HISTORY OF SINN FÉIN
Republican SINN FÉIN Poblachtach was founded in 1905. In 1969 following the reformist/revolutionary split Sinn Féin re-organised as Provisional Sinn Féin upholding the Sinn Féin constitution. In 1986 Provisional Sinn Féin under a misguided leadership decided to take their seats in a British imposed parliament, namely the 26-County Parliament Leinster House. The movement split. Sinn Féin reformed again out of the walkout of the 86 Ard-Fheis led by the true Republican leadership, who saw the failure of the new Provisional leaderships’s decision to enter into a partitonist assembly. This as predicted led to a larger erosion of Republican principles, to the acceptance of entering a new Stormont and an acceptance of British Partition.
Republican Sinn Féin uphold the right of the Irish people to oppose continued British occupation in Ireland.
We are dealing with state sponsored censorship and are continually demonized in the media. Despite this a committed membership has seen the organization thrive in areas where the Republican message has been put forward in a genuine manner. Our objective is a New Ireland — Éire Nua and the creation of a Federal Democratic Socialist Republic.
Republican Sinn Féin is organised throughout the 32 Counties of Ireland with cumainn (branches) in England and Scotland and supporters in North America, Australia and throughout the European Continent.
Our Belfast office is 229 Falls Road, Belfast, BT12 6FB (Tel. 90319004; Fax. 90319863).
The Republican Movement has a newspaper Saoirse – Irish Freedom, The Voice of the Republican Movement, which is published every month, in print and on the Internet and which Republican Sinn Féin members contribute too and sell nationwide.
Republican Sinn Féin is barred from contesting local government elections in the Six Counties because of the political test oath imposed by Margaret Thatchers British government in 1989.
Republican Sinn Féin does contest local elections in the 26 Counties and has witnessed electoral success in areas where candidates have established themselves.
Republican Sinn Féin believes that the historic Irish nation is a distinct, coherent unit and is entitled to exercise its own independence. Because of the history of our own country we identify with national liberation struggles around the world.
We believe, in the words of one of the 18-Century founders of Irish Republicanism, Wolfe Tone, in the urgent need to “break the connection with England, the never-failing source of all our political evils”. We stand for the complete overthrow of British rule in Ireland.
Republican Sinn Féin is abstentionist. We do not recognise the legitimacy of the Six or 26-County States in Ireland, both of which were created by acts of the British parliament in Westminster as a denial of the wishes of the Irish people. Therefore, we do not give voluntary recognition to either jurisdiction.
THE EUROPEAN UNION
We recognise the danger of the growing European Union becoming a world superpower in its own right. As it grows stronger it will assert itself and become involved in what Jack Deleors described as the “resource wars” of the 21st Century. We do not believe that Ireland, with its history of being a colonial possession, should involve itself in the oppression of other nations that the growing EU will eventually mean. There is also the danger that, instead of finally winning its freedom and independence, Ireland will find itself swapping British domination for European domination.
Republican Sinn Féin has opposed full membership of the EU from the outset as a highly centralised political and economic power-bloc where decisions about our lives are taken in completely undemocratic institutions. Our struggle has been to manage our own affairs and our programme is for maximum power at the base. That is real democracy and the very opposite of EU imperialism.
Under the EU our resources (eg fish) are being taken. The EU bureaucrats are doing well on their large salaries and so are the big farmers. But the plan is to wipe out the small farmers and restructure industry so that the EU centre can prosper at our expense.
In agriculture far from the promised guaranteed level, milk, cattle and sheep prices are down. New standards for milk collection are being brought in to force the small farmer out. We can expect these processes to increase further. Irish neutrality is under sustained threat.
Republican Sinn Féin is internationalist. We have a sense that we all have a common identity as human beings, as members of the great family of peoples. We wish to play our role in this wider world community on the basis of equality and respect for the rights of others. In particular, we would wish to eliminate the kinds of international trade and international debt that impoverish the peoples of the Third World. We advocate neutrality in respect to military alliances and power blocs and we feel a sense of solidarity with all peoples who are struggling for freedom and justice.
We believe in the establishment of a reign of social justice based on Irish Republican Socialist principles in accordance with the Democratic Programme and the 1916 Proclamation.
THE NEED FOR JUSTICE
Republican Sinn Féin campaigns for a just settlement to the conflict in Ireland. It is our belief that a key ingredient missing from the Stormont Agreement is justice for all the Irish people. The “solution”, so-called, leaves the people in the 26 Counties stranded in a neo-colonial State, which by nature is heavily centralised (it is only now seeming to go contrary to its centralist nature at the behest of its European masters in order to receive maximum grant aid), with a political system contaminated beyond repair by an ethos of cronyism.
In the Six Counties a new assembly is being set up; a successor to the old Stormont parliament which was overthrown by the peoples struggle in 1972. The added prop to the new British assembly, which was missing from the old parliament, is the active participation of nationalist parties.
This agreement, if it runs its course, promises many more decades of working class alienation and institutionalisd sectarianism. The sooner it falls, the better.
THE STRUGGLE ON ALL FRONTS
We stand for the complete separation of Church and State.
We believe in the central importance of the Irish language to the Irish identity.
In these and in other matters, Republcan Sinn Féin will not hesitate to take issues into the streets or wherever may be necessary to ensure the interests of the people they serve.
Éire Nua, d’Aois Nua
Republican Sinn Féin’s proposal for a just settlement in Ireland is ÉIRE NUA (New Ireland) – A four province federal Ireland, with a self-governing parliament in each of the four provinces: the nine-county Ulster, Connacht, Munster and Leinster. Each of these parliaments would deal with the governing of their province as part of the objective of the creation of an Ireland of self-governing communities in which people will control their own affairs.
This involves the total re-structuring of local government in this island, not only in administration but also in the nature and functions of local authorities themselves. This re-structuring would be on four levels in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity of function:
VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY COUNCILS for every 1,500-6,000 people in urban and rural areas with the right of audience at all District Council meetings.
DISTRICT COUNCILS: This basic unit of statutory government would serve the needs of communities of 10,000-40,000 (depending on local variations) and would have charge of public services to individuals and families in the sphere of social welfare, education, labour guidance, trading and employment practics, housing, planning permission, agriculture and fishing, small industry development etc.
REGIONAL COUNCILS: These would concern themselves with (a) public services with a high technological content, eg hospitals, major roads, telcommunications and third level education; (b) collection of local revenue and (c) economic, physical and educational planning.
PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLIES: The provincial legislature would allocate funds to the Regional Councils and co-ordinate regional plans.
Each district would have a local government office where the citizens could conduct all their normal business — housing, agricultural, grants and information on the social services — all under one roof in a local town within an hour’s drive of each and every citizen. In this way the citizens, with proper training at school, could do all their own business rather than be “beholden” to politicians. Within a special Gaeltacht Region, there would be a local office (as above) in each Gaeltacht district.
There would be a National Parliament, which Republican Sinn Féin proposes placing in Athlone — the geographic centre of Ireland. The National Parliament would deal with Foreign Affairs and Defence.
The motive behind the Federal proposal is to be fair to all sections of the country. The Republican struggle is against the domination of Ireland by the British State. The people who are currently described as Unionist are a part of the Irish nation. Their concerns about domination by Dublin in a unitary State of all Ireland should be listened to, and are in fact shared by the so-called ‘peripheral’ regions in the 26-County area.