The annual Republican Sinn Féin Seán Sabhat Commemoration was held in Mount St Lawrence Cemetery, Limerick, on January 6, 2013 at 1.30pm.
(Below are details and the script of the ONLY speech made at the commemoration by National PRO Geraldine McNamara, Tipperary).
ON Sunday, January 6 Republicans from Munster, Leinster and Connacht assembled at Mulgrave Street in Limerick and marched behind a colour party to the Republican Plot in Mount St Laurence’s Cemetery to commemorate Seán Sabhat, who died at Brookeborough Barracks, Fermanagh, along with his comrade Fearghal Ó hAnluain, on January 1, 1957.
At the Republican Plot proceedings were chaired by Tom Malone, North Tipperary. A decade of the Rosary was recited as Gaeilge by Donal Malone. Wreaths were laid by Matt Conway on behalf of the Republican Movement; Des Dalton on behalf of Republican Sinn Féin and Joan Kennedy on behalf of Cumann na mBan.
The oration was delivered by National PRO, Republican Sinn Féin, Geraldine McNamara, who said in the course of her address:
“On December 31, 1956 Seán Sabhat along with Fergal O Hanlon united with twelve comrades of the IRA unit the Pearse column and mounted an attack on Brookeborough police station in county Fermanagh.
“They were well prepared, but sadly the attack failed and Seán Sabhat and Fergal O’Hanlon were killed in action.
“When Seán Sabhat left Limerick very few, knew of his plans, but when his body was brought back to his native city thousands lined the streets as his funeral cortège passed.
“He was recognised as a freedom fighter against British rule by the people, even though the 26-County government of the day had tried continuously to make people accept the illegitimate two state administrations in Ireland. “The ‘56 campaign was a continuation of the struggle for the freedom of Ireland from the yoke of British rule.
“The fight for the freedom and independence of Ireland has continued through every generation, and will continue until there is a British withdrawal from all of our country.
“We are not prepared to let six counties of Ireland remain under occupation, and even though many sacrifices have to be made, we will continue to highlight the injustices caused by England’s presence in our country.
“We will continue to push for an ÉIRE NUA where all the people of Ireland will unite under the one banner of Irishmen, regardless of colour, or religion.
“We have never supported sectarianism in which has been used by the British and the media as an excuse to continue to divide the people of Ireland.
“British rule in Ireland has always been met with resistance by a section of the Irish people.
“Sometimes I do ask myself why we continue with resistance of the British establishment in Ireland?
“Why don’t we accept it as the norm to have a two state divided Ireland?
“Well the answer is, that in order for us to accept this we would have to dishonour our country and dishonour the men and women who have given their lives for this country, there are people who have done this throughout history, but thank God there are those who will never bend to the slave mentality, they may be put in jails but they will never be slaves to the foreign powers.
“Recently the Provos claimed it as a victory the fact that the Union Jack cannot fly over Stormont on certain days. Well I say to you, what victory? What difference did it make while inside Stormont British rule is still being implemented, whether the union jack is there or not, the Provos are there carrying on the work of their paymasters.
“Those who are truly against British rule are attacked and imprisoned, they are interned without trial, and many have dubious charges brought against them with so called evidence that cannot be produced for security reasons. .
“We will be once more campaigning for the unconditional release of political internee Martin Corey as well as veteran Republican Marian Price. We take this opportunity to extend New Year’s greetings to them, and pledge them our unstinting support in the latest phase of their fight for political status. By recently suspending their protest the POWs placed a serious onus on the Six-County Justice Minister David Ford and the Six-County Prison Service to speedily implement in full the August 2010 Agreement.
Internationally we send New Years greetings to all those who are fighting against unjust governments and oppression. We especially send President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela our hopes for a speedy recovery and our solidarity to his people at this difficult time
“The decision by the British Government to host the G8 Summit in Co Fermanagh on June 17 and 18 is highly symbolic and presents an opportunity for progressive forces to make the important connection between the old imperialism in the shape of British occupation of the Six Counties and the new imperialism represented by the economic colonisation of the 26 Counties by the EU/ECB/IMF troika.
“I am sure the neo-colonial Free Stater’s will be delighted to be there as the hold the presidency of this failing super power.
“Republican Sinn Féin will be holding an alternative Anti-Imperialist Forum on the weekend before the G8 summit to present national as well as international alternatives to these twin imperialisms.
“Millions of working-class people in Ireland and across Europe will greet this coming year with a sense of fear and foreboding. The recent budget announced by the 26-County Administration shows that the unrelenting policy of austerity —dictated by their political masters in Brussels —is not only to be continued but increased, squeezing all sections of our people beyond breaking-point.
“In the eyes of the political class and their controlled and bought out media, the working poor and unemployed, the elderly and the young are all expendable.
“This year is the centenary year of the 1913 lockout when the workers united against their slave masters who saw their employees and their families impoverished and starving.
“A century later the workers of Ireland are again on their knees and unless they rise like their forefathers and fight for a change in the system, they will stay on their knees and accept the crumbs from the masters in Brussels.
“In 2013 let the slogan of the 1913 Lockout ring in our ears: ‘The great appear great because we are on our knees: Let us rise.’
“Republican Sinn Fein must be to the fore in every county in Ireland opposing the savage cuts inflicted on the poorest of our society, we must win for the Irish people, democracy, unity and sovereignty.
“To achieve these objectives we must end forever interference in our affairs by an outside power. We must drive from our shores the forces of this outside power. We must establish national independence.
“We believe that the ÉIRE NUA proposals can provide the framework for the pluralist, non-sectarian and Democratic Socialist Republic set out in the 1916 Proclamation.
“It is the duty of Republican Sinn Féin to give clear leadership and a political voice to the Irish people at this time of severe hardship, it is our duty to show the people that there is a political party out there with a vision for a new Ireland and who have the policies to implement that will ensure justice and security in a united Ireland free from oppression.”