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8 April 2010 Edition

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Families of the fallen

At this year’s Easter commemorations, across the length and breadth of the country, special mention was made of those brave patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in the course of the last four decades.
They were ordinary men and women Volunteers who, in extraordinary and difficult circumstances, found the inner strength, determination and courage to stand against injustice and oppression, and to demand the rights and entitlements of the Irish people. They had the vision to see beyond the conflict, beyond the centuries of occupation, and to embrace the republican spirit of Tone, of Emmet and Connolly, and to stand up for justice, equality and freedom.
Their families hold a special place within the struggle. We as a republican community owe them a great debt. We have a massive responsibility to ensure that the families of our patriot dead are treated with the respect and equality that they deserve.
Republicans will also resist absolutely ongoing efforts by revisionists in the media and elsewhere to retrospectively criminalise the IRA, its dead Volunteers and the proud communities from which it came. And we should be under no illusions that that is what is now underway.
Longtime opponents of Irish republicanism are seeking to damage the struggle and sully the memory of our patriot dead through a vile onslaught of negative propaganda. They do this not just for monetary gain but also out of hatred for what we have achieved.
Unfortunately, a tiny number of former activists who should know better have allowed themselves to be used in this effort. But just as the revisionists in the past sought to demonise the men and women of 1916 and failed, the Irish people will reject the modern day revisionists also.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1