“Mise Éire
Sine mé ná an Chailleach Bhéarra.
Mór mo ghlóir:
Mé a rug Cú Chulainn cróga.
Mór mo náir:
Mo chlann féin a dhíol a máthair.
Mór mo phian:
Bithnaimhde do mo shíorchiapadh.
Mór mo bhrón:
D’éag an dream inar chuireas dóchas.
Mise Éire:
Uaigní mé ná an Chailleach Bhéarra.”

Pádraig Mac Piarais

If for many 2016 was the year everything seemed to change, 2017 must certainly have felt like the year when everything went back to the way it was. Internationally. That caveat is not unimportant. Above all 2016 was the year of Brexit and Trump and all things possible, 2017 the year of ‘reality bites’ in every sense of the term.

The Conservatives in Britain chose a leader and by default a Prime Minister who had opposed Brexit and then declared “Brexit means Brexit”, which had overtones of the Queen of Hearts of Alice in Wonderland. She fairly promptly called a General Election, which she only sort of won, and since then has capitulated on every major question that everyone else understood as Brexit. But it’s a flexible term. In any case it will fail now and the Remainers will say they were right all along, it was a disaster. But you can make anything a disaster if you try hard enough and Theresa May is trying very hard. A new referendum in 2019 and the whole thing scrapped?

Trump? Well Trump was always going to be Trump, an erratic personality from whom and by whom anything could happen. He’s said some stupid things, done some stupid things but then he wasn’t elected as a Philosopher King, rather as the harbinger of change. Whether through accident or design his campaign had identified all the right issues concerning America, and he wasn’t Hillary, no small thing. A year in and frankly there’s no Wall, an illegal immigrant amnesty is a real possibility, Syria got randomly bombed on the flimsiest atrocity propaganda, and, for a paid up Russian agent, relations with Moscow are pretty poor. The stock market is up (Yay!) and a Tax Bill that Jeb Bush might have proposed has been passed. And he’s said things Liberals screech about which is fun but not substance. Cautious optimism still? Well yes, but it’s wearing thin.

I’m a keen enough observer of most issues political, international and otherwise. There are other things which happened in other places too, good and bad, and I am not unaware of them. With the possible exception of Kim Jong-un developing an ICBM that could reach Cork, however, since it’s not clear whether North Korea is firing missiles at where they land or somewhere else entirely, none of these things tangibly touch on Ireland’s fundamental; To Be or not to Be. It would seem ill-educated not to note and be aware, not to mention the old saying “Who of Ireland knows who only Ireland knows?” but I’ll add my own personal, who of Ireland cares, that anywhere else than of Ireland cares. Much.

Xenophobe? Well I’m not afraid (North Korea excepted) much less irrationally afraid of the foreign. Racist? Hardly, without arguing the point Pan-Europeanism leaves me cold in the “Identarian” sense, and positively hostile in the European Union sense. And no amount of explanation will get me to understand, much less accept “white nationalism.”

I am of Ireland, that is my ideology, my life, my reason, my hope, all that I am and all that I wish to be in this world is bound up in one word, Éire. I have no “isms” for “older than the Old Woman of Beare”, this living thing, Éire, has seen all the “isms” come and go, seen pharaohs build pyramids and leave them behind, seen the Empire of Rome rise, rule and fall, struggled and seemingly lost against England, only to see it become an Empire too, upon which the sun never set, until it did set. With no such grand ambition did Éire, our Ireland, survive, never fully conquered and to this day never fully free, but alive always.

We have not always had a State, how could we then become statist? We have not ever controlled our economy, so small matter to argue socialism against capitalism. There was survival, and there was hope, one day; “Not Free merely, but Gaelic as well, not Gaelic merely but Free as well.” And that remains today as ever before the only authentic Irish will, the only intrinsic, the National Idea. All else is foreign one way or another.

In forming together as a political party, we had no notions that we had discovered a new thing, and the few (alarmingly few when I think of it now)  who did carry it out to the world we found it waiting for us, for the Party was but a vehicle, the Movement a means; The National Idea had formed itself, by itself, in the minds and hearts of mostly young men and women, inspired not by us, but a tradition stretching from myths and legends of the ancient Gael, through the flesh and blood martyrs of nearer times to this new generation, who sought not to create but to serve. Something greater, older, finer than anything we were, or could be.

Our enemies, the enemies of Ireland, quarrelling among their “isms” they imagine us much like themselves, only the bad to their good. Paschal Donohoe wants “a holding Centre”, Paul Murphy wants it to be 1917 again, all playing at politics, a game of constituency boundaries, selection conventions and career moves. When is the next General Election? Who will be the Minister for what? How best to manipulate the P.R. system, to maximise not only the vote, but the distribution of the vote.

“Are you afraid of elections?” goes the taunt, “You’ll lose badly” goes the prediction, as if our minds were to be focussed on such things. It means nothing to us how many snouts are at the EU trough, how deeply they are buried or how quickly they can gorge. The time will come for elections and victories too, and in a time after that Government.

We are the Party of Nine Principles, clearly stated, firmly upheld. We are against abortion and will fight its introduction in law, with a tooth and nail campaign the like of which has not been seen in decades. 1983 will pale. We know mass immigration is the destroyer of nations, that pious platitudes on diversity or fake compassion will not shield us, and unchecked we will be lucky if we are given reservations in our own homeland. As a people we have been under the heel of Empire before, so neither the continued occupation of six of our counties by Britain, or the occupation of the twenty six by the Federal Union leaves us unmoved. And there are matters of Civil Law for change and reform. We are about all those things but more.

The National Party apprehends an Ireland that holds the graves of our Fenian dead, and the final life and death task before us. For now we are summoning Ireland’s children to her flag, in the name of God and the dead generations, from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, and preparing to strike for her freedom.

That is the spirit and the motive which guides the National Party into 2018, stronger than we would have expected but not nearly yet strong enough. Intelligent enough to know where our strengths are and, yes, our weaknesses too. Smarter than our enemies unless they show something we have not yet seen. Confident without false hope, organising rapidly but emphasising character over numbers, determined for the long struggle yet ready to seize opportunities presented. And none of it for ourselves which is why we cannot be understood, except by those who share our faith, cannot be defeated by any force, save one that could fathom self-sacrifice and we have no such enemies.

We are not deluded. 2018 will not bring victory, but just as 2017, it will bring more of the means. To all who have been with us thus far, be proud of what you have done, and do more.

Ar Dheis Ar Aghaidh!

Justin Barrett,
Uachtarán An Pháirtí Náisiúnta