Today, the 23rd of April, pictures appeared online of Volunteers of the Continuity IRA on patrol on the streets of Lurgan, Co Armagh, Occupied Six-Counties armed with assault riffles.
The Continuity Army Council of the IRA was established in 1986 by the pre-1986 leadership of the Provisional Army Council, whose Volunteers failed to uphold the 1938 Proclamation and the IRA constitution by voting in favor of a proposal to support the dropping of Provisional SF’s abstentionsist policy in 1986. Although the leadership went on to form the Continuity Army Council after rejecting the proposal, the majority of the Volunteers of the Provisional IRA stayed with the Provisionals, unable to see the agenda of the new Provisional leadership at the time.
Lurgan, Co Armagh is a stanchly Republican area, an area where there would be a lot of support for the Continuity IRA and other militant organizations. Due to their support for these organizations and their rejection of Crown Occupation, the Lurgan community is forced to undergo continued harassment at the hands of the PSNI/RUC and the British Army, who daily target the area hovering over the houses in their police helicopters or military spotter planes.
PH Pearse, in his famous speech at the graveside of the militant Fenian O’ Donovan Rossa in 1915 said ”They think they have purchased half of us, and intimidated the other half. They think they have foreseen everything, think they have provided against every thing. But the fools; The fools, the fools, they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”
Those words remain very relevant in Ireland today. The British government have done well at purchasing half of the Movement. They have failed at intimidated us, the other half who remained loyal to the cause. They have left us our Fenian dead, who next year will be remembered on the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. And they have failed to leave our country, meaning it will not be at peace until they finally do so.
The problem in the North is not violence. The problem is a British presence there. Those who continue to resist that problem have every right to do so. The same right the men, women and youth of 1916 had, even tho they did not have the support of the people of Ireland at the time.