Pre-2008 Published Letters

Irish Echo March 5, 07

Dear Editor,                                                                                           

“Let no man blaspheme the cause that the dead generation of Ireland served...”. With these words, the undisputed leader of the 1916 Easter Monday uprising in Dublin, admonished fellow mourners at the graveside of Irish patriot O’Donovan Rossa in 1915 to stand fast in the cause of freedom and republicanism. He eloquently and unequivocably described that cause as the same cause belonging to the long list of Irish Republican heroes going back to Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen. That cause involved giving voice to the sovereign right of Irish self-determination free of English rule by breaking all connections with the foreign occupation. That same Republican tradition also spawned the Young Irelanders, the Fenians, the Gaelic League, the Irish Republican Brotherhood in Ireland and the Clan na Gael in America. Then in 1905, Sinn Fein became the focus of the political movement of Irish Separatism. After the uprising the rebels were thought by many to be cranks and extremists without popular mandate. However, less than three years later the all-Ireland Republic was in fact established and declared as a result of the exercise in self-determination of the great majority of the Irish electorate. Their chosen candidates in the British elections of 1918 abstained from their seats in the British controlled parliament and instead formed the first Dail Eireann.

I am happy to see that that same Republican legacy is being carried on and exemplified again along side the Stormont partitioned elections of March 7. Both British Unionists and Irish nationalists including Provisional Sinn Fein under the leadership of Gerry Adams will if elected take their seats in the partitioned assembly to administer British rule and support its enforcement by the crown police force. But opposing these candidates are Irish Republicans who if elected will not take seats in the British assembly but will continue to seek support for an Irish separatist assembly as their forbears did in 1918.

 “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 is in fact the national position. Whenever an Irish leader has take up a position different from the national position, he has been repudiated by the next generation.”  P.H. Pearse

Eventually the suppressed Irish instinct for freedom will move again like a wave over the land and the people will again give legitimate authority to an Irish assembly exposing the usurping illegitimacy of the British presence in Ireland. “Let no man blaspheme the giving it any other name or definition than their name and their definition.” 

Vic Sackett

Glenwood Landing, NY

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Irish Echo Feb. 07

On the mark

Mr. Sackett and Mr. Hoffman were both on the mark regarding their comments on what a Republican was. Mr. Adams and company have been abandoning the Republican dogmas for some years now. Mr. Sackett is correct to say that, "A Republican participating in or supporting a British colonial government, is an oxymoron." The provisionals are no longer a Republican organization. It began with the recognition of Leinster House and the erosion of Republican doctrine ever since. Not all of us recognized it at the time; indeed many people dismissed the change in Sinn Fein's abstentionist policy as minor. It was the classic example of the "slippery slope".

As I type this letter, news has emerged that the provisionals will now wear the British uniform of the RUC/PSNI. What exactly do they stand for now? They have accepted partition, keen to administer British rule in Ireland and will no doubt do the Crown's bidding in all matter in the future. To accept the seats in Stormont, Leinster House and to join the RUC is to sanction 800
years of British rule in Ireland.

Adams can only be compared to John Redmond, the leader of the Home Rule party who. Like Adams, encouraged Irishmen to wear a British uniform some ninety plus years ago. The outcome will no less be the same. Ireland will be no closer to unity and independence than it was 37 years ago with the officials plans, 80 years ago with De Valera's plans, or 87 years ago with Collins' plans. Each approach only produced another political party making many claims and delivering very little.

Charles Evers

New Jersey.

