Route To The Republic Lies In Struggle From Below

Attached is the text of a letter from Sean Bresnahan published in the Irish News, 4th July, noting that the proposed ‘agreed Ireland’ of constitutional nationalism is outside Irish Republicanism, demanding that Republicanism form a bulwark against such revisionism through the employ of struggle from below.

While a changed circumstance, born of Brexit and demographic change, suggests some form of United Ireland may well be in the offing, for Irish Republicans a key consideration lies in what kind of Ireland is intended toward. Here we might remember that Ireland has been united before, under British rule, and so that concept, of itself, is not a panacea.

Irish Republicanism sets toward a national democracy mounted on the 1916 Proclamation — a separate endeavour to the supposed United Ireland that can be formed out of the Good Friday Agreement. If the writ of the British in Ireland is to be ended, Republicans must take note. For there is no viable route to the Republic through the provisions of the Good Friday process.

That process is set, instead, toward John Hume’s ‘agreed new Ireland’ — a revisionist construct whose intent and design is to reconcile Ireland to Britain, ensuring thus, should a United Ireland emerge, the retention of British domain. Other avenues need considered if the Republican object is to be realised.

Our response to the challenge this presents, rather than to retreat into mere ‘rejectionism’, must be to build support for the 32-County Republic set out under the Proclamation. Engaging our people on its merit is the work now before us. Failing as much, the more limited design of constitutional nationalism will only be further emboldened.

No matter how outward appearances may present, this design, were it to proceed, would be a further set back. For the ‘agreed new Ireland’ of Varadkar and co intends not on the Irish Republic but on a continuum of the Good Friday Agreement, to be entered into as a revised compromise with the British state on an all-Ireland basis.

Irish Republicans must focus accordingly, to ensure things do not end up so. Building struggle from below at a grassroots level, engaging ordinary people on a positive basis through political campaigning and initiative, is the journey that now must begin. Any hope that remains for the Irish Republic depends on it.

Sean Bresnahan, Chair, Thomas Ashe Society Omagh blogs at An Claidheamh Soluis

Follow Sean Bresnahan on Twitter @bres79

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

2 comments to ''Route To The Republic Lies In Struggle From Below"

  1. Sean,

    So London and Brussels both fcuk off. What happens to the PUL community in the six counties?

    Whats the plan? Do you try to incorporate John Mc Michaels Common Sense into Éire Nua? Keep dual nationality going until when, 1 generation? Will the Loyal Orders still be allowed to march? The list is endless. What happens if Loyalist Paramilltaries refuse to go away. Do you think a police officer from Donegal, Traless or Sligo wil patrol the Shankill estate, Sandy Row, Ballymena?

  2. Thanks for the observations Frankie. The unionist community should, and no doubt will, have input into the design and structure of a 32-county republic. It is there in that republic where differences carefully fostered by an alien government can best be reconciled.

    A modern and democratic secular Irish Republic, in line with the needs of its citizens, is to where the political process must set — not to an ‘agreed’ arrangement that preserves and further entrenches said divisions, this to further the ends of those who hold power here and who seek to retain their ill-got position for as far and as long as is possible.

    Irish Unity should surely encompass a full expression of Ireland’s right to freedom and sovereignty. We can mount constitutional protections and guarantees within any new arrangements but these should be bound within a bill of rights, not by conceding a revised role for Britain in our country.


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