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Oration by Joseph O’Flaherty on the 38th Anniversary of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike held at the Bobby Sands Memorial in Hartford, Connecticut on October 5th, 2019.

Bobby Sands Memorial, Hartford, Connecticut

“I am standing on the threshold of another trembling world, may God have mercy on my soul.”

With those words Bobby Sands entered the bond that would undoubtedly cut him and nine of comrades down.

Thank you all for taking the time to join us today in solemn remembrance of those who refused to broken in the H-Blocks. The Brave, who stood against the might of the British government, and willingly laid down their lives in defense of the All-Ireland Republic of 1916.

Here we are, 38 years after 10 young men hungered for justice in the H-Blocks and what do we see?   We see the same oppressive and frankly, repugnant British policies of political policing, and internment by remand reminiscent of those dark days in 1981.

These offensive, draconian policies are evidenced quite clearly in the ongoing case of the Craigavon Two.

The Republican Movement has never accepted the partition system of government imposed on us by England in 1921,  but seeks to achieve full and complete Irish freedom: political, economic, social and cultural.

We will tolerate no revisionists of history. The men of 1981 didn’t lay down their lives for seats in a more cordial British parliament, nor did they hunger for positions in a stooge Dail Eireann. No, their aim, as well as our own, is the 32 county Irish Republic- proclaimed in 1916overwhelmingly favored in the 1918 general election– and ratified at the first Dáil Éireann.

Our aim is to make the Irish people masters of their own destinies, controlling all the wealth of the nation in an independent Republic of 32 counties.

We further advocate that this Republic is served by a federal government based on four provincial parliaments, each subscribing to a single national parliament, where the rights of Protestants, Catholics and Dissenters will be secured.

The free Republic we seek will not be won by recognition of and participation in the institutions which were set up by England to overthrow the Republic but by leading the Irish people in the building of an alternative 32-County parliament.

The ongoing Brexit process only serves to demonstrate that the English imperialist continues the cruel domination of a small nation.

With the deadline for Brexit there will be challenges for Republicans in Ireland.

The fact that it is Ireland and the British-imposed border that is causing so much angst has thrust the unnatural situation into the limelight. 

Irish Republicans, who consistently refused to accept any form of British border in Ireland, are to thank for this situation. If it were up to any of the constitutional politicians in either jurisdiction, the issue would have been brushed over many years ago.

The old saying “England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity” has never rang truer.

We need to keep this issue in the forefront of the media.

We need to highlight the very obvious answer to this difficulty for Britain, ie, removing all vestiges of British rule from Ireland.

While the self-serving Establishment will not publicly admit it, the time is fast approaching where the balance of power will shift in the Occupied Six Counties.

The only fitting memorial to the men of the H-Blocks, the Women of Armagh jail, and the revolutionaries of 1916 is to create that All-Ireland Republic-

1916 remains unfinished business until the last British soldier has left the soil of Ireland and the 32 county Irish Republic has been inaugurated!

And to the enemies of freedom, the hired quislings, the Bête noire – Make no mistake, Ireland will be united, the Brits will be driven to the sea, and our day will come!!!

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