Easter statements
adamseaster.jpg A number of statements were issued by the main republican organisations at the weekend.

The following Easter statement was issued in the name of the Sinn Fein leadership.

On this the 94th anniversary of the 1916 Rising the leadership of Sinn Fein extends its solidarity to the families of all our patriot dead. We remember with pride those comrades from every generation who gave their lives for the cause of Irish freedom. We are immensely proud of our patriot dead and of their families.

We are committed to the ideals and principles of the Proclamation. They are as relevant today as they have ever been.

The unity and independence of Ireland remains our primary political objective and Sinn Fein has a political strategy to achieve it.

We are consolidating the Peace Process while seeking always to advance towards Irish unity. It is in this context that policing and justice powers are being transferred from Britain to the North, that Irish language rights have been advanced, that the North is being demilitarised, that the Orange state has been dismantled. There are more republicans now than at any time in recent memory and Irish unity is a live political issue.

Small militarist factions have engaged in futile armed actions which play into the agenda of MI5 and other British agencies. These groups have no strategy and have nothing to offer the republican struggle. A peaceful and democratic path to Irish unity is now available.

Sinn Fein now seeks to bring a new momentum to the achievement of a united Ireland through maximising popular support and uniting the greatest number of people in support of national democratic objectives. We are also building support for this objective among the Irish diaspora.

We will soon face into a Westminster election. The positive momentum created by the recent political developments must be translated into increased electoral support for Sinn Fein so that we can bring about greater political change and further advance towards our ultimate objective. Everyone has a role to play in these elections.

Sinn Fein’s job is to build a credible political alternative to the failed politics of the establishment. The party has put forward practical solutions to create and protect jobs, to stimulate the economy and to construct a fairer society. These policies must be promoted at every available opportunity and at a local level.

The current economic crisis is being felt throughout the country. Unemployment is soaring and the blight of emigration has returned, especially in the South. The coalition government in Dublin has abjectly failed to tackle this crisis, which is causing so much hardship to so many.

This current government is one of the most unpopular in the history of the state and republicans must prepare now for a general election in the 26 Counties that could occur at any time.

We need to build Sinn Fein throughout every corner of Ireland.

In this spirit, at our recent Ard Fheis Sinn Fein radically changed party structures to make joining Sinn Fein easier. We want more and more people to be party members by working in whatever way they can for republican objectives. Republicans will turn out in large numbers to Easter commemorations across Ireland this weekend. We want them to return to these commemorations next year as Sinn Fein members.

We commend the work of Ogra Shinn Fein. As unemployment and emigration threaten the future of our youth, an active republican youth organisation is more vital than ever. Ogra have been active on a range of social and political issues and have shown that young people can fight back.

The united Ireland we seek to build is inclusive, in which all of our people feel secure. We want unionists to be able to find their place in a new Ireland. We believe that Irish unity and a genuine republic can deliver social, economic and cultural equality for all of our people.

As we celebrate the lives of our comrades and commemorate the sacrifices of our patriot dead, we look to the future with renewed confidence and re-commit ourselves to the achievement of our republican objectives.”

This statement was issued anonymously to The Sovereign Nation, the newspaper of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, in the name of Oglaigh na hEireann [IRA, known as the ‘Real IRA’].

The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann extend Easter greetings to our friends and supporters across Ireland and overseas, we thank you for the work you have undertaken on our behalf and appreciate your continued support now and in the future.

We extend solidarity greetings to fellow revolutionaries internationally and to all those who continue to resist occupation and colonial rule.

We recognise the sterling work carried out on a daily basis by activists from the political organisations and we extend the hand of friendship to those within the other republican insurgency groups who share our common aim.

Finally, we send greetings and express our admiration and respect for the IRA volunteers both imprisoned and on active service.

Over the last decade and more many of you have borne the full force of both states in Ireland as well as the constant attacks and smears from the established body politic and the pro establishment media. You have held the line with dignity in the unshakeable belief that our cause is noble and correct.

Comrades, we believe another corner has been turned in the national liberation struggle, this would not have been possible without your standing firm through many dark days.

To our POW’s fighting daily for political status we say keep your heads up, we are fully behind you and so is the whole republican separatist community.