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Irish Echo Feb. 07

Not the same

As the provisionals complete their journey to partnership with   the British establishment, I could not help but to think of the 1986 Sin Fein Ard Feis. If one takes the time to examine Mr. Adams's address, several points seem to stand out. He claimed that by taking seats in Leinster House, "..a struggle such as ours can be advanced by opening up another front..". He later goes
on to say, "as the political conditions change so must republican strategy change." Initial reactions to such statements are benign. However, when looked at within the context of where the provisional philosophy has moved to, one must draw other conclusions.
Leinster House was not, is not, and will never be a front. It is an institution of partition. Its very existence is to maintain and preserve the status quo. As for the comment concerning Republican strategy; yes,  strategy should be flexible. Notwithstanding strategy and principles are not   the same thing. A principle is a fundamental truth. A strategy is a means to see that truth fulfilled. Abstentionism is part and parcel with the Easter Proclamation and the Second Dail Eireann in recognition of the
That being said, abstenstionism is a principle just like any other principle that should not be compromised or tampered with by any honest Republican. Unfortunately, the provisionals appear to have no principles other than to be power brokers in the British government. If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything. This is what has happened with Mr. Adams and his

Ironically, we currently see Mr. Adams rolling out the same slogans, catch phrases and rhetoric that he used in 1986. He claims joining the RUC is another " phase" in the struggle. Nonsense! I'm waiting for the time when he might use DeValera's "empty formula" excuse to take seats in the British House of Commons. This all goes to vindicate O'Bradiagh, O'Connell and others who warned Republicans long ago of this wolf in sheeps clothing. Too bad not more of use had listened.

Thomas J. McCormack
New Jersey

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Irish Echo Jan. 07

Dear Editor,

On the surface, the latest political debate in Ireland appears to be about civilian policing in the six counties. But to republican minded people the issue has more to do with the legitimizing and enforcement of British rule in Ireland.

It comes down to the basic issue of what form of government will one support? For Celtic societies reaching back to antiquity, freedom was always the predominant desire. It is therefore no mystery that the Irish people as a whole have chosen the republic as the type of government under which they want to live. Freedom and the Republic go hand in hand. As every native born American knows, our freedom from tyranny was and remains the result of our representative republican government. Of the people for the people and by the sovereign people of America. In 1798 that same knowledge inspired Theobold Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen, mostly Protestants from Ulster, to strike against England for an Irish republic. They “regarded the connection between Ireland and Great Britain as the curse of the Irish nation ... whilst it lasted, this country could never be free or happy.” To the British and Unionists, republicanism is subversive and looked upon as criminal activity. Thus the GFA directive to criminalize Irish republicans by doing away with political prisoner status.

Beginning in 1905, the Sinn Fein (ourselves alone) movement swept the country. At the first opportunity in 1918 in the only all-Ireland general election ever held, the sovereign will of the Irish electorate spoke out when the overwhelming majority voted in Sinn Fein members whose policy of abstention was to establish Dail Eireann rather than take their seats in the British parliament. The sovereign 32 county Irish republic was then established in 1919. The response of the empire to this display of Irish sovereignty was the imprisonment of Irish government officials and military enforcement of the British Government of Ireland Act of 1920 which created the partitionist governments in Dublin’s Leinster House and Stormont both of which by their very existence suppressed the new Irish republic.

For Patrick Pearse in writing of Irish republican principles at Christmas 1915, there was no evasion, equivocation or double-talk; “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”

Imperial British rule in Ireland is undemocratic and a denial of Irish national sovereignty and is only maintained by the threat of armed force. Freedom loving republicans will surely continue the separatist tradition rather than collaboration. A republican participating in or supporting a British colonial government is an oxy-moron. 

Vic Sackett

Glenwood Landing, NY

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Irish News Dec. 06

A vote for Sinn Fein is a vote for partition
A vote for Sinn Fein says 'Keep the border'

I WRITE this letter with deep sadness and great anger.

Sad that many honourable republicans are being hoodwinked and cajoled into accepting a British agenda by a leadership who are using the loyalty that the grass roots have shown throughout the years of struggle and suffering.

Anger at a leadership expert at total in-house control with no room for criticism or another point of view.

I am not a dissident (I count myself mainstream) but I am a free thinker and speak as I see it.

Myself and another 12 ex-prisoners, internees, blanket men where I live have never been asked our thoughts on the policing issue. Why?

So much for the in-depth discussions the movement is supposed to have with all the republican family - not just members of Sinn Fein.

We are bombarded with clichés like "You have to see the bigger picture" as if we are incapable of having a constructive or alternative view to that of the leadership.

