Republican Network for Unity’s New Year Message

Republican Network for Unity

04/01/2019

Republican Network for Unity would like to extend a happy new year to all citizens throughout the island, in particular, the POWs and their loved ones. We also extend our solidarity to our international comrades throughout the world.

For many working-class people throughout the island, 2018 was a very difficult year in many respects. In the 6 Counties, for instances, we witnessed the announcement that many schools and doctor’s surgeries would close due to budget cuts, whilst the adjustment of social security benefits targeted citizens who require the most assistance in order to have some standard of living. Republican Network for Unity highlight that welfare reform changes have disproportionately targeted large families with children. We condemn these reform measures and point to the fact that currently one in four of our children live in poverty and given these draconian introductions this will, unfortunately, increase to one in three. These changes to our health, education and welfare system were all endorsed and implemented by a Stormont government not fit for purpose. This extended arm of Westminster ironically has nationalists on board who were once considered left-wing republicans but now endorse British neo-liberalist right-wing policies all because they wish to remain in power at any cost. Shame on them, the Republican Network for Unity will not stand idly by and watch as working-class people are driven to the gutter whilst they continue to receive their health pay checks.

It was no better in the twenty-six counties. Fine Gael continued to boast about their increased returns in cooperation tax and a steady increase to their economic recovery, however, for the working-class people, there are more negatives than positives to Leo Varadkars fairy tale statement. Working-class people struggle daily to pay ever-increasing childcare costs and ever-increasing rents by landlords who would evict them at moment’s notice. It has also been identified that homelessness is an ever-increasing issue and one the Irish government fail miserably when it comes to addressing. Sadly, as we have identified previously, there are over 9000 people on our streets and in make-shift accommodation with no positive aspirations for their futures. The health service is also in tatters and is clearly inefficient as the doctors and consultants build their timetables around public and private patients. Ultimately, if you can pay you to get a better standard of care which is disgraceful when there should be equality for all citizens.

In 2019, we will commentate the centenary of the first Dáil Éireann which is also referred to as the “Revolutionary Dáil”. This was established following the elections of 1918 and was set up as we declared our independence from the British empire. The idea was that we would have a revolutionary Republic whose main ideals would be self-determination, rule of law, and representative democracy. Since its establishment, working-class people have witnessed a total contradiction throughout the years by the political parties in the Dáil as they continue to endorse and implement right-wing policies on a regular basis. Many of these parties will point to the proclamation as their political bible, we declare “shame on them” There is no equality in the 26 Counties for the working class and the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase. Was the society that we now live in the one that the signatories of the Proclamation envisaged? There is nowadays right-wing politics, the stigmatization of the vulnerable in our society and no equality for the working-class. The following is an extract from the proclamation;

  • The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally

 

We call on all Republicans and like-minded groups to stand shoulder to shoulder with us in 2019. We must all collectively show solidarity with each other whilst still maintaining our own autonomy and identity. Many uncertainties lie ahead for all of us in 2019 so we believe it is imperative that we join together from time to time. One of the primary concerns for all of us in 2019 is Brexit which is important to all citizens on the island as the dynamics geographically may once again change, and shockingly the announcement that we could see further British soldier sent here to protect their British border once again. We are the generation of revolutionary Republicans that once again must continue the fight for equality and self-determination for the working-class in our country.

Republican Network for Unity will continue to challenge the injustices that working-class people face throughout the island without hesitation just as many generations of Republicans did before us. Many of our initiatives to date have been successful from working with community groups to putting members on the ground to challenge anti-social behaviour. We have also taken a pro-active approach in relation to dealing with the homelessness crisis, this is an initiative that we are currently planning to roll out across the country. We have also dealt with numerous other issues, in particular, the drugs issue that is destroying a generation of our young people throughout all communities in Ireland.

We must be proud to be called Republicans not only to remember our signatories of the Proclamation and our fallen comrades but to build a better society for future generations. It is in our hands now, just as our forefathers did, to challenge the injustices in our country and most importantly be proud to do it.

I may die, but the Republic of 1916 will never die. Onward to the Republic and liberation of our people.” Bobby Sands