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Gerry Kelly - Address to Lurgan Commeoration

13 April, 2009 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly today addressed the Easter Commemoration in Lurgan, County Armagh. In the course of his speech Mr Kelly addressed the small number of militarist factions, who have recently engaged in armed actions.   Mr Kelly said:   There are turning points in a nation’s history that change the course of that nation’s people.  The 1916 rising was such an event as was the events surrounding 1969 and of course the hunger strike of 1981.  The IRA statement of July 28th, 2005 stating that the War is over, is another such event.  The IRA provided a golden opportunity to advance a new era in our long struggle.  The agreement between Sinn Féin and the DUP, leading to the setting up of the power sharing executive and the all-Ireland institutions on May 8th 2007 is another crucial event in driving our struggle forward.   However in the midst of this great journey of ours with all its twists and turns and difficulties I have a message not just for bigots but for those so called “dissidents” whose only tactic is to undermine and wreck the peace process and the Republican Political Strategy.  You will not, you can not stop us.  You will not, you can not turn the clock back.   There are some young people amongst them who are sincere; there are those you believe in purely physical force republicanism.  I can only say that you’re on the wrong road in 2009.  I want to appeal to you to study the last 40 years and come and debate it with us.  There are also some in it for personal gain; some involved in drugs. These are the users and abusers of the community who hide behind a façade of political dissent.   Add to the mix that sprinkling of agent provocateurs who are still fighting the war for the securocrats in the British and Unionist system.  They will be used, abused and thrown to the wolves by their handlers when it suits them.    Whatever the reason for joining these groups, the one thing that is certain is that they have no viable strategy to advance the cause of Irish Freedom.   If they really want to do that then join with the rest of us.  We haven’t achieved our primary goal yet but we’re closer now than we have ever been in Irish History.

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