'Address not Redress'

Sean Doyle, of the Wicklow Independent Workers Union with an address he gave at the Billy Byrne Monument, Wicklow Town 0n 22nd May 2013.

Only courage today can change the course of history. It must know no boundaries or border. Surely if we have learned anything it is little comfort too little too late for a lot of poor unfortunate people e.g. in the occupied 6 counties British recognition of mass murder in Derry on Bloody Sunday 1972, 13 civilians shot dead and one who died 4.5 months later from injuries sustained. And after years of perjury and lies given under oath, their unfortunate families had to wait 30 years for the truth.

In the 26 Counties the pace of truth equally drags its feet through the mire of deception e.g., the Magdalene Laundry women, the treatment of children in industrial schools etc. Our whole state apparatus since 1922 was cruel, uncaring maintained by fear of church and state, hand in glove tyranny.

State schools agenda was unlikely to educate but to decimate self confidence and spirit and destroy character more like a military programme to break you and make you subservient. Is it any wonder our native language in my generation was a victim also to a tyrannical abhorrent educational system. That had been my experience up to the late 1950’s. I have wrestled with it ever since looking for ways to understand how we as a people had succumbed to such dictatorial treatment without screaming ‘STOP!’

You’re probably familiar with the quote ‘there is none so blind as those who will not see.’ It typifies the prison regime in the occupied 6 Counties: a festering wound of injustice, inhumanity and deprivation callously and clinically maintained to feed the insatiable appetite of a cruel depraved prison regime that is controlled from Westminster, that still believes in barbaric merciless beatings, gouging strip searches and human rights violations as the best way to crush resistance. Why haven’t they learned as Connolly said:

‘You can imprison us or kill us but out of our prisons or graves we will evoke a spirit and mayhap rise a force that will destroy you. We defy you, do your worst.’

But they still persevere after the Good Friday Agreement cemented in place and tolerated by the signatories a hell hole beneath the radar putrefying and testimony of yet another society in denial. Have we forgotten already the ten young men who died on hunger strike to expose such treatment of British abuses of justice and human rights in jails as we only commemorated their 32nd anniversary which started on the 1st of March 1981.

Contrary to what the heads in sand society believe if we say nothing or do nothing it won’t affect us. This is a major mistake. Abuses of power and human rights violations are never contained within prisons. There are examples the world over from South Africa to Guantanamo Bay etc and the occupied 6 Counties is no exception. There is proof. It seeps out like the slurry it is and contaminates the whole society feeding and strengthening of silence until it destroys it.

Stephen Murney, PRO and spokesperson for Eirigi in Newry, was not prepared to remain silent and allow wide abuses of police powers to go unchecked in Newry. He started documenting, photographing and recording incidences of stop and search, house raids and heavy handed methods by the PSNI in Newry. As it is common practice across the world by political activists recommended by legal and human rights organisations to monitor police behaviour and harassment. But for his courage and principled stand they arrested him on trumped up charges and he is now 6 months interned in prison awaiting a delayed and farcical trial.

We need more people like Stephen to confront violations of civil and human rights head on today continuing in the proud tradition of Lalor, Tone, Connolly, Mellows etc and the political prisoners in our centuries of struggle for freedom.

Alternatively, we will be exposed to a hypocritical show by future Taoiseach crying crocodile tears like Cameron about Bloody Sunday, apologising for the impoverishment inflicted wrongly on the ordinary Irish citizens to pay the private debts of banks, bondholders and speculators. Such empty gestures are irrelevant and unacceptable. Their deeds and duty to their European monetary gods has reaped havoc on our people which was deliberately and mercilessly enforced causing mental breakdown, broken relationships causing devastation for children’s welfare and increased suicide, premature death of elderly due to cuts in care and allowances, special needs children, all the vulnerable preyed upon. This is the society our inaction is responsible and accountable for creating.

Acceptance and recognitions of wrongs past is that as humane as we can consciously sustain? Because recognition of injustice today would oblige us to confront, challenge and take risks possibly injurious to ourselves and we may not have the courage of our convictions. But with this mindset we are vulnerable, weak and likely to fall victim to our predatory political adversaries so we must become courageous, defenders and leaders for immediate address and consign redress to history. Let’s make history and challenge injustice, inequality, corruption and sectarianism today to ensure a peaceful prosperous equal society for our children tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Powerful post from Sean,I for one believe that the time for talking is long past,we should have been on the streets long ago, ,a peaceful national strike to begin with,and monster rallies,of course the state will react with a brutal heavy hand,that gives rise to the reforming of the Citizens Army and 1913 here ya go again,only this time we need to heed Connollys words about changing one bastard of a master for another, one thing that is for certain if we fail to act we shall leave the future children of the country with a heavy debt from the moment of their birth to the day they emigrate.