Oration by Marian Price
It is indeed a great honour and privilege to be invited here today, to the rebel county, to give the oration at this years commemoration of the 92nd anniversary of the Easter Rising.
This city and county has a long and proud history in the struggle for Irish Independence, a struggle to end British Parliamentary Activity in Ireland.
Today you the people of Cork are not only upholding the ideals of the leaders of 1916, you are remembering them with the pride and honour they deserve.
When the Proclamation was written it was done so with vision and spelt out clearly the legality of the Provisional Government.
The legality of that position in 1916 is as relevant to the Irish people today as it was then because Ireland today remains under British occupation.
The British Home Rule preference of that era remains the preferred choice of the present day British Government.
Unfortunately and sadly, former comrades have joined the ranks of the Home Rulers and have moved to the British agenda with the continuance of British Rule in Ireland and are now actively administering that rule.
Today those same people will besmirch the name republican as they use and abuse the proud name republican to bolster their own ego’s and to bolster their failed agenda.
Here in the 26 counties the people gave PSF their answer at the last election, when they decided there wasn’t room for two Fianna Fail’s.
PSF and Fianna Fail are two sides of the same coin and today both are competing for a share of the same things.
PSF have failed their own people and their Southern project is dead in the water. At their Ard Fheis it was acknowledged their Northern leadership failed the South because of their partitionist mindset.
I do not see the Southern project being resurrected as their policies are now in conflict between North and South and between the socialist left and the conservative right.
This begs the question, would James Connolly a signatory of the Proclamation have reached this position?
Would Padraig Pearse have entered negotiations that refused to address the core cause of conflict and accept the perpetuation of British Rule and continue to facilitate it with the public decommissioning of arms, end the struggle without any republican gains and criminalize Irish men and Irish women who continue to oppose British Rule in Ireland, who continue to oppose the partition of our country and who oppose the continuation of sectarian strife in the occupied six counties.
Today just like 92 years ago there is the ongoing effort to criminalize the republican position, criminalize and vilify us for putting forward the legality of our position and for stating clearly just as Pearse did that Ireland unfree will never be at peace.
History has taught us there will always be opposition to the occupation of any part of the Irish Nation.
The criminalization I refer to takes many forms with vilification of individuals, the intimidation of our members and brutal beatings resulting in serious injury by the PSNI.
The PSNI in conjunction with MI5 are actively targeting individuals in a pattern just as they done under their former name the RUC and we believe they are deliberately setting up people for murder.
In the past weeks we are aware of suspicious activity across the 6 Counties emanating from the British military presence and we are certain that circumstances prevented the murder of at least one individual.
In the days and weeks ahead we appeal to the republican base in the occupied territory to be vigilant in the face of this serious threat and to report all suspicious activity to the 32 CSM, no matter how insignificant you think it is. It could save some one’s life.
Amazingly the quislings in Dublin and Stormont have not uttered a word of condemnation, instead their public pronouncements are that of continuing such practices and by giving their support to an unacceptable police force they are supporting such practices and supporting British political policing in Ireland.
Those who claim the PSNI are not involved in political policing are liars and are involved in the cover up to conceal the extent of their involvement in carrying out British practices in the occupied 6 Counties.
This very month the PSF leader in Leinster House, in response to Fine Gael criticism of the continued existence of the PIRA Army council, stated that the core reason for its existence was to act as a bulwark against the growing influence of so called dissident republicanism particularly in the border area. It now seems that a new slogan is required for them, ‘With an MI5 agent in one hand and a private militia in the other we’ll secure British rule in Ireland.’
We in the 32 CSM could never and will not accept such practices, that fails the Irish people, practices that fail to uphold the sovereignty of the Irish people and practices that allows a foreign government to maintain their illegal presence through the use of force, intimidation, threat and murder.
In our discussion document Dismantling Partition we recognize the strengths and weakness’ of the republican position following the damage that it has withstood when former leaders accepted the British agenda in the GFA. We are confident that the position we adopted prior to the GFA, with our challenge lodged in the UN, secured the basic tenet of the republican position and by so doing we have set out a course to pursue that challenge.
We recognize in the present climate we cannot do it alone and we recognize that by uniting the separatist position across the republican base republicanism will realign itself to the position of the 1916 leaders.
In doing so we are confident that together republicans will make a difference in upholding the Proclamation and in so doing uphold the right of the Irish people to National Self-determination. In other words uphold the Sovereignty of the Irish Nation.
The Republican Unity Initiative has the capabilities to promote debate, discussion and formulate republican strategy based on democratic principles, agreement and decision.
Republicanism divided into factions only assists those who are content to ignore us.
They refuse to challenge our analysis, our position leaves them uncomfortable so they have to retreat to ignore us in the hope we will go away.
That is not going to happen, we in the 32CSM know that with debate and understanding across the republican base, republicans will come together just as they done in 1916 and that with such unity the republican position cannot be ignored.
Who would have thought that as we prepare for the centenary of the1916 rising in 8 years time that we would be back at the same position as they were in the coming together of the differing organizations to present the true challenge based on truth and justice.
In 1916 their leaders came together to thwart the push for Home Rule and by doing so they lit the torch of freedom.
Their analysis in the Proclamation was correct.
They were vilified by the British and by the Home Rulers and because they set out with the right analysis, their position was ratified by the Irish people two short years later.
The people of Ireland elected them based on that analysis and they formed the first Dail Eireann. The Brits refused to accept the democratic will of the Irish people and executed our national government because it was an Irish agenda and like today they refused to accept anything outside their own agenda.
Does that sound familiar in to day’s terms.
Over the past year republicans have come together with their first tentative steps in discussion and debate and have united with a number of projects such as the Wolfe Tone commemoration, the anti- British policing debate and in the Truth and Lies debate remembering the victims of Bloody Sunday in Derry.
We continue to extend the hand of friendship to all republican organizations and individuals to come together in debate and discussion so that the real challenge based on firm analysis can be pursued to end British parliamentary activity in Ireland.
That is what the men and women of 1916 gave their lives for and that is the only solution to end conflict and strife in Ireland.
As the realignment of the Home Rulers begins to crack and divide, republicans should be seeking to unite the republican position to promote the challenge and capitalize on the flaws of our opponent’s position.
Let us move forward from today with more tiny steps on the road to unity so that we can grow and look to 2016 with a shared confidence for the 100th Anniversary of a significant historic event.
An event that has left us in the position we find ourselves today by successive intransigent British Governments.
We have a serious and sincere challenge, let us develop it with a unified republican position.
Go Raibh Maith Agat.