Alt ar an Bhanríon is Croker

It is with absolute disregard and disrespect for the history, ethos and culture of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael that this divisive political decision has been taken by the leadership of the GAA to invite the British Monarch to Páirc an Chrócaigh with open arms.

In whose name was this decision made and with what consultation and/or approval of the national GAA community? Since when has an independent sporting and cultural organisation of over a hundred years standing been guided by needs of Irelands political classes and their attempt to rewrite history in order to disguise their own economic failings? For how long is the commendable aim of fostering participation in our games amongst all our people going to mean desecrating the very purpose of our existence?…

When Cumann Lúthcleas Gael was formed in 1884 by Michael Cusack and his visionary contempories, Ireland was on its knees as a result of the most thoroughgoing colonisation at the hands of the British Empire in the history of the European continent. The Great Hunger, which was facilitated, aided and abetted by the most ruthless of colonial regimes in Ireland, had claimed the lives of a million and half Gaels and saw nearly 2 and half million more emigrate in poverty and destitution. The Ireland of the 1880’s was a place in the throes of a horrific population shift unparalleled in European history. The Irish language was on its last legs and our native games were but a distant memory, as a demoralised people had been brainwashed through hundreds of years of British colonisation to blame their hardship on their own barbarism and backwardness. The common and most popular narrative told the tale of how the British monarch, her military cronies and political elites were merely trying to ‘civilise’, educate the poor savages who couldn’t do it for themselves.

Therefore, it was when Irish people were too embarrassed and ashamed to admit to speaking Irish and when rugby, soccer and lawn tennis when Irelands only sports, that Michael Cusack et al took the audacious step to form Cumann Lúthcleas Gael. It was the first step in a process of decolonisation; claiming back what was being lost, encouraging people to organise again and stand up on their own two feet, rebuilding the minds and bodies of a battered people. By 1890, there were a 1000 clubs in parishes throughout Ireland which made the CLG, the fastest growing sporting organisation in the world. People followed because they knew they weren’t barbarians turned loyal British subjects. People followed because they hoped to revive their own native culture and build a sense of identity and hope. In 1893, Conradh na Gaeilge was formed to revive the Language and it became the fastest growing social movement in Western Europe with 800,000 members by the turn of the century. This cultural movement for decolonisation inspired the movement for Irish independence from British Rule. It inspired The Rising in 1916 and was an engine upon which the revolutionary movement depended.

This is why the British Government in Ireland, with the Blessing of its monarch as head of State attacked CLG headquarters on the notorious Bloody Sunday in November 1920, slaughtering our members. The same establishment had just denied the democratic wishes of the Irish people for self-determination and partitioned the country based on artificially gerrymandered boundaries that would cement their selfish colonial interests in Ireland.

This same British establishment would use our small island as a guinea pig for more horrific colonial practices throughout the world. At late as the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970s places like Kenya, Indonesia, and Zimbabwe would suffer in even more brutal circumstances for daring to challenge their own undemocratic subjugation where millions would lose their lives. In more recent times as the British power and influence has

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waned slightly under the auspices of Neo-American imperialism and its newly named Anglo-American axis; this same establishment in sponsoring indiscriminate political violence on a massive scale in its search for more economic resources to bankroll its greedy empire. Millions have died in

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Iraq and Afghanistan and thousands die as we speak, as multi-million pound British fighter jets bomb indiscriminately in Libya. Unsurprisingly, this occurs multi-billion pound slaughter occurs as the working people of Britain are being driven to poverty by savage public service cuts. All this carried out in the name of royalty and Empire. In the words of James Connolly ‘murder, treachery, adultery, incest, theft, perjury – every crime known to man has been committed by some one or other of the race of monarchs from whom’ the current Royal crop are ‘proud to trace their descent’.
This current royal visit being sponsored and facilitated by Ireland’s political elites has a similar purpose to the latest lavish royal wedding being planned in the UK. This wedding will cost the British tax payer hundreds of millions of pound in what is an extravagant attempt to divert ordinary people’s attention away from their own economic subjugation. In Ireland, our own indigenous elites have the greatest economic collapse in living memory and their own pitiful role in bailing out the richest of banks to conceal with all the fanfare of the joint British-Irish jingoism they plan with this visit.

