The 1916 Societies held our ‘Comhdháil Bliantúil’ / Annual Convention for 2017 on Sunday 22nd January in the City North Hotel, Balbriggan. Over 100 delegates, representing Cumainn from across Ireland, gathered to accept the resignation of the outgoing Officer Board and elect in turn its successor.
Contributions from the outgoing Chair and National Organiser focused on maintaining the momentum of recent months, on a need to involve the wider Irish public in the campaign for independence and on bringing our One Ireland One Vote initiative to every corner of the country in pursuit of that objective.
With new Societies formed from Newry through Cork to as far afield as New York City in the United States, our continued expansion reflects an emerging dynamic within Irish society that sets towards fundamental change. We believe that real change in Ireland, whether north or south, is now only a matter of time and intend to play a full part in that endeavour.
In concluding the day’s events, Paul Scannell – outgoing National Organiser and new Vice Chair of the Societies – spoke of how our vision of an independent republic was gaining traction, highlighting the need to ‘build on our successes and push ahead with confidence’. Appealing for a renewed drive on the One Ireland One Vote campaign he said, ‘there is no substitute for work on the ground and that is where the Societies must be – there on the ground and at the coalface of popular struggle’.
The delegates and invited guests – among them the Peadar O’Donnell Socialist Republican Forum and Friends of the International Brigades in Ireland – both who gave presentations to the convention – left the hall determined that the struggle for freedom will continue into 2017. Going forward, we re-dedicate ourselves to the achieving of that most noble objective: the freedom and independence of our country.
The 1916 Societies thank all who assisted our efforts over the last twelve months and pay a particular word of thanks to those who served on our outgoing Officer Board. We look forward to further growth in the time to come and to working with those, along the way, who share our objective of restoring the all-Ireland republic.