Thursday, December 19, 2013

Annual Liam Mellowes Commemoration 2013

There was also a large turnout for the annual Liam Mellows Commemoration which was held in Castletown on Sunday. A colour party led the parade to the grave of the socialist republican leader who was executed by Free State forces.
Senior Sinn Féin figure, Éamonn Nolan gave the main oration in the absence of Gerry Kelly who had to cancel the engagement at the last minute due to an earlier than expected arrival of former US envoy Richard Haas, who is centrally involved in the Peace Process.
Nolan in a hard hitting and passionate address, which was rapturously received, drew sharp parallels between what he called the “conservative forces in this state who had to get rid of Mellows, seeing him as a threat to the status quo and those of today who are still fighting a war of words, demonising Sinn Féin at every opportunity as they know that we represent the greatest threat to the status quo, the failed politics of austerity and vested interest groups in this state. These ongoing attacks will intensify in advance of next Mays elections,” he warned.
“We have no interest in gaining seats for the sake of gaining seats – this is meaning less in the absence of change. Change is what we are all about”
He also spoke of the passing of Nelson Mandela who he described along with the ANC as “great friends of Sinn Féin down the years”
He highlighted the remarks of Nobel economics Prizewinner Joseph Stiglitz who sharply criticised the government strategy who stated that we will have a “lost decade”. ”We have the highest debt/GDP ratio in Europe - even higher than Greece! How on earth can you drive two hundred thousand of our young people from this country and still hail your policy as a success?” asked Nolan.

Wreaths were lain by various Sinn Fein cumainn from throughout the county and the last post was played by Gorey piper John Cullen.
Commemoration chairman, Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, highlighted the relevance of Mellows writings to modern day Ireland.
"While Fianna Fáil sold out the the nations sovereignty, the Labour Party had, just like in Mellows time, sold out the ordinary working people of Ireland. They have continued the failed policies of austerity of their predecessors" He quoted from Liam Mellows writings, describing them as "prophetic."  -  “The Irish Republic stands for the ownership of Ireland by the people of Ireland. The last thing it needs is a change of masters. If her industries and banks were controlled by foreign capital, they would be at the mercy of every breeze that ruffled the surface of the world's money-markets
The Irish Labour Party have betrayed not alone the Irish Republic but the labour movement in Ireland”.

Music was later provided in the Golden Anchor pub by local ballad group The Rogues.

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