The following was read by Francis Mackey, national chairman of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, at this year commemoration to mark the 102nd anniversary of the Sinnotts Cross ambush.
For what died the sons of Roisin? And on the centenary year of his death we must also ask for what died General Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army? This salient question is not before the Irish people. And the more the advocacy of a Border Poll is trumpeted the more this question is once again relegated from the national narrative.
We have reached a point where explanations must be given to commemorate our patriot dead and obfuscation and dithering are employed when asked if they shall continue to do so if political positions are attained.
And this same doublespeak permeates the heart of the dialogue surrounding a Border Poll. The question arises of whether a simple majority is sufficient to carry the vote or perhaps, for the sake of some puerile reconciliation, a larger majority would be required.
The so-called New Ireland is forever drifting into a Commonwealth arrangement far removed from the sovereign Republic which Irish republicanism has striven and sacrificed to establish.
In the clamour and political self-serving rush to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement it is imperative that Irish republicans make our people aware that that agreement has made possible the 100th anniversary of partition.
There is absolutely nothing to celebrate about partition, be it for one day or one hundred years. From its inception it betrayed everything the Irish revolutionary tradition stood for and achieved. As a so-called steppingstone to freedom it has only ever stepped backwards each time a treaty was agreed to sustain it.
Those Volunteers who engaged the Crown Forces at Sinnott’s Cross did so with the clear intention of being part of a broader and successful struggle to restore the national sovereignty of the Irish people.
In tandem with armed struggle those republicans brought both governance and law to the Irish people. They invoked history as a means to create their own history thus earning the right of inheritance of the republican mantle.
“We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.”
This is the bedrock of Irish republicanism. It is the only basis upon which a truly inclusive republic can be built for our people. Those who signed the Easter Proclamation transcended party politics. They were nation builders and completely selfless when it came to serving our people.
It is always difficult to struggle against the tide of populism. The onslaught of political and historical revisionism can be extremely disillusioning. But it is only from these graves, and these patriotic monuments that our faith in the republican struggle can be reinvigorated.