Since last Easter republicans in both their military and political capacities have raised the ante against British state interference in Ireland. The IRA, with others, have been on the frontline of this resistance.

We have attacked crown force personnel and installations as well as British interests and infrastructure.

We have also taken action against the scourge of drugs and anti social behaviour.

We have attacked the occupation and defended our communities, we will continue to do and with the continued support of the republican community we will escalate the campaign when it becomes opportune. The IRA have smashed the carefully contrived facade of normality in the occupied zone, the six county state will never run smoothly again.

Yet again a self appointed elite has brought republicanism into disrepute, yet again our struggle has been criminalised by constitutional nationalists masquerading as republicans. Republicans are not criminals and our volunteers will resist any attempt by opportunist careerists to portray us as such.

An unrepresentative junta within republicanism almost destroyed the IRA but because the actions of a courageous few and the continued respect for the IRA constitution we remain intact while at present that junta is finished as a credible revolutionary force. The republican movement has weathered that particular storm. The Republican position has been held.

The IRA has had to make some difficult choices of late but it has done so to protect the integrity of the army and the national liberation struggle. Anyone connected to the republican separatist movement should at all times remember who they are and what they represent.

They represent an unbroken line of principled resistance stretching back to the men and women of 1916 and beyond, they represent every man and woman who lie in their graves for the cause and who we are here to honour at Easter, they represent the national position which is bigger than any one person or group of individuals.

Friends and comrades, the republican movement is at a critical juncture and our actions now will determine which road we take. Repression in the two hostile states in Ireland is increasing dramatically in line with our growing support. The British thought they had the ‘Irish question’ put to bed but here they are, in Ireland on a war footing, the volunteer soldiers of the Irish Republican Army will engage them to the best of our ability.

The following statement was released by Republican Sinn Fein in the name of the Leadership of the Republican Movement.

ON THE OCCASION of the 94th anniversary of the historic Easter Rising of 1916, the Leadership of the Republican Movement sends greetings to all who are gathered in commemoration at the graves of the Republican Dead of every generation and at monuments erected to their memory. In the past year it has been stated that policing will be transferred from Westminster to Stormont. However, political policing will continue and will remain guided from London. Under the St Andrews Agreement, amended by the Hillsborough Agreement, “security intelligence” in the Six Occupied Counties will be the responsibility of the MI5 Security Service with the RUC/PSNI in a support role.

The MI5 will not be accountable to the Stormont Policing Board for security-related matters but it will be available to brief the Board in secret on what it considers “appropriate”.

This is not the devolution of policing and justice powers. London will remain in control. For their part, the Republican youth has given the RUC/PSNI their response on the streets of many towns in the occupied area. We appreciate their actions.

In the 26 Counties, the flag of occupation - the Union Jack - is displayed with increasing frequency at festivals and on other public occasions. Similarly British military uniforms are flaunted in public, although the wearing of them was banned south of the Border for decades after 1922. All of this is a build-up to a state visit by the Queen of England to the 26 Counties. The crowned head which claims sovereignty in Ireland has not visited for a full century. It is essential that such a visit be opposed. If it is not, then that is an acceptance of her “royal style and title” as “Queen of Northern Ireland” so-called. As Republicans we cannot, we must not, and we will not, tolerate such a situation without a meaningful protest. This Easter we renew our support for the Shell to Sea campaign in their protest against the exploitation of Irish natural resources by a multinational company and the consequent endangerment of local inhabitants in the Ros Dumhach (“Ros Doo-ach”) Gaeltacht area. We salute the stand taken against the hired private armies of security men by local fisherman Pat O’Donnell, now serving time in prison for his opposition to oppression. Once more we denounce the description of faithful Republicans as “traitors” by a person who gave a commitment in 1986 that the war of national liberation would “never, never, never” end until the freedom of Ireland was achieved. On the same occasion he pledged on behalf of his associates never to go to Westminster or Stormont.

Now they administer British rule in Ireland from Stormont. They have offices in Westminster and draw expenses annually from the English government of many hundreds of thousands pounds sterling. Others have recently followed their example and at the behest of the British government have destroyed weapons and munitions given for the independence of Ireland. On the other hand we note the continued resistance by Volunteers of the Continuity IRA to the British forces of occupation, the unremitting work of Republican Sinn Fein members for national unity and independence and the defiant stand of the Republican prisoners North and South in the face of their jailors. The struggle continues.