The leadership vowed there would never be a 'rusty bullet' handed over to the British.

What did they get in return for ecommissioning?

Nothing - Paisley just moved on to his next demand - policing.

So after the surrender of all its arms the leadership is asking republicans to take up arms again but this time in a six-county police force.

A force involved in the slaughter of republicans in particular in Armagh and Tyrone.

A force under investigation for 75 killings.

A force whose members by their own admission used child informers.

A force that batoned us at the funerals of our republican dead.

A force that brutalised us in its interrogation centres - including some of the dead hungerstrikers who were forced to implicate themselves under torture.

It is ironic that 25 years after beating Thatcher's criminalisation policy with 10 of the bravest dead on hunger strike - republicans are going to criminalise themselves by joining and supporting such a tainted force?

As an ex-prisoner who spent years on the blanket, all of this is deeply hurtful and nearly beyond belief. The six-county police force is obligated under British law to uphold and enforce (under arms) the constitutional position and that, of course, is partition.

If Sinn Fein supports or joins the six-county police force, a vote for Sinn Fein will then be a vote for maintaining partition.

It's as serious as that.

All republicans should keep that firmly in mind at election time.


Seosamh Mac An Ultaigh, Tyrone

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Irish Voice Oct. 06

A Real Republican

ON Saturday October 21, I attended a book launch sponsored by Indiana University Press at O'Lunney's restaurant in Manhattan. The book, called Ruairi O'Bradaigh, The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary, was the product of 20 years research by author Robert W. White, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and professor of sociology.

Dr. White's comments at the event drew a clear distinction between Mr. O'Bradaigh's position as the leader of the Irish Republican movement for the last 36 years, and Gerry Adams' position as leader of a political party whose main agenda is sharing power in a British sectarian statelet demanding equal rights.

Mr. O'Bradaigh came to public notice at the 1970 Sinn Fein Ard Fheis (convention) when he and fellow Republicans walked out after irreconcilable differences over the 1918 Republican principle of abstention and separation from British partitioned administrations. They took with them the Sinn Fein constitution intact and its defense of the 32 county Irish Republic established in 1919 by the sovereign will of the Irish electorate.

The organization was renamed Provisional Sinn Fein and Mr. O'Bradaigh was elected its first president and held that position until succeeded by Adams in 1983. The anti-abstentionist faction became known as Official Sinn Fein.

Little did O'Bradaigh know at the time that he and fellow Republicans would be forced to do a repeat performance at the 1986 Provisional Sinn Fein Ard Fheis over the same issue of abstention. Again they walked out with the Sinn
Fein constitution intact and reconvened as Republican Sinn Fein. He was again elected president and still holds that position today.

Not only did the Provisionals join Leinster House in Dublin, but also Stormont and Westminster in 1998. According to Provisional Sinn Fein Councilor Francie Molloy, they are now "prepared to administer British rule in Ireland for the foreseeable future. The very principle of partition is accepted."

Journalist Ed Moloney, who wrote the forward to the book, also provides another detailed account of the Provisionals' gradual departure from Republicanism into six county community egalitarianism in his recent book A
Secret History of the IRA.

The Provisionals' political rivals north and south still refer to them as Republicans, but that self-serving misnomer aids the rivals in gloating over the apparent defeat of Irish Republicanism and Sinn Fein's absorption into a partitionist Assembly rather than remaining opposed to its existence.

The two partitioned states in Ireland were created by the British in order to suppress the infant 32 county Irish Republic. By definition, Irish Republicanism and British imperialism are diametrically opposed.

For over two centuries Irish Republicans have resisted the illegal and illegitimate British occupation, and since 1918 Republican Sinn Fein has guarded its Republican principles in support of the sovereign and free 32 county Ireland.

Vic Sackett
Glenwood Landing, New York

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Belfast Telegraph Sept. 06

At least Adams can enter the US

28 September 2006

You report that Gerry Adams, while in the US, finds it odd that he is banned from fundraising and collecting millions from suporters here.

Yet, he has no such trouble from the governments of the Free State and Britain, and the UK even pays his salary.