This visit also intends announcing the ‘end of Irish history’ by promoting the new Northern Ireland where we are now ‘grown up’ and ‘mature’ enough to recognise partition was really a good thing for Ireland lest anyone try and challenge it in the future. It promotes the latest popular narrative that divided people, artificial borders, stationed troops, and separate currencies only miles apart are actually ‘normal’. Britain is neutral, honest brokers who have finally settled the age-old sectarian spat between the warring tribes. We have all moved on enough to accept the British establishment and its monarchy only ever had our interests at heart. To add insult to injury, this visit will coincide with the anniversary of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings- the greatest single atrocity this country has witnessed this past half-century. Another attack on Gaels carried out with the hidden hand of the British establishment at the heart of its planning, execution and cover-up. Another attack in Ireland that was essentially a dry-run for similar attacks that happen daily in Iraq and Afghanistan. Murderous attacks justified in the rhetoric of ‘democracy’ but directed in the name of monarchy and empire.

We should recognise that monarchy is a relic of outdated feudalism that obliterated entire civilisations and cultures. It continues to do so as we speak. According to Connolly, ‘monarchy is a survival of the tyranny imposed by the hand of greed and treachery upon the human race in the darkest and most ignorant days of our history’.

In more recent days and in a more modern Irish Bloody Sunday, this current Queen awarded an OBE to Colonel Derek Wilford six months after he oversaw and covered up the slaughter of another batch of Irish civilians in Derry City. These cruelties still exist. Lives, communities and cultures were destroyed and continue to be destroyed by the British establishment and its monarchy. History hasn’t ended. There has never been transitionary period were the horrible truths of history were recognised and apologised for; legacies transformed, the excesses of British colonialism acknowledged and reparations realised. Slavery and colonialism have merely become neo-colonialism and globalisation.

Our independent, community based sporting and cultural organisation have nothing to gain and all to lose by becoming a cheerleader for the devious political objectives of this elite British-Irish government alliance. Our games still foster community empowerment, participation and self-help as a means of continuing decolonisation throughout our island. This is our ethos and purpose. Disguising the excesses of the British Empire and its monarchy are contrary to this purpose and our very existence as Cumann Lúthcleas Gael. Rather than recognising our key role in Irish society; the request to facilitate this visit to Páirc an Chrócaigh was in fact a cynical ploy by our native political elites to garner legitimacy for their selfish politico-economic agenda by using our representative cultural organisation as a cloak of integrity. As Gaels, we must retain our integrity and independence rather than become willing pawns in a political agenda to rewrite our history, conceal current economic hardship and celebrate the very empire that continues to subjugate. Surely we’re mature enough to do this?

Is le neamháird agus dímheas iomlán ar stair, cultúr agus eiteos Cumann Lúthchleas Gaeil a ghlac ceannaireacht an chumainn an cinneadh polaitiúil scoilteach chun cuireadh oscailte a thabhairt do bhanríon Shasanna go Páirc an Chrócaigh.

Ar ghlacadh an cinneadh seo le comhairliúcháin agus tacaíocht le pobail náisiúnta ár gcumainn ar an oileán? Cé chomh fada agus atá eagraíocht chultúrtha agus spóirt neamhspléach s’againn á threorú ag miantaí na n-aicmí pholaitiúla in Éirinn agus iarrachtaí s’acu stair na tire a athscríobh agus teipeanna eacnamaíochta s’acu a chur i bhfólach?

Nuair a bunaíochh Cumann Lúthcleas Gael in 1884 ag Michael Cusack agus a chomghleacaithe, bhí Éirinn ar na glúine mar gheall ar an choiliniú is cuimsithí a chur impireacht na Breataine i gcrích i stair na hilcríocha Eorpaí. Bhí tionchar an ocrais mhóir, a d’eascaigh réimeas coilíneach gan trua gan taise, i ndiaidh níos mó ná milliún go leith Éireannaigh a chur ar shlí na fírinne agus dhá mhilliún go leith eile a bhrú amach ar imirce i mbochtanas agus gearleanúint. Bhí tír na hÉireann san 1880óidí i lár claochlú daonra gan compáraid i stair na hEorpa. Bhí an Ghaeilge i mbaol a bháite agus cluichí Ghaelacha s’againn ag dul i dtreo an bhéaloidís. Chuir Éireannaigh a bhí domheamnaithe ag na céadtai blian don choilíneachas, an locht orthu féin don chruatán a bhí tuillte ag cine bharbartha cosúil linne. Dar le díoscúrsa na linne sin, ní raibh impireacht na Breataine ach ag iarraidh ‘sibhiliú’ agus ‘oideachas’ a chur ar mhuintir fiain nach dtiocfadh smacht a chur orthu féin.

