Ruairí Ó Brádaigh & Irish America
Speech by Dieter Reinisch delivered
at book launches in the USA, October 2015.
This is the speech
given by Dieter Reinisch, Editor of the American Edition of “Ruairí
Ó Brádaigh, Selected Writings & Speeches, Vol I, Cló Saoirse: New
York 2015” at the 20th Annual Flannery Dinner on Saturday, October
17, in Yonkers, NY. An adapted version of this speech was also given
at book launches in the Terence MacSwiney Club, Jenkintown, PA, on
Sunday, October 18, and in Waterbury, CT, on Tuesday, October 20.
It is a great honour
to be invited to launch the American Edition of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s
Selected Writings and Speeches at this year’s Michael Flannery
Dinner here in New York. The launch of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s writings
is indeed an important event in the history of Irish Republicanism
and the Irish American community. It is six months to go until the
Irish Republican Movement around the world will commemorate the
centenary of the glorious Easter Rising of 1916 and the Proclamation
of the Irish Republic. However, while the All-Ireland Republic was
proclaimed in 1916 and Irishmen and Irishwomen fought a courageous
war of independence against colonial rule, in 1921 the Irish people
were betrayed by activists from within the Republican Movement.
Since then, the Irish people have been betrayed so many times by
former Irish Republicans, in 1927, in 1948, in 1969, and again in
1986. As a consequence, today in 2015, Ireland remains unfree and
partitioned. The Northern 6 Counties are ruled by England, while the
Southern 26 Counties are ruled by a corrupt political establishment
not loyal to the Irish people but instead loyal to their masters in
Brussels, Berlin, Paris, and Frankfurt.
Contrary to the
people of Ireland, the American people were successful in their
fight for independence and the establishment of this glorious
Republic. The differences between the success of the American
Revolution and the Irish Revolution was firstly, the strength of the
British Empire during these revolutionary periods and secondly, the
distances of America on the one hand and Ireland on the hand to
their colonial oppressor, England. While America and England was
divided by the Atlantic Ocean, there is merely the tiny Irish Sea
dividing Ireland and England. As a consequence, the American people
succeeded in the establishing if their Republic while the Irish
people failed in their attempts. The struggle fought by the Irish
Republican Movement today is therefore still the same struggle as
the one fought by the women and men of Easter Week 1916 and it is
still the same struggle fought by the revolutionaries of America,
the French Republicans and the United Irishman in the late 18th
It is this
situation, the partition of Ireland, the foreign rule, the social
inequality, the racism against migrants, the sectarianism in the
North, the walls dividing the communities in Belfast, the daily
house raids, repressions, harassments, and the mere existence of
over one hundred Republican prisoners on the island of Ireland that
make the writings of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh we are launching today
relevant for Irish Republicans in the 21st century.
is a second crucial aspect that makes the publication of an American
Edition of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s writings indeed a historical event.
When the Six Occupied Counties of Ulster erupted in the late 1960s,
the Irish Republican Army fought a war in defence of the Irish
nationalist minority and Sinn Féin campaigned for the implementation
of the Éire Nua programme, it was once again Irish America who stood
by their brothers and sisters in Ireland. Among those activists were
noble Irish-American Republicans like Michael Flannery who formed
the Irish Action Committee (IAC), later re-named Irish Northern Aid
Committee (INAC), and established contact with Ruairí Ó Brádaigh in
Thomas Francis Meagher
On July 1, 1867 -- Thomas Francis
Meagher of the Sword was drowned under mysterious circumstances in the night when he was traveling aboard the steamer Thompson, on the Missouri River opposite Fort Benton.
Battle of Gettysburg
On July 1 through 3, 1863 -- General Robert E. Lee's Army Of Northern Virginia of 75,000 men and the 97,000 man Union Army of The Potomac under General George G. Meade met, by chance, at Gettysburg. During the three days of battle more men fought and died than in any other battle before or since on North American soil.
The Irish Brigade
On July 2, 1863 -- during the Battle of Gettysburg, Colonel Patrick Kelly and the 530 men serving in the Irish Brigade stubbornly fought their Confederate foes in the killing grounds of Rose's Wheatfield. By sundown, the Irish Brigade counted 198 casualties leaving just over 300 remaining of the original 2,500 men who had enlisted when the war began.
Joe Mc Donnell
On July 8, 1981 -- Joe McDonnell of Belfast died on hunger strike at the H-blocks of Long Kesh. On May 9, 1981 he replaced the murdered Bobby Sands on Hunger Strike.
On July 13, 1981 -- Martin Hurson from Belfast died on hunger strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh. Martin joined the Hunger Strike on May 27, 1981 when Brendan McLaughlin had to give up because of a bleeding ulcer.
On July 26, 1914 -- the Asgard arrived from Germany at Howth with rifles and ammunition for the Irish Volunteers. The 44-foot yacht, was under the command of English-born Irish nationalist leader, Erskine Childers and his wife Mollie.
On July 30, 1922, -- Harry Boland, Irish revolutionary and principal IRA organizer from 1916 to 1922 was murdered by British supported Free State forces during the Irish Civil War in Skerries Co. Dublin.
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