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12 April 2001 Edition

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IRA Easter Message

In a statement received by An Phoblacht on Wednesday, 11 April, the IRA, in its annual Easter message, reaffirmed its commitment to national reunification and to a permanent peace in Ireland. It pointed out that political responsibility for ending the current crisis lies with the British government and warned that there should be no attempt to renegotiate commitments previously made. The full text of the IRA statement is carried below.

``The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann extends fraternal greetings to republican activists, supporters and friends at home and abroad.

We reaffirm our belief that the British government claim to a part of Ireland, its denial of self-determination to the people of the island of Ireland, the partition of our country and the maintenance of social and economic inequality are the root causes of conflict. We reaffirm our commitment to the national reunification of Ireland.

On this, the 85th anniversary of the Easter Rising, we remember all of those who have given their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom. We salute the courage and fortitude of our Volunteers who have died in this phase of our historic struggle.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of our ten comrades who died on hunger strike in Long Kesh. We remember Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Raymond McCreesh, Patsy O'Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee and Michael Devine. By their courageous actions and sacrifice they smashed the British government's attempt to criminalise our struggle for freedom. We also remember Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg. This generation of republicans hold all of those who died on hunger strike in the same regard as previous generations held the men executed in 1916.

We extend solidarity to their families and to the families of all our fallen comrades.

We also extend our solidarity to our imprisoned comrades at home and abroad and to their families. Many of our comrades have now been released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement; the republican prisoners held in Castlerea should also be released.

Since 1994 the IRA has maintained cessations of military operations.

While not being party to the Good Friday Agreement, we have taken a number of unprecedented initiatives which further demonstrate our commitment to and desire for a permanent peace in Ireland.

We commend the resolve and discipline of our Volunteers in this period.

The political responsibility for ending the current crisis lies with the British government. There should be no attempt to renegotiate commitments previously made. Those who seek to defeat the IRA and Irish republicanism will not prevail.

Oglaigh na hEireann remains committed to the achievement of our republican objectives and the vision of an Irish Republic as outlined in the Proclamation of 1916.

Beirigí bua.''

P O'Neill,

Irish Republican Publicity Bureau,



An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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