Updated: Sep 6, 2021
The following is the main oration read out at this years commemoration for Volunteer Alan Ryan, Dublin brigade Irish Republican Army.
Alan was murdered on September 3rd 2012 by cowardly criminal elements in Dublin who were working in tandum with counter-revolutionaries and the state (whose agents in special branch tried unsuccessfully to dissuade participants from the days commemoration via harassment at the gates of the cemetery ).
Alan's memory and deeds will live on and his name will be remembered along with all those martyrs who have given their lives in pursuit of freedom throughout the centuries.
When we stand at the graves of our patriot dead our commitment to the republican cause should be measured by how far our efforts have advanced it.
When we stand at this particular patriot’s grave, our commitment needs to be measured by how far justice for this dual criminal act has been secured.
We have spoken long and in depth on the issue of republican unity. We have articulated well informed and pragmatic proposals that allows for such unity to evolve and progress.
But we cannot achieve this by failing to address injustice, and the perpetrators of that injustice, who presume to have a role in that process.
The murder of Volunteer Alan Ryan by rogue and criminal elements was a watershed event. Not addressing it in the terms that it needed to be addressed was equally such an event. That stigma weighs like an anchor. It is an anchor which needs to be lifted.
Irish republicanism is confronted by modern dilemmas which require a contemporary response. We are right, but irrelevant. We are as one, but do not recognise it.
History and ideology have a role in resolving those dilemmas but unless we grasp the nettle of pragmatic engagement with each other the opportunities available to us now will be lost.
Our role as revolutionaries is not to critique the status quo, but to exploit it. That can only happen through activism.
Prolonged analysis of current events only leads to apathy and stagnation. Trying to gain relevance by attacking those who are inconsequential is self-defeating.
Those who have influence over the national narrative and the national direction are those whom we need to strategise against.
Language is not neutral in our struggle. The terminologies that republicans used prior to the Good Friday Agreement are the terminologies that out opponents are using today.
Irish unity is too vague a concept to have any revolutionary merit. As it stands the term is now used by the Dublin Government to abdicate themselves from actually pursuing it.
Irish unity is being widely talked about, but Irish sovereignty is not. This is the critical difference. To give our position a distinction we cannot get lost in a battle of semantics.
We are struggling for the establishment of a sovereign republic within which the carefully fostered differences between our people can be finally resolved.
The violation of our sovereignty is the root cause of the Anglo-Irish conflict. Partition is the current manifestation of that occupation. Its centenary was marked by rioting from those it was implemented to appease.
It has failed all the people of Ireland. There is no democratic redemption for it. We cannot speak of democratic solutions where the democratic goalposts are in constant flux, to favour one constitutional position over another.
Partition, at its strategic core, is counter-democratic because it seeks to maintain a British gerrymander in Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement is the driving force behind that counter democratic process.
A sovereign Irish republic is the only constitutional arrangement which can deliver and develop a genuine Irish democracy. This is the core position around which Irish republicans must articulate distinct and persuasive arguments.
Our language must change before our arguments can hope to obtain change. We want a sovereign Ireland. We want a sovereign Republic. We want a sovereign democracy for the Irish people.