Oration delivered by a member of Na Fianna in Wexford on Easter Sunday.
”Friends and comrades, I am honoured to be able to speak here today in the rebel county of Wexford, at this, the 99th anniversary commemoration marking the rebellion of Easter Week, 1916.
Wexford is a county steeped in the physical-force tradition of separatism Irish Republicanism. Dating back as far as 1798 when we had the United Irishmen, the men and women who gave birth to that tradition, to the Fenians who took the torch from those men and women and passed it on to the men, women and youth of 1916 who here today we commemorate. Wexford played a key role in the rebellions fought by these successive generations. Without these Wexford men and women and the steadfast support of their communities, it is likely so that we would not be here today and the whole of Ireland would still remain occupied by British Forces.
Those who fought in 1916 fought for what Tone fought for, they fought for the same thing Emmet and his small but gallant band of warriors fought for, they fought for the same thing that the Fenians fought for and they fought for the same thing we continue to fight for today, and that is to break the connection with England. They did not beg the British, they did not enter her institutions to try and break the connection from within, as many so called Republicans claim they are trying to do today. They demanded for that connection to be broke and fought for it in arms. As stated in the Proclamation of 1916, to fight in arms to break this connection was and is a fundamental right of the people of Ireland. They recognized, as many Republicans today recognize, that their is no other way to break the connection with England other than the same way the British took over the land, and that was by physical force.
It is madness and very disrespectful to believe that the Ireland of today sprung from the rebellion of Easter Week. The Free State government, after many years of banning our commemorations and sending our elder comrades of today to jail for going ahead with the commemorations, are now trying to hi-jack the legacy of the 1916 rebellion and make it out to the people of Ireland and the world at large that their government sprung from the rebellion of 1916 and that Ireland is now free. The Free State government was established on the blood of Irishmen and women, including young comrades of our own movement, Na Fianna Eireann, those who stood loyal the Republic proclaimed in Easter Week and which was established in 1919. The Free State government went against everything the men, women and youth fought for in 1916. While those in 1916 set out to break to connection with England without compromise, the Free State government, after its leaders compromised with the British and established the Free State, set out to sub-due and suppress the real All-Ireland Republic that sprung from the 1916 rebellion. The Free state army and government was not designed and established by Irishmen and women, but designed and established by the British to suit the British. In 1922, when our own dear comrades stood loyal to the Republic, the Free State Army, under British orders and using British weapons, went to war on that Republic, murdering many Irishmen, women and youth who upheld it. As a matter of fact, the Free State Army actually murdered more Irishmen, women and youth during the nasty civil war than the Black-and-Tan butchers did during the Tan-War. It is sad but very true. The British never defeated our soldiers of the Republic, our soldiers were only defeated by their own comrades they once believed to be steadfast and true. Always has it been the same. It happened in 1921/22, 1927, in 1969 and in 1986. Their is a great quote that states if you have no enemy within the enemy outside will not be able to harm you. Our enemy outside could never harm us, the only enemy that ever harmed us was the secret enemy within. We must be very careful who we let into our ranks and learn from the past.
Today Ireland remains partitioned and unfree. Our six-north eastern counties remain under the Crown and occupied by her forces while the Free State is under the EU. Today, here at this sacred spot, we send make clear to the Free State government, and most importantly we send a message to our old Saxon foe up in Ulster, that as long as Ireland is unfree those who keep her in bondage and those who soldier and police for these oppressors will be held accountable. Their will always be an armed revolutionary movement in Ireland as long as the British remain here. And as long as they remain here they will meet rebellion and resistance by that movement. I myself have no knowledge of those who do rebel and resist but from my studies of Irish history, I am certain that acts of war will continue and intensify as long as the British are here. Those who do rise up and resist have every right to do so and they have the full support of NFE and Republican SF.
I also want to make clear here today, to those who claim the banner of the Republican Movement, that there is but one Republican Movement, although not a mass movement, the Republican Movement remains intact and continues the struggle for a Free Ireland. For over 93 years the Republican Movement has rejected both Leinster House and Stormont and worked to re-establish the 3rd All-Ireland Dail Eireann Parliament, the Parliament in which delegated their powers of government in 1938 to the Army of the Irish Republic, in trust that they would work to get rid of the British and re-establish that parliament, while rejecting both Leinster House and Stormont. In 1969 we had elements within our movement who believed a Republic could be created out of the puppet parliament of Leinster House, there was a split. The same thing happened once again in 1986 when more devious elements tried to convert the movement. They first went to Leinster House, then they went to Stormont, Britain’s parliament in Ireland, and now at present they are running for elections in West Minster. Those who are doing this , and those that sided with them in both 1969 and 1986 have no right to claim the banner of Irish Republicanism. The key objective of Irish Republicanism is to break the connection with England, you cannot be a Republican and also work within her systems in Ireland. You cannot be both, you are either a Republican or not. Liam Mellows, a gallant soldier of the Republic, leader of NFE and native of this county said after the Free State was established that ”It is fallacy the believe that a Republic of any kind can be won through the shackled Free State. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sows ear. The Free State is British created and serves British imperialist interests. It is the buffer erected between British capitalism and the Irish Republic. A workers Republic can be erected only on its ruins.”
Let that quote be our daily mantra. We who carry on the principles and ideals of mellows and the men and women of 1916.
I also want to state before I finish that the British Army have never left Ireland. Only two weeks ago they raided a Republicans home in Derry along with their buddies in the RUC. This regularly happens within the Occupied Counties yet the Free State and Provisionals try to make people believe that the Brits have left Ireland. British soldiers are on this land over 800 years. Those who fought in 1916 fought to get rid of them for good, and from every part of Ireland as Pearse himself said ”We the Volunteers are formed here, not for half of Ireland, not to give the British garrison control of any part of Ireland. No, we are formed here for the whole of Ireland.”
Get your troops and government out of our land once and for all Britain.
I would like to thank my comrades here in Wexford who invited my to speak here today, it is a great priviledge to have done so and I am very proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and be part of the work that goes on for this glorious cause that remains unfinished business. I wish you all the best for the year and following years to come comrades.”
An phoblacht, SF agus NF Abu.