Who Fears To Speak Of Easter Week

New York attorney and advocate of Irish Republicanism Martin Galvin with a letter that featured in the Irish News on 12th October 2015.

A chara,

Why should any Republican fear debates, public forums and petitions supporting a united Ireland? D. Moore (“1916 Societies’ accusation about SF rings hollow” September 28) says he “would dearly love to see” a united Ireland and wants Republicans to “work an alternative strategy to bring it about.” When the 1916 Societies work their strategy, Mr. Moore yelps that any opposition to British rule by independent Republicans is somehow against Sinn Fein.

Surely a united Ireland is bigger than any political party. It is more important than any party project or tactics. Surely all Republicans and nationalists benefit from gains for a united Ireland generated through debates, public forums and petitions sponsored by the 1916 Societies.

Mr. Moore is clearly entitled to his unquestioning confidence that current Sinn Fein tactics will deliver a united Ireland, if not as promised by 2003, 2014, or 2016 then someday. Suppose he is wrong. Must those with questions and less confidence stand idly by? Should we attend ceremonial commemorations of 1916, hear the Easter Proclamation read aloud, and then do nothing to achieve the inalienable rights at the heart of 1916?

Recent surveys reveal only one in five in the six counties thinks they will see a united Ireland within 20 years. Double that number polled after the 1998 agreement thought there would be a united Ireland by 2018.Will they still be asking 20 years hence?

The 1916 Societies was formed in response to fears that instead of a ‘countdown to freedom’, the British intend a knockout punch which sees hope of ending their rule counted out for another generation. ‘One Ireland One Vote’ is simply a political initiative intended to build national momentum for ending British rule. A key component will be the debates, public forums and petition drives reminding those who honor 1916, of the freedom still denied in six counties.

They advocate counting as one the votes of all Irish people to determine the future of their country, rather than gerrymandering the majority into second class status, null and void unless the pro-British unionist veto can somehow be overcome. Do unionist antics at Stormont indicate they are being won over by sorry initiatives or uncomfortable conversations with those scorned as “rogue Sinn Fein or renegade SDLP ministers?”

Mr. Moore seems to be trying to articulate Sinn Fein thinking. It is understandable that the British and unionists should want to quell Irish discussions and debates about British rule. If we have come down to the point where Sinn Fein is against public debates supporting a united Ireland, it is time for those who do the party thinking to think again.


Martin Galvin


  1. Good stuff Martin. Sinn Fein is against any discussion outside parameters it sets (in reality, passed down by the British) because the only benefit of the GFA for them, is if its an exercise in getting future generations to forget the possibility for change. At least any change not dispensed from the top down by a bureaucratic elite.

  2. DaithiD

    how is any of this relevant?
    Aren't the collective wishes of the people of the island clearly enough stated?
    Do you in truth expect the consent principle to be overturned or even seriously challenged?
    What evidence is out there that suggests there's a legitimate yearning, never mind a justification, for such a divisive and potentially disruptive course at this particular time from any significant number of our citizens?

    Whereas I acknowledge the right to dissent I can't see any sane point in campaigning for a repeatedly and overwhelmingly defeated cause. Indeed, like most pragmatic people, I can see far more prudent justifications at the present time for restraint of discussion around such matters.

  3. Henry Joy, why don't you take your issues up with Martin yourself, rather than chase every comment made on here with your innane bullshit. Oh yeah, that's right.... The Irish News insists you provide a name and address to go with any response - not much good to a coward troll like yourself that is it. I have watched you rant after every comment that anyone makes which challenges the status quo and can safely say I was right from the beginning. You are a troll who comments here for two reasons, to exaggerate your own sense of self-importance and to disrupt dialogue between republicans who might try and work out the best way forward at this time. By turning the debate as you do on every occasion you prevent that happening and I'd venture it puts a lot off. I have my suspicions about whose end that serves but it's equally and in fact more likely you are just a crank who enjoys the sound of his own voice

  4. In the context of the article,ill leave others decide whose comments are relevant.
    As for the rest,people should only voice an opinion when they in a majority? A situation remains decided by past generations regardless of present conditions too? If the present structures in the North was so natural and inevitable HJ, it wouldn't need to be underpinned up with such restrictive laws.

  5. "What evidence is out there that suggests there's a legitimate yearning, "

    The 2011 Irish Times Opinion Poll Henry.
    That put Irish unity support at 56% with only around 24(ish) % opposed
    And support rose to something like over 70% when the "don't Knows" where excluded.
    ROFLMAO..Henry your continued ignorance is now tantamount to trolling. ( namely due to the fact that I have pointed this poll out to you previous- so ergo you are not ignorant about it you are disseminating falsehoods)
    and BTW..Newsflash..YOU don't speak for the Irish people.
    Try getting your head around that, also.

