22 February 2006



by Séan Ó Murchú
February 21, 2006 20:15
Republican Sinn Féin - Clonmult Martyrs Commemoration Committee

The 85th Annual Clonmult Martyrs Commemoration was held in Midleton, Co Cork on Sunday February 19th.

The Commemoration Assembled outside the Courthouse at 3.30pm and lead by a colour party proceeded to Saint John the Baptist Churchyard where the proceedings were chaired by Donal Varian of the MacCurtain/McSwiney Cumann, Republican Sinn Fein. After welcoming everyone Donal asked Tony Horgan to lay a wreath on behalf of Republican Sinn Fein and the Republican Movement on the grave of Voltuneer Deasy. A lone piper played a lament and a decade of the rosary was given.

The Commemoration then continued to the Republican Plot, Holy Rosary Churchyard. Donal Dennehy on behalf of the families of the Clonmult Martyrs laid a wreath. The Chairman then asked Des Dalton RSF, vice-President to lay a wreath on the gave of Commandant Diarmuid O’Hurley O.C. who was killed by Crown Forces three months after his comrades.

Donal then spoke about the sacrifice the Clonmult Boys, the men and women of 1916 and the generations since have made. That until British Forces cease their illegal occupation of part of this country the fight for freedom will continue. “We will not be bought by the Queens shilling.”

He then introduced Des Dalton vice-President of Republican Sinn Fein to give the Oration. Des said, “If Munster can be described as the wheel of the Irish Revolution during the period of the Tan war then truly Cork was its hub. The war fought by the various Cork Brigades of the IRA was textbook guerrilla warfare fought against what was then the army of a world super power, the British Empire.”

“Under Commandant Diarmuid O’Hurley the East Cork flying column attached to the First Cork Brigade set up headquarters in a farmhouse close to the village of Clonmult.” ”However on February 20, 1921 as the column prepared to move out in order to attack a British military train at Cobh junction, the column’s position was betrayed by an informer.”

“Eighty-five years later the ideals, which inspired and motivated the young men at Clonmult to take on the might of the British army remain to be realised. The Republic, which they defended with their young lives, has yet to be re-established. As we face into the 21st Century the cause of a free Ireland has never been more under threat, with the signing of the Stormont Agreement in 1998, both the British and 26-County governments, with the support of the US government as well as the EU have attempted bed down British rule in Ireland. Former comrades have been incorporated into the apparatus of the British state in Ireland; they have administered that same rule, taking up the role of ministers of the British Crown. They are already preparing to take the next step, policing British rule on the ground.”

“This process has also involved the criminalisation of the fight for Irish freedom with the signing away of the right to political status, a right upheld and defended by Irish Republicans, and for which 22 volunteers died on hunger strike. 25 years after the deaths of Bobby Sands and his comrades in the H Blocks of Long Kesh, Republican prisoners are once more engaged in a struggle in Maghaberry prison with the British state to vindicate their right to political status.”

“Normalisation of British rule in Ireland is central to the agenda, which drives the Stormont Agreement, Bertie Ahern has already declared that the “constitutional question” is resolved, as an attempt is made to draw a line under Irish history. The myth that the Six Counties are now a part of the so-called “United Kingdom” whilst Ireland comprises of the 26 Counties is propagated by both the British and 26-County governments and the mainstream media. The GAA have been incorporated with pressure brought to bear on them to drop Rule 21, allowing members of the British Crown forces in Ireland to play our national games.”

"On Saturday, February 25, loyalists plan to march in Dublin, with it appears the compliance of the 26-County administration. In allowing the representatives of groups who have murdered innocent uninvolved nationalists over the past 40 years as a matter of policy, not for the first time the 26-County political establishment have turned their backs on the beleaguered nationalist people of the Six-Counties. RSF have from the beginning led the campaign against this march taking place.

"On the front page of SAOIRSE this month we spell out clearly our reasons for doing so. Firstly one of the groups sponsoring the march FAIR claims for Loyalists a near monopoly on suffering. British-backed loyalist death squads have murdered more than 1000 innocent uninvolved nationalists. Of the 698 members of the protestant community to be killed during the present conflict, 340, or 49 % died at the hands of loyalist death squads, it appears FAIR should be marching on the UDA and UVF in Belfast.

"Secondly Republican Sinn Féin are opposing this march to express our solidarity with the nationalist people of the Six-Counties, be it in Dunloy, the Garvaghy Road, the Ardoyne or other such areas, who have had such marches imposed on them year after year. Homes, schools and churches have been burned and attacked, by those who would preach to us about tolerance. Even a-political symbols of identity, such as GAA club and county colours cannot be displayed in some areas of the Six Counties for fear of attack.

"The question must be asked would nationalist parades of whatever kind would be allowed through Portadown or East Belfast? I think we all know the answer; British forces would certainly block them. As the editorial in SAOIRSE declares. Thirdly the reason for this loyalist march is clear, it is part of a softening up process for an official visit to Dublin by the Queen of England, who claims ownership of part of Ireland, a claim enforced by military force.

"The duty of Irish Republicans is clear, RSF are calling on all who oppose this march to join with us, under a banner declaring 'Unite Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter'... 'To break the connection with England', next Saturday from 10.00am at the Parnell monument, at the top of O'Connell St, and make your protest known. When the British government finally leaves Ireland and Loyalist marches will no longer be a question of supremacy of Unionists over Nationalists, then all interests will be welcome and free to parade wherever they choose."

Donal Varian then concluded with words of thanks to all who had attended and a reminder that the fight for freedom is yet to be concluded regardless of what former comrades may think.

Related Link: rsfcork.com

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