Let no man say that 1916 failed.
Dreams, impossibilities and sacrifice never favoured the weak.
Struggles are for the strong, the patient and the unrepentant.
In arms a republic was declared, blood and butchery from the British followed.
But now the wind is changing direction, the dream is almost realised.
800 years of resistance, an unstoppable movement.
Our time is close, our resolve remains, our commitment is concrete.
Call us dissidents, whatever that might mean.
Try to terrorise us, do your worst.
We are almost there, and will not be stopped.
Beautiful things take time to perfect.
Patience, resilience and resistance.
Others fell, they left without goodbye.
They chewed the cud, and greedily gobbled over the graves of the great.
They dined with the enemy, laughed, smiled and washed their filthy food down with Irish tears.
Remember them when they knock,
Asking for ballots.
Remember Pearse, Emmet, and countless others first.
Remember who the dissenters really are.
1916 did not fail.
It awoke a slumbering nation and encouraged the fight.
The Unfinished revolution, that soon will no longer be a dream.
Baptised in British blood our brave will never be forgotten.
Remember Sands and the selfless struggle that is self sacrifice.
There are places within that they can never touch.
Places that remain unbroken.
The ones that fought, died and dreamed of a republic.
We salute them one and all,
and their flame will never be extinguished.
It lives on, sometimes the smallest of flames can spark the most magnificent fire.
Cupp your hands around it, nurture it, feed it and will never disappoint.
In 1916, at Easter, a people that swore an oath,
The Irish people.
The Patriots that refused to play dead as bloody British boots tried to trample over our flag.
They tried to suffocate the struggle, they failed.
And they forever will.
Before you go, before you forget.
Remember the bold, remember their dream.
Remember this city is ours,
Remember Belfast is too.
Remember that borders exist on maps only.
Never forget the fallen.
The streets run red with rebel blood.
⏩ Conor Lynam is a campaigner with the IRPWA