Lives Taken in the Struggle for Freedom
“ The men who have led Ireland for twenty-five years have done evil, and they are bankrupt. They are bankrupt in policy, bankrupt in credit, bankrupt now even in words. They have nothing to propose to Ireland, no way of wisdom, no counsel of courage. When they speak they speak only untruth and blasphemy. Their utterances are no longer the utterances of men. They are the mumblings and the gibberings of lost souls. ”
This statement seems true of today, but these are the words of Pádraig Mac Piarais in December 1915, as plans were nearing completion for the Easter Rising.
Cork played a key role in the national revival and in the fight for independence, we should celebrate that in the most appropriate way, by finishing the job.
And what was the promise?
What did our ancestors fight for?
On the eve of the Rising Pearse described to us:
“Let no man be mistaken as to who will be lord in Ireland when Ireland is free.
The people will be lord and master.”
But our struggle was betrayed, and the memory of the lives taken reminds us of our duty.
Mac Curtáin was killed in his bedroom, in front of family, Lloyd George and the RIC were found guilty of his murder.
His comrades, Mick Fitzgerald, Joe Murphy and Traolach Mac Suibhne died on hunger strike, unwilling to be imprisoned by a foreign Government who had shown itself to be the mortal enemy of Ireland.
Con and Jeremiah Delaney (unarmed) were coldly murdered by marauding soldiers who also burned our city in December 1920. But these are just representative of 44 Cork volunteers whose lives were taken in 1920, and representative of the thousands of men and women who were involved.
We say their lives ‘were taken’, they didn’t volunteer to die for Ireland, they volunteered to fight for her freedom.
We were never a people destined to be servants to ‘our betters’, to bend the knee to would-be aristocrats, or to the uncaring, ignorant and selfish thieves that rule in Ireland today.
Our country is wealthy, yet families go without basics, senior citizens are afraid to get sick, they are bullied by Government.
But what is the use describing it, people know well the corruption.
Ireland today is very different to what it was in 1920, however, the similarities are powerful – back then we were a people ruled over by others.
Today we remain a people who are ruled over, we do not decide how our country is run, north or south.
Our politicians represent these vested interests, whether they carry orange or green flags matters little, what matters is the welfare of the people and this is betrayed.