The RSF Colour Party and Cumann na mBan members stand to attention as the Piper plays a lament in memory of the 22 Hunger-Strikers.
On a wet , overcast and very ‘clammy’ (25 degrees Celsius) Saturday afternoon in the centre of Dublin city – on the traffic isle facing the GPO in O’ Connell street – and for the 92nd successive year (ie since 1918) the Republican Movement held a commemoration in Dublin to commemorate those that have died on hunger-strike in this on-going struggle for complete Irish Freedom.
Watched by a crowd of, at times , 500-strong (most people were intimidated away from the traffic isle by the uniformed and plain-clothed State police and, instead, observed and supported proceedings from the footpaths on both sides of O’ Connell Street) , members of Na Fianna Éireann ,Cumann na mBan and an RSF Colour Party followed a Piper from the Garden Of Remembrance to the traffic isle , where they took up position, facing the GPO. The proceedings were Chaired by Andy Connolly , Dublin, who welcomed the crowd , explaining why it was that RSF were there , mentioning the POW’s in Portlaoise and Maghaberry , and highlighting the on-going political situation in this country regarding the unwelcome British military and political presence. Andy then called on the first speaker, Shane O’Toole, to deliver his speech, followed by RSF President , Des Dalton both of whom referred to the fact that, at the time each of those twenty-two men lay dying , the representatives of both States – Leinster House and Westminster – regarded them as ‘dissidents unworthy of political status’.
Over 500 ‘booklets’ of Irish Republican leaflets (each ‘booklet’ consisting of three different leaflets) were distributed during the 90-minute period with many tourists , in particular, looking for more information re the situation in the Occupied Six Counties. Despite the bad weather , the organisers are to be congratulated for holding such a dignified and fitting tribute to the twenty-two hunger-strikers , and it is to the credit of both Shane and Des that they held the crowd at the venue. Andy brought proceedings to an end by asking the Piper , Seán , to play our National Anthem on the bagpipes , which received a sustained round of applause from the hundreds of on-lookers , native and foreign!
We publish with this post a few pictures from the proceedings today , with a proper report to be published in the August 2010 issue of ‘Saoirse’ , which goes to print on Wednesday 11th of that month.
Finally , thanks to Frank , Robbie , Aisling , Mags , Paddy E. and Carl, amongst others, for the work they put in today – appreciated by all!
And thanks to you , for reading!