The following is the main oration read out at today's annual Volunteer Ronán MacLochlainn Commemoration on the 24th year of his death.
Read by Francie Mackey, chairman of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement. We echo the sentiments expressed over the Easter period in Arbour Hill Dublin, St Finbarr’s Cemetery Cork, Garden of Remembrance Carrickmore, City Cemetery Republican Plot Derry and Corraveigha Cemetery Fermanagh, that the language of Irish republicanism must be the language of sovereignty. We echo the common message from those same locations that the voice of Irish republicanism can only resonate if that voice is unified. We owe it to Volunteer Ronan MacLochhlainn, and all our patriot dead, that all common ground within the republican family must be utilised to its maximum, so that we can advance the aims for which they gave their lives. From mature discussion Irish republicans are developing options to generate a new political dynamic behind which the core objectives of Irish republicanism can move forward. And central to that project is the language of sovereignty and clarity of purpose. As it stands the political theatre in this country is re-playing the politics of the twenties and thirty’s with Provisional Sinn Féin taking on the role of Fianna Fáil with the abandonment of the pursuit of Irish sovereignty and the adoption of capitalist policies to appease their banker overseers. Therefore it is imperative that Irish republicanism does not repeat the errors of the past by retreating into dogma and constitutional technicalities as some sort of defiant holding position. Contemporary Irish republicanism must be relevant to the every day needs of our people. Utilising common ground amongst ourselves must be mirrored by utilising common issues between ourselves and our communities. The common ground between the fight to save the Moore Street Battle site and the struggle for housing is their common enemy of Banks and Vulture Funds. Does it not make political and strategic sense that these struggles merge to fight that common enemy? More than ever the struggle for political and economic autonomy must become one. The everyday concerns of the Irish people must concern Irish republicans every day. The core issues of partition, housing, health, education and the environment must have republicans at the forefront of every campaign fighting for republican socialist solutions in these fields. Our sovereignty must be seen as a functioning entity and not some abstract concept. We must demonstrate to our communities that their sovereignty matters to them as the only sure way to determine their development and growth. Volunteer Ronan MacLochlainn rests amongst some of the giants of the republican struggle. But all are equal in the sacrifice they have paid. And when we recognise the enormity of that sacrifice, we realise how little we are asked when we are asked to work with each other. Its what we do between annual commemorations that truly matters. This year has witnessed the beginnings of a common approach in relation to the republican analysis. Our strategic use of language has already begun to achieve its objective of making a clear distinction between the authentic republican demand and the vague and empty rhetoric from Castle Catholics and establishment nationalists. All involved in this approach are fully committed to its development in other fields in the coming year. The driving force behind this initiative is the absolute necessity for it to happen. And as we leave the graveside of Volunteer Ronan McLochlainn today let us pledge, that on our return a year from now, we can confidently report that our endeavour’s have advanced the cause for which he gave his life. Níos Láidre le Chéile!