Cill Dara Shinn Féin Poblachtach

Eamonn Ceannt oration

Oration delivered by Republican Sinn Féin Vice President Des Dalton at the Eamonn Ceannt Commemoration, Sundrive Road, Crumlin on Sunday July 26

EAMONN Ceannt embodied the unbreakable spirit of Irish nationality. His commitment to Ireland, her language, music and games was matched only by his burning desire for her freedom.

Born in Ballymoe, Co Galway in 1881, he was brought up and educated in Dublin where like his comrades of Easter Week Con Colbert and Sean Heuston he attended the Christain Brothers’ School, North Richmond Street.

He joined Conradh na Gaelige and was eventually elected to its governing body An Coiste Gnó. He also immersed himself in Irish music and mastered the Irish war pipes. He insisted on speaking only As Gaelige whenever possible.

Eamonn Ceannt believed like Pearse that it was necessary for Ireland to be not only Gaelic but free well. Sean Fitzgibbon wrote of Ceannt that he “believed in the logic of the Pike” and was more “naturally a physical force man than any of the other leaders”. Brian Barton in his book ‘From behind a closed door; Secret Cout Martial records of the 1916 Easter Rising’ writes: “His republicanism was rooted initially in his cultural nationalism, and confirmed later by contemporary events and by his reading.”

In 1912, at the beginning of the Third Home Rule crisis, he declared: “Once the weapon of peace breaks in the hands of the parliamentary leaders there should no further recourse to it in our time. Force is winning in Ulster, winning a political battle. It is up to the nationalists of Ireland to adopt similar means.” Writing a review of John Mitchel’s Jail Journal Ceannt stated that the book would encourage Irish readers to “drink at the undiluted font of eternal national principles….it proved [England’s] law was a formula for converting Irish patriots into English felons”.

Sean MacDiarmada quickly recognised Ceantt’s talents and commitment and swore him into the IRB in 1911. Ceannt was a founding member of the Irish Volunteers which gave his natural military ablities an outlet. He rose quickly within its ranks to become Commandant of the Fourth Battalion, Dublin Brigade. He was Director of Communications on Headquarters Staff.

As a convinced Irish revolutionary he opposed attempts by John Redmond and the ‘Constitutionalist’ to take control of the Irish Volunteers. He played a prominent role in the Howth ‘gun-running’ in August 1914.

Ceannt was from the beginning involved in the planning and preparation of an insurrection. Ceannt was one of the three original members of the Military Council set-up by the IRB in May 1915 to direct preparations for the 1916 rising.

Eamonn Ceannt was in command of the Irish Republican garrison in the South Dublin Union, today the site of St James’ Hospital as well as supporting outposts in Watkin’s Brewery, Jameson’s Distillery and Roe’s Distillery. Some of the fiercest fighting of Easter Week took place at the South Dublin Union led by Ceannt and his second-in-command Cathal Brugha. Ceannt wrote afterwards of the magnificent gallantry and fearless, calm determination of the men”.

Following the order to surrender the British forces were shocked to find that such resistance could be put up by such a small force of only 50 men, they had estimated the Republican garrison to number 500. The Capuchin priest Fr Augustine wrote a vivid description of Ceannt as he led his men to captivity: “Ceannt was in the middle of the front with one man on either side. But my eyes were rivitted on him so tall was his form, so noble his bearing, and so manly his stride. He was indeed the worthy captain of a brave band who had fought a clean fight for Ireland.”

As a commandant and recognised leader Eamonn Ceannt was tried by a British military court martial on May 3 and 4. British Prosecution Counsel William Wylie writing twenty years later described Ceannt as “a brave man [who] showed no sign whatever of nervousness before the court. I would say in fact, that he was the most dignified of any of the accused.”

The Ireland of today is far from the ideal which inspired Ceannt and his comrades to risk all in battle against British rule in Ireland. The vision of that heroic generation is spelt out in the 1916 Proclamation which remains our freedom charter and the standard against which we must judge a new Ireland.

The increase in sectarianism and attacks including the murder of Kevin McDaid as well as the racist attacks by loyalists on the immigrant community in Belfast illustrate clearly for all who wish to see that the Six-County state is an abnormal political entity. So long as British rule remains in Ireland there can be no normal political or indeed social or economic development. The most fitting tribute we can pay Eammonn Ceannt is to continue the struggle for a free and Independent Democratic Socialist Republic.

We should take stock of the words left by Eamonn Ceannt on the eve of his execution addressed to future generations: “I leave for the guidance of other Irish revolutionaries who may tread the path which I have trod this advice, never to treat with the enemy, never to surrender at his mercy, but to fight to a finish.”

Bookmark and Share

Prisoners Maltreated in Maghaberry

LAST Sunday, a Republican Prisoner in Maghaberry Gaol (Brian McAllister) dislocated his shoulder. As he was in severe pain, he requested medical help. However, this request was initially refused. The prisoner was placed in a wheelchair and brought into a room. He was kept there for around an hour and warned that if he kept on complaining then a search squad would be sent in to sort him out.

Eventually a doctor was brought in. The doctor they sent, however, was an eye specialist and was therefore unable to help. After another three hours he was removed to a Belfast hospital.

Another prisoner (Damian McKenna) was recently due a legal visit. This was delayed for nearly two hours, and eventually he was permitted just five minutes to speak to his solicitor. The legal visit had been due to last for two hours. He was told that he would be charged with assault, and in total seven solicitors were escorted from the gaol.

Damian along with two others (Seán McConville and Gary Toman) have spent 27 months in Maghaberry Gaol awaiting trial.

