The Real Republican Party: Pan-Nationalist Cohesion is Weakened

Danielle Ni Dhighe nidhighe at
Sun Feb 24 19:16:39 MST 2002

The Blanket
Winter 2002

The Real Republican Party: Pan-Nationalist Cohesion is Weakened
by Tommy Gorman

The cracks already evident in the "Pan Nationalist Front" should, by
the time the next Dáil elections come around, be of Grand Canyon
dimensions. The existing, relatively minor, differences revolve
around the timing of the total surrender of IRA weaponry. The real
crunch will arrive when two of the elements of the "front" hit the
hustings vying for the republican vote.

Since their metamorphosis from physical force nationalism to
constitutional conservatism Fianna Fail have insisted, despite
mountains of evidence to the contrary, that they are "The Republican
Party." They have and will continue to use this addendum on all of
their election material.

Having come in from the political fringes, jettisoning all
revolutionary republican principles on the way, Sinn Féin too will
be proclaiming themselves to be "The Republican Party" or even
the "Real Republican Party."

War has already been declared and we can already see a curious
symmetry in the respective battle-lines and tactics of these former

Some weeks ago there was a "National Day" of commemoration in Dublin
for the 10 men who died in the H Blocks in 1981. We were led to
believe that this parade was the result of a spontaneous demand
amongst the masses to give due recognition to these ten brave men.
But spontaneity needs a bit of a nudge here and there and the usual
Sinn Féin heads were at hand to make sure it all went well and
maybe even to scoop up some of the resulting kudos.

The following Sunday the streets of Dublin were once again resounding
to the stomp of marching feet as thousands turned out to pay homage
to ten IRA men who had given their all during the War of
Independence. Having lain for over eighty years in prison clay they
were at long last given due recognition through a state funeral and
reinterment in more fitting resting places. The Fianna Fail
government had arranged for the exhumation and re-burial of the
volunteers. This belated gesture had more to do with out "Sinn-
Feigning" Sinn Féin that genuine concern for the families of ten
IRA men.

This use of coffins as political platforms is nothing new in Irish
politics. Throughout this 20th anniversary year of the H Block hunger
strikes the Sinn Féin leadership has not missed an opportunity at
the many commemorations. We were all informed that this is the
most "revolutionary leadership" ever and that those who died would,
without doubt have swung in behind the present policies. Leaving
aside the fact that three of the dead were not from the Provo axis
this is a highly dubious claim from a party that has expressed its
readiness to 'administer British rule in Ireland for the foreseeable
future'. That these men, who died rather than criminalise themselves
and our struggle, would be at all at home in a movement that is
becoming more and more tied up in criminal activity and with dodgy
diesel is a highly contentious idea.

But then when has truth and integrity ever got in the way of a good
party political broadcast, even one made from atop the coffins of our
patriot dead?

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