IRA: Responsibility with British and Irish governments

The full text of the IRA’s Easter statement.

The following is the full text of the IRA Easter message as published in today’s issue of An Phoblacht:

“On this, the 89th anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916, we remember the men and women of every generation who have given their lives in the struggle for Irish freedom.

The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann extends solidarity to the families of our comrades who have fallen during this phase of the struggle. We remember those comrades with honour and pride.

We send solidarity to our Volunteers and to our friends and supporters at home and abroad.

We think of our imprisoned comrades and their families at this time also.

Over ten years ago, the leadership of the IRA declared a complete cessation of military operations. We did so to enhance the development of the Irish peace process.

>From then until now we have, on a number of occasions, demonstrated our continuing support for this process.

At times of significant crisis or political impasse, we have taken initiatives to move the situation forward.

Our approach has been premised on the belief that the achievement of a just and lasting peace requires constant forward momentum in the peace process.

For the past two years, the peace process has been locked in stalemate and has slipped backwards into deepening crisis.

During that period, specifically in October 2003 and in December 2004, we agreed to significant initiatives as part of an agreement to break the logjam. On each occasion, other parties reneged on their commitments.

An unprecedented opportunity to transform the situation on the island of Ireland was thrown away by rejectionist unionism, aided and abetted by the two governments.

The DUP attempted to turn the initiative of December 2004 into a humiliation of the IRA. The concerted efforts of both governments since then to undermine the integrity of our cause, by seeking to criminalise the republican struggle, is clear evidence that our opponents remain fixated with the objective of defeating republicans rather than developing the peace process.

The sustained campaign directed against the republican people over recent months is nothing new. We have seen and heard it all before.

Those who opted to follow the Thatcher path will not succeed.

Our patriot dead are not criminals. We are not criminals.

Republican men and women suffered deprivation and torture to defeat attempts to criminalise our struggle. Ten of our comrades endured the agony of hunger strike and died defeating the criminalisation strategy.

We will not betray their courage by tolerating criminality within our own ranks. We will not allow our opponents to further their own petty self-interests by levelling false allegations against Óglaigh na hÉireann.

The IRA has spelt out its position in relation to the killing of Robert McCartney. It was wrong, it was murder, it was a crime. But it was not carried out by the IRA, nor was it carried out on behalf of the IRA.

The IRA moved quickly to deal with those involved. We have tried to assist in whatever way we can. Unfortunately, it would appear that no matter what we do it will never be enough for some.

Those in the political and media establishments who have been so quick to jump on the bandwagon have again laid bare their own hypocrisy.

This causes justifiable resentment among republicans. But it must not cloud the issue. Óglaigh na hÉireann expects the highest standards of conduct from our Volunteers.

Struggle requires sacrifice and discipline. It promises hardship and suffering. Our fallen comrades rose to those challenges and met them head on.

The discipline and commitment of our Volunteers and the wider republican base have been the backbone of our struggle. In these testing times, that steadfastness and determination are needed more and more.

We salute you and urge you to remain strong and united.

The crisis in the peace process and the reinvigorated attempts to criminalise us have not diminished in any way our determination to pursue and achieve our republican objectives.

Irish unity and independence provides the best context for the people of this island to live together in harmony.

The primary responsibility now rests with the two governments.

They must demonstrate their commitment to a lasting peace.

Pandering to the demands of those who are opposed change is not the way forward.”

P O’Neill,
Irish Republican Publicity Bureau

  • beano

    Nothing new or surprising, basically a “We’ve done so much, but everyone’s against us”. Poor MOPEs.

  • GavBelfast

    Awww, diddums.

    But perhaps we shouldn’t be too dismissive of this, or else we will have to endure a follow-up from the ‘RAfia as we did a few weeks back.

  • Circles

    “Over ten years ago, the leadership of the IRA declared a complete cessation of military operations. We did so to enhance the development of the Irish peace process.
    From then until now we have, on a number of occasions, demonstrated our continuing support for this process.”

    ….”Óglaigh na hÉireann expects the highest standards of conduct from our Volunteers.”
    ….”We salute you and urge you to remain strong and united.”

    I would say that from the language used reports of the threat from “republican groups” to London certainly cannot be considered to come from the PIRA. Whoever wrote this particular statement (and I assume the guy who issued the shooting offer statement has been given the sack) has returned to language that we all pretty much have heard before – but it still reads like there is absolutely no intention to return to violence (theres also no glimmer of a promise of stepping down either though). It put paid to the Observer reports of an increased threat – at least from the Provos.
    The second thing I find relevant is the fairly clear call against criminality (ok maybe this has to be defined before we know exactly what is meant but still) and the highlighting of the need for discipline and unity to the volunteers and supporters.

  • fair_deal

    1. IRA says “Forget about everything we have done over the past few months. We want to go back to the nice old peace process that is fixated with our never-ending wish-list, ignores everyone else in the process and which in return for we sort of maybe, might, do something subject to the causes of conflict being removed of course . Pay attenbtion to me, me, me, me.” Has anyone found a large dummy lying about somewhere in Ireland?

    2. IRA says to McCartney family “That’s all your getting from us.” They have managed to move from denial, ‘support’ and back to denial of their responsibilities again so quickly. A remarkably similar move to how respective governments tried to deal with issues like Bloody Sunday et al. It didn’t work though and methinks the McCartney sisters will be as persistent as others.

  • DessertSpoon

    All they have to say is goodbye and maybe a quick PS about where they hid the guns etc. As Mr O’Neill himself said “We have seen and heard it all before”

  • spirit-level

    You know I’m beginning to wonder if this P.O’Neill guy isn’t just some resentful child who has never grown up, living at home with his mum; with touches of Enfield’s
    “It’s so unfair” about him.
    I mean we’re living in a Jerry Springer come Trisha age where everyone’s pain is in everyone else’s domain; where public therapy is all the rage, but none of this seems to have affected Paddy.
    Where is the inner self-diagnosis?
    If Paddy’s been abused then say so, we’ll see if we can help him understand his hurt frustration and resentment, maybe refer him to anger management.
    I think there’s a lot of paddy’s’ out there with chips on their shoulders
    or it could be a case of:
    ”You’re not the Messiah Paddy, you’re a very naughty boy”

  • DessertSpoon

    There are always party guests who just don’t know when it’s time to leave. The hosts are looking at their watches, dropping subtle and not so subtle hints, yawning, talking about all the things they have to do the next day and why they need to get some sleep now.

    Admittedly the party hasn’t been much fun but it is well and truly over.

    Taxi for Mr O’Neill!

  • fair_deal

    I am reminded of some old loyalist graffiti on the shankill “Albert Reynolds, what part of f**k off do you not understand?”

  • Young Irelander

    “Irish unity and independence provides the best context for the people of this island to live together in harmony.”

    “The primary responsibility now rests with the two governments.”

    Isn’t there a contradiction in these two statements?On the one hand they claim to want “independence”, yet on the other hand they are waiting on the two governments (one of which is British) to act.

    It’s sort of like a young guy living at home, not working, who moans at his parents for not letting him be more independent.Why don’t you go and do something?

    Likewise, if the IRA are serious about “a lasting peace”, why don’t they disband?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Plenty on McCartney, but no denial of the Northern robbery. Interesting.

  • Ringo

    Aside from the content (nonsense really), it reads like a powerpoint presentation detailing the minutes of a residents association meeting crossed with the tedious ramblings of an ex-war codger. Awful stuff.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I think P O’Neill is a big fan of cutting and pasting intros.

    Like my blog entries really(!)