Easter Oration Bray- Sean Doyle

Annual Easter Commemoration, Bray 
By Sean Doyle 

Freedoms Sons 

Today we are here making our Annual Easter  Commemoration at the graveside of Seamus Costello, his 44 th anniversary. Also making the 40 th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike, culminating in the deaths of 10 of Irelands finest young sons.

In the tradition of many before them, resolute and determined, Margaret Thatcher’s attempted criminalisation of our age long struggle would not succeed. Colonisation and their law of enforcement have no rights in 
our country. Lloyd George that our claim to national freedom 
was a sham. Truth is always propaganda against ignorance 
and indifference, but in truth, as long as British occupation 
has continued in our country, in truth our sons and daughters 
have always answered the call of freedom. The insatiable 
quest, surging through their mind and bodies and reverberating through our hills and valleys, since British foreign occupation blood soaked our native soil. 

To paraphrase Roger Casement “if it be treason to fight against such an unnatural fate as this, then I am proud to be a rebel and shall cling to my rebellion with the last drop of my blood”. Seamus Costello was rightfully, as I am, influenced by James Connolly, he spent his lifetime learning, 
and sharing his knowledge of history internationally and at home. He emphasised how imperialist empires maintain power by creating division within colonised subordinate nations. He was steadfast in his opinion that we must not concede to separation of the national and class struggle. We 
would only be exchanging a foreign tyrant for a native one. 

Seamus Costello was also of the same opinion, and spent the last period of his young life trying to build unity of Socialist Republicans to further our revolution. We must be uncompromising in any suggestion of separation or prioritising of any one of the two strands, they are inseparable and we must guard against the national and class division.

The British went further, and in the Government of Ireland Act in 1920 divided our country into two subordinate statelets, one in our North Eastern six counties into an orange state, which created a hell on earth for the nationalist minority and gave free reign to the most bitter bigots, with 
special powers to do as they will, all backed by the conservatives and quietly ignored by the rest. In the 26 counties, they supplied thousands of rifles, over a million rounds of ammunition, 78 Lewis guns and light artillery, armoured cars and trucks to the counter revolutionaries to 
murder their own comrades, and installed the money class, they still would be subordinate to the British in a dominion, namely The Free State. 

While WT Cosgrave, a government minister, had made it known that The Free State, British created government had no objections to the trapped, defenceless 6 county catholic nationalists being subjected to loyalist special powers act which was enforced by the B specials and their own orange 
police force. In effect the Norther nationalists had no rights, they were second class, under apartheid tyrannical regime. Knowing all this, he said they had no issue with Northern Catholics taking a declaration of loyalty to the King and to the Northern government. The Special Powers Bill was commonly known by the Nationalists as the “flogging bill” at the same 
time Cosgrave was supporting recognition of the regime Frank Mc Ardle, as a spokes person for the people was describing in graphic detail what people had to endure. He said “the military are taking off the streets now at 11.15 at night and the Specials are in sole control and the people are 
at their mercy, the people are being driven from one street to another and into small areas, and out of that, they can not get, they are there and can’t get out of it, they have been driven out of their employment, their houses, or they are raided and they can’t get arms or keep them, the Specials can 
come in on them any time, as often as they like”.

Another account by Father Hassan of St. Marys said “the Catholics of 
Belfast are on their last legs, they are not even holding on, they are going to Dublin or elsewhere and the only reason why they are all not leaving is because they can’t get away, we are not in a position to fight them in Belfast, you can’t retaliate with nothing”. Their fate was sealed, left and 
abandoned at the hands of the orange statelet with the full backing of the conservatives, Churchill and Lloyd George and their creation The Free State and Cosgrave’s advice to recognise King George the 5 th and the government of Northern Ireland, with the British Treaty in place and 
enforced, the counter revolution with British supplies to crush the Republican government of 1918, worked to fold for the British a divided country and divided forces while the collaborators with British support were waging war on the republican forces, the nationalists in the occupied 6 counties were without any support to protect them from unionists in 
the now established orange state. The British government ordered Mc Cready to give Collins whatever he needed or asked for, even troops, if the necessity arose. 

The lives that have been given ever since to dislodge the British parasite, either on active service or Hunger Strike, who we are honouring here today because British occupation will always be contested until we achieve the re-conquest and our republican government re-instated, we must learn 
from our history and build a broad front of Socialist Republicans on common ground, working campaigns together, housing evictions, criminal courts, extradition etc. building alliances and organically building trust and respect mutually, while we gain an understanding and then advance our ideas and formulate working structures to achieve our goal, a revolution, denied by collaborators and British division. James Connolly advocated, Seamus Costello advocated the absolute necessity of a broad front, he was unrelenting, even though bullets ripped through his car from counter revolutionary assailants, he never lost focus as to its necessity right up to his murder on the 5 th of October 1977. 

This is the task before young socialist republicans, to learn from our history, not to repeat it out of misguided loyalty, be creative and build a fit for purpose, revolutionary movement, be done with reformist electoralism, just look where it got us in the last century. 

Finally, to add insult to injury the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a centenary program to celebrate, can you believe the official opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament by King George the 5 th on the 22 nd of June 1921. A million is to be spent on projects, also to research and demonstrate what 100 years of Northern Ireland has meant 
to them and their communities. That should be interesting if the truth were told, City Hall Belfast is to mark the opening of the parliament in the building 100 years ago, a rose is to be produced in Northern Ireland and planted in, where they call the Royal Residence at Hillsborough Castle and another rose will also be presented to Queen Elizabeth the 2 nd for her 
garden. Secretary of State Brandon Lewis said it provided for all of us to reflect on the history and take pride, is he for real. He went on to conclude, saying “the UK is stronger because Northern Ireland is in it” I’m speechless at their pompous attitude, some history of murder and torture, they should be tried for war crimes, I will finish with a fitting tribute to all who have sacrificed their lives on the battle field or on Hunger Strike for Irish freedom, it is called Freedoms Sons:

At Easter time 1916,

When flowers bloomed and leaves were green,

There dawned a day when freedoms cry,

Called on brave men to fight or die.

They were the men with the vision, 
The men with the cause,

The men who defied their oppressors laws,

The men who traded their chains for guns, 
Born into slavery they were Freedoms Sons.

In Dublin Town they fought and died,

With Pearse, Mac Diarmaid and Mc Bride,

Ourselves alone their battle cry,

And freedom rang through that Easter sky.

They were the men with the vision, 

The men with the cause,

The men who defied their oppressors laws,

The men who traded their chains for guns, 
Born into slavery they were Freedoms Sons.

A poets dream had sparked a flame,

A raging fire it soon became,

And from that fire of destiny,

Arose a nation proud and free.

They were the men with the vision,

The men with the cause,

The men who defied their oppressors laws,

The men who traded their chains for guns,

Born into slavery they were Freedoms Sons.

6 counties are in bondage still,

They died brave men,

was this their will?

Until we’re free and oppression ceased,

Only then brave men shall sleep in peace.

They were the men with the vision,

The men with the cause,

The men who defied their oppressors laws,

The men who traded their chains for guns, 
Born into slavery they were Freedoms Sons. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *