Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

For What Died the Daughters and Sons of Róisín?

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A prominent Irish politician, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald, recently congratulated the English monarch for sitting on her Elizabethan throne for 70 years. This is behaviour we usually associate with Gombeens. Diarmuid Breatnach writes a brilliant exposé of Sinn Féin’s current policies.
The word Gombeen comes from the Irish language :
A term of contempt dating from the years of the Great Hunger to describe capitalists who are happy to use the colonial system to amass personal wealth at the expense of their compatriots; its source is in the Irish language (an gaimbín/ gaimbíneachas —

The war is over. The Gombeens triumphed 100 years ago. Luke Kelly of the Dubliners asked :
“For What Died The Sons of Róisín” – and today, in 2022, we ask “For what Died the Daughters and Sons of Róisín”? The words of Kelly’s poem should should raise the hair on the back of your neck.

To whom do we owe our allegiance today
To whom do we owe our allegiance today
To those brave men who fought and died that Róisín live again with pride?
Her sons at home to work and sing
Her youth to dance and make her valleys ring
Or the faceless men who for Mark and Dollar
Betray her to the highest bidder
To whom do we owe our allegiance today

Martin McGuinness was not the first armed Irish Republican who adopted gombeenism – and he will not be the last.

History tells us that gombeenism prepares the ground for imperialist violence that dwarves anything done (including awful atrocities) by Irish Republicans. Listen to Luke Kelly :

The late Martin McGuinness (Sinn Féin) Became Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland in 2007, sharing control of the Stormont Regional Assembly with DUP leaders Reverend Ian Paisley and his successor Peter Robinson.

There are alternatives.

A correspondent writes

I’m a proud atheist member of the Protestant working class…

This place is a bollocks…where you’re born and how you were raised is what is supposed to set your identity…

As a proud atheist member of the Protestant working class I regularly chuckle at the Shinners attempts at ‘ reconciliation.’

The most class removed, patronising, self serving bullshit alive today…

We’ll make the 12th of July a Public Holiday in the Republic…

We will respect the most ridiculous notion of privilege that is the British Monarchy because the guidebook to ending partition says that’s what you do in peace making…

Abandon all challenge to the inbuilt sectarianism of both the 26 and 6 County States…

Parrot constantly the notion of 2 communities in the North because the path you have trod has left you no other option…

SF may well end up as the biggest party in Leinster House and Stormont but it will mean little or no difference to the poor of Ballymun or Ballymena…

If they want to appeal to working class Protestant voters ..don’t be shrills for sectarianism and British Imperialism…

Instead offer up a radical program with the ideals of Wolfe Tone, McCracken and Connelly…

Present a class based campaign for a New Ireland and you’ll be surprised how quickly the walls fall down..

Folk freezing in their homes in Drumahoe don’t really look to old Queenie to warm their hearts when they can’t warm their homes…

Joan McKiernan tells us how Elizabeth II’s 25th Jubilee in 1977 was politically opposed in Belfast.

‘Nationalists and socialists in the North of Ireland were quite clear about the Queen’s service. Eight years of British military occupation of nationalist areas, internment without trial, military atrocities, collusion with Loyalists, killing innocent civilians, torture of prisoners, as well as the usual litany of problems such as poverty, unemployment, inadequate services and discrimination marked this Queen’s reign.

‘In Belfast we got loads of those Socialist Workers Party stickers and went round pasting them on every lamp-post, gate, post box, bus stop or whatever. They were small enough to fit into your hand and no British soldier or RUC man could see what you were doing. The stickers were brilliant, taking off every member of the royals.

‘There was a protest march, of course, down the nationalist Falls Road, and of course, it was stopped, as always, by the Brits at the Castle Street entrance to Belfast city centre.

John Meehan February 17 2022

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