The 1916 Societies send hearty congratulations to the people of Catalonia on their magnificent achievement at the weekend past. In holding their people’s referendum, against the full weight of Spanish state attempts to deny them their democratic right to free expression and self-determination, they proved beyond doubt they are a sovereign people and worthy of recognition as such across the international spectrum.
The democratic achievement in Catalonia presents a credible example to republicans in Ireland, with their hugely successful independence campaign a worthy template for a reinvigorated political struggle in our own country. While of course much remains to be done for the Catalan people to achieve independence, nevertheless, like the Scottish people before them, they have taken a significant step forward and no doubt will continue along the road to their destiny of a sovereign, free Catalan state.
The task for us in the 1916 Societies, in our pursuit of an all-Ireland referendum that secures a British withdrawal from Ireland and the reunification of our country, is to take example from the Catalans and their remarkable achievements thus far, to take what’s useful from their campaign and apply it to our own particular set of circumstances. We, like them, must build a vibrant independence movement – attached of course to the republican analysis and the republican position – but capable of attracting the wider support of the Irish people. We believe this is key to any strategy moving forward.
We believe our One Ireland-One Vote proposal has the potential to transform the political situation on this island, which has for too long seen the issue of sovereignty compromised. And not only by Britain’s infringement on the sovereign rights of the Irish people – not by Britain alone – but by the acquiescence of local actors to Britain’s presence here and her terms of reference for Irish reunification, themselves a complete and ongoing violation of Irish sovereignty.
The 1916 Societies believe the Irish nation to be sovereign and hold that the people of Ireland, acting on that basis, alone and free from external impediment, have the right to determine the future of this island and their own destiny. We hold that national self-determination in the form of a singular all-Ireland referendum – One Ireland-One Vote – will give every Irish citizen an equal say on the issue of partition and speed the formation of a sovereign, independent, unitary state to replace its failed political arrangements.
As in Catalonia – and indeed in Scotland before her – the struggle for a democratic, independent Irish republic will continue until Britain withdraws from our country. We in the 1916 Societies appeal to the people of Ireland to join our campaign on that basis. We congratulate the Catalans on their terrific achievements thus far and take inspiration from the certainty we ourselves in Ireland can mount a similar campaign, a campaign that no doubt will see our respective nations stand as free peoples before the world.