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  • Writer's picture32CSM

WolfeTone Commemoration 2020

Annual 32CSM WolfeTone commemoration at Bodenstown.

Main Oration by 32CSM national chairperson, Francie Mackey.

Videos to follow.

Democracy is at the heart of the revolutionary struggle to create a functioning sovereignty for all the people of Ireland. Irish republicanism cannot divorce itself from the democratic imperative of consolidating an Irish mandate as a core activity of our revolutionary programme.

Mandates are not derived from the ballot box alone. Violations of sovereignty, either by external interference or internal expediency, demand resolution beyond the imprimatur of an electoral headcount.

The lessons of history must be learnt if those who invoke that history as a mandate for contemporary activity are to have any credibility. What we learn from those lessons determines the originality and effectiveness of what we have to say about the current needs and rights of the Irish people.

It is not enough to say what we will not do. It is gravely deficient to be eloquent on what we are opposed to alone. Our deeds will determine the veracity of what we choose to call ourselves. And it defies logic to think that political progress can be made by shouting slogans at fringe elements.

In recent times we have witnessed an evolving and dangerous precedent of attempting to address grave historical wrongs with reactionary and populist posturing.

The lure of physical confrontation, directed by nothing more than an emotive slogan, allows for disruptive elements to manipulate tensions to ensure that the process required to address those wrongs is actually used to perpetuate those wrongs.

A robust republicanism can readily grasp the nettle of any issue in our history and address it openly and honestly. Where we find fault, we will correct it. But we will not allow an anti-republican agenda to develop by allowing ourselves to be coerced into a false dichotomy.

The great statues of Irish republicanism are not made of granite and bronze, but of ideas and principles. It is these which will guide us in our strategies and our activism.

We have stressed this point before that the chronology of the republican struggle is not enumerated by the outbreak of armed actions but rather by a lexicon of revolutionary ideas pertinent to our people in their time.

As this is our time, the onus on this generation to contribute to that revolutionary lexicon must now be the primary focus of all our combined efforts. We can only inherit or claim a mandate so long as we can provide ideas and strategies to advance it.

The pursuit of Irish freedom was always predicated on the freedom of the Irish people. The totality and the mechanisms of that freedom must provide republicans with the framework around which political stratelgies must emerge. Our relevance more than our perceived righteousness must now be the order of the day.

From the outset, let the republican message state loud and clear, we have no fear of democracy. Since the time of Wolfe Tone only Irish republicans have struggled for a national democracy on our island.

The central tenet of Tone’s teachings transcends the fostered divisions and numerical contrivances which the British have always used to maintain their occupation.

And as it currently stands the only peaceful challenge to that occupation resides at the United Nations where the illegality of the British presence in our country was exposed in International Law.

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement invites all interested parties to support this challenge. And in so doing I would stress the point that Irish republicans, acting in unison, have long stressed the rights of Palestinian sovereignty to the international community. Surely now the rights of Irish sovereignty must be pursued in similar vein!

Supporting this challenge is open to all and does not require nor seek the prior endorsement or support for any given group or political standpoint. But the support for this challenge will be made all the more potent if we can present in tandem our schematic for a sovereign Ireland.

There are two fundamentals that Irish republicans must declare to the Irish people; we have an alternative and we have a mechanism to achieve it.

Partition has failed all the people of Ireland. The political establishments it gave birth to consolidated sectarian hierarchy and class divide as the main planks of their function.

They continue to perpetuate injustices across a broad spectrum. Republicans are incarcerated throughout the island because they refused to accept the unjust and anti-democratic basis of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Craigavon Two are continuing testimony that British injustice in Ireland did not end with the release of the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four. And of late a Dublin Court has ordered the extradition of Republican Liam Campbell to Lithuania despite widespread international concern about the administration of justice in that country.

The so-called new coalition in Leinster House has proved to be anything but. As with the banking crisis it is to the working class that they will direct their financial policies to ensure that the class of privilege will be insulated from the fallout of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

All these issues, both in themselves and in their totality, must be met head-on by a united Republican Movement. We can offer no resistance of substance unless we move together in a focussed fashion.

As an Irish republican I would not normally conclude an oration such as this by referencing those who are now enmeshed in the partitionist system. But the extraordinary comments from Provisional Sinn Fein MP Francie Molloy recently warrants attention.

These comments cannot be dismissed as a slip of the tongue by a novice party member. They were a considered judgement made by an experienced representative. As an elected representative it is now clear that Mr. Molloy no longer believes that the platform on which he stood for election remains tenable.

But the questions now faced by Mr Molloy are not confined to his constituents. The Broader republican base is owed an explanation as to why Mr Molloy, who was an ardent supporter and promoter of the Good Friday Agreement, now believes it can no longer deliver Irish unity?

There is an added significance in that those members of Sinn Fein, who warned precisely of what Mr Molloy now believes, were marginalised and demonised when they moved to protect Irish sovereignty prior to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

I now extend to Mr Molloy, and any other Provisional Sinn Fein member who feels the same, to support the challenge at the United Nations defending Irish sovereignty.

If you truly hold to this view there is no other logical option available to you.

Beir Bua.

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