Editorial from Irish Political Review, March 2006

The Dublin Riot

The Dublin riot against the attempted Orange march showed how successful the Dublin Government has been in discrediting Provisional Sinn Fein ever since Albert Reynolds was ousted by the Irish Times.

The idea was that the prestige of Sinn Fein would carry the Republican community into the constitutional sphere through the working of the Good Friday Agreement. But the Agreement is not working, and the Taoiseach and his Minister for the Interior have been consistently representing Sinn Fein as a major criminal organisation which masterminds bank robberies etc. The consequence of this is not to break Republicanism, but to turn Republicans against the Agreement in increasing numbers and diminish the influence of Sinn Fein on them.

The Justice Minister said that the riot was the work of "dissident Republican elements" (25.2.06). This was the first time he ever treated the Provos themselves as anything but a dissident and criminal element. His reckless campaign against the Provos has had the effect of maximising Republican dissent from the Agreement and preparing the ground for a new formation.

The Orange Order is not now what it was back in 1970 when we urged that it should be treated as an institution of Irish folk culture. It was then a moderating influence within Unionism. It is now the opposite.

The 'innocent victims of terrorism' organisation, one of the organisers of the march, is strictly sectarian in its outlook. It rejected a proposal that it should extend its concern to the victim of the Dublin/Monaghan Bombing victims of Loyalist/British collusion. The organiser of the march rejected the finding of the Barron Report on that event.

The Taoiseach and his Justice Minister both expressed outrage that "people carrying our national flag" should have disgraced it by rioting. As a matter of historical fact, the Tricolour is the flag of the Easter Rising and the 1919 Declaration of Independence, and, whatever one thinks of the Free State, it certainly is not a continuation of the Republic of 1919-21. It is the continuation of a new State, founded on British authority in 1922.

The Tricolour, the flag of the Republic, was adopted by the Free State as its flag, even as it repudiated the Republic, and recognised the Union Jack as the legitimate flag of the 6 Counties in 1925. That recognition was revoked by the 1937 Constitution, which asserted a right of general Irish sovereignty with the Tricolour as its flag.

But that general claim of sovereignty was repealed in 1998, and the Free State ceased to be co-extensive, even de jure, with the nation symbolised by the flag. To say this is not to question the legitimacy of the Dail as a democratic institution, only to state the historical fact of what the flag symbolises. It ante-dates the Free State Republic by a long chalk. It was very foolish of the Government to make an issue of it in the way it did. Dragons lurk in that direction. It is not a Partitionist flag. Others have as good a claim to it as the Free State Republic—a claim that is certainly not weakened by the abandonment of them by the Free State.


The Dublin Riot.

John Waters' Cartoon-Liberalism.

Countess Markieviecz And Fianna Éireann.
Conor Lynch

President's Speech On 1916.
Ted O'Sullivan (Unpublished Letter)

Bunkum & Balderdyce.

The 1916 Debate: Madam's View Of The Rising.
Jack Lane

Lord Laird And Commemorating 1916.
David Alvey (Letter, Village)

Lord Laird's Moles.
(Report: Archon in Southern Star)

Muriel McSwiney And Desmond Greaves.
Anthony Coughlan (Letter)

Shorts from the Long Fellow
(French Census, Rabbitte & Socialism; Rabbitte & Fine Gael; Rabbitte & The Archbishop; Harney & Health; Reclaiming 1916)

We Point The Finger…

The 'Love Ulster' Riot.
Seán McGouran

Of Pacts & Tracts & Constitutions (Part 3 of Northern Nationalism series).
Joe Keenan

More On Enigma.
Robert Burrage, Madawc Williams, Pat Muldowney (Letters)

1916 Controversy.
Andrew McGrath (Letter, Village)

Commemorating 1916.
David Alvey (Letter, Village)

Labour Comment
Edited by Pat Maloney

Could Poland Take Over Ireland.

Underpayment Of Foreign Construction Workers.
Manus O'Riordan (Report)

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