Volunteer Alan Ryan's 10th Anniversary
We would like to thank all those who travelled near and far today to commemorate the 10th anniversary of IRA Volunteer Alan Ryan.
We would also like to thank the Parkhead Republican Flute Band for travelling over from Glasgow to lead the march.
Lastly we would like to offer a special thanks to the Ryan family, particularly Alan's brother Dermot for his loving insight on the life of Alan.
Go raibh mile maith agaibh.
Despite the terrible weather and harassment from MI5 led garda special branch, a great crowd was in attendance with representatives of different Republican organisations which shows the support and respect Alan held across the board.
Today's main oration was delivered by Francis Mackey, national chairman of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement:
'On this the tenth anniversary of the murder of Volunteer Alan Ryan we once again extend our sympathy and solidarity to the Ryan family. We remember his disciplined and dedicated service to the cause of Irish republicanism and the pursuit of our national sovereignty.
As we mark his tenth anniversary it is worthy to note the parallels between the choices Alan made in relation to the Good Friday Agreement and the stance taken by Liam Lynch and Tom Barry one hundred years ago towards the Anglo Irish Treaty.
In rejecting so called peace terms under the threat of war both generations of republicans were labelled anti-peace, vilified as enemies of democracy and faced imprisonment and death from those who once swore the same allegiance to the Republic as they did.
Alan stood with Barry and Lynch, not as some romantic student of history, but as a learned republican who studied the lessons of history and applied what he had learned to the contemporary struggle.
We challenge any impartial observer or historian to determine any difference between the stance that Volunteer Alan Ryan took, and the stance took by Volunteers Lynch and Barry.
It is by no means easy to stand principled against the manufactured tide of a deeply flawed peace. It requires a deep dedication to principle to allow the din and howls of rhetoric slowly fade into their own contradictions and hypocrisies.
The qualities that Alan brought to the republican struggle are qualities that it demands today. His death has robbed us of his personal contribution to the struggle at this time but his life can continue to instruct us on how our struggle should be conducted.
We reiterate our core contention that the continued absence of republican justice for this despicable deed represents a major stumbling block for the development and progression of Irish republicanism itself.
Since partition was re-endorsed by the Good Friday Agreement, and the lessons since 1922 completely ignored, Irish republicanism has been found wanting in its abilities to re-invent itself to face the contemporary challenge.
This State has weathered the storms that the centenaries of our great revolutionary period should have generated. Rather than face the verdict of history the so-called Civil War Parties claimed political unity at Beál Na Bláth.
Their electoral opponents, and co signatories to the continuation of partition, Provisional Sinn Féin, complete the circle.
This is not a watershed in Irish politics. It represents the inevitable evolution of partition, that counter-revolutionary path that gave us the violation of our sovereignty, a sectarian based body politic in both statelets, the subordination of women and the profligacy of the landlord class.
It should come as no surprise to Irish republicans that this State would advance the memory of Michael Collins above those whom the British ordered Collins to attack. The great ‘what ifs’ of history are the perfect distraction from discussing the ideas and positions of those who perceptively answered them.
For some time, and in solidarity with fellow republicans, we have highlighted the importance of definitive language not only to set us apart from the establishment but to also strip bare the empty rhetoric of those pseudo republicans claiming the mantle of history.
In a common Easter Statement, read out at various locations throughout Ireland, it was asserted:
“The language of republicanism must be the language of sovereignty. Terminology such as ‘Irish unity’ and ‘united Ireland’ are too vague in meaning and provide refuge for those who can use such terms for political effect but without any obligation to pursue them.”
We have held firm on the issue of sovereignty. As have the British. The question for Irish republicanism now is how do we place that issue on the British agenda when the broad body of the Irish political class refuses to do so?
Our own ineffectiveness has proven their greatest asset in preventing us from doing so. It would seem that Irish republicanism faces a dichotomy as to how we move forward. Should we do so through persuasion or provocation?