We gather here to remember Vol. Finbarr Walsh. Finbarr was first and foremost a Husband, a father but also a dedicated Republican who rejected many different offers of compromise during various eras within the Republican struggle going back to his days in Saor Eire. In each case he was not interested in compromise unless a unified socialist Republic was on offer. This is what led him to join the 32CSM in 1998 and there he would stay.
We had the pleasure of working with Finbarr and his energy and drive was inspiring. He was as tough as nails and could not turn a blind eye to what he thought was wrong, even if it meant standing on his own or with few. This was most evident in his anti drug stance. Drug dealers who knew him feared him. Not because he was a Republican but because he would come knocking, and his language was not one of compromise either.
The Finbarr we knew would be proud to see that we have stuck together through the last 7 years of testing atmosphere within Republicanism. Where people who class themselves as Republican leaders use our struggle as an open cheque book and a step up to boost their parochial egos.
Finbarr would be embarrassed if he thought we were here talking about what a great man he was, regardless, we owe him that. But we can only truly honour Finbarr by our actions and that must be at the coalface and not from the comfort of our armchairs.