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98th Easter 1916 Commemoration - Cork
history and heritage |
Tuesday April 22, 2014 20:00 by Seán Ó Murchú - Republican SINN FÉIN Poblachtach - Cork
The 98th Easter 1916 Commemoration took place in St. Finbarrs Cemetery on Sunday 20th April.
As 2014 is the hundred anniversary of the foundational of Cumann na mBan, they were given the honour of carrying the Tri-Colour, with another proudly flying the Cumann na mBan flag in the Colour party.
The Commemoration assembled at 2:00pm at Wilton Roundabout where a member of Cumann na mBan in full uniform carrying the tri-colour lead the commemoration which proceeded to the Republican Plot in St. Finbarrs Cemetery where the proceedings were chaired by Donal Varian. After welcoming everyone
Donal called for wreaths to be laid on behalf of the Republican Movement Cork, Republican Sinn Féin Cork and Cumann Na mBan Cork, a decade of the rosary was then given.
The Chairperson then said a few brief words before asking for the Easter Statement from the Republican Movement Cork to be read.
Donal then spoke about the sacrifice the men and women of 1916 and the generations since have made.
He then introduced Alfie McAvoy, Belfast who gave the Oration.
Speaking at the 98th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising on April 22nd 2014 Alfie McAvoy paid tribute to the courage of the Easter leader and volunteers and referred to the cruelty and ruthlessness of the British forces, and their lack of mercy.
He said, I feel very privileged to have been asked to speak here today at the graves of people who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of freedom for this country. As we remember them we also remember all of the other men women and children who have died for Irish freedom. In every generation true courage has been displayed by our people who have always been prepared to resist occupation forces which are always larger in number and always better armed. We look forward to the day when this is no longer necessary.
On this special day I want to salute republican prisoners throughout the country. Noone can tell you that the war is over. Your sacrifice continues as I'm speaking. You are in our thoughts today.
The media and others would have us believe that the war is over. To reinforce this there has been widespread censorship. Armed actions and incidents of resistence have been given limited coverage, while PSNI or Garda successes are highlighted. Ask Ivor Bell if the war is over. He is at present incarcerated for an action which occurred 42 years ago. This would compare to Tom Barry being arrested for Kilmichael in 1962. It is becoming obvious that individuals opposed to the resurgence of Stormont and the strengthening of partition are being targeted using every tool in their toolbox, and in turn they throw in a few loyalists to give the appearance of fairness.
All of this with the support of Provisional Sinn Fein, who have been supporting the PSNI/RUC for quite some time, and are now very publicly vocal in their support of the free state Garda.
As we stand here today the relevance with regard to republicanism of our former associates diminishes even further as they get sucked deeper and deeper into the politics of both false states.They entered Westminster in an official capacity and may as well now take their seats. They have entered Windsor castle not to negotiate British withdrawal from this country, but to support a partitionist head of a fabricated state, and in the process pay homage to the head of an imperialist state which still colonises part of our country.
It is not the first time principles have been sold to buy a little power, however, this present sell-out has gone further than any of the previous sell-outs and much more cheaply. As one political pundit said, they will now be more open to coaltion with free state mainstream parties since the queen of england likes them now. Sure aren't they already in a sort of coalition in Stormont with the unionists.
For those of us who have not supported or accepted the sell-outs there are role models down through the generations too many to name, who can inspire us to stay true to ourselves and our principles. Terence Mac Swiney, Cathal Brugha, Liam Lynch, Sean Mac Caughey in the 40's, Sean Sabhat in the 50's to Rauri O,Bradaigh and Brendan Hughes. All in opposition to sell-out deals and for nothing less than a rebublic of 32 counties.
In recent times we are witnessing the corruption permeating this country, north south east and west.Tribunal after tribunal, covering private and public sectors, and revealing scandals involving politicians from all parties, civil servants, businessmen and bankers, and even charity bosses. This is not what our patriot dead gave their lives for. They have been let down badly by the actions of these corrupt individuals. Republicans need to oppose corruption where they find it by being themselves above reproach.
The vision laid out in the proclamation in 1916 though, has not been tarnished. It is still just a vision, and it must be realised by honest men and women who put more stock in freedom, and cannot be bought with the promise of limited power.
We are not alone in the world when it comes to unjust partition and occcupation of our country. The latest example, Ukraine, exposes the hypocracy of the british state. Russia planted and annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine, while the british planted and annexed the six northern counties of this country. It is right that they should call for Russia to withdraw, but they should stop the hypocracy and withdraw from Ireland also.
We know well that there is still resistance to british rule in Ireland, but we need to ask is there resistance to free state rule. We need to remember that the objective is not to join the occupied six ccounties to the free state, but to replace both false states with the 32 county republic set out in the proclamation 98 years ago.
Resistence to the british occupation has had its highs and lows through history, and it must be admitted that at the moment it is low. But, while history has shown that mistakes will be repeated, it has also shown that the correction of those mistakes can be repeated. Ressistance will increase again and eventually the sacrifices and efforts of the men and women of 1916 and beyond will come to fruition.
Let's go away from here with optimism, knowing that that day will come.
“Tiocfaidh ar la.”
The Last Post and Reveille was played and the flags dipped and raised in honour of our dead Patriots.
Donal Varian then spoke about the sacrifice of 1916 and the generations since in their fight for Irish Freedom. Amhrán na bhFiann was then played and the commemoration was brought to a conclusion and thanked Alfie McAvoy and all those in attendance.