Richard O’Rawe here with a letter that appeared in the Irish News on 11th of Juy 2012 highlighting the emascualation of Northern nationalism in the face of British state repression.
Truly, it is a lamentable state of affairs when nationalists and republicans cannot, through peaceful and democratic protest, secure the release of the internees, Marian Price and Martin Corey.
What does that cruel reality tell us about the value that the British government currently places on nationalist/republican opinion? Dare I say that it effectively illustrates that we have no real political power, that our influence is peripheral, that we are valuable only so long as we diffidently accept the current British political agenda, that to rock the political ‘boat’ at Stormont may see us sink in a sea of unionist intransigence?
Somewhere, sometime, nationalist/republican politicians are going to have to stir themselves within the present cosy ‘unionist’ coalition. It’s not good enough to see human rights abuses set aside as peripheral issues. They are not! We need our politicians to be the people of conscience and integrity that they once professed themselves to be; we need them to be prepared to stand in the Bearna Bhaoil, as they once did; natural justice demands no less.
The British government is not listening to us. Marian Price and Martin Corey are still incarcerated – despite all our efforts. Is it too much to ask the SDLP and Sinn Fein to tell the British emphatically that they will withdraw from Stormont if the British government does not stop their current internment of Irish citizens?