The bogeyman of paramilitarism was wheeled out by Niall to suggest that éirígí, by being opposed to the present political institutions, is consequentially both anti-peace and pro-violence.
Let me make clear, in terms which I and other senior members of éirígí have been publicly consistent and unequivocal – éirígí is not aligned to or supportive of any armed groups, Irish or British, which presently operate in Ireland and therefore it also logically flows from that fact that we do not support the armed agendas or strategies of those same groups. We certainly do not have any paramilitary driven agenda.
éirígí recognises the immense task ahead as we plough an alternative furrow based on an acknowledgment of the political reality that neither the existing path of constitutional nationalism, however re-branded, or that of a ritualist physical force tradition within Irish politics will deliver re-unification, independence or a new, more equal socio-economic order in Ireland.
Despite the scale of that challenge, we are committed to building a radical, credible and viable political alternative that is capable of attracting popular support.
Contrary to the wishes of our detractors, éirígí is here for the long haul. In developing strategies for our future development, éirígí has sent a clear and unambiguous signal of its intention to build and develop throughout Ireland and to become a permanent fixture on the Irish political landscape.
Perhaps, therein also lays the reason why our opponents seek to demonize us at such an early stage in our development.
[i] éirígí’s name is taken from that famous quote of Irish and international working class radicalism which is to be found on the monument to the trade unionist, James Larkin, as well as on the masthead of James Connolly’s newspaper, “The Workers Republic” – "the great only appear great because we are on our knees, let us arise."