The annual Ronán MacLochlainn Commemoration took place today at Glasnevin Cemetery were Ronán is buried alongside many of our patriot dead.
This year marked the 25th year of Ronan’s murder at the hands of free state forces.
The proceedings were chaired by 32csm national chairman Francie Mackey, a message of solidarity from the family of IRA volunteer Joe O'Connor to Ronán's family was read by John Murphy of Cork 32csm and the main oration was read by Anto Davidson of Belfast 32csm. Wreaths were also laid at the grave.
We want to thank Ronán’s family for their continued trust in the sovereignty movement and again offer our sympathies. We also want to thank all those in attendance today.
Message of solidarity from the O'Connor family:
The brothers and sisters of Joe O’Connor send warm greetings and salutations to those gathered today in proud remembrance of Oglach Ronan MacLochlainn.
It is a credit to him that 25 years after his brutal murder, faithful friends and comrades still gather in his honour and determined to strive for his objectives.
This is Ronan’s day and we will not labour upon our own experiences to the detriment of those of the McLaughlin family. Except to say that in our home till this day, Ronan McLaughlin’s name is still mentioned with reverence and respect as it had been when our brother Joe was alive.
Though she did not know him, our late mother spoke of Ronan McLaughlin as if he was a family member, as indeed she spoke of Kiddo Murray and Alan Ryan in later darker days. All were comrades of Joe’s and so all were sacred to her.
We pay tribute and send the warmest solidarity to Ronan's family as they continue their own long struggle for justice and truth, and pay tribute to his friends and comrades as they continue their struggle for a Sovereign and Free Unite Irish Republic.
These are the graves whom Pearse spoke of when he adjured the fools to recognise that the sacrifices of our fenian dead are the driving force behind our efforts to ensure the realisation of republican objectives.
These are the graves which echo the wisdom of Connolly when he predicted the carnival of reaction that would follow with the usurpation of Irish sovereignty.
And these are the graves that stand, dignified and removed, from the spectacle of monarchical decadence that once again seduced the Home-Rule mindset to come to heel and bow before the Crown.
Our struggle is accustomed to betrayal, but can any of us have imagined that the proverbial thirty pieces of silver would manifest itself in the modern era by Sinn Fein representatives attending the royal coronation of the Commander in Chief of british death squads such as the Parachute Regiment?
Need we say it again: For What Died The Sons Of Roisin?
Twenty-five years ago IRA Volunteer Ronan McLoughlin gave his life as our struggle opposed moves to abandon the position of defending Irish sovereignty and despite the language of populism and the cult of personality, Ronan adhered to the republican path that both history and political logic told him to.
It was the path which IRA Volunteer Bobby Sands took when he embarked on his hunger strike and whose heroic sacrifice we also remember this week.
It’s the Path of Tone and Emmet, Lalor and Kickham, Connolly and Pearse, Lynch and Barry, McCaughey and Kerins, South and O’Hanlon, Reid and McKearney, Farrell and McCann. The entire Roll of Honour is the true proclamation of Irish republicanism, for who could sacrifice so much for anything less?
After twenty-five years the Good Friday Agreement has allowed pro-British interests to celebrate one hundred years of partition. Wrapped in the comfort blanket of peace they crawled out of the woodwork to hitch their fading failures onto any bandwagon that might afford them the trappings of power.
We can’t allow these parasites to be the authors of our history and we can’t surrender the true narrative of our struggle to the revisionists. The post Good Friday Agreement generation are now in their prime and we must articulate our message to them.
But we must speak to this generation in a language that is appealing to them. Their expectations for receiving our message are vastly different. Media has and is changing. The dissemination of information, news and propaganda is also changing. The primary critique of any republican engagement with this new media will be the professionalism of our efforts. The merits and veracity of our position alone will not be enough.
“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.”
This is the bedrock of Irish republicanism. It’s the only basis upon which a truly inclusive republic can be built for our people. Those who signed the Easter Proclamation transcended party politics. They were nation builders and completely selfless when it came to serving our people.
This is the price for calling ourselves republicans. There’s no career path to securing our objectives, only the wages of sacrifice. Irish republicanism must re-align itself and we need to make ourselves relevant in current times. It can’t be business as usual and It cannot be the old slogans.
So as we leave here today let the memory of Ronan’s life and sacrifice be our primary inspiration for moving forward.