courage and determination of Republican political prisoners and their refusal to be broken.
We wish to acknowledge the strength, dignity and support shown by the prisoner’s families during this difficult time and to urge everyone to back all Republican prisoners until victory is secured.
Comrades in just four years’ time we will be commemorating the centenary of the 1916 rising.
Now more than ever it is the duty of Republican Socialists to chart a path to where we want to be in 2016 and beyond.
Major social, economic and political changes are needed to achieve the restoration of the Irish Republic. RNU believe that socialism, the unity of our country, its people and the Republican family are the only ways to secure justice and cherish all the children of the nation equally.
Gradually more and more people are coming to a better understanding of our analysis. Their voices are again demanding the reunification of Ireland and this demand grows stronger by the day.
As the Proclamation correctly states; ‘The long usurpation of the right of an Irish National Democracy by a foreign government has not extinguished that right, nor can it be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people itself.’
RNU reject the paritionist assemblies at Stormont and Leinster House. There can be no substitute for a sovereign Irish Parliament representative of all 32 Counties, with a coherent Socialist-Republican programme at its heart.
Our allegiance is to Irish sovereignty, unity and the working-class. We will never accept any form of British rule in Ireland. We will oppose it by any means necessary. We will continue to oppose Special Courts, Political Policing, Internment by remand or license and all the other trappings of occupation in any part of this country.
It is natural that some disillusioned Republicans feel bitterness because other former revolutionaries have endorsed Partition, and British Policing.
Many have stood back and watched in amazement at how eagerly, former comrades could administer British rule in Ireland. Today we often hear the words “change agenda” and see once respected Republicans transformed into ministers, providing political cover and acting as willing apologists for Britain.
Some of the disillusioned drifted away from Republicanism in disgust. We urge you all to come back! Join with us and again we will rebuild the proud republican position.
The suggestion by some in the Sinn Fein leadership that republicans suffered fought and died for no more than a revamped Stormont, the endorsement of a new British Constabulary and a continuation of partition are nothing short of shameful duplicity.
Today we urge Sinn Fein grassroots members to instead join with us to help reverse the failed strategies of their failing leadership.
RNU presents a clear alternative to a Partitioned Ireland. The British Government left us with an appalling legacy of economic stagnation, The Free State government with their greed and bribes have left the Irish working classes to pick up the bill for their mismanagement of the state.
Emigration, injustice, Capitalism, discrimination and sectarianism, the nightmare for working-class communities across Ireland remains. Partition is strengthened. MI5 controls Policing in the north and influences it in the south. Internment by license or remand persists in the north, with its section 30 partner law in the south.
Sectarianism is rife and figures show it is just as prevalent today as it has ever been.
The political ideology and objectives of the Republican Network for Unity were forged in 1916 and democratically endorsed by Dáil Éireann.
We envisage an equitable social and economic system that involves the distribution of the nation’s wealth amongst the Irish people and used for the betterment of her people.
The history of Ireland since Partition provides abundant examples of former Republicans who diluted Socialist-Republican principles to embrace the system in the mistaken belief that they could change it from within, yet it was they who instead were changed.
Comrades, there exists an urgency to educate our youth and instil in them an understanding of the sacrifices of countless generations of Irishmen & Irishwomen, who gave all in the pursuit of Irish freedom.
Outline the errors of the past and cultivate a commitment to fundamental Socialist-Republican principles. Remember the rights to freedom and national sovereignty past patriots proclaimed and work with us to make that freedom a reality for all of Ireland.
- Speciali LET
- Distretto Nord