WHERE SINN FEIN STANDS…….
The following statement was issued subsequent to a meeting of the Caretaker Executive of Sinn Fein on January 17th 1970 .
At this stage it is necessary to give an indication of our views on social and economic questions , because ‘extreme Socialism’ has been listed as one of the main points of difference : our socialism envisages the nationalisation of the monetary system , commercial banks and insurance companies , key industries , mines , building land and fishing rights ; the division of large ranches ; an upper limit on the amount of land to be owned by any one individual ; the setting-up of worker-owned co-operatives on a wide scale in industry , agriculture , fishing and distribution , but still leaving ample room for private initiative under State supervision. The extension and development of Credit Unions is also included .
What the junta which remained in control in the Intercontinental Hotel seek would lead to dictatorship and in this they travel the same road as the Communist Party of ‘Northern Ireland’ , the Irish Workers’ Party and the Connolly Youth Movement . As an example – they tried to knock RTE cameras during the walk-out and assaulted several of the delegates who were leaving , showing that they would deny free speech to anybody who dis-agreed with them .
Ours is a Socialism based on the native Irish tradition of ‘Comhar na gComharsan’ , which is founded on the right of worker-ownership and on our Irish and Christian values ; it is hoped to expand and explain this in the near future . Many of those who left the Intercontinental Hotel and went to Parnell Square had worked hard in Housing Action Committees , the National Waters Restoration League , Land Leagues and such like and will continue to do so . We believe in the need for an ‘Economic Resistance Movement’ to arrest the decline and take-over of our country and we will continue on constitutional lines to organise the people to achieve our objectives of Irish freedom , political , economic , social and cultural .
We have played , and will continue to play , our part in the struggle for Civil Rights in the Six Counties ……. (‘1169…’ Comment – a bad choice of words for a document such as this : the struggle is not about obtaining mere ‘civil rights’ in the Six Counties – it is about removing the British military and political presence .)
On 30 January 1972 , 14 civilians were shot dead by the British Army . They had been taking part in a civil rights march in Derry , protesting against internment without trial .
British ‘Lord’ Widgery was highly selective in the ‘evidence’ he used in his ‘official’ report on the matter – and some of the accounts he chose to include were highly suspect. The victims’ families have campaigned for justice ever since . Their case is too strong to ignore any longer .
First published in ‘MAGILL’ magazine , February 1998 .
By Eamonn McCann .
(Note – on Saturday 28th January next , a Commemoration to mark the 34th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday will be held at the GPO in Dublin between 1PM and 3PM . All Welcome.)
Bloody Sunday was so hugely shocking at the time , and has echoed so distinctively and ominously down the years since , that it has come to be seen almost as an event on its own , as if having happened in isolation from the political context of its time . But the pressure that produced the spasm of evil around Rossville Street on 30 January 1972 had been generated from deep within the North’s political system .
The ‘parliament’ at Stormont , which the Unionist Party had dominated for 51 years , was beleagured from without and disintegrating from within – the specific likely purpose of the Bloody Sunday operation will have been to thwart the perceived threat to Stormont rule posed by what was happening in Derry . The 30 January 1972 march was in opposition to internment without trial , which had been introduced by Mr.Brian Faulkner , ‘Home-Affairs’ Minister as well as British Prime Minister , under Stormont’s Special Powers Act the previous August .
The march was ‘illegal’ , all parades having also been banned in August : Mr. Faulkner’s extreme-unionist critics had welcomed internment but were angered that the blanket nature of the ban curtailed Orange processions , too . Internment so enraged the Catholic working-class areas from which most internees were drawn that many – and some not for the first time – instantly became ‘no-go areas’ for the RUC and the British Army . The largest and most obdurate was the 30,000-strong Bogside-Creggan district of Derry …….
ENTERING LEINSTER HOUSE – A VETERAN SPEAKS …….
By Comdt. General Tomas Maguidhir (Thomas Maguire) , October 1986.
In June 1923 General Maguire escaped from Athlone Barracks and was never re-captured . Along with other surviving faithful members of the Second Dail – the last All-Ireland parliament – he delegated Executive Authority to the Army Council of the IRA in 1938 . In December 1969 , he recognised the Provisional Army Council as the legitimate successor to the 1938 body .
Comdt. General Maguire has delivered many commemorative addresses over the years , the most notable in recent times being at the symbolic funeral of Mayo hunger-striker Frank Stagg . In April of last year (1985) he unveiled a memorial plaque at Tuam old work-house site to eleven of his command who fell before Free State firing squads in 1923 . Among those who died at Tuam was his younger brother Sean , aged 17 years and three months . Tom Maguire remains active and farms at Cross , Claremorris , County Mayo : he is now the sole survivor of the Second Dail Eireann …….
(Tomorrow – ‘Comdt. General Thomas Maguire’s Statement of 1969’ .)