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Ronán MacLochlainn Commemoration

Yesterday the 32 County Sovereignty Movement held the annual commemoration for IRA volunteer Ronán MacLochlainn at the Republican plot in Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin.

Proceedings were chaired by 32CSM national chairman Francis Mackey who welcomed those in attendance. Mr Mackey also highlighted the fact that yesterday was the anniversary of IRA volunteer Bobby Sands who died on hunger strike in 1981. The family of Volunteer Ronán MacLochlainn sent apologies for being unable to attend due to a bereavement. A minutes silence was observed and a number of wreaths laid before the main oration was delivered by Gary Donnelly of Derry 32CSM and ending with the playing of our national anthem Amhrán na bhfiann.

Main oration:

Yet again we must turn to the sacrifices of our patriot dead to remind us of what the fundamentals of the republican struggle are. In the midst of the anniversaries of the executions of the leaders of 1916 we turn now to the sacrifice of our comrade IRA Volunteer Ronan McLoughlin whom we honour here today.

We have long held the view that the binding heritage of the republican struggle are the revolutionary ideas that spoke to each generation to make Irish national sovereignty relevant to the primary issues that impacted their lives.

From the ideals of the French Revolution, the struggle for tenant and land rights and the great cultural revival, republicans have always brought a detailed and studied policy to our people which properly reflected the true depth and wisdom of the republican position.

In the events leading to the Good Friday Agreement, most republicans held grave reservations, but due to the furtive collaboration between former republican leaders and the British Intelligence services those doubts were difficult to articulate.

It was only when republicans from all sections of the movement identified the grave threat that was unfolding against our national sovereignty that republican activists like Ronan found a firm footing for the views which their republican instincts told them were right.

Ronan’s onerous decision to choose the path he did was only made possible by the availability of an analysis which has proved to be correct in the years and political events which have evolved since.

The United Nations Submission, in defence of our national sovereignty made by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, reflects Ronan’s own views and formed the unshakeable basis for his republican involvement.

And this holds true for republicans today, twenty-six years since Ronan paid the ultimate sacrifice. What analysis of current events do we possess that would allow us to elevate the republican position into the national narrative?

How should republicans address an issue like immigration which holds true to the binding heritage alluded to earlier? When do we say to ourselves that a sound byte holds only the currency of failure, just like Tiocfaidh ár lá sated our curiosity when we should have been asking hard questions of those who led us into disaster?

Immigration has commanded centre stage on the political agenda. It is a nettle republicans must not fear to grasp. Immigration is a fact of life, so too is its exploitation and abuse, which means a proper and prudent mechanism and policy is required to oversee it. Squalid conditions for asylum seekers are as damning an indictment of an immigration policy as overcrowded A&E Departments is of a policy on health. We cannot be silent or politically imprudent to either travesty.

As republicans our focus must be on solutions to the totality of the problems at hand and not to engage in a lazy labelling of those who highlight the problems in the first place. Calling people and communities far right or far left in order to deflect from meaningful engagement only plays into the hands of those interests who seek financial benefit from the movement of cheap and exploited labour.

It is beyond question, given this State’s shambolic efforts in relation to immigration, that the State itself is not the sole author of its own policy on the matter. There are unmistakable signs of external influences who are blindly indifferent to the impact such a policy on immigration has on local communities. And if they are indifferent to our communities, they are equally indifferent to the plight of immigrants, wherever they are.

The creeping and obvious drift by this State away from its policy of neutrality further underscores the need for a proper analysis if an effective alternative is to be reached. Private profiteering is behind fascist wars like that in Ukraine as billions are pumped into the coffers of the arms traders. The displacement of peoples from these wars is as equally profitable in terms of cheap labour and the private sector supply of accommodation paid for by public funds. A naïve approach to these fascist acts will only make us complicit in the fascist acts themselves.

Let us show decisive leadership. Let us not fear name calling because we choose to face facts over ideological posturing. But above all let us not fight the wrong battle. Once again, the British violation of our national sovereignty brings echoes from the past were the voice of Cromwell now proclaims, to Rwanda or to Connaught.

For now we are faced with another consequence of appeasing partition wherein the British imposed border in our country serves the selfish, strategic and economic interests of the Westminster Parliament regarding its own policy on immigration.

In their own mocking way they have bluntly told Dublin that the border the Good Friday Agreement tried to tell us no longer exists, because there is no physical manifestation of it, is now a one-way crossing point for undocumented immigrants fleeing the UK, and Dublin is under an international obligation not to police it.

Such is the complexity and multi-layered self-interests of this issue that to reduce it to simplified binary ‘for or against’ is to demonstrate a clear lack of ability to develop a substantive position on it. For now Irish republicans must not engage in a rush for shallow answers but must engage in a process of asking better and detailed questions.

This is yet another grotesque legacy of the violation of our national sovereignty. Is anyone surprised that the recent Legacy Bill concerning the armed conflict seeks to completely expunge the murderous role of the British Intelligence Services in that conflict? This is the true nature of British occupation and it is clearly exposed for all to see.

From this Republican Plot we send solidarity greetings to the people of occupied Palestine. We salute your courage and determination in the face of the Western sponsored Zionist genocide against them. We call for an immediate end to the Israeli slaughter, and once again we determine, that the full restoration of Palestinian national sovereignty is the only solution to peace for all those in the region.

We call on all republican and socialist activists to support the BDS Movement in their highly effective protests against the carnage. We take great inspiration from the worldwide protests that are daily held in unequivocal support for the Palestinian cause. And we especially send solidarity greetings to the thousands of students in Universities across the United States who have followed in that magnificent tradition made memorable in their predecessors protests against the Vietnam War. And we also remember the shameful tradition of the violent response by the US establishment in response to them. We wish them well and to be safe.

IRA Volunteer Ronan McLaughlin fought a noble and lawful war. Like the great patriots interred here beside him, theirs is the legacy we must forge for our country.

Beir Bua!

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