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Monday April 17, 2006 20:49 by R. Isible
Irish Independent: One State, one Army and one Oglaigh na hEireann . . .
The "Political Editor" of the Irish Independent has written an unsigned, bylineless, provo-bashing article which adulates the display of centralised military power. It is amusing that this display, which aims to project a hyper-nationalist sensibility claimed to be residing solely in FF, has been put on by a government that has surrendered national sovereign to a foreign power and allows the national territory of Ireland to be abused in an illegal war. Even more amusing is the apparent approval with which the "Minister for Justice" Michael McDowell is quoted:
"We have to remember that there is one State, one Army, one Constitution."
No wonder the "Political Editor" was too ashamed to put his name on it!
Full article quoted below for those that don't want to log onto the website of William Martin Murphy's republican bashing rag:
(c) Irish Independent Apr 17th 2006
One State, one Army and one Oglaigh na hEireann . . .
Political EditorWHEN Oglaigh na hEireann marched down O'Connell Street yesterday, there was no doubting who they are or who they represent.
The name, which has been sullied through its use by the Provisional movement throughout the Northern Troubles, has been well and truly reclaimed.
The Army's Constitutional chief, President Mary McAleese, stood proudly alongside Taoiseach Bertie Ahern as the people cheered the military parade.
Mr Ahern described the Army last week as "the one and only Oglaigh na hEireann" and the "true descendants" of the men of 1916.
That, in itself, was more than a sideswipe at the Provisional movement which, in other circumstances, might have attempted to use the occasion as a public show of strength.
They had effectively usurped ownership of Easter commemorations for some years and, if the State had not stepped in to deny that to them this time, would surely have seized the opportunity again.
Instead, they were left as bystanders on the sidelines yesterday as the State took the initiative in remembering the events of 1916.
Justice Minister Michael McDowell pointedly referred to the Oglaigh na hEireann tag when he said after the parade: "We have one Oglaigh na hEireann. The Defence Forces are our Defence Forces and they are the successors to the volunteers. We have to remember that there is one State, one Army, one Constitution."
When an event of the nature of yesterday's was first mooted, many people wondered at the wisdom of the move.
One of the primary aims undoubtedly was to show the world once and for all that there is only one authorised Army here.
The IRA may have announced its historic move on decommissioning and committed itself to peaceful means in its July statement last year. But Mr Ahern was not about to cede any ground to Sinn Fein in laying claim to the direct lineage from the men of 1916. That was especially so as the next General Election approaches and the threat from Sinn Fein to Fianna Fail seats looms large. Sinn Fein was invited to participate in the all-party committee set up to make arrangements for the celebration of the Easter Rising centenary in a decade's time. It welcomed that and said it would do so.
The party had its own commemoration ceremony on a much smaller scale in Dublin on Saturday, with its president Gerry Adams calling for a national coalition for Irish unity.
And he welcomed the Taoiseach's call for a return to the core values of Irish republicanism. But Sinn Fein was only a bit part player in yesterday's events, though prominent party figures such as Pat Doherty, Arthur Morgan and Bairbre de Bruin were in attendance.
The idea of restoring the Easter Parade in its military display form was the brainchild of Attorney General Rory Brady.
Mr Ahern ran with it and announced it to the Fianna Fail Ard-Fheis in Killarney last autumn, saying it was designed to allow people in this State to "proclaim our republicanism".
He said they would "recognise and praise the vision of the volunteers of 1916 and indeed the War of Independence" and would show that "our Defence Forces are the true successors of the volunteers."
The Irish people, he said, needed to reclaim the spirit of 1916, "which is not the property of those who have abused and debased the title of republicanism".
He said: "We want to commemorate the greatest generation we have ever produced. We want to celebrate the freedom we achieved. And we want more publicly to recognise those who gave us the opportunity to acquire and develop that freedom.
"This is our State's inheritance. We must protect it from those who will abuse it and from the revisionists who would seek to denigrate it," the Taoiseach said. Those words were spoken in October but Mr Ahern will be happy to have achieved most of the objectives he set himself on that occasion.