“There is no quick fix nationalist route to a ‘New Ireland’.”

While the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, made his speech praising “the peoples army” in Belfast on Sunday, his former comrade-in-arms associate, Marian Price, made her speech in Londonderry on Monday. From the Irish Times report

The main speaker at the rally, Marian Price, criticised Sinn Féin’s involvement in the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly by saying that “lions cannot be led by donkeys no more than republicans can be led by quislings”. Ms Price said revisionists were working hard to ensure that partition and the proclamation could in some way be harmonised.

“We know they can’t but that is not enough. We too must prepare and because our resources are not as great as theirs, we must prepare in Fenian fashion. Our intellectual objections to this deliberate misinterpretation of our history must be matched with action on the ground that leaves our people in no doubt that 1916 is unfinished business,” she added.

“We are not anti-peace, we are not anti-politics but we are against any process which seeks to violate our sovereignty as a quick-fix to the conflict in our country. “We will talk to the British about one issue only, Irish national sovereignty and Britain’s violation of it. We will seek the UN’s intervention as guarantor for the integrity of such talks so that Perfidious Albion can be left outside of the room. Our door remains open, our resolve remains fixed,” Ms Price continued.

Meanwhile, WorldbyStorm has the Official Republican Movement’s Easter statement

Judging by the latest statements from many of the Sinn Fein leadership they are content with the political status quo for the foreseeable future. The majority of adherents to the last phase of Nationalist rebellion have at last admitted their aim was the “smashing of the Orange State” with an add on of some sort of unspecified united Ireland sometime in the future.

While agreeing with their lack of urgency on the National Question, we pose the question, “is there an alternative form of Irish Republicanism to Tone’s unity of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter?”

All those throughout Ireland who voted for the Good Friday Agreement realise there is not. There is no quick fix nationalist route to a “New Ireland”.

A united Ireland is not something to threaten Unionist political opponents with, or to infer that it will happen “whether you like it or not”. Because it won’t happen like that, the vast majority of the Irish people will not agree to it without a coming together of the two traditions in agreement about future political constructs on this island.

It is these discussions and dialogues about the agreed future political form and content of the governance of this island that the representatives of the various strands of Unionism must contribute to. New conversations regarding Irish and British identities and their acceptance of sharing the land of this island in peace and prosperity will be vital to future understandings and agreements.

Is it not time for all political parties to openly admit to this fact of life and encourage the acceptance and growth of a more realistic non tribal political rationale?

The Official Republican Movement welcomes the recent series of decommissioning. It seems that at last the clearly expressed wish of the vast majority of the people, North and South, has been acknowledged and acted upon by the mainstream paramilitary groups.
Of course the so-called dissident groups are continuing to ignore the expressed wish of the majority of people on this island and are hell-bent on re-living the 1970s when we found ourselves staring into a sectarian abyss.

Official Republicans were the first to realize that armed conflict was counterproductive and that it was inevitably leading into a futile and bloody sectarian cul-de-sac that was driving communities further and further apart. As Liam Mc Millen said at Bodenstown in June 1973, “We stand not on the brink of victory, but on the brink of sectarian disaster”.

Official republicans were right in the 1970s, the Provisionals finally got it right in the 1990s but unfortunately continuing violence is evidence that some are still stubbornly getting it wrong.

If the past forty years have taught this society any lessons then surely the most striking lesson of all must be that there is nothing to be gained through killing and bombing. Despite all the set-backs and the party political brinkmanship of the last 15 years the benefits of dialogue and debate are clear, even to the most reluctant observer.

The political systems that are now in place, though far from perfect and hardly the finished product, have demonstrated that, given the will, politics can work.

However, we as a society cannot afford just to leave it all to politicians. We know only too well that for politicians of all colours, party and electoral survival are the main items that still dominate the political agenda. If sectarianism and tribalism serve to keep these parties in power, they have no reason to acknowledge its destructiveness and move to politics that serve the whole of society. [added emphasis]