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Irish Government must deliver on principles of 1916 Proclamation

15 April, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has called on the Irish Government to “move decisively to deliver on the promise of the Proclamation.” Speaking at an Easter Commemoration in Coalisland today Ms. de Brún claimed successive Irish Governments had “failed to deliver on the social and economic principles set out in the 1916 Proclamation.”

She said, “The Irish patriots who we remember here today gave their all in pursuit of freedom. Their commitment, their dedication, their selflessness and their integrity inspire all of us who describe ourselves as Irish republicans. As we look back over generations of struggle we see that each phase in our long journey has been different from what went before. That is the nature of struggle. A freedom struggle cannot stand still. It always has to be advancing. Our basic republican principles remain the same. There can be no compromise on Irish unity and independence. The British government has no right to rule in Ireland. Pearse and Connolly set out far better than me our political core when they produced the Proclamation on the steps of the GPO all those years ago.

“The Easter Rising of 1916 was a watershed in Irish history. Historians now recognise the other major event we commemorate this year in similar terms, as a watershed whose impact on the politics of Ireland today has yet to be fully realised.

“Successive Irish governments have failed to deliver on the social and economic principles set out in the 1916 Proclamation. Natural resources have been sold to multi nationals. People continue to live in poverty. And just as Connolly stood against the war being waged by the British Empire in which tens of thousands of young Irishmen were used as cannon fodder in its army, we oppose Irish airports being used as a staging post by the US troops in the war in Iraq.  We also oppose their use for the transfer of prisoners to centres where they may be subjected to illegal detention and torture.  

“Now that the Irish government has decided once again to commemorate 1916 they must move decisively to deliver on the promise of the Proclamation.

“Despite the current campaign by our political opponents the republican struggle will continue to grow. That is what the opponents of change fear most. Our struggle continues to grow because republican ideals continue to inspire one generation after another. The road to freedom was never going to be easy. Opponents of peace and democracy in Ireland have too much to lose for that to be the case. As a collective leadership we will not be deflected from our task. We will continue to lead the struggle forward.” ENDS

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