Republican Sinn Féin demands and end to the vindictiveness on the part of the screws, and also an end to the all too common obscene lengths of remands without trial.
Bookmark and Share

Resistance across the Occupied Six Counties to Orange Order marches

TEN people were injured when the RUC/PSNI fired 18 plastic bullets on protestors across the Occupied Six Counties over the week commencing July 11. Twenty three RUC members sustained injuries as they provided protection for and forced through Orange parades in nationalist areas of Belfast, Derry and Rasharkin, Co Antrim.

Resistance to the orange marches going through nationalist areas was evidenced by disturbances in Derry, Belfast, Armagh, Antrim and other parts of the Occupied Six Counties on July 13. In Belfast nationalist youth took on the RUC for three nights following the 13, with petrol bombs, bricks and stones. Cars and van were hijacked and set on fire.

The RUC claim that a magnum was found along with petrol bombs in a house near the Ardoyne but no evidence of this was provided. Speculation in the media as to who was responsible for the cache pointed the finger of blame at what they termed “dissident Republicans” without providing a shred of evidence. A BBC reporter claimed that he saw “a masked youth fire a shot at the police”. The RUC also claimed that a hunting rifle was handed to them after a group of children were found playing with it.

About 150 RUC members in riot gear charged into protestors in the Ardoyne area of Belfast who had gathered to prevent the controversial Orange parade, returning from a rally in the city centre, through their area. Armed with shields and clubs and water cannons directed on to the demonstrators, the RUC forced through the march by about 1,000 members of the Orange Order.

More than 3,000 Orangemen and their supporters, protected by the RUC, took to the streets of Derry for the first 'Twelfth' parade to be held in the city since 2005.

According to reports eleven petrol bombs were thrown during disturbances close to the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, The Diamond, Butchers Gate and the Fountain Estate in Derry. Trouble flared as a number of bandsmen became involved in verbal exchanges with young nationalists and a bandsman hit out at protestors with his baton.

Three RUC men were injured in Rasharkin, north Antrim, a mainly nationalist village in Co Antrim, when petrol bombs, fireworks and stones were thrown at them. The missiles were thrown by gangs of hooded nationalist youths who had gathered at the Carnfinton estate in the heart of the village. The teens erected a steel barricade at one end of the estate to prevent anyone, including the RUC/PSNI, from entering the area.

Land Rovers blocked the other exits and came under a steady attack. As the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors band passed through the village, stones and golf balls were hurled from Rhencullen Park. The trouble followed a spate of sectarian attacks in the area over the weekend. Graffiti was daubed on an Orange hall at Main Street in Rasharkin and an Ancient Order of Hibernians hall was broken into in the Rosnashane area outside Ballymoney. Last week, the Catholic Church in Rasharkin was attacked with paint bombs. One protestant family moved out of the area after they had been targeted over several months.
An explosion in the Friary Road area of Armagh caused no injuries. Rioting broke out when the RUC were investigating the incident and several cars were set alight and petrol bombs thrown. Four arrests were made.

On July 11 an Orange Order parade took place in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal. Donegal County Council was officially represented at the event for the first time ever when county manager Michael McLoone was a special guest at a pre-parade lunch. On the route of the march signs were painted on the road which read “Brits out” and “No marching” across the main street in the nearby village of Ballintra, where a local Orange Lodge held a short march before joining the main Rossnowlagh event. Up to 12,000 supporters and 30 bands took part in or watched the Rossnowlagh march which ended in the sand dunes on the edge of Donegal Bay.

In the early hours of Tuesday July 15, RUC and Army bomb disposal experts were called to a security alert in Lurgan, County Armagh. It was sparked by a suspicious object in a car that was hijacked earlier. It was later declared a hoax.

Damage was caused to the door of a church hall in High Street, Newtownbutler on Monday July 13. Earlier, a tyre was set alight and placed against the front door of Wattlebridge Orange Hall and set alight.

Gerry Kelly, Provisional MLA, accused of felon setting by a former colleague, verbally attacked and named four groups he believed were “to blame for the trouble” and said they were all “anti [Belfast] agreement” and that …“a number of groups…sent people over here [to Ardoyne] with the sole aim to cause riots''

In a Platform article in the Irish News on July 17, Gerry Kelly again named four groups that he considered were responsible for the rioting in Belfast along with “various other members of nefarious organisations’. “Add the fact that a loaded rifle was found by children in a nearby entry – then we are entitled to ask about the planned intent,” he said. Despite no evidence of any sort – even the RUC didn’t go that far – Gerry Kelly accuses the groups he mentioned of bringing in a weapon.

He challenged the four groups to “explain what their strategy is. I think the republican and nationalist people have a right to know”. Gerry Kelly’s memory is as short as it is selective. Now Kelly is ‘bedded in’ with the RUC he and his colleagues have taken on the mantle of the poacher turned gamekeeper with relish.

Another Provo spokesperson, who declined to be named, said that those responsible "are not republicans, they're hoods…we need to ensure these people are brought to book for this anti-social behaviour."

A spokesperson for the Committee for Administration of Justice (CAJ) said on July 16 that there was no justification for the firing of plastic bullets.
Bookmark and Share

"We of Republican Sinn Féin are the nucleus, which represents what Emmet represented,
the soul of Ireland,the prophetic shock minority, those who are neither purchased nor intimidated."

Republican Sinn Féin Kildare © 2008. Powered by Republican Sinn Féin: 223 Parnell Street, Dublin /// 229 Falls Road, Belfast .