“We are here today for a number of reasons – to commemorate the heroes and the heroines of the 1916 rising – and to remember those, from our own city, who have given their lives in the same cause.
– and we are here to rededicate ourselves to the ideals of the Republic as outlined in the Proclamation.
“Easter provides us the space to remember the sacrifice of previous generations and reflect on progress we have made and how we approach the next period of time.
“We owe it to those who came before us and to those who will follow to continue to work to achieve the republic dreamt of by Wolfe Tone and proclaimed on the steps of the GPO in 1916.
“The Republic that they proclaimed has not yet happened and the words and sentiments of the written Proclamation with which they declared it have not been implemented.
“The Proclamation and its principles continue to guide this generation of republicans. Those words have guided us through the thick and thin of the last 40 years.
“This has been a long struggle and the political challenges facing republicans have been many and varied but we, as republicans, have adapted and changed while all the time being mindful of our ultimate objectives and the principles that guide us.
“It is our vision of a republic which extends beyond the economy. We want a united, equal and inclusive Ireland.
“Sinn Féin wants equality not austerity. That is our way. A Republic, “cherishing all of the children of the nation equally and oblivious to the differences fostered by an alien government”. In that republic there can be no place for sectarianism, racism or homophobia.
“Presently, Sinn Féin Ministers are fighting to protect frontline public services from the worst of Tory cuts and we will continue to do this. But the magnitude of these cuts is putting real pressure on public services, on school budgets and on community groups.
“It is clear that austerity is the cost of the union and both have failed. Sinn Féin will continue working to end both.
“When we speak of cherishing all of the children of the nation equally we are also speaking of our fellow country men and women in the protestant, unionist and loyalist community who share this island with us. We offer equality, support and respect for all identities including those who view themselves as British. This will be central to resolving the issues of flags, identities and parades.
“Sinn Féin is for a pluralist Ireland in which all our citizens have rights and are entitled to respect and equality.
“We want them to be part of a new Ireland where ours and their religious, cultural and political freedoms are guaranteed. We want to build a peaceful Ireland where all of our children can live in peace.” CRÍOCH/END