Mar sin, is nuair a bhí muintir na hÉireann ro-náiriste le hadmháil gur labhair siad Gaeilge agus nuair a bhí sacar, rugbaí agus leadóg féir mar phríomhspóirt na tire gur ghlac Cusach et al an cinneadh croga chun Cumann Luthcléas Gael a bhunú. An chéad chéim i bpróiseas díchoilínithe a bhí ann; ag athghabháil an méid a

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bhí á chailleadh; ag spreagadh daoine chun dul i mbun eagrúcháin arís agus seasamh ar na cosa athuair; ag athógáil intinn agus cóirp do phobail a bhí faoi chois. Fán bhliain 1890, bhí 1000 cumainn i bparóistí ar fud na tire, rud a chiallaigh gurb é an CLG an eagraíocht spóirt is gaiste fáis i stair an domhain. Lean daoine mar gur thug said nach barbaraigh iad a thiontaigh ina ghéillsinigh dílis briotanacha. Lean daoine mar gur mheas said gurb fhiú cultúr dúchais s’acu a athghabháil agus féiniúlacht neamhspléach a thógáil.

In 1893, bunaíodh Conradh na Gaeilge chun athbheochán na Gaeilge a spreagadh agus bhí se ar an ghluaiseacht shóisialta is mó fáis in Iarthar na hEorpa le 800,000 baill fá thús an fhichiú aoise. Spreag an ghluaiseacht cultúrtha seo ar son an choilíneachais an gluaiseacht ar son an neamhspléachais ó riail na Breataine. Spreag seo Éirí Amach na Cásca ag 1916 agus bhí sé mar inneall ar a d’fhorbair an ghluaiseacht réabhlóideach sa tréimhse céanna.
Seo an fáth a d’ionsaigh Rialtas na Breataine, le tacaíocht ón monarcacht, ceannasaíocht CLG ar Domhnach na Cásca ag déanamh slad ar bhaill s’againn. Rinne an bhunaíocht chéanna neamhaird iomlán ar mhiantaí daonlathach muintir na hÉireann sa bhliain chéanna nuair a chur said críochdheighilt i gcrích le teorainn téibí a dhaingnigh spriocanna coilíneacha santacha s’acu in Éirinn.

Seo an bhunaíocht an Breataine céanna a d’úsáid oileán bheag s’againn mar mhuc ghuine to chur chuige coilíneach níos bruidiúla ar fud an domhain. Comh mall leis na 1950óidí, 1960óidí agus 1970óidí , d’fhulaing áiteanna ar nós an Chéinia, an Indinéis agus an tSiombáib go dona nuair a chur said dúshlán roimh an daorsmacht agus cailleadh an milliúin daoine sa phróiseas. Bíodh is gur isligh tionchar agus cumhacht na bunaíochta seo le blianta beaga anuas agus é ag teacht fá scáth na himpireachta nua-Mheiricánaí, tá páirt leanúnach acu go fóill i bhforéigeán pholaitiúil gan truamhéil ar scala domhanda agus iad ar lorg tuilleadh acmhainní eacnamaíochta ar mhaithe leis an impireacht shantach úd. D’éag na milliúin san Íaraic agus san Afganistáin agus san aimsir láitheach, tá éitleáin troda le luach na milliún punta orthu ag déanamh slad buamadóireachta ar Libia. B’íorónach go bhfuil seo ag tarlú agus pobail oibre na Breataine á ruaigeadh chun bochtanais le cíorruithe neamthrócaireacha ar sheirbhísí poiblí. Tá seo ag tarlú in ainm agus le tacaíocht na monarcachta.

Is léir go bhfuil an aidhm céanna ag an chuairt ríoga seo atá na huasalaicmí Éíreannacha ag eascú agus atá ag an bhainis ríoga is déanaí atá le titim amach i Sasana. Cludaíodh an cainíocóir costas na milliúin punt don bhainis seo mar chuid de chleas glic chun áird an phobail a threorú arshiúil ón ansmacht eacnamaíochta s’acu. In Éirinn, tá móruaisle s’againne ag iarraidh an géarcheim is mó i gcuimhne na ndaoine agus rol suarach s’acu féin ag clúdach fiacha na hollbhancanna is sáibhre a choinneáil faoi cheilt leis an mhór-imeacht Angla-Éireannach seo.

