21 March 2006

'RSF will oppose visit of QEII'- Ó Brádaigh in Tyrone


By RSF - Republican Sinn Fein
saoirse at iol dot ie
223 Parnell Street, Dublin
01 872 9747
Posted Tuesday March 21, 2006 03:07

March 17, 2006

"Those who failed to have a loyalist march forced through the centre of Dublin at the end of February claimed a near-monopoly of suffering for themselves and ignored the sacrifices of the nationalist community over the past few decades," said Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, President of Republican Sinn Féin when he spoke at a 30th anniversary commemoration of the deaths of Fian James Francis McCaughey (13), Fian Patrick Bernard (13), Joseph Kelly (57) and Andrew Small (62) in Edendork Cemetery, Co Tyrone.

"These two young Fianna members and two civilians were among the 1,000 innocent and uninvolved nationalists who were done to death by British-backed loyalist death squads over the period. "They were killed by a UVF car-bomb outside the Hillcrest Bar, Donaghmore Road, Dungannon on St Patrick's Day, 1976.

"In the armed struggle for Irish national independence, more than 1,000 members of the British forces and over 400 Republicans were killed.

"The Sunday Business Post (published in Dublin) of September 4, 2005 stated that of the 698 members of the unionist community killed, 340 died at the hands of loyalists. It would appear that "FAIR" and "Love Ulster" should have been marching on the UDA and UVF headquarters in Belfast.

"Republican Sinn Féin had sought to give this debate a political focus by mounting a peaceful protest picket on the route of the proposed march in Dublin. It did not seek to stop it and RSF departed the scene when the march was abandoned.

"Republican Sinn Féin asked publicly if nationalist parades, of whatever ilk, would be allowed through Belfast's Royal Avenue or the centre of Portadown. The British forces would certainly block them."

RSF acted in solidarity with the beleaguered nationalists of the Garvaghy Road, of Ardoyne, the lower Ormeau Road, Dunloy and other areas who have had triumphalist loyalist marches imposed on them forcefully year after year, he continued.

In contrast the 26-County Administration and others had turned their backs on these communities by collaborating with the attempted loyalist march.

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.

On that day in Dublin Republicans stood under a banner which quoted Wolfe Tone's immortal words: "Unite Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter ... to break the connection with England".

Among the leaflets distributed was the pamphlet "An Address to the People of Ireland" which "makes special appeal to the people of the unionist persuasion". The text asks "everybody to consider again our ÉIRE NUA programme for a four-province federal Ireland with optimum devolution of powers down to community level."

Of course, our statements, press conferences and political appeals issued since mid-December due to our awareness of the rising tide of concern and disquiet in Dublin and beyond, were ignored by the 26-County media. Only the northern press, radio and television took notice of our concerns. When the Dublin media finally reacted it was much too late. They deplored the situation which they had deliberately ignored for months. We stated that the march was ill-advised but they would not listen.

"Similarly, Republican Sinn Féin will oppose politically the proposed official visit of the Queen of England to Dublin, the first such visit since 1911 - 95 years.

"There is nothing personal in this stance. Republicans simply contest and reject the claim of the English Establishment to style her 'Queen of Northern Ireland'. That is all.

"When that claim to part of Ireland is relinquished, then the crowned head of England will be received just as any other head of state. But not until then ...

"Meanwhile, the mountain of sacrifice suffered in recent years on all sides must not be allowed to go for nothing. We must learn from it. We must not accept or join the British forces in Ireland. To do so is to invite a repetition of what has recurred down the centuries while British rule lasts."

Related Link: http://www.rsf.ie

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