Sinn Féin will never take up its seats in England’s parliament. Nothing would disgrace Ireland more than that betrayal. The Irish Republican sees this as taking a piss on the graves of all those who have laid down their lives for Ireland, on all those who have resisted and stood firm, on the graves of all Ireland’s martyrs. Sinn Féin will never sit in England’s parliament. No matter how bad things get in Britain, Sinn Féin will stay in Ireland and watch as England’s crows come home and tear that nation of liars and murderers to pieces.
This is our moment. We have no time left; no time to wait on a signal that might never come, might not even be planned. Action makes things happen, and this is our time to act. We are a democracy, and in democracies the people call the shots and not the elected politicians. We set the agenda and make them dance to our tune. We don’t have a single moment to lose. If we want independence now, and if we don’t want to leave this unresolved for our great-grandchildren to fight anew, now – today – is the time to move without permission.
Tiocfaidh ár lá may well have been the “battle cry of the blanketmen,” but it is also a proclamation of continuity. McDonald’s Sinn Féin is not a new Sinn Féin. It is the same party with the same vision and, while it continues to attract new members, it is largely supported by the same people who supported the party right through the Troubles to the present day. If Mary Lou McDonald wants to be accepted as the new face of Sinn Féin then she has to carry this old guard along with her, and that means reminding them too of the fights of the past.
An independent Scotland with Elizabeth Queen of Scots as its head of state sounds positively repulsive. For many of us Yes is as much about rejecting London rule as it is about rejecting the monarchy.
Only a few minutes’ walk from the quays, tucked in behind Tara Street DART station, a small revolution is taking place. Home Sweet Home was the brainchild of Ballymun man Quintin Sheridan.
Exactly one hundred years ago today the Edinburgh born Saighdiúir na hÉireann was murdered by the British military administration in Dublin. Connolly was not the first to be felled by the invaders bullet, and nor would he be the last.
It never became the Workers Republic that existed in full flower for a single week in Dublin in 1916, but that is not to say that it cannot be born again. What I saw at the GPO tonight only informed me of the urgency of the need for its rebirth.
Discussing this less ideological aspect of the rising might be thought by some as a sort of treason; tarnishing the memory of the deeds many in Ireland consider martyrs. Personally, I refuse to believe that violence ever makes martyrs.