Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta

National Irish Freedom Committee

 Easter Commemoration Report

 

On a clear, cold and windy Easter Sunday morning, members and supporters of Cumann Na Saoirse Náisiúnta (the National Irish Freedom Committee [NIFC]) gathered at the graveside of Joe Stynes in Woodlawn cemetery in the Bronx. 

Joe was a man whose life was guided by his dedication to the All-Ireland Republic. A veteran of the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army, Joe was active in both the Tan War and the counter-revolution/civil war that followed the first betrayal of the 32 county Republic. It should also be noted that Joe was a renowned Gaelic footballer. Internment in the Curragh kept him out of the 1922 All Ireland final, however he was released in time to play in the 1923 game and had the distinction of scoring the last two points that would led to Dublin's win over Kerry by 1-5 to 1-3.

Many  broken-hearted Republicans who were blacklisted fled Ireland after the civil war, many finding their way to America. Among these men and women was Joe Stynes.  However, Joe never forgot Ireland's plight. He quickly became active in Clan Na Gael, the Republican organization in America.  He worked for decades in the Clan, ensuring that the Fenian faith was kept alive in his adopted land. He also continued to assist the Republican Movement back in Ireland.

Down through the years, Joe remained steadfast in his commitment to Irish freedom. As others wavered or walked away from the Republican path, Joe maintained his allegiance to the All Ireland Republic. In 1986, after the Provisionals abandoned Republicanism, he was one of the first to speak out against the treachery of Adams and company.  Joe, together with Michael Flannery and George Harrison founded the Cumann Na Saoirse Náisiúnta in 1987. 

Joe Stynes was a true Gael, who gave a lifetime of service to Irish freedom and embodied the spirit of 1916, with all this in mind it is fitting that we honor the Republican ideals of Easter 1916 at his grave.

Brian Mór Ó Baoighill served as master of ceremonies and spoke briefly about his former comrade Joe Stynes. Brian said that Joe had a keen sense of humor and a great sense of history. He then introduced Séamus Ó Dubhda who read the Easter Proclamation in Gaeilge. Séamus was followed by Liam Ó Murchu who read it in English.  Brian then introduced Pádraic Mac Liam who read the statement from the leadership of the Republican Movement in Ireland.   

The Easter message from the National Irish Freedom Committee was read by Bruce Mac Giolla Phádhraig 

Tiokasin Ghosthorse, a member of the Lakota Nation and a longtime friend of the National Irish Freedom Committee, spoke in his native tongue before reciting Pearse's oration at the graveside of O'Donovan Rossa. 

During the ceremony the participants were treated to a flight of wild geese that seemed most appropriate for the occasion. A little later in the ceremony, a low flying helicopter gave a perfect demonstration of what a menace noisy hovering British occupation helicopters can do at similar ceremonies in the British occupied six counties 

 Liam Ó Murchú closed the ceremony by delivering a brief but concise history of the modern part of the struggle for Irish Independence


Cumann na Saoirse Naisiunta's Easter Address

On this weekend ninety-one years ago, Padraic Pearse proclaimed, on behalf on the Irish people, the right of the Irish people to a free and sovereign 32-county Irish Republic. That historic Proclamation was read from the steps of the General Post Office (GPO) in Dublin at the onset of the military uprising against the British Empire’s seven century long colonization of Ireland. 

This is the 91st anniversary of that historic event. That proclamation and the subsequent uprising was a defining moment in modern Irish history. It is considered the most sacred of days in the Irish Republican calendar. Republicans have never missed an Easter commemoration since then either in Ireland or here in America 

This is a particularly important anniversary that we commemorate here today because politicians in both the twenty-six and six county partitionist sectarian states are redoubling their efforts to maintain and safeguard the status quo, thus securing their own selfish interests as well as Britain’s illegitimate occupation of the six county state.   

The latest betrayal by the Provisionals, who abandoned republican principles in 1986, is by far the most insidious and blatant of all the betrayals to the 32-county sovereign Irish Republic proclaimed by Pearse on the steps of the GPO in 1916. Prior betrayals, although unforgivable, did not reach the level of deceit and treachery as did the Good Friday /St. Andrews Agreement embraced by the Provisionals.  

Other erstwhile comrades who abandoned republican principles did not join forces with the British partitionist establishment to rule on their behalf.  What they did instead was embrace the partition of Ireland created by British Government of Ireland enacted in 1920, establish their own ruling elite in the 26-county state and proceeded to rule accordingly. Although not intentional, they did not defile the Republican cause by holding on to the name ‘Sinn Fein’ as have the present-day Provisionals.

On the other hand the Provisionals became fully integrated into the British establishment, recognized and embraced Britain’s governing institutions in the occupied six counties and paid de facto allegiance to the British crown. After 30 years of conflict and the loss of over 3,500 lives this was all the Provisionals achieved. The loss of so many volunteers and innocient citizens did not faze the Provisional leadership whose aim, all along, was to get, what they considered to be their rightful reward, a piece of the British controlled partitionist pie.  

All of these erstwhile comrades including the Provisionals will continue to profess allegiance to the Proclamation of 1916 and will undoubtedly attend various commemorations to mark the anniversary. They will make speeches pontificating over the blood sacrifice of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising and will, unashamedly, claim commonality with their cause.

How ironic that those who signed on the Good Friday /St Andrews agreement have the gall to claim allegiance to a 32-county sovereign Irish Republic that so many patriots died for over the centuries. Politicians who signed that agreement or any other agreement that supports or recognizes any British claim to Irish soil is akin to affixing their belated signature to the death warrants of Padraic Pearse and his sixteen comrades.  

As their reward for embracing and promoting the Good Friday/St. Andrews agreement the British gave the Provisionals their piece of the pie which amounted to legislative and ministerial positions in their reconstituted Stormont puppet government. They were also afforded personal protection by the British security forces, and a free hand to control opposition to the continued British presence in the six occupied counties  Easter Report.htm

Pearse himself was well aware that everybody who claims to be republicans was not necessarily so. He wrote during Christmas 1915, mere months before the Easter rising; 

 “If we today are fighting for something either greater than or less than the thing our fathers fought for, either our fathers did not fight for freedom at all, or we are not fighting for freedom. If I do not hold the faith of Tone; and if Tone was not a heretic, then I am. If Tone said, ‘BREAK the connection with England’, and if I say ‘MAINTAIN the connection with England’, I may be preaching a saner (as I am certainly preaching a safer) gospel than his, but I am obviously not preaching the same gospel. Separatism, in fact, is the national position. Whenever an Irish leader has taken up a position different from the national position he has been repudiated by the next generation. ... The chain of the Separatist tradition has never once snapped during the centuries” 

It is clear from Pearse’s prophetic words that now will be repudiated by future generations for embracing the occupier for the proverbial shilling.  In spite of the many betrayals to the ideals of 1916 Proclamation there has been and always will be true Republicans on hand to safeguard the ideals of Easter Week.  

We, the Irish Diaspora in America gathered here today reaffirm our commitment to these same ideals.  

We will continue to support and publicize the plight of Irish republican prisoners in HM Maghaberry Prison who are engaged in an on going prison protest in conditions that are eerily reminiscent of the period prior to the hunger strikes of 1981 for political status

We will continue to promote the Eire Nua program that proposes a federal solution based on the four historic provinces of Ireland. This comprehensive Irish authored political program is designed to achieve a just and lasting peace in the context of a British withdrawal.


Back to index page

   

National Irish Freedom Committee, P.O. Box 770549, Woodside, NY 11377

website: www. irishfreedom.net   --  email: nifcmem@optonline.net

The NIFC does not accept responsibility for the content of linked websites