Sean Bresnahan writing over week ago thinks the republican struggle is in a quandary.
The reason for this, in the main, is that the Irish Republic has been ruled out in advance as an outcome of the established political process — of the means it provides for to effect ‘Irish Unity’ (or more accurately what it is prepared to countenance as Irish Unity).
Coupled with widespread acceptance of that process, among those who Republicanism needs to support its intended process of change — which rivals that of the status quo — the Republican struggle is in a quandary, from which there are no obvious means at hand to escape the difficulties faced.
It is for this reason that Republicans are being pulled away from our core ideological function and purpose — which is to uphold the sovereignty and unity of the Republic and its right to proceed unfettered — towards all of the campaigns and initiatives now surrounding the struggle but which, of themselves, are outside of that core function and purpose.
Involvement in such initiatives, while worthy ventures in their own right often — and not necessarily, then, to be dismissed or not partaken in — absent an acute focus on the Republican object are symptomatic of our political failure and point towards the ultimate collapse of the Republican struggle.
It is there where lies the ‘defeat’ of Republicanism, not in the failure to secure outright military victory as pointed to by many in the fold — ‘defeat’ in inverted commas because, while the struggle for the Republic is upheld by even a respectable minority, we are merely down and not out.
Given that the Army — recognising that in winning the political war lay the path to ultimate victory — stood aside to make way for the required ‘new phase’, so long as there are those still set towards the Republic, as their intended political object, then we have not been defeated.
As Brexit and demographic change in the North speed new and unheralded political opportunities, it is on building that ‘new phase’ and process — towards arriving at the Irish Republic — where the Republican lens must concentrate. Fail to focus accordingly and our defeat, long heralded, might just be sealed. A moment of reckoning is upon us.