An Easter Message from the President of the National Party

In “From a Hermitage” Pádraig Pearse told the story of the feeble old woman, who in her youth had made bullets for the Fenians, and in later years never passed a British soldier without saying something bitter to him. On observing it for himself one day he did not fail to see the absurdity of it, writing that he would not have done it, that it was futile, and even somewhat ridiculous. And yet within the act was a symbolism of great importance. During the same day he saw many a young able bodied Irishman pass by the same soldier without so much as grinding their teeth, then look down to their shoes in shame or fear or collaboration.

We all know it in our own time, we have done it and we’ve seen it. The silent walk past the symbols of our renewed submission to an imperial power cast now in Federal European garb, bearing ostensibly Irish emblems, its human agents with sometimes ostentatiously Irish names; the starry blue rag of Union, the rainbow of depravity, the Burka of an enriched multiculturalism of the hidden face, and out of our pockets comes forth both symbol and fact of a fettered people, the Euro coin and note.

On the 101st Anniversary of the Easter Rising should I say no more than it was not for this?

It’s tempting, but it’s not what Pearse told us to do nor what he and the mostly young men who fought beside him showed us to do. He said not to mind demonstrating, until we were able to do more than demonstrate!

And so we waited, bided our time, planned our course and kept faith with their ideals, until the time should come again when a movement of mostly young men and women should arise in Ireland bound for Rebellion. In an earlier age these young men and women might have made bullets for Fenians, or interrupted the orderly running of the General Post Office. Today, they line up and form the ranks of the National Party.

Now there are those who would say we have no right to claim the mantle of the Rising of 1916. Justin Barrett is surely no Padraig Pearse and a political party of small enough scale is no Irish Volunteers. But then I imagine they are of the same type who said Pearse was no Emmett, that Emmett was poor substitute for the Great O’Neill and the armies of the O’Neills and the O’Donnells were nothing compared to the Fianna. And back and back, as far as the miserable can find excuses for their silence, in the not quite perfection of others made of sterner stuff.

If the National Party has a right to lay claim to represent the authentic Irish Republic of 1916, and more importantly the “old tradition of nationhood” