The 32 County Sovereignty Movement held a wreath laying ceremony in Cork on Sunday 18th October 2020 to commemorate the life of four Irish Republicans.
Oration on the day:
As we approach the one hundredth year since the imposition of partition in our country, we gather to honour Irish republicans who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of Irish sovereignty.
Three of those men, Terence McSwiney, Michael Fitzgerald and Joseph Murphy gave their lives on hunger-strike in Cork and Brixton gaols. The other, Volunteer Joe O’Connor of Belfast, lost his life at the hands of counter revolutionaries: contemporary descendants of those same counter revolutionaries who strapped republicans to landmines and employed the English hangman to execute Irish republicans.
The legacy of partition continues to repress the sovereign development of the Irish people. The central tenet of Irish republicanism has always been a progressive vision of how our sovereignty should function for the perennial betterment of all our people.
As we commemorate these Irish republicans from different periods of our struggle, we are minded of the common bonds that unite them. But these bonds are not superficial, nor slogan based. Death unites us all, but it is original ideas that distinguishes us. The mantle of Irish republicanism can only be inherited by those who have ideas to advance it.
Irish republicanism is not a tradition that one follows through homage of the past. When we commemorate our patriot dead, we must acquit ourselves in the historical narrative that we too can contribute to that narrative in a way that genuinely advances our struggle.
Those who took the life of Volunteer Joe O’Connor are in the political ascendancy on this island. Republicans cannot dismiss this political reality. The long war which was fought for Irish freedom in the current phase of this struggle ended on terms that another lesser war cannot change.
History can afford us a degree of political influence so long as we avoid emotive and vitriolic posturing. As republicans we need to grasp the nettle of pragmatism and explore ways of how we can bring political influence to bear in these politically volatile times.
A century of partition is enough. A century of republican failure to end it is equally enough. Republican politics must now realign around a strategic rethink as to where it proceeds from here. Our door is open.