  6. DaithiD,

    your justifiable criticisms of SF notwithstanding, the dead don't vote. The living who can must not be allowed to claim they know how the dead would vote. The alternative to majority rule is minority rule. All of that throws up a lot of challenges for a republicanism that might feel it has the right to dictate to society how it should be organised. Another bureaucratic elite dispensing from on top is not how we should proceed.

  7. Tony, instead of going over old ground about republicans believing they've a right to 'dictate to society' how about we agree the Irish people have the right to determine their own future for themselves, including how the society they live in should be ordered and organised. Surely there is nothing we could describe as elitist in as much, if anything such a notion is the embodiment of democracy itself...

  8. DaithiD

    agreed each reader will decide.
    In my post I acknowledge the right to dissent. My comments and questions are addressed to the relevance and functionality of the OIOV campaign. Despite the good intentions of those involved I perceive their efforts at the current time and in the current context as both dysfunctional and irrelevant.


    Perhaps the Societies might consider running a candidate in the next presidential election then so. If they could persuade the number of TDs or County Councils required for a nomination then by your figures you're contenders.

    sean bres

    Would you be the candidate?
    You're really skilled at avoiding pertinent questions ... ought to stand to you (though overuse of ad hominems won't cut it on TV and especially not in a Presidential campaign).

    If, as you say, I am able to turn every debate with my comments then perhaps I'm a mightier man than I even imagined (lol).

    On the other hand maybe its as I've stated above; the republican position is now currently irrelevant and dysfunctional and has become too difficult to rationally defend.

    (Anthony recently said that republicanism touched his entire life (but not the entirety of it). It has greatly touched mine too albeit to a lesser extent than Anthony's. When I write here it's often an outworking of a process to claim back my own life and sanity. It's a process of disentangling the various layers of conditioning I was exposed to ... a letting go of myths and an embracing of reality (life on life's term rather than as to how I might wish it). Unknowingly you've played an important part in that Sean. Thank you) HJ

  9. AM, my point is not about guessing which way the dead would vote, its the notion of whether the present generation are tied to decisions made by those who have gone before, indefinitely. According to HJ, everyone dead or alive has a stake the in the franchise except those who identify as republican.

  10. Henry, Joy, I'd be surprised if you don't cringe reading back over that. Good for a laugh if nothing else I suppose...

  11. Sean,

    there are still republicans who think they have the right to dictate to society with their futile armed campaigning. People should have the right to determine their own future. Whether it be as a nation or a class or a gender the choice will be made by them (or should be). And people must have the same right to dissent from the nation as they have to dissent from a religion. A nation like a religion is an idea not a timeless fixed entity.

    The Irish people have to be free in deciding how they might determine that future and they might determine to do it in a number of ways that do not gel with how you or I think they should. Ultimately the Irish people have the right to dissent from One Ireland One Vote and do not need to vote in other to register that dissent. They simply need only not turn up (pretty much as they are doing in very large numbers.) Your task is to persuade them.

    DaithiD, the present generation should not be tied to decisions that have gone before. That is rule by tradition and custom rather than rule by the people (not very republican). People have the right to decide against the past. In the midst of the commemorations they still have the democratic right to forget rather than be subject to the dictatorship of forced remembrance.

  12. AM, most of your reservations revolve around cultural ephemera tied to Republicanism simply because they occurred on Irish soil concurrently. At its core in France and America, its whether you think sovereignty rests with the people, or a monarch. Ephemera do come and go and can be judged to have failed, but the core principle remains and its way too early to decide whether core Republicanism has failed.To paraphrase P O’Neil, we only need to be lucky once, the monarchists (or Status Quo-ists) need to be lucky every time haha.

  13. AM, you mentioned Republicanism dictating terms to others, then later gave an example of commemorations. Im pointing out these are mere ephemera, and not really indicative of Republicanism as a strategic objective.Or maybe ive fallen into a HJ induced wordy trap, its been a long week!

  14. DaithiD,

    strategic objectives cannot be isolated from the strategies used to pursue them

  15. Sean bres

    Who's cringing now?
    What ever is going down over on the "There's no good reason for killing Gardai" it seems that you might be the one who's cringing.

    By the way, if I were to cringe, what specifically would I cringe about?

  16. DaithiD

    if one believes in supernatural beings does it correlate to a greater propensity to believe in bogeymen?

    What's all this fudging about HJ and word traps?

    What type of man is this HJ? Do yourself and Sean Bres perceive he walks on water too (lol)?

  17. HJ, Im not sure how serious your point is, but.....correlation does not definatively prove a relationship (Starbucks share price is correlated with EA Sports in their UK listings for example). What you need is to test for is Granger Causality, if belief in one can help predict belief in the other.
    PS Your certainly a floater of sorts HJ.

  18. DaithiD

    a floater at times and at othets a sinker.