Republicans are not dismayed by the threats of further repression from sources in the 26-County Administration. As in the past they will stand up and meet them unflinchingly. Week after week the tabloid gutter press seeks by its falsehoods and fabrication to sow confusion in the ranks regarding the Republican position. The faithful are loyal to the All-Ireland Republic under one authority. That position has been vindicated again and again as the only basis on which to proceed.

We send greetings to our prisoners in Maghaberry, Co Antrim and Portlaoise jails. Their stand day after day is an example to us all. We undertake once more to support their dependants during the period of incarceration.

A chairde, the countdown to 2016, the centenary of the momentous Easter Rising, has begun. Just five more Easters have to pass and the Great Day will be upon us. We need to commence preparations now to ensure that the occasion is not snatched from us by those who have ignored the annual Easter 1916 Commemorations since the 50th - in 1966.

Advance then, loyal and true, and rally a younger generation to the imperishable Cause which, in 1916, opened a century of anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle for the greater good of all humankind!

An Phoblacht Abu!

The following is the eirigi Easter statement.

Ninety-four years ago, on Easter Monday, April 24 1916, Irish republicans and socialists took armed control of Dublin City and proclaimed the Irish Republic. In doing so, these brave men and women changed the course of history.

As always, the British government reacted to this assertion of social and national rights with a brutal display of force - in the killing of civilians on the streets of Dublin, in the execution of the leadership of the Rising and in the attempted crushing of Irish demands for self-determination. But the risen people who followed in the footsteps of the men and women of Easter Week proved, yet again, that no one can break the will of a people to be free.

This Easter, eirigi, and all Irish republicans and socialists, remember with pride the sacrifice of those who struck that historic blow in 1916 and all those who have given their lives for freedom in the decades since. eirigi extends solidarity to the families of all those who have lost their lives because of their devotion to the republican cause.

The Ireland of today is not the one that was envisaged by the leaders of the Easter Rising when they drafted the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. It is not the one that was envisaged by all those who have given so much in the long years of struggle before and since 1916.

Today, more than half a million people are unemployed in Ireland; tens of thousands more are emigrating. The financial wealth of the Irish people is being used to prop up private banks, while their natural resources are being given away to multinational corporations. The living conditions, wages, rights and entitlements of workers are being attacked daily in an effort to shore up the profits of the business class. Working class communities are deprived of amenities and left to the ravages of poverty and all that flows from it. Partition remains in place and the occupation of the Six Counties is maintained by the armed forces of the British government.

These are the glaring injustices that provide the incentive for unceasing struggle in modern Ireland. In doing so, eirigi is provided with the inspiring example of the revolutionaries of Easter Week, who knew that freedom and rights are never returned willingly by oppressors, but must be taken back forcefully by the oppressed.

The task that lies before Irish revolutionaries in 2010 is the same as that which faced the revolutionaries of 1916 - noting less than the complete removal of Britain from Ireland’s affairs and the radical reordering of the social and economic system.

What began on Easter Monday 1916 was a decolonisation process - Britain’s days in Ireland have been numbered ever since.

To complete this process, another uprising is needed - an uprising of the working people and all those who are exploited and oppressed. It may not happen today or tomorrow or next year, but happen it must and the preparatory work for that rising must begin today.

Four years after its foundation eirigi remains wholeheartedly committed to the struggle for Irish national, social, economic and cultural freedom. This Easter, we encourage republicans and socialists to join us as we honour Ireland’s dead and recommit ourselves to the ideals for which they died.

Ar aghaidh linn le cheile.

The following address was delivered by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams at Sinn Fein’s main Easter commemoration at Milltown cemetery in Belfast.

Ta me lan sasta seasamh anseo libh inniu ar Domhnach na Casca seo le smaoineadh ar ar gcomradaithe a chuaigh romhainn agus a caint faoi an todhcai.

Is cuimhin linn an meid a thug ar laochrai croga ar son saoirse na tire seo, an meid a chaill siad.

Cuidionn seo linn nuair a bhionn fadhbanna againn no nuair a bhionn muid traochta.

