Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath, Imelda Munster, has said that the government’s plan to hold a State commemoration for the Royal Irish Constabulary on the January 17th is an affront to those who resisted British rule in Ireland during the Tan War, and that citizens who suffered at the hands of those that enforced British rule in Ireland are who we should be commemorating, not the RIC or the Black and Tans.
Deputy Munster said:
“The Royal Irish Constabulary and Dublin Metropolitan Police were not merely police forces – as the Government seems to think – they had a specific role in upholding what was oftentimes martial law and suppressing the will of the Irish people for self-determination and national independence.
“This State commemoration should be cancelled outright.
“In no other State would those who facilitated the suppression of national freedom be commemorated by the State and I am calling on the government to cancel this proposed State commemoration.
“I am calling on the Government’s representatives Fergus O’Dowd TD and Declan Breathnach TD to come forward and clarify their position on this. The State’s revisionism will leave them on the wrong side of history.
“It is those who resisted British rule in Ireland during the Tan War and citizens that suffered at the hands of the those that maintained British rule who the State should be commemorating, not the RIC or the Black and Tans.
“If this commemoration goes ahead it will undoubtedly be met with dignified protest and Sinn Féin is organising for that eventuality.”
Louth Sinn Féin will hold its annual Hungerstrike Commemoration in Drogheda next saturday September 1st.
The Commemoration will assemble at Bolton Square at 2.30pm and will march to the monument at Grove Hill.
In attendance this year, as in previous years, will be the Rising Phoenix Republican Flute band from Dublin and the Louth Republican Colour parties.
As in past commemorations held in Drogheda, the main speech will be given by a former Republican prisoner. This year the speech will be given by Fra McCann. Fra who was himself interned on the Maidstone prison ship, the cages of Long Kesh and later imprisoned in both Crumlin Road and Long Kesh. He spent three years on the blanket protest and on release from prison in 1979 became active in the anti H Block/Armagh Committee. In 1987 continuing in community activism Fra was elected to Belfast City Council representing Sinn Féin and from there was elected to The Northern Assembly in 2003 and has held his seat there ever since.
Local Councillor Joanna Byrne who will chair the event on the day is delighted to welcome Fra to Drogheda, ” It will be a great honour for me to introduce Fra to the Republican Community here locally. I have listened to Fra speak at events over the years in Belfast and his past experiences and memories of tougher times I have no doubt will captivate the crowd on the day. He is a stalwart republican who has inspired many younger generations , including myself. 37 years after the Hunger Strike and the Republican Struggle is at it’s strongest, all the time striving towards our primary political objective in bringing about a United Ireland. This is solely down to the resolve our Republican Prisoners, the bravery of all our 22 Hungerstrikers and the widespread support for them and their demands. County Louth has always played a big role in support of the Hungerstrikes and I think the selection of Fra to give the main oration this year is very fitting. It’s always a proud day for Drogheda to continue this tradition and i’m particularly looking forward to it, hope to see you all there “.
Sinn Féin in Drogheda will mark the Centenary of the 1916 rising with its Easter Commemoration to the Republican plot on the Marsh Rd this Sunday 27th March. The parade will assemble at 12 noon outside St. Peter’s Church, West Street.
Speaking in advance of the event, newly elected TD for Louth Imelda Munster said,
“As in past years we look forward to having The Lourdes Brass Band, The Drogheda Republican Colour Party and The Rising Phoenix Republican Flute band in attendance at the commemoration.
“In this the Centenary year of the 1916 Easter Rising some of those in attendance will be dressed in period attire and I would encourage anyone else who is coming along to do the same.
The Centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic is a time of huge significance for the people of Ireland. This is a time for the commemoration of those who worked, fought and died for Irish freedom. It is a time for the celebration of the spirit of freedom and the progressive vision that motivated them. It is a time for renewed Commitment to the values of the Proclamation: the sovereignty of the Irish people; the unity and independence of Ireland; equal rights and equal opportunities for all the people who share our island.
“We need to apply the principles of the Proclamation to our own time. For us in Sinn Féin that means making equality the basis for our society, our politics and our economy. It means national reconciliation and an end to Partition. We want to build a New Republic.
“I would encourage people to honour Ireland’s patriot dead by wearing an Easter lily”.
Parade starts at 12 noon outside St Peter’s Church and the main speaker will be Denise Mitchell TD for Dublin Bay North.