On Saturday June 26, Socialist Republicans from across Ireland gathered in Bodenstown, for the Annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration organized by the Seamus Costello Memorial Committee.
Led by a lone piper and a section of the Socialist Republican Colour Party, the parade made its way from the crossroads to the cemetery. The Large crowd in attendance had gathered from across the four provinces of Ireland, and the large number of young people, many of who were attending for the first time, mixed with the veteran Republicans in attendance particularly stood out. In addition to Republican flags and banners, participants also carried Palestinian and Basque National Flags along with the Red Flag of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Proceedings got underway at the graveside of Tone and included Revolutionary music interspersed with political readings. Songs included ‘Bodenstown Churchyard’ and Who Fears to speak of ’98, while a member of Macradh- ISR Youth read a serious of quotations from Tone. This was followed by a member of Anti Imperialist Action Ireland’s Coiste Cill Dara/An Mhí with a reading from James Connolly on Wolfe Tone.
Wreaths were then laid on behalf of a number of bodies including:
The Seamus Costello Memorial Committee
An Lár Choiste, Irish Socialist Republicans
An Ard Choiste, Anti Imperialist Action Ireland
Coiste Cill Dara/An Mhí, Anti Imperialist Action Ireland,
Macradh- ISR Youth
The Spirit of Freedom Society
The Michael Fagan Fenian Society.
Following the laying of the wreaths a minute’s
silence was held for all those who have fought and died for National Liberation and Socialist Revolution as the Colour Party lowered the flags in honour.
The Chairperson then called on the main speaker on the day to deliver an oration on behalf of Irish Socialist Republicans. The speaker began by asserting that the ideas of Tone and those who have come after him including Lalor, Connolly and Costello are not just words on the page but must remain a guide to action. The central theme of this speech was that Tone and Irish Socialist Republicans for the last 220 years have stood for Revolution, and that must remain our position today, not allowing ourselves to be distracted or misled from our Revolutionary objectives. And concluded that it was the duty of every Revolutionary Republican to work to build the Anti Imperialist Broad Front across Ireland that can successfully finish the work of Tone and rebuild the sovereign Independent All Ireland Republic, free from the interference with Imperialism.
The event was brought to a close with the singing of Amhrán na Bhfian.
Many in attendance noted that the event was the largest Bodenstown commemoration of recent years and was particularly notable for the large number of young people in attendance, making up more than half the crowd. This is a sure sign that the cause of Tone continues to inspire and that the Revolutionary message of Irish Socialist Republicanism continues to grow across the country.