The Rising remains a testament to the courage of our people - Mary Lou McDonald TD
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD has praised the courage of those involved in the 1916 Rising for bringing hope to all oppressed people across the world. Deputy McDonald however lamented the fact that the noble ideals of the Proclamation had yet to be achieved.
Speaking in Glasnevin today at the Dublin Sinn Féin Easter Sunday parade,
Deputy McDonald said:
“I am proud to stand here before you today, on this the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. The actions that took place in Dublin over those six turbulent days by an outnumbered but determined group of rebels battling the forces of a empire, shone as a beacon of hope to all oppressed people across the world.
“That this little country, amongst the great countries of the British Empire, had the nerve, the guts and the audacity, to take on the greatest empire, the world had ever seen, remains a testament to the courage of our people.
“The Rising became a catalyst for other freedom struggles across the world, inspiring other oppressed people who laboured under the shackles of the British empire, encouraging them too, to break free of their chains of slavery and not just dream of liberty, but achieve it.
“Sinn Féin is a Republican party, and we make no apology for it. Sinn Féin proudly remains, the only all Ireland Republican party, on the island of Ireland. We want an end the partition, imposed on our country by Britain, created not with our consent, nor by the democratic will of the people.
“The noble ideals of the proclamation which guarantee religious and civil liberty, which champion equal rights and equal opportunities for all of its citizens irrespective of creed or colour or gender, and will cherish all the children of the nation equally, enshrine Sinn Féin’s core values.
“In this centenary year, I wish I could say that these ideals, for which the women and men of 1916 fought for, have been achieved - that Ireland is now a better place. I wish I could tell you, that we now have the Republic dreamed of by Connolly, Pearse, Markievicz and Lynn. Sadly, I cannot, nor can anyone, make these claims.
“Sinn Féin stands against the old politics and against those parties that delivered crisis, austerity and inequality. We will not prop up a Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil government. We will not support a government of the parties that created and sustained the crisis. The policies of these parties are the problem and these parties will not be the solution.
“You came out in your tens of thousands and voted for Sinn Féin, and I promise that Sinn Féin will always stand with the people. We oppose austerity in the North and we will continue to oppose austerity in the South. We demand a fair recovery for all.”
Full speech below:
Is mór an onóir dom bheith anseo libh, ag comóradh céad bliain Éirí amach na Cásca.
Táimid bailithe anseo in ómós do agus i gcuimhne ar ár dtírgráthóirí básaithe.
Cuimhneoimis chomh maith ar na glúinte dár laochra a chuaigh romhainn a bhí ag streacailt ar son Saoirse na hÉireann…ar ár son.
Ní dhearnamar i Sinn Fein dearmad riamh orthu. Thapaíomar an deis i gcónaí iad a chomóradh is coinneoimid iad inár gcuimhne go brách.
I am proud to stand here before you today,
On this the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.
and remember all those involved,
in this momentous event in the history of our country.
And we remember too with pride,
All those who have fought and died for Irish Freedom
In every generation.
Let us not ever forget,
that for each of those who made the ultimate sacrifice,
That there was a family left behind,
That there were friends,
And there were comrades.
All who today still feel the painful loss of their loved one and friend.
But the live on in our hearts
and in our memories.
Their stories are told around the fireside.
And their heroism is remembered in song and verse.
We do not mourn them.
We celebrate their lives.
and they continue to inspire us.
We will not allow their memory
Or their sacrifice to be forgotten.
100 years ago
an eclectic group of rebels
in the cause of Irish freedom.
there were nationalists,
republicans, language activists,
Trade Unionists ,
And members of the women’s movement.
But at the heart of it
They were all just ordinary women and men,
Yet united in one dream,
of an independent Ireland,
free from British rule,
taking its place
amongst the free nations of the world.
Although the rebellion was planned
as a nationwide rising,
It was here in Dublin
that it had the greatest impact.
The story of the rising is etched into the very fabric
Of this great city,
From the founding of the Irish Volunteers in Parnell square,
To the smuggling of German guns at Howth,
From the strongholds of the GPO, Boland’s Mill,
To the last stand in Moore Street,
And the final tragic act,
of the execution of the leaders in Kilmainham Gaol.
Dublin was the anvil on which
Freedom was forged by force of arms.
Of all who were ‘out’ in 1916,
James Connolly gave the highest honours to the women.
They too endured the ferocious British onslaught
They too shared the same hunger,
The same thirst
And even wounds,
As the men.
And yet women became the forgotten heroes
in this great endeavour.
But we are proud today to remember
Margaret Skinnider, Kathleen Lynn, Winifred Carney
And almost 90 other revolutionary women
Who manned the barricades
and fought beside their countrymen.
The actions that took place in Dublin
Over those 6 turbulent days
By an outnumbered
Group of rebels
Battling the forces of a empire,
shone as a beacon of hope to all oppressed people
Across the world.
That this little country,
Amongst the great countries of the British Empire,
Had the nerve, the guts and the audacity,
to take on
the greatest empire,
The world had ever seen,
Remains a testament to the courage of our people.
The Rising became a catalyst
for other freedom struggles
across the world.
inspiring other oppressed people
Who laboured under the
shackles of the British empire,
encouraging them too,
to break free of their chains of slavery.
And not just dream of liberty, But achieve it.
Sinn Féin is a Republican party,
And we make no apology for it,
Sinn Féin proudly remains,
the only all Ireland Republican party,
on the island of Ireland.
We want an end the partition,
Imposed on our country by Britain
Created not with our consent,
nor by the democratic will of the people,
but by the threat of ‘immediate and terrible war’.
Britain left us with
a dysfunctional gerrymandered statelet in the north
and a reactionary state in the south
that set aside the dream of the republic.
Our vision for a united Ireland
Is founded on the very ideals of the 1916 Proclamation.
First heard by a small crowd of curious Dubliners
Gathered around Padraig Pearse
As he read the proclamation
From the steps of the GPO.
The noble ideals of the proclamation
Which Guarantee religious and civil liberty
Which champion equal rights and equal opportunities for all of its citizens
Irrespective of creed or colour or gender,
and will cherish all the children of the nation equally,
enshrine Sinn Féin’s core values.
And In this centenary year,
I wish I could say that these ideals,
For which the women and men of 1916 fought for,
Have been achieved.
That Ireland is now a better place,
I wish I could tell you,
That we now have the Republic
Dreamed of by Connolly, Pearse, Markievicz and Lynn.
I wish I could
tell you that, yes
there are no elites and golden circles
and that there is equality and fairness for all
That we live in a republic
Which cherishes its children equally and without discrimination,
I cannot, nor can anyone, make these claims.
You all know from your daily struggles,
from your empty pockets
from watching you elderly parents
lie for days on hospital trollies
that we are a long way from fulfilling
the noble ideals of the proclamation.
Sinn Féin in the general election,
stood against the old politics.
Of the parties that delivered crisis, austerity and inequality.
We offered the people a real alternative to their failed austerity policies.
The mé Féinism of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour,
Which saw families thrown out on to the streets,
saw them bring in the family home tax,
and water charges,
saw them punish the vulnerable,
but protect the elites.
and which allowed toxic banks to bankrupt the country.
and force us to pay for their mistakes.
have failed you,
have failed Ireland
There can be no greater contrast
Than that between the unprincipled, selfish, self-interests
Of these parties,
And the selflessness of the volunteers of 1916.
Sinn Féin stands against the old politics
and against those parties that delivered crisis, austerity and inequality.
We will not prop up a Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil government.
We will not support a government of the parties that created
And sustained the crisis.
The policies of these parties are the problem
And these parties will not be the solution.
You came out in your tens of thousands
And voted for Sinn Féin
And I promise that Sinn Féin
Will always stand with the people
We oppose austerity
In the North
And we will continue to oppose austerity in the South,
We demand a fair recovery for all.
Ná déanaimis dearmad gurb í seo comóradh chúig bliana is tríocha na stailceanna ocrais.
Deichniúir a fuair bás ar son na hÉireann . Bhíodar toilteanach an íobairt a dhéananh agus thug siad a mbeatha ionas go dtuigfí gur phriosúnaigh polaitiúla iad.
In 2016 we will also commemorate
another watershed moment in Irish history
This year is also the 35th anniversary of the H-Block hunger Strike.
We remember with pride the ten brave men
who made the ultimate sacrifice
in defiance of Thatcher’s policy of criminalisation
of the republican struggle.
There are still those today who attempt to criminalise republicans of all generations.
There are those in the media and those who claim to be historians,
who question the motives of the women and men
Of 1916 and wish to criminalise their struggle too.
These revisionist historians distort history and deny the very truths they claim to seek,
They apply different standards of scrutiny to the oppressor
As to the oppressed,
They expect us to apologise,
For fighting for our freedom,
For standing up to injustice,
Well you will get no apology from us.
Revisionists want to rewrite Irish history,
They want us to believe,
That the British involvement in Ireland,
Was normal, acceptable and even welcomed.
Let me tell you that it was none of these things.
James Connolly speaks for us all when he proudly and defiantly stated at his court-martial.
“the British Government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, never can have any right in Ireland”
Republicanism is bigger and more popular
And more relevant to people’s lives than ever before.
And we are closer to achieving that which previous generations could only dream of.
So it is perhaps fitting that on the 35th anniversary of the Death
Of Bobby Sands,
there will elections to the Assembly in the North
Sinn Féin will be looking for an increased mandate
To oppose draconian Tory cuts.
To protect core public services,
And to continue to be a driving force for progressive measures
In the Executive.
And we will continue to build relations,
and work to reconcile communities,
and to build an inclusive society
respectful of both the orange and the green.
And by helping to bridge these differences
we can all work together for the common good.
And the new dispensation of peace and justice
created by the historical Good Friday agreement,
which given us for the first time the opportunity,
To bring great change across this island
by the exclusive use of
peaceful and democratic means.
So on this day of National commemoration,
We stand here humbled by the sacrifices of
The women and men of 1916.
We owe them a debt.
A debt that can only be repaid,
if our generation of Republicans,
with the proclamation and its ideals to guide us,
can make good the promises of 1916,
and help build the Republic
For which they fought and died for.
We can honour them too
Those last tangible links to this heroic generation.
The 1916 historic revolutionary quarter,
Of the GPO and Moore Street area.
Is part of our national heritage,
And should be placed under the protection of the state.
it should not be left to the vagaries of developers and speculators.
It is shocking that past and present governments,
Have allowed this area of national significance,
To fall into disrepair, ruin and decay.
How disrespectful to the memory and the sacrifice
Of the women and men of 1916.
So we welcome the victory in the courts,
That has now saved this area for generations to come.
People power has given seed to what will be
An enduring memorial to the women and men of 1916.
So let us stand together now.
Stand with that same pride,
stand with the same defiance and courage.
of countess Markievicz,
“a rebel, unconverted and unconvertible”,…”pledged as a rebel,”..”to that one thing, a free and independent Ireland.”
Let us show the same selfless courage and commitment.
Of those rebels,
And stand with Sinn Féin
and be a part of a new Rising,
to build a new Republic,
and only then can we have truly honoured
the women and men of 1916.
An Phoblacht Abú