The Queen’s Jubilee Visit – strengthening the New ‘Northern Ireland’

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The Queen’s Jubilee visit to the North, which the political elite at Stormont are eagerly facilitating, has the same aim as the monarch’s ‘historic’ visit to the Twenty-Six Counties last year. It gives the political forces an opportunity to rewrite our history, conceal economic hardship and celebrate a merciless empire that follows the same persecuting agenda that caused and causes persistent destruction across the world.

The taxpayer will cover the hundreds of thousands of pounds this visit will cost as part of a clever ruse to direct people’s attention away from the consistent failure of Stormont to make any significant difference in relation to socio-economic inequality and human rights for the poor in the North. As unemployment, poverty and suicide increases in the communities that gained no benefit from the ‘world’s best’ peace process; as well as the blatant discrimination being highlighted in the media recently regarding sectarian and housing carve-ups in north Belfast, it’s little wonder that the political elite recognises the Jubilee celebration as a brilliant distraction.

Another objective of this Jubilee celebration is to strengthen the ongoing discourse about ‘the end of Irish history’. The New Northern Ireland project is gaining momentum all the time; a place where we are ‘grown up’ and ‘mature’ enough to realise that partition is wonderful, at the risk that somebody might challenge it. This develops a popular opinion that the six-county statelet is a ‘normal region’ and that Britain is an honest, neutral broker that settled the age-old conflict between the two sectarian tribes. We’ve all moved on enough to understand that our interests were always in the hearts of the British crown and establishment.

To make matters worse for the victims of imperialism, this visit falls a week after the bloody legacy of the Queen’s Forces in Ireland were exposed and their open disrespect for those who were injured. Firstly, clear evidence came forth from an official British Government document from 1972, that the use of deadly force against Irish citizens was permitted by the highest levels of government, and that it was agreed that soldiers would be afforded immunity from prosecution.

On top of this, this policy was consolidated when the British Government refused to allow a public inquiry into the murder of eleven innocent citizens in Ballymurphy at the hands of the paratroopers. Another bloody attack that became a trial run for the scheme to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. A deadly massacre that is explained within the rhetoric of democracy, and in the name of the Queen as Head of State.

All of these cruelties continue, especially for the victims who have yet to receive the justice, truth and recognition to which they are entitled. Lives, communities and cultures were destroyed under the dominance of this monarchy and it continues unabated. There was no transitional period when the horrors of were recognised, with appropriate compensation or apologies. Republicans, socialists, activists and progressives of all kinds must stand together against every aspect of this visit.

On a symbolic level, there is no basis for British authority in Ireland or the legitimacy of the Northern Ireland statelet with the queen as its supreme ruler. On a moral level, the Queen and the ‘hereditary rights’ of her family to wealth on the backs of the people are indefensible relics of feudalism. With the onslaught against the poor in the form of vicious cutbacks to public services and social welfare as well as the current discrimination as regards fundamental human rights, such as housing, it’s unlikely that there is a worse time to welcome a false celebration of this kind. It’s a celebration that’s happening at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.

Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh

Cuairt Iubhaile na Banríona- ag treisiú tionscnamh ‘Tuaisceart Éireann’ Nua

Is léir go bhfuil an aidhm chéanna ag cuairt Iubhaile na Banríona ó thuaidh, atá na huasalaicmí polaitiúla ag Stormont ag éascú go fonnmhar, agus a bhí ag cuairt ‘stairiúil’ na monarcachta chuig na Sé Chontae Fichead anuraidh. Tugann sé deis d’fhórsaí polaitiúla chun stair s’againne a athscríobh, cruatan eacnamaíochta a chur faoi cheilt agus ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar impireacht neamthrócaireach a leanann an clár géarleanúna céanna a rinne agus a dhéanann léirscrios gan truamhéil fud fad an domhain.

