John Redmond, one of the greatest traitors in Irish history, sacrificed tens of thousands of Irish men and women on the altar of Empire, tricking them with false promises of independence. His spiritiual successors Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin are now attempting to do the same.
Redmond promised that by fighting for “the freedom of small nations” in the First World War, the British Empire would grant Ireland Home Rule. Varadkar claims that by building up a Free State army and abandoning any semblance of neutrality, Irish security and “independence” can be guaranteed by imperialism.
Then as now the Garrison Class claims that Irish sovereignty is entirely conditional on Irish collaboration with imperialism. The reality is that this collaboration does not lead to greater independence, but ever greater colonial domination of Ireland by Western imperialists.
Support for imperialism is at the heart of the Free State, established as a dominion of the British Empire 100 years ago by the partition of Ireland and the Treaty of Surrender. Only the opposition of the Irish people has prevented full integration with imperialist alliances.
In the 1922 Treaty debates, Liam Mellows described the British Empire as “…that terrible thing that has spread its tentacles all over the earth, that has crushed the lives out of people and exploited its own when it could not exploit anybody else.” Anglo-American imperialism today is no less vicious or bloodthirsty.
For Irish Republicans like Mellows, the Republic of 1916 represented true independence and solidarity with all oppressed peoples, not the false glittering promises of imperialism.
As Mellows said: “This fight has been for something more than the fleshpots of Empire.”
With the Free State ruling class and media mobilising to push for an EU Army and NATO membership, the choice before the Irish people is as it was in 1914 and 1922:
The Irish Republic, Sovereignty and Freedom OR the Empire, Subservience and Death.