The loyalist attack on the people of the Short Strand and the British Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson’s report into the murder of six nationalists at the hands of a British-backed loyalist death-squad in Loughinisland in 1994 are two powerful examples of the unchanging nature of British Rule in Ireland.
The loyalist attack on the nationalist community on the Short Strand and particularly the response of the RUC/PSNI to it are a clear illustration that the relationship of the Six-County State to the nationalist people has not changed. Following two days of carefully and “orchestrated” – the description of the British Colonial Police themselves – violence by the UVF the response of the Stormont junta and their police force was to arrest two nationalists and open up talks with the UVF. Meanwhile Al Hutchinson launched a report, which ignored the blindingly obvious evidence of British state collusion in the murder of six innocent and uninvolved nationalists at the hands of a loyalist death squad. Plus ca change, as the French would say.
The British policy of “divisions carefully fostered by an alien government” created and sustained the Six-County State. It was a state built on sectarianism, discrimination, inequality and repression. The Stormont Agreement merely institutionalised sectarianism with a resultant increase in the polarisation of the two communities. The Provos on the one side and the DUP on the other are more than happy to base their political supremacy on this sectarian divide. Posing as the political face of their respective ‘tribes’.
This is anathema to the very idea of Irish Republicanism and as far removed from the teachings of Tone, Davis, Connolly and Pearse as you could get. As Republican Sinn Féin have continuously pointed out there is an alternative to all of this. Éire Nua is the key to fashioning a New Ireland by the all of the Irish people themselves. Éire Nua is inclusive of all sections of the Irish people. Because it is only the Irish people themselves who can create an Ireland capable of living up to the principles of the 1916 Proclamation.
Such an open and democratic process is in stark contrast to the shadowy world of the current process where secret deals have been hammered out in the backrooms of Whitehall and Stormont, behind the doors of English castles and behind the backs of the Irish people. Its leaders have been feted as Moses like returning to their people with ‘tablets of stone’. Éire Nua replaces the mystery, the intrigue and sharp practice and the sleight of hand and replaces it with the sovereignty and democratic will of the Irish people as a nation.