New York attorney and advocate of Irish Republicanism Martin Galvin with a letter that featured in the Irish News on 12th October 2015.
Why should any Republican fear debates, public forums and petitions supporting a united Ireland? D. Moore (“1916 Societies’ accusation about SF rings hollow” September 28) says he “would dearly love to see” a united Ireland and wants Republicans to “work an alternative strategy to bring it about.” When the 1916 Societies work their strategy, Mr. Moore yelps that any opposition to British rule by independent Republicans is somehow against Sinn Fein.
Surely a united Ireland is bigger than any political party. It is more important than any party project or tactics. Surely all Republicans and nationalists benefit from gains for a united Ireland generated through debates, public forums and petitions sponsored by the 1916 Societies.
Mr. Moore is clearly entitled to his unquestioning confidence that current Sinn Fein tactics will deliver a united Ireland, if not as promised by 2003, 2014, or 2016 then someday. Suppose he is wrong. Must those with questions and less confidence stand idly by? Should we attend ceremonial commemorations of 1916, hear the Easter Proclamation read aloud, and then do nothing to achieve the inalienable rights at the heart of 1916?
Recent surveys reveal only one in five in the six counties thinks they will see a united Ireland within 20 years. Double that number polled after the 1998 agreement thought there would be a united Ireland by 2018.Will they still be asking 20 years hence?
The 1916 Societies was formed in response to fears that instead of a ‘countdown to freedom’, the British intend a knockout punch which sees hope of ending their rule counted out for another generation. ‘One Ireland One Vote’ is simply a political initiative intended to build national momentum for ending British rule. A key component will be the debates, public forums and petition drives reminding those who honor 1916, of the freedom still denied in six counties.
They advocate counting as one the votes of all Irish people to determine the future of their country, rather than gerrymandering the majority into second class status, null and void unless the pro-British unionist veto can somehow be overcome. Do unionist antics at Stormont indicate they are being won over by sorry initiatives or uncomfortable conversations with those scorned as “rogue Sinn Fein or renegade SDLP ministers?”
Mr. Moore seems to be trying to articulate Sinn Fein thinking. It is understandable that the British and unionists should want to quell Irish discussions and debates about British rule. If we have come down to the point where Sinn Fein is against public debates supporting a united Ireland, it is time for those who do the party thinking to think again.