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13 November 1997 Edition

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Edentubber Martyrs

In the largest turnout at an Edentubber Martyrs Commemoration for many years, 1000 republicans marched in bright sunshine to the Edentubber Memorial at the border north of Dundalk last Sunday.

Wreaths from many branches of the Republican Movement were laid and the main oration was given was Sinn Féin Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin.

In praising the Edentubber Martyrs he said that they ``and the hundreds of men and women Volunteers who have since given their lives for Irish freedom have paved the way for the achievement of the dream of the United Irishmen.''

He told the crowd that ``this generation has the greatest opportunity since partition to finally achieve genuine national self-determination. But if we are to be successful then we must resist those in the media and political establishment who would have us lower our expectations.''

Referring to the resignations from Louth Sinn Féin he said, ``I regret both the resignations and the media hype surrounding them. I can assure everyone that Sinn Féin is a progressive, united and cohesive political force, confident enough that we can allow those who may differ with our analysis to have their say and then move forward without rancour.''

McLaughlin directed his most critical comments at David Trimble.

``He can scuttle in and out and he can run around the Stormont Buildings but he can't hide. Eventually he will have to stop his messing about and face up to the reality of negotiation with Sinn Féin. David, we are not going away you know!'' he said to applause.

``The unity, vibrancy and continual growth of Sinn Féin frightens David Trimble. He is so afraid of our ability to articulate the logic of our analysis that he cannot yet find the courage to debate face to face. But change will happen anyway. It is already underway and the confidence within republicanism and nationalism is a general reflection of that reality.

``David Trimble's pronouncements over the past few days about the stability of the IRA cessation and his glee at a small number of resignations from Sinn Féin is in stark contrast to his deafening silence when the entire CLMC resigned and then killed on of their own members. He was so scared to upset his allies in the loyalist paramilitary parties that he refused to comment. There seems to be no bounds to David Trimble's hypocrisy.''

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