The Blanket

Political Prisoners

Sean O Lubaigh • March 2003


What does Ireland have in common with other overwhelmingly democratic nation states such as Turkey, Spain and France? Political Patriots jailed whose “crimes” are deemed to be “offences against the state” and are political in nature. That is the voices of dissent heard, which are those of the political prisoners. Ireland is no different in the suppression of political revolutionaries. The peace and freedom advocates' weapons are not the bullets or the bomb but is the pen and the voice of speech. The Irish political prisoners are a “threat” to the established state because they dare to call out the legitimacy of the ruling powers; the inequality, criminality and cruelty imposed on the working classes and disenfranchised citizens. The Irish political prisoner’s crime is to offer alternatives for the betterment of all people and not just the few. They strive for social and democratic freedoms and national liberation. That is the threat to the ruling elite, a loss of power, prestige and wealth. The rulers fear a society where ideas are debated in an open forum and political discourse is free from state sponsored censorship.

Each political struggle for national liberation and freedom is unique in specifics but common in that the ruling classes never go willingly without a bloody fight. What we see in Ireland today is the restart of a new aspect of the attempted criminalization of Irish Republicans. It is not the gun or weapons crime the Republicans face but the “crime” of their ideas, beliefs and political activities. This is sadly brought to reality in the current non-jury trial ongoing in Dublin of the Limerick Seven by the political thought police. The Limerick Seven are members of the political party Republican Sinn Fein whose members have been continually harassed, intimidated, threatened, censored and imprisoned for their political beliefs in peace with justice for Ireland, as spelled out in their EIRE NUA political policy program. A Republican Sinn Fein meeting was stormed and raided by the Free State's thought police in Limerick leading to the arrest of 8 members. One has already had charges dropped. The Limerick Seven are being charged with being members of an illegal organization, the IRA. Thusly, the Limerick 7 find themselves in Special State set up non-jury courts defending themselves on trumped up State intiated charges. The Limerick Seven are Republican advocates in securing freedom and peace with justice. and promote the ideas in their EIRE NUA blue print and call for the re-establishment of the 32 county Democratic Socialist Republic in a four Province Federal governmental system, all based in the context of a Brit withdrawal. Is this so sinister and diabolical an idea to strive for? Does that justify taking what freedom and liberty the Limerick Seven had away?

It must also be brought out that the State has resorted to draconian bail conditions on the Limerick Seven where it is stipulated that no political or Republican Sinn Fein activity is to be allowed or it is back to the jail. Is this a free and equality minded government we have? Where is the cry and outrage for justice for the Limerick Seven? Let the names of Long, Kenneally, Lynch, Dunne, O`Shea, Brommell and McNamara go down in history as Irelands first political prisoners of the 21st century. All freedom loving people should demand total vindication of the Limerick Seven. Come what may; there will more to follow these Patriots in the struggle for Irish freedom from foreign inspired governments and occupation. Just as Irish POWs deserve support we must not forget our political prisoners.




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