At least Gerry can get into the US! This is not the case for the politcal leaders of Republican Sinn Fein.

Those leaders continue to face a visa denial from the US government of coming to America to inform and engage in discourse with their supporters as to their road map for the failing Stormont Agreement.

Republican Sinn Fein has been being gagged by co-operating governments and press to supress their Eire Nua proposals for a lasting peace in Ireland.

At least Mr Adams can get his "message" out, while those who refuse to accept the right of Britain to govern the Irish, Republican Sinn Fein, are denied having their message heard.

Sean O' Lubaigh, Canton, Ohio

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Saoirse Dec. 05

Irish Imperative

Speaking from New York recently, Provisional Sinn Fein front man Gerry Adams has called for unionist and loyalist leaders to enter into direct dialog with the provisional leadership to discuss peace. The current Provisional Sinn Fein leadership missed the chance for that dialog at Feakle (County Clare) Ireland thirty years ago.

Gerry Adam's request to the unionist and loyalist community is a mockery, and will only serve to inflame the sectarian violence that plagues Ireland today. The Eire Nua Federal Peace Program was put forward by the then, Irish Republican movement at the 1974 Feakle Peace Talks, which included prominent clergy men who represented the broad spectrum of the unionist and loyalist community. Out of all the attempts for peace over the last thirty years Feakle offered the highest prospect for success, but was undermined by the Dublin government, and dismissed by Gerry Adams as a, "Sop to Unionists."

The sectarian violence that exists in Ireland today is deep rooted in a lack of trust for the British government and their underwriters that currently govern Ireland, north and south. The Good Friday Agreement spawned from these forces, and administered by the provisional leadership in Ireland, offers false hopes to both sides of the manufactured divide. It is now time to revive Feakle, it is now time revive the leaderships who strive for a just and lasting peace in Ireland before more damage is done.

Brian Wardlow

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Belfast Telegraph Dec. 05

Intent on retaining British control of occupied six counties

NO one should be surprised at the "outing" of Denis Donaldson, the British mole who found a safe and friendly home in the Provisional inner sanctum. Certainly it's no surprise to those of us in the US who have been involved in promoting Eire Nua since 1976.

Eire Nua is an Irish drafted peace formula designed to achieve Irish reunification in the context of a British withdrawal from the occupied six Irish counties.

Since the early Eighties, a faction within the Republican Movement in Ireland conspired to jettison Eire Nua for an unspecified new approach to Irish reunification.

Their agents, including Donaldson, convinced many activists in the US to abandon Eire Nua by simply saying "trust the leadership, they have a better plan."

In an affront to US jurisprudence, they also had the audacity to threaten and replace non-compliant leaders of independent American-based organisations with lackeys.

It now seems that the better plan was a British plan all along.

In the final analysis it matters little, as the Provisionals are paid British agents, some operating overtly, some covertly, all intent on fostering and maintaining British control in the six occupied counties.

After all, this plan provides for high-flying lifestyles for the privileged few within the Provisional ranks.

BRIAN WARDLOW, Ocean, New Jersey.

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Derry News Sept. 05


Martin McGuinness, whilst condemning the recent attack on the RUC recruiting sergeant Denis Bradley, said that those responsible were "beyond the Pale". McGuinness has clearly implicated dissident republicans in relation to this condemnation. McGuinness has used quite interesting terminology. The Pale was a small area around Dublin which the British controlled in medieval times; to be "beyond the Pale" was to beyond British control.

It was a term used to describe the native Gael who would not bow to English rule. The republicans whom Martin McGuinness referred to as "beyond the Pale" will no doubt be happy to hear this
description considering its historical connotations, whilst it is very clear that looking at recent history, McGuinness and his ilk are very much within the Pale.

 CREGGAN REPUBLICAN (name and address supplied)

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Irish Voice July 05

Gaelic Is Thriving

It's a bit sad to watch John Spain suffer some kind of frantic break from reality whenever someone mentions the Irish language.

