Sunday, March 27, 2005

Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta Easter Sunday Address - 2005

Eighty-nine years ago tomorrow on Easter Monday, brave Irish men and women took up arms to rid Ireland of the cruel master who had brutalized and terrorized the populace for nigh on eight hundred years. The events of that day and the war that followed gave hope and courage to other victims around the world. It set in motion a ground swell of armed resistance and civil disobedience in countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. The beginning of the end of the tyrannical British Empire began its disintegration into nothingness on that fateful Easter Monday morning.
They, the men and women who bore arms on that day were brave and honorable and we shall always remember and honor them.
The rulers of the British Empire rode the waves for centuries plundering the wealth, natural resources and antiquities of their innocent victims. They set indigenous peoples against each other by favoring one group, tribe or clan over another. Their ‘divide and rule’ policy used religion and skin color; very divisive and easy tools to use in the right hands. They started the opium trade in China and supplied the slave trade in the Americas from their African colonies. They destroyed the Irish language, tried hard to destroy Irish core values and customs and in general wrecked havoc on the Irish psyche. Their arrogance was typified by the way they behaved after losing the American colonies in 1776. Instead of accepting defeat gracefully and the new reality of a free America, they tried a comeback in 1812. Let all of us be grateful and thankful to Andrew Jackson and other brave Americans who made sure that a comeback was not in the cards.
Although the sun has set on the British Empire, England the mother country needs to hold on to some semblance of a world power. Other than on the playing field, mother England prefers to be referred to as the United Kingdom. On the world scene it sounds more important than England. How ironic that six of Ireland’s counties are claimed as part of the fanciful United Kingdom instead of being part of a United Ireland, where after all, their natural affinity lies. It is doubtful if the Good Friday Agreement will change that. On the contrary, provisions of that agreement go a long way to make the six occupied Irish counties a permanent part of the United Kingdom.
The great irony surrounding the 1916 Easter Sunday uprising and the war that followed is that the sacrifices of all those who fought and died was not enough to bring freedom and unity to Ireland, whereas freedom and independence prevail in many of the other countries who took their cue from the Irish insurrection. Eighty-nine years later we are still witnessing the consequences of letting the enemy dictate the terms of their defeat. This could not have happened then or now without the collaboration of opportunists and profiteers posing as republicans and nationalists.
Our task here in the U.S is to continue to represent the aspirations of the men and women of 1916. It is a formidable task fraught with challenges and obstacles but with God’s help we shall prevail. We are confident in the knowledge that we represent what the martyrs of 1916, and the martyrs who came before and after, fought and died for. We will continue to strive until Ireland is reunited in an all-Ireland federal Republic free of outside interference and inside corruption and profiteering. The British initiated Good Friday Agreement will not achieve that; The Irish crafted Eire Nua plan will.
The premise on which Eire Nua is based, the devolution of power in an all-Ireland federal Republic, would negate the need for future armed conflicts and eliminate the prevailing climate of criminality and corruption permeating the political system throughout Ireland. Men and women of good will should settle for nothing less.
In conclusion let us reflect once more on the following excerpt from the Proclamation of 1916

We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonor it by cowardice, inhumanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.


Blogger John said...

A great statement - and a good post on your part !

Well done !

1169 And Counting.....

1:41 PM  

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