“We therefore declare that unable longer to endure the curse of monarchical government we aim at founding a republic based on universal suffrage which shall secure to all the intrinsic value of their labour.”
This was the declaration of the Fenian Brotherhood in 1867 to which fenian Brian Dillon pledged his allegiance. It was a truly revolutionary assertion which spoke of universal suffrage, the rights and value of labour and the separation of church and state.
We have long asserted that the chronology of republican history is not simply a timeframe of armed events but of revolutionary ideas that spoke to their generation in terms of genuine liberation both from the Crown and the landed elite.
Fenianism is a revolutionary concept that is now, more than ever, relevant to this generation. It was fenians in the GPO. It was fenians at Kilmichael. It was fenians in the Four Courts when Irishmen used British artillery to dislodge them and it was fenians who attacked the British War Cabinet in Downing Street.
It was also fenians who gave us the 1867 and 1916 Proclamations. They gave us the Declaration of Independence and the Democratic Programme of Dáil Eireann. They gave us the Republican Congress and Eire Nua.
They have passed on the revolutionary template to this generation, but before we attempt to take it up, we must first set out our ideas to demonstrate our suitability for doing so.
The counter revolutionary forces on this island are still in the ascendancy. The so-called Decade of Centenaries is revisionism once again at play. Irish Sovereignty is made subordinate to the political whims of a British politician.
Today the fenian voice must be one for a sovereign democracy as the fundamental basis for an Irish Republic.