I want to welcome you all here today.

Easter Sunday is a special day. Especially here in Belfast.

It is a day to remember, to honour, and to celebrate all those republicans of our generation and other generations who gave their lives in the struggle for Irish freedom and justice.

Belfast republicans are proud of our patriot dead; we are proud of their families; we are proud of our struggle and we are proud of our history.

Belfast is where the United Irish men and women committed to ending the connection with Britain.

This is the city where James Connolly organised the working men and women, and particularly the women against sweat shop exploitation.

In 1916 he went from the Falls Road to join with the Irish Volunteers, the Irish Citizen Army, Cumann na mBan and Na Fianna to take on the might of the British Empire.

This is the city where Sean MacDiarmada joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

This is the city where Countess Markievicz founded Na Fianna hEireann.

This is the city visited often by Padraig Pearse and the leaders of the 1916 Rising as they worked with County Antrim gaeilgeoiri and home rulers before going on to become republicans.

This is the city of Maire Drumm and of other brave Sinn Fein activists.

The city of Mairead Farrell and Dorothy Maguire and all the other patriotic women of our time.

Sa chathair seo a lasadh splanc na saoirse. Ta se beo, briomhar ann go foill.

This is the city of Bobby Sands and Joe McDonnell and Ciaran Doherty and all their brave freedom fighting comrades of the Irish Republican Army.

We honour them all.

In particular we honour those who lie in these republican plots and in this cemetery.

They are not just heroes and heroines. They are our friends, our comrades, our neighbours, our family members.

Like the men and women of 1916 they knew the dangers they faced; the military capacity of the British state, and the subservience of sections of the Irish political establishment and media.

But they were determined to bring about change.

To end centuries of British involvement in Ireland and to construct a republic in which citizens would be treated fairly and equitably.

That goal is not yet achieved.

Ireland is still partitioned. Economic recession north and south means that nearly half a million citizens are out of work.

But the Irish government, as we saw again this week, continues to bail out its friends and cronies in the banking system and the golden circle of property developers and speculators.

NAMA gets precedence over citizens while our public services are slashed and poverty and emigration increases.

There is no more urgent time than this to promote our republican politics of equality and respect and dignity.

Ta muintir na fiche se chontae feargach, tuigeann muid sin.

Ta muid feargach fosta mar is phairthi muidinne a bhfuil lonnaithe I measc na ndaoine, sna phobail ar fud na tire seo.

There is no better time to be demanding that citizens have the right to a home; to a safe environment; to good quality education and health care; and to a job.

There is no better time than this to campaign for a united Ireland.

Republican Belfast and this generation of Irish republicans is stronger, more experienced and better supported than at any other time in the history of our city.

And Irish reunification and republican politics have never been more clearly in demand to advance and defend peoples’ rights.

I believed that when I joined the Republican struggle in the 1960s.

I believe it today.

Over 40 years ago, in the summer of 1969, progressive citizens of Belfast made a stand against the Orange state and in support of the beleaguered people of Derry. I was there.

I was also in Ballymurphy in 1970 when citizens there engaged in one of the first acts of mass resistance since partition.

And in all the time since then many ordinary people made extraordinary sacrifices and displayed great courage in pursuit of freedom and justice and Irish unity.

I am proud to have been part of all that.

During this phase of the struggle some of us had to leave our families and homes, go on the run, adapt many ruses, go under false names.

We relied totally on the support of the people to protect us.

And we, in turn, protected the people as best we could.

We did not divulge their names, their roles, their actions.

That is still my position. That was the bond of comradeship and loyalty which was forged between us.

And let no one think that I will bend to the demands of anti-republican elements or their allies in a hostile section of the media on this issue.

I am also very conscious of the human cost of the war and the great hurt inflicted by republicans.

I have acknowledged this and my regret for this many times. And I do so again today.

There are victims and citizens who want to know the truth about what happened to loved ones during the conflict.

That is their right. I cannot demand truth for victims of British terrorism, collusion or unionist error without supporting the same right for victims of republican actions.

That is why Sinn Fein supports the establishment of an effective independent and international truth recovery process.

I certainly would be prepared to be part of such a process and I would encourage others to participate.

I am glad the war is over.

Any post conflict phase - any transition is bound to be difficult.

For all survivors, victims, former combatants.

The war should never be glamourised or repeated.

But neither should the republican involvement in it - the Army’s involvement, the involvement our patriot dead - be permitted by us to be criminalised or retrospectively delegitimised.

This is bigger than me. This is about us as a republican community, especially in this city of Belfast.

This is about our integrity and the just nature of our cause.

That is why the Irish Republican Army - Oglaigh na hEireann- was known as the peoples army.

I am proud of that Army and my association with it.

I am not a militarist and I never have been but without the IRA the nationalist people of this state would still be on our knees.

We would still be second class citizens.

So bear in mind that this relentless campaign against me is not really about me at all. It’s about trying to defeat the struggle.

Ta muid cleachtaithe leis na h’ionsaithe seo. Nil rud nua e. Ach I gconai seas muid an fhod na cuise le cheile.

During the war the might of British militarism and its unionist allies in the death squads could not defeat the republican people of this city.

The millions spent on black propaganda, the lies and smears and disinformation and the efforts to criminalise our struggle all failed.

Republicans stayed focussed and strong and united.

We stuck with our republican principles.

We perservered. We strategised and planned.

And the peoples army - the IRA - was an undefeated army when it took brave decisions to support the Sinn Fein peace strategy and to create the present opportunities for a new future.

This society, the citizens of this island would not be in the new place, a better place particularly here in the North, but for the dedication and determination of republicans.

So this campaign against me, against us, by the Irish News and Sunday Times, Tribune and others is not new.

They did it during the hunger strikes; they did when I first stood for election and in every election since; they did when I was involved in talks with John Hume; they did it constantly throughout the negotiations and the peace process.

It is about stopping our development.

So our immediate focus as republican activists is to mobilise and win the biggest republican vote in the Westminster election next month.

Building political strength and winning more and more people over to Irish republicanism is the best way to ensure the full implementation of the Good Friday and St. Andrews Agreement and in particular of their all-Ireland elements.

The key to this is leadership.

And Sinn Fein has a tried, experienced and trusted leadership. In early March we demonstrated that by concluding an agreement at Hillsborough with the DUP.

We did this by making the two governments and the DUP face up to their political responsibilities.

Under this Agreement powers on policing and justice will be transferred next week.

There will also be the transfer of powers from London to Belfast to deal with the issue of parades.

More powers moving from England to Ireland.

Irish language rights will also be delivered on and there is additional funding for the language.

Ta nios mo le deanamh againn ach ta Sinn Fein go h’iomlan dirithe cearta na nGael a chuir chun tosaigh in achan rud a dheanann muid.

This Agreement is a staging post.

More change is necessary but it is proof that change is possible and that the process is ongoing.

And that change is also evident every day in the efforts of our activists across this island to get investment in public services, in education and roads and rural communities.

In our defence of the elderly, our efforts to secure jobs, and houses and environmental improvements and much more.

Sinn Fein is doing all this by standing up to the governments.

By standing up for the rights of citizens.

And by making clear to the unionist parties that while we are a partner in government we are no push over.

We want to work with unionists.

This party is more active on grassroots issues in working class unionist areas of this city than at any time in my lifetime.

We take seriously our republican heritage which embraces the radical Presbyterian tradition of the United Irish Society.

And we are serious also about wanting to make friends with unionists based on tolerance, respect and equality.

This great, proud party believes that a free, independent and United Ireland makes political and economic sense.

We have embarked on a national and international campaign to bring this about.

We determined and resolute and confident of success.

This years Ard Fheis cleared the way for everyone who wants to, to join Sinn Fein on your own terms.

So I am appealing to everyone here to become a Shinner and to take a stand for freedom, peace and justice.

Join Sinn Fein and build a new Ireland, an Ireland the signatories of 1916 and those republicans we remember today, would be proud of.

Join with us in the fight for jobs, for peace, for equality, for unity.

Join with us we make peace with former enemies, and as we seek to achieve our primary goal of Irish unity and freedom.

And finally my friends let us send a message of solidarity to the people of Gaza.

Let us send a message to the Israeli government.

Stop the war against Palestine. Build the peace.

Bigi linn.

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