Clúdóidh an cáiníocóir costas na gcéadtaí míle punt don chuairt seo mar chuid de chleas glic chun aird an phobail a threorú ar shiúl ón teip leanúnach ag Stormont aon difear suntasach a dhéanamh maidir le héagothromas soch-eacnamíochta agus cearta daonna don chosmhuintir ó thuaidh. Le dífhostaíocht, bochtaineacht agus féinmharú ag dul i dtreis sna pobail nach bhfaca aon bhuntáiste ón phróiseas síochána is ‘fearr ar an domhan’; comh maith le hidirdhealú follasach sna meáin athuair maidir le scarúintí seicteacha is tithíochta i dtuaisceart Bhéal Feirste, ní nach ionadh go n-aithníonn na móruaisle polaitiúla gur ábhar seachantach den scoth é an ceiliúradh Iubhaile.

Cuspóir eile atá le ceiliúradh na hIubhaile seo ná an díoscúrsa leantach faoi ‘deireadh na staire Éireannaí’ a neartú. Tá tionscnamh Thuaisceart Éireann Nua ag treisiú i rith an ama; áit atá muid ‘fásta aníos’ agus ‘aibí’ go leor le haithint gur rud iontach é an chríochdheighilt, ar eagla go gcuireann éinne dúshlán roimhe. Forbraíonn seo an tuairim choitianta gur ‘réigiún normálta’ anois é stáitín na sé contae agus gur bhróicéirí neodracha, ionraice iad

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an Bhreatain a shocraigh an choimhlint sheanaosta idir an dá thréibh sheicteacha. Bhog muid uilig ar aghaidh an iomarca chun tuigbheáil go raibh mianta s’againne i gcónaí i gcroíthe bhunaíocht agus córóin na Breataine.

Le cúrsaí a dhéanamh níos measa d’íobartaigh na himpireachta, titeann an chuairt seo amach seachtain i ndiaidh gur léiríodh oidhreacht fhuilteach Fhórsaí na Banríona in Éirinn agus an dímheas oscailte s’acu dóibh siúd ar gortaíodh. Ar dtús, tháinig fianaise bheacht chun cinn ó dhoicméad oifigiúil Rialtas na Breataine ó 1972, gur ceadaíodh, ag na leibhéil rialtais is airde, úsáid fhoréigin mharfaigh in aghaidh saoranaigh Éireannacha agus gur aontaíodh go mbeadh saighdiúirí i dteideal slánaíochta ó ionchúiseamh. Sa mhullach air seo, daingníodh an polasaí seo nuair a dhiúltaigh Rialtas na Breataine fiosrúcháin poiblí a cheadú isteach i ndúnmharú duine déag de shaoránaigh shoineanta i mBaile Uí Mhurchú ag gunnaí na bparatrupóirí. Ionsaí fuilteach eile a bhí ina rith trialach do bheartaíocht an ionraithe san Iaráic agus san Afganastáin. Slad marfach a mhínítear i reitric an daonlathais agus in ainm na banríona mar cheannnaire stáit.

Maireann na cruálachtaí seo ar fad, go háirithe do na híobartaigh nach bhfuair an ceartas, fírinne agus aitheantas atá tuillte acu. Scriosadh saolta, pobail agus cultúir faoi chois na monarcachta seo agus níor cuireadh stop leis go fóill. Ní raibh aon idirthréimhse ann nuair a aithníodh firící tromchúiseacha na staire le cúitimh nó leithscéaltaí chuí mar gheall orthu. Ní mór do phoblachtánaigh, sóisialaithe, díograiseoirí agus daoine fórasacha d’aon chinéal seasamh go láidir in aghaidh gach gné a bhaineann leis an chuairt seo. Ag leibhéal siombalach, níl bunús cothrom le forlámhas na Breataine in Éirinn agus dlisteanacht stáitín Thuaisceart Éireann leis an bhanríon mar ardcheannasach uirthi. Ag leibhéal morálta, is iarsma dochosanta don feodachas é an Bhanríon agus ‘ceartaí oidhreachtúla’ a teaghlaigh chun saibhris ar dhroim an phobail. Leis an slad atá á dhéanamh ar an chosmhuintir i bhfoirm ciorruithe fiochmhara ar sheirbhísí poiblí agus sochar leasa shóisialta comh maith leis an idirdhealú leanúnach maidir le bunriachtanais chearta daonna ar nós tithíochta, ní dócha go bhfuil am níos measa chun fáilte a chur roimh bhréagcheiliúradh den chineál seo. Ceiliúradh atá ag tarlú ag an am mhícheart agus ar na cúiseanna míchearta.

Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh

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