re posted from LAROUCHE IRISH BRIGADE
Envisioning a New Republic – Address by Gerry Adams to 1916 Commemorative event in the Mansion House
The speech below is Gerry Adams address to Sinn Féin’s 1916 commemorative event in the Mansion House this evening in which he speaks of the need to reclaim the spirit and vision of 1916, to build a real republic, to end the domination of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, and to secure a Sinn Féin led progressive government post the next general election.
Address by Úachtarán Shinn Féin
Gerry Adams TD
Mansion House, Dublin
Envisioning a New Republic
Ba mhaith liom fáilte a chur roimh achan duine anseo.
Go háirithe, cuirim fáilte roimh chlanna Óglaigh naoi déag a sé déag.
You are all very welcome to the Mansion House on this historic occasion.
I especially want to welcome the families and relatives of the Leaders and Volunteers of 1916.
Failte mór roimh na daoine a rinne turas fada le bheith linn anocht.
The Mansion House has a special place in the hearts of Irish people.
It was here on January 21st 1919 that the First Dáil met and asserted the national freedom and independence of the Irish people.
1916 The Flame of Freedom
2016 is a time to celebrate our identity, to commemorate our past and to deliver on the promise of the Proclamation.
It is a time for big ideas.
It is a time to stand up and be counted.
100 years ago men and women from the four corners of Ireland – nationalists,republicans, socialists, trade unionists, gaelgeoirí, feminists – were meeting in rooms in this city and across this island and beyond to plan the overthrow of the British empire in Ireland.
They envisaged a Republic, where people are citizens, not subjects; where people have fundamental rights, not arbitrary privileges; where there is equality, not elitism; where there is unity, not partition and division.
On Easter Monday April 24th 1916 Pádraig Pearse marched with a small number of comrades to the General Post Office and read aloud the Proclamation of a new Republic.
Gníomh cróga agus drámatúil a bhí ann.
A few hundred, poorly equipped Irish men and women took on the might of the largest empire in history.
After six days of heroic resistance by the republicans the centre of Dublin was in ruins.
Hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned and seeking to avoid further death and destruction, the leaders of the Provisional Government met for the last time in 16 Moore Street and ordered a surrender.
The leaders were court martialled and fifteen were executed over the following two weeks.
Roger Casement was later hanged in London.
The British hoped that by the speed of their actions and the scale of the executions that the flame of freedom would be extinguished in Ireland.
Ach ní raibh an ceart acu.
At his court martial Pádraig Pearse accurately predicted:
“If you strike us down now, we shall rise again to renew the fight. You cannot conquer Ireland. You cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom.”
Ba chor ciniúna i stair na hÉireann Éirí Amach na Cásca.
D’athraigh sé an pholaitíocht agus dearcadh na ndaoine.
The Irish language inspired many of those who took part in the Rising, as it did with the Hunger Strikers in 1981.
Irish is a hugely important aspect of who we are as a people and restoring the language to a central role in the life of our nation is a positive and achievable aim.
The Irish language is the heritage of all who live on this island, regardless of our background.
Mar a duirt an Pearsach ‘Ní amhain saor ach Gaelach comh maith. Ní amhain Gaelach ach saor comh maith’.
The Rising was a declaration of freedom heard all around the world.
The patriots of 1916 believed that a better Ireland is possible.
We also believe that.
And to achieve it – to win their freedom – to win our freedom – they put everything on the line – including their own lives.
The Irish revolutionary period was followed by a counter-revolution and Civil War.
Thousands more died and were imprisoned.
The revolution was defeated.
Narrow, mean-minded, conservative, elitist, sectarian regimes were established north and south.
In the north the unionist regime imposed decades of political and religious discrimination, repression and conservatism.
In this state there was the horror of institutional abuse in the Magdalene laundries, in the Reformatory and Industrial Schools and in other institutions.
Poverty, emigration and inequality were rampant.
Censorship in the arts, culture and politics was pervasive.
Some of our greatest writers were banned.
The old, imperial administration was replaced by new, native political and economic elites.
The reality is that when partition was imposed by London there were activists who rejected it.
There were others who reluctantly accepted it as temporary and hoped that the new southern state would act as a stepping stone to full national freedom.
But there were also those who saw it as an end in itself.
And there are many in the establishment today who share that view.
They, like the Taoiseach, believe that our sovereign nation stops at the border.
They just don’t get 1916.
It is an inconvenient issue that they want to get out of the way.
That is why the Government’s approach to the centenary lacked any ambition and substance and why they have sought to remove context.
It reflects the Fine Gael and Labour leadership’s attitude to 1916, their lip service to core republican values and to their support for partition.
Partition has never served Irish national interests or the public good.
It created a duplication of public and private services, two sets of currencies, and two tax systems, laws and regulations.
Partition has ensured that the island of Ireland has not reached our economic, social or political potential.
Partition sustained decades of conflict, inequality and sectarianism.
The conflict has now thankfully come to an end but partition remains.
However one of the big achievements of recent Irish history is that there now exists a peaceful way to end partition.
But the Irish establishment has no strategy to achieve this.
Why would they? They want to maintain the status quo.
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