In his column in the June 22-28 issue, Spain claimed that the language is spoken by "probably less than 100,000." Well, if that were accurate, that would still be a pretty significant number of people in a small country who deserve the basic and internationally-recognized inalienable human right to speak their own language.
But, as we know, the Republic's latest census (2001) reported that at least 1,570,894 (42% of the Republic's population) claim fluency in Irish, and by all estimates personal daily usage is somewhere in between the two numbers.

Besides being 15 times John's number (where does he get this stuff?), that's double the 789,429 (28% of population) reported only a generation ago in the 1971 census, and triple the lowest reported number of 540,802 (19% of population) reported in the 1926 census.

If this trend were to continue, one has to wonder how long it would take before Irish re-establishes itself as Ireland's majority language. And by all objective measures, denied by no one, more people can now read and write the language than at any other time in the language's roughly 2,500-year history.

Further, none of these numbers captures the worldwide explosion of Irish language usage on the Internet among the Irish Diaspora. So some kind of renaissance is obviously going on, despite whatever Spain has to say about it, which is apparently a lot and wholly inaccurate.

Spain claims that Irish kids are the worst linguists in Europe because of the Irish language, when actually by all reports English kids are the worst linguists in Europe and Irish-speaking kids are among the best linguists in Europe.

Spain seems particularly incensed that Irish speakers have finally won, through the 2003 Official Languages Act, the right to use just their own language in their own communities, even on their road signs. One can imagine John landing in France and demanding that "Pee-Air" explain to him in English how to get to "Pah-Ree." As a friend said recently, if you want to explore the world through English, you can always go to Disneyland.

He then proceeds to attack the language on an economic basis, pointing out that it would be cheaper, worldwide, if everyone were to speak English, therefore the basic human rights of non-English-speakers like the Irish should be ignored or crushed.

Well, yes, dictatorships are always less expensive and more efficient to operate, and yes, it's unfortunate that the Tower of Babel fell, so now people around the world speak different languages instead of God's own original language, English.

But it's hard to imagine that the Norwegians, Welsh, Czechs, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Ukrainians, Poles, Israelis, Québequois, American Indians, Polynesians, Aborigines, Basque, Catalonians, Galicians, Flemish, Finns, Xhosa, Zulu, etc., will readily give up their right to speak their own languages just because John Spain has decided what's best for them, having fought so hard to win back that right from various other imperialists, dictators, and conquerors over the last 150 years.

And if the almighty dollar (or euro) is the only criterion by which to teach a subject in or out of school, why not get rid of God, religion, athletics, art, history, music, philosophy, social studies, and literature? I'm not too sure about science either, given that not many kids become scientists.

Why not just stick to math for business, computer tech for business, and, well, that's enough for a kid to learn, isn't it? Especially given Spain's opinion that Irish kids are too stupid to learn both their own language and English, despite the fact that most other countries around the world now teach their children their own language plus two or three or four other languages including English.

Personally, I don't subscribe to John's claim that Irish children can't learn. Instead, for me, the natural assumption would be that the problem has been the teaching method, not the kids. As an American, I certainly had no problem teaching Irish to my kids here in America.

The Irish language is not only alive and kicking, but undergoing some kind of renaissance. And instead of being subjected to Spain's rantings, I'll bet your readership would like to see the Irish Voice undertake an actual, factual attempt to report on what's going on with the worldwide Irish language renaissance.

How about it?

Jerry Kelly,
Member, Publicity Secretary
Cumann Carad Na Gaeilge/
The Philo-Celtic Society
Long Island, New York

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Irish Voice June 05

Stop Visa Denial
 I was very pleased to see the recent letters from Sean O' Lubaigh and  Brian Wardlow regarding the Eire Nua peace proposal and the visa denial policy which has been used by the U.S. government against proponents of this  plan.

 The Eire Nua peace proposal holds the potential of achieving what the Belfast Agreement has failed to deliver - a peaceful, sovereign Ireland which would guarantee, as the Proclamation of the Republic states, "religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens."

 Irish Americans have a right to learn about the merits of Eire Nua first hand from its most eloquent proponents. Yet the visa denial policy  prevents such individuals from entering the U.S. States despite the fact that they clearly pose no threat to American security, and despite the fact that  there is ample evidence to conclude that the Belfast Agreement is dead in the water.

