30 August 2007 Edition
Kieran Doherty remembered in County Cavan
The commemoration that followed was chaired by Aidan Brady of Ballyconnell Sinn Féin. Oliver Brady recited a decade of the rosary in Irish and Carmel Heavey read from the writings of Bobby Sands. Kevin Reilly read out the Hunger Strikers Roll of Honour. A lament was played by a piper from the Mountain Road Pipe Band during which the national flag was lowered and raised. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Republican Movement and by representatives from Sinn Féin cumainn from across the constituency.
The oration was delivered by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.
In the course of his address Ó Caoláin spoke of the inspiration that republicans still took from the courage and sacrifice of the 1981 hunger strikers and though 26 years had passed since their heroic deaths they still lived in the hearts of every Irishman and Irishwoman who yearns for the freedom of their country.
“Their commitment, their endurance and ultimately, their sacrifice, exposed to the world the lie that was the British government’s policy of attempting to criminalise Irish political prisoners. More than that – they demonstrated to the world also that the struggle of the Irish people for national self-determination was continuing and that young men and women were prepared to lay their lives on the line to achieve freedom, justice and lasting peace.”
Continuing Ó Caoláin referred to the further disengagement of British troops from Ireland.
“The British military occupation in the Six Counties was, remains and will always be a failure. It was Irish republicans, through decades of resistance and through long and arduous negotiations, who have ensured that that occupation would end. It is ending. British troops are off the streets. Their posts and barracks are disappearing from our countryside. Most of them have left Ireland. But so long as even one remains that will be one too many and we will not rest until the last British soldier leaves Ireland for good. Let no one make any mistake about that.”
Concluding the Cavan/Monaghan TD spoke of progress made and the challenges before us.
“Let us all be conscious of the great progress we have made and let us learn lessons where they have to be learned.
A United Ireland of Equals is achievable in our time. I am as certain of that today as I have ever been throughout my years in this struggle. Let us get on with the work and ensure that we reap our reward and live, but even for a day, in the noble dream of Pearse’s heart”, he said.