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5 January 2016 Edition

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Make history in 2016

The 1916 Proclamation remains the mission statement of Irish republicanism. It is a freedom charter for this whole island and all the people who live here.

2016 will be a memorable year in Irish history. It marks the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising – “the Sinn Féin Rebellion” – when Irish people across the world pay tribute to the men and women who took a stand for freedom against the might of a British Empire that dominated the globe.

The torch reignited in 1916 kept alive the flame of freedom in the Tan War in the 1920s and subsequent decades, lighting a beacon not just in Ireland but amongst many other oppressed peoples internationally.

Those who took part in the Rising gave their lives or liberty to deliver the republic enshrined in the Proclamation – a republic built on the principles of equality and sovereignty, of human rights and civil liberties, and of unity and nationhood.

The Proclamation of 1916 was a document decades ahead of its time in terms of its objectives of achieving equality and justice for all in a democratic republic when the world was in thrall to empires and monarchs. The Proclamation remains a worthy touchstone for a nation.

The democratic and egalitarian principles contained in the Proclamation are as urgently required in the Ireland of 2016 as they were 100 years ago.

Austerity, inequality, enforced emigration and partition are anathema to the ideals of the Proclamation.

The 1916 Proclamation remains the mission statement of Irish republicanism. It is a freedom charter for this whole island and all the people who live here.

It is a declaration of social and economic intent for a rights-based society in which the people are sovereign.

This generation has the opportunity and ability to deliver such a republic without the sacrifice of previous generations. There is a peaceful and democratic way to achieve this. But it will require leadership, determination and putting the needs of the nation above individual political position.

And it requires those who believe in the Proclamation of 1916 and who respect the sacrifice made by those who fought for it to strive for it, to mobilise, to campaign, to vote Sinn Féin and to join Sinn Féin as the strongest vehicle for change.

Make history in 2016.

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