Thursday 24 May 2007

Republican does not equate to Terrorist

I am sometimes asked by people, having heard some of my opinions and knowing my roots, whether I 'support' the IRA.

Now in some ways, that is a facile question. I might as well say 'Do you support the British Army?'.
Especially potent as a question today.

I tell them that they are asking a complex question to which I can only really give them the long answer.

In my heart, yes, I believe that is sad that Irishmen and women are divided by hate.
In my head I see no solution.
But I do believe that peace and Irish unity are a vicious circle.
No peace without unity, no unity without peace.

But that cannot be imposed.

In practical terms, the current situation endures because if the British government with all it's resources cannot deal with the siuation, the Goverment of the Republic cannot hope to deal with the hatred of a million angry Orangeman. A united Ireland would be an island of civil war.

And yet a disunited Ireland can never be at peace either.

At present, it is impossible to talk of real common ground betwen the sides. There is just an uneasy truce. But I hold no hopes for it lasting long term. The peace process can only go so far, because there are some compromises that neither side can possibly make. The Loyalists cannot ever agree with the Republicans on WHICH country it is they live in.
Republicans in the six counties know they live in Ireland.
Loyalists have a problem with maps and think they live in Britain.

Fact remains, Ulster Protestants hate the religion of the majority of their countrymen SO MUCH, they would rather be ruled by foreigners. How Ironic, they are known as loyalists.

It will be said that the North of Ireland remains part of the UK, because it is the wishes of the majority of it's people.
But in what sense can six counties of a country be a unit with the right of self determination?

Put it this way, if we had a referendum tomorrow on leaving the EU and all of Britain voted to leave, except Sussex, Kent and Surrey, would those counties remain in the EU, and the rest of us leave?

The situation surives because, though it's bad, it's the least messy of the possible options. Britain doesn't really want the problem, but seventy five years after the Treaty, nor does the Republic.

So in my head, I know that the South is better off as it is.

But I do hope one day ALL Irishman look at the 1916 proclamation of Independence and see it as an ideal to live up to.

This document is on the door of my living room. Read what it says.
Republicanism isn't about violence or sectarianism.
Not in principle.

The 1916 Proclamation of the Republic of Ireland.

IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

Having organised and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organisation, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organisations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and, supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.

We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty: six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and its exaltation among the nations.

The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.

Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National Government, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people.

We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God, Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, inhumanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.

I believe in every word written there.
And I pray that one day Irish Unity will come.
But it will need a revolution in how Irishmen see eachother first.


Anonymous said...

What's the definition of a foreigner? I live closer to Edinburgh than I do London, yet one is foreign and the other is not.

Anonymous said...

A great post, Crushed. Your analysis of the situation is one of the clearest I have read. Yes, it is sad - and to most people strange, I imagine - that religion causes such hatred somewhere so close to home. I, too, have always believed in a united Ireland, but have no clue how it would come about. Thank you for including part of the Proclamation - it is beautifully worded.

Anonymous said...

Yes, David. But are a Gael or a Sassanach?

Thanks Welshcakes. Explaining the Irish problem is tricky. It's about religion, bit it isn't.
It's about one religion's fear and loathing of another, and another group wondering why this hatred should support foreign rule.

Look in the mind of the Boer.

Anonymous said...

An excellent post.

WL's comment does for me too.

Anonymous said...

haaaaaang on. i might be a stoopid australian, but what's all this about irish men and women being divided by hate?

why do they hate each other? do they just marry foreign people, then?

Anonymous said...

I live closer to Paris than Edinburgh -or bloody Belfast...yet I hate the French more than the Scots and the Irish - who I just hate an average amount... Does this make me a bigot?

Anonymous said...

And yet the prolonged and internecine war between the East and West branches of the Budleigh Salterton Salvation Army makes perfect sense to me at the time it is explained. They have always been more interested in which political area they govern rather than what is done - and are perfectly willing to recruit the most unlikely partners East Budleigh Salterton Salvation Army has an alliance with the Church of Scientology Mid Bedfordshire Branch...

Anonymous said...

Jungle Jane, In some parts of Ireland. They still think the siege of Derry is happening today.
Listen to the Cranberries Track, Zombie.

Mutley, I think your feelngs on the French are understandable. However, I don't pretend to be up on the sectarian troubles of East Devon...
Shall research further into it.

Anonymous said...

The whole Maggie Thatcher " I do not negotiate with terrorists" in the crisis of Bobby Sands and the like was absolutely disgusting and I have considered seriously rading in my British passport for an Irish one.
In this day and age!

Anonymous said...

I utterly loathe green jelly babies. i hope that doesn't mean i'm racist...

*skips off to look up exactly whereabouts in England this "Ireland" place is that we're discussing*