One must ask oneself why they are barred from speaking about an  alternative peace plan when one would certainly seem to be needed?

The State Department, in their misguided attempts to make post-September  11 America a safer place, and as quid pro quo for British cooperation in the "war in terror," have cheated the American people of their right to hear  the merits of Eire Nua from those who can best explain it. They have cheated the Irish people by censoring a proposal which seeks to bring a just and lasting peace. The State Department must, in the  interests of peace in Ireland and freedom in America, end its policy of denying  visas to proponents of Eire Nua.

 Robert Fitzgerald, St. Paul, Minnesota

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Irish Voice June 2005 

Troubling Attack Ignored

 The Irish Troubles are unfortunately far from over. In spite of what the mass media would have us believe, there is in fact a reasonable, non-sectarian, feasible peaceful alternative to the failed, so-called Good Friday Agreement.

This alternative unites the island of Ireland in way that is fair, responsible, and would make for a healthy country for all. That proposal  is named Eire Nua (New Ireland).

Unfortunately those who support this viable alternative are banned from sharing their ideas in the U.S. through visa denials and instead are  branded as terrorists.

 While I'd like to use this letter to promote Eire Nua more, I've learned  of a situation this morning that your readers should be made aware of immediately.

 Friday night (June 10, early June 11) after a tribute ballad event for a deceased Irish community worker, Frank Gartland, members and supporters of organizations that support the Eire Nua peace proposal were brutally assaulted and arrested in Tallaght, outside of Dublin. Youth, women, men, even a young person suffering from Cerebral Palsy were pistol whipped, beaten, threatened and arrested without a warrant, and so far without any charges.

While this sort of brutality might have been a common occurrence in  Belfast in the 1980s, this is just outside of Dublin today, in an Ireland that greatly contrasts the image the Provos, British and American governments  and media would have us believe exists.

As I type this there has been no coverage of the attack in the media and chances are any mention will be done solely by concerned individuals. And that's what I'm doing with this letter. If your readers would like to learn more about this situation, I encourage them to visit the following websites - the Irish Republican Bulletin Board at, or Na Fianna Eireann at

Saerbhreathach MacToirdealbhaigh, Dublin, Ireland

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Irish Voice May 05

Stop All Visa Denial.

The editorial on the visa denial to the Provisional Sinn Fein U.S.  representative Rita O'Hare in last week's issue was right on the mark.

 This policy of visa denial to be used as a political tool or a reward or  punishment gesture is an ongoing tactic that is still being used against  leading members of Republican Sinn Fein for years now. Why? Not because of a glitch in some previous travels to the U.S. It is because  Republican Sinn Fein refuses to compromise on the core beliefs of the  Republican movement and will not accept the right of any Brit legal  authority in any part of Ireland. No matter how much pressure is brought to bear on Republican Sinn Fein and  the Republican movement by Dublin, London or Washington, it is the right
 of the Irish alone to determine their course of action. The U.S. visa denial of Republican Sinn Fein members has led to a  one-sided failed peace process, where all discourse is limited to one  solution, the Good Friday Agreement. We are led to believe there is only one option out there, but there is  not! Republican Sinn Fein has put forth their realistic blueprint towards  peace and unity with justice in their Eire Nua political paper policy.

 Eire Nua sets in motion the road to an independent federal type democratic  socialist republic, contingent on a complete Brit disengagement from Ireland in orderly fashion north, south, east and west.

 Eire Nua is not being allowed the open and honest discourse and format to  be discussed and debated among the American Irish because the continuing  denial of visas to Republican Sinn Fein spokespersons who can elucidate  and promote Eire Nua as an alternative plan.

 Special interests are at work against those who seek to change the status  quo, but that will not stop real Republicans from continuing the struggle  for national sovereignty.

 I call upon the U.S. to stop the use of visa denials to discriminate  against Republican Sinn Fein! And any other political party in Ireland,  including the Provos.

 Sean O' Lubaigh, Canton, Ohio

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