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Republican groups merger talks

By Brendan McDaid

DISPARATE groups of Republicans including anti and pro-Agreement groups, the IRSP and the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, are to discuss merging their political objectives at a meeting in the North West next week.

The wide spectral of Republican parties and individuals with differing views are set to gather at the Tower Hotel in Derry city centre next Friday to thrash out a common agenda at the launch of a Republican Network for Unity.

In a statement issued today, the Irish Republican Socialist Party Derry branch said they “fully endorse” and support the project.

A spokesman said: “The IRSP have been involved in ongoing discussions on how to best move the Republican project forward in the current political climate.

“As such, with our partners in the Republican Network for Unity and the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, we are happy to participate in the launch of the Irish Republican Forum for Unity Project and see it as an exciting and timely intervention.

“We would urge all those who are unhappy at the current state of affairs and who want to see republicanism to once again prosper to lend their support to this broad-based initiative and to attend the debate next Friday night in the Tower Hotel.”

A spokesman for the organisers of the event said today: “Over the past ten years — since the signing of the Good Friday agreement — Irish Republicans have witnessed a dramatic change in the manner in which the struggle for National Liberation and the establishment of a 32-county Republic has been waged.

“To say that not all Republicans agree with, nor comprehend how such changes are leading to the establishment of a 32-county democratic socialist republic, is to point out the obvious, and is evidenced by the large number of groups that now exist with the stated aim of establishing such a republic.

“There are those for whom the local British assembly represents the best route forward, while for others the very existence of a local assembly stands as a bulwark against National Sovereignty and as such hinders, not helps, the struggle for National Liberation.

“Still others are so frustrated by the lack of progress or a clear strategic way forward or a unity of purpose that they have given up on the Republican struggle ever arriving at its revolutionary objective.”

He added: “In short, the Republican vision, as eloquently articulated in the Proclamation of 1916, appears to be distorted by divisions and lack of agreement around core Republican positions.

“That being the case, a number of Republicans feel that ten years on from the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, the time is appropriate for Republicans to review where the Republican struggle stands and how best we can collectively pursue the sentiments expressed in the Proclamation.

“Such a review needs to address not only were we stand in relation to core Republican beliefs but also how we attempt to be pro-active on those beliefs within the Republican tradition. This is vital to ensure that we move our core aims beyond the aspirational and into the attainable.”

He added: “Towards this end all views should be encouraged and given equal weight using the rule of thumb that at this juncture it is of equal importance to consider where we, individually and collectively, are going to as where we are coming from.”

The spokesman said that within the forum, all issues of importance to Republicans can be openly discussed with the intention that the ideas generated will be taken back to existing organisations for the purpose of focussing political activity to achieve more definitive results.

“In this way,” he added, “Republicans can begin to address the areas of division that have been created due to lack of open, frank and democratic discussion and begin the process of establishing an agreed Republican agenda rather than Republicans merely responding to a series of ‘contrived’ crises.”

Other similar meetings are to be staged across Ireland in the forthcoming weeks.

Belfast Telegraph


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