Cuspóir eile atá leis an chuairt seo ná ‘deireadh an staire Éireannaí’ a fhogairt fríd an ‘Tuaisceart Éireann nua’ a phoibliú; áit atá muid ‘fásta aníos’ agus ‘aibí’ go leor le haithint gur rud iontach é an chríochdheighilt, ar eagla go gcuireann éinne dushlán roimhe. Forbraíonn seo an díoscúrsa is coitianta sa lá inniú gur rud ‘normálta’ é go bhfuil pobail scartha, teorainn bhréagacha, trúpaí suite, agus airgeadraí difriúla taobh isitgh d’achar cupla míle.

Dar leis seo, is bróicéirí neodracha, ionraice iad an Bhreatain a shocraigh an coimhlint seanaosta idir an dá thréibh seichteacha. Bhog muid uilig ar aghaidh an iomarca chun tuigbheáil go raibh miantai s’againne i gcónaí i gcroíthe bhunaícht agus córóin na Breataine. Chun cúrsaí a dhéanamh níos measa, titeann an chuairt seo cothrom le comóradh na mbuamaí Muineacháin/Bháile Átha Cliath- an slad marfach is fuiltí le caoga bliain anuas. Ionsaí eile ina raibh lámh folaigh na bunaíochta Sasanaí le sonrú sa pleanáil, cur i gcrích agus forcheilt ina dhiaidh. Ionsaí eile a bhí ina rith trialach d’ionsiathe laethúla don chineál chéanna san Íaraic agus Afganistáin. Slad marfach a mhínitear i reitric an daonlathais agus in ainm na banríona mar cheannnaire stáit.

Ní mór dúinn aithint gur iarsma do feodachas é an monarcacht a rinne sléacht ar cultúir agus sibhialtachtaí na cruinne. Leanann an sléacht seo gan staonadh. Dar le Séamas Ó Conghaile, ‘monarchy is a survival of the tyranny imposed by the hand of greed and treachery upon the human race in the darkest and most ignorant days of our history’. Maireann na cruálachtaí seo ar fad. Scrioseadh saolta, pobail agus cultúir faoi chois na monarcachta seo agus níor cuireadh stop leis go fóill. Níl deireadh leis an stair. Ní raibh aon idirtréimhse ann nuair a aithníodh firící tromchúiseacha na staire le cuitimh nó leithscéaltaí chuí mar gheall orthu. D’fhorbair an sclabhaíocht agus an coilíneachas isteach sa nua-choilíneachas agus domhandú.

Níl a dhath le baint ach an iomarca le cailleadh againn mar eagraíocht pobal-bhunaithe spóirt agus cultúrtha má chomhlíonann muid an ról mar chrann taca ag cuspóirí suaracha an comhguallaíocht de móruaislí Angla-Éireannacha. Cothaíonn cluichí s’againn rannpháirteacht, cumhachtú agus féinchuidiú mar ghléas díchoílínithe go fóill ar fud an tíre is níos faide araon. Seo eiteos agus príomhsprioc s’againn. Déanann an chuairt ríoga seo a mhalairt go cruinn agus saraíonn sé bunús Cumann Luthcleas Gael. Seachas féachaint ar an t-iarrtas chun cuairt an banríona chuig Páirc an Chrócaigh a eascú mar aitheantas ar ‘ról spéisialta’ s’againn i sochaí na tíre, ba chiallmhara é a thuiscint mar oirbheart soiniciúil ag uasalaicmí pholaitiúla dúchasaí s’againn chun dlisteanacht a bhronnadh ar chlár oibre eacnamaíochta s’acu fríd tacíocht phoiblí a mhealladh ó eagraíocht spóirt atá ionadaíoch ar mhuintir na hÉireann. Mar Ghaeil, ní mór dúinn macántacht agus neamhspléachas s’againn a chosaint in ionad bheith sásta ligint do fhórsaí polaitiula muid a úsáid chun stair s’againn a athscríobh, cruatan eacnamaíochta a chur faoi cheilt agus ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar impireacht neamthrócaireach a leanann an clár géarleanúna céanna. Caithfidh go bhfuil muid aibí go leor chun seo a dhéanamh?