The following is an Easter statement issued in the name of the leadership of the Republican Movement (Republican Sinn Féin).
On this the 104th anniversary of the Easter Rising 1916 the Leadership of the Republican Movement sends greetings to Irishmen and Irishwomen at home and abroad. We extend solidarity greetings to Jonathan Hawthorn, POW, Portlaoise. We remember our members who died since last Easter and send condolences to their families.
This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Republicans cannot hold commemorations at the graves of our martyred dead but they are not forgotten and individual members of the Republican Movement will lay wreaths at graves and memorials in Ireland and abroad. At this critical time in the history of humanity, it is incumbent on all of us to listen to medical advice and observe social distancing and self-isolation where required. Our thoughts are with those stricken with this virus and their relatives and friends.
The Republican Movement with its constituent branches will always hold the welfare of our people to be our main concern and though we will not fail to honour our fallen dead this Easter we will do so taking into account the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in. During this time many people need reassurance and help and we salute those of our members who are assisting the homeless and people who have difficulty in assessing necessary food and heating. Keep up the good work. We would also like to pay tribute to the people on the front line, especially medical professionals.
One hundred years ago our nation was locked in a war with one of the greatest empires the world has even known. The British government unleashed the Black-and-Tans and Auxiliaries as well as the RIC and the British army on the people, killing, torturing and imprisoning people and burning homes, towns and villages. They were not successful and although the freedom struggle was to be betrayed later the Irish people stood behind the Republic proclaimed in Easter Week and established by the election of 1918 and Dáil Éireann in January 1919.
In recent times the Free State government shamefully attempted to hold a commemoration to these murderers. They proved they were out of touch with the people of Ireland who let them know very quickly that it was not going to happen and they had no choice but to abandon this event.
The Republican Movement gives its allegiance to that Republic and has never accepted the partition system of government imposed on us by England in 1921 but seeks to achieve full and complete Irish freedom, political, economic, social and cultural. We continue to take our stand based on those principles and vow to complete the unfinished business of 1916 by securing Ireland’s nationhood and re-establishing the All-Ireland Republic of Easter Week, bringing the struggle against British occupation to its final conclusion.
Participation in the partitionist assemblies of Leinster House and Stormont will not bring about the Republic envisaged in 1916 and in the War of Independence. Sinn Féin Poblachtach’s policy, Éire Nua, is a blueprint for a new Ireland inclusive of all sections of Irish society.
Meanwhile, harassment of our members continues north and south of Britain’s Border. In particular members in Derry, Lurgan, Tyrone and Belfast are stopped and searched on a daily basis for no reason by the British colonial police. Republicans will not be deterred by intimidation and harassment and we are determined to continue to oppose British rule in Ireland.
A century after the Irish people fought the British Empire to a standstill, our nation faces a different challenge and if we stand together we will get through and in coming years we will return to the graves and monuments to our patriot dead and commemorate them in a fitting manner.
In conclusion, the Leadership of the Republican Movement assures the Irish people that no opportunity will pass where we shall be found wanting and at the opportune time appropriate action will be taken to achieve the independence of our nation.