Advancing the republican cause of Wolfe Tone

A Letter From Ireland

a Chara,

Last Sunday Sinn Féin held its annual Wolfe Tone commemoration at his graveside in Bodenstown.

Theobald Wolfe Tone was a founding member of the Society of United Irishmen. Inspired by the values of revolutionary France and the success of the forces of George Washington, they sought to create an Irish Republic.

Tone was forced into exile and traveled to the new United States in the hope of meeting Washington. It was not to be, but he did make a connection with the French government and departed Philadelphia for Paris. It was in Paris that he raised an invasion force to support the United Irishmen’s revolution in Ireland. Events intervened and the revolution failed. Tone was captured, and to deny the British a public execution, he took his own life.

While he and many of the men and women who fought alongside him died, their ideals lived on sustaining generations of Irish Patriots. They echoed across Vinegar Hill, escaped the burning embers of the GPO, and cried out from the dungeons of Long Kesh.

Their values define Ireland, the Irish Nation, and Irish republicanism.  

Wolf Tone sought to unite Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter under the common banner of Irish men and Irish women, regardless of race or religion.  

The United Irishmen stood on the side of “the people of no property” and against the Anglo-Irish landlord class and their British rulers. Tone stood for breaking the link with Britain and for creating a sovereign Ireland of equality, liberty, and fraternity.

Their values are as important in 2024 as they were in 1798.

Today in the south, “the people of no property” face a housing crisis. Renters hit with increasing bills and the threat of eviction, many families are homeless, and a generation has been left without the hope of owning a home.

Our citizens have the right to be angry.

The fault lies with generations of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael Irish governments. Parties that looked after the landlords, that entertained the developers who crashed our economy, that opened the door to the vulture funds.

We are also witnessing a relatively new phenomenon in Ireland, an active racist fringe that claims to be nationalists and patriots. They are the modern-day equivalent of the “know nothings”. They know nothing of Ireland, our revolutionary history, or the lives of our patriots.

They claim that the housing crisis is the fault of migrants. It is not.

The housing crisis was caused and sustained by an Irish establishment.

These new “patriots” will never mention Irish unity. They perform on social media for likes and shares from English racists. They are silent as Westminster continues to exert its will on our art of our Island and impact on our economy, and our sovereignty.

These new “patriots” stand on the side of the vested interests and establishment.

They have no claim to the tradition of Wolfe Tone.

Of Connolly, Pearse, and Markievicz.

Of Bobby Sands, Mairead Farrell, and Martin McGuinness. True Irish Patriots.

The people are right to be angry about housing. They should be angry with the Government, developers, institutional investors, and profiteering landlords.

Irish people also look at the treatment of those seeking asylum who are given a tent and sleeping bag and are forbidden from working while their paperwork is processed. The handling of the asylum seekers is a government shambles and a national embarrassment.

Unfortunately, there are those in North America who have fallen for the lies of the racists. We are not being overwhelmed, overrun, or replaced.

We are dealing with the legacy of 100 years of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael Government. Parties that have long abandoned Tone and the principles of Irish Republicanism.

We do not have an immigration crisis, we have a failure of successive Irish governments.

We need a Sinn Féin government.

Patriots do not seek to divide the nation and the people. They seek to unite the people for the common good.

Sinn Féin stands to advance the cause of Tone, to unite all the people of Ireland, under the common banner of Irish men and women regardless of race or religion.  

To build a new and united Ireland that will be a home to all who hold Ireland dear.

Have a great weekend.

Is mise,

Ciarán

Ciarán Quinn is the Sinn Féin Representative to North AmericaEach week he writes a letter from Ireland with news and analysis. It is featured in the weekly Friends of Sinn Féin USA Newsletter. Be sure you are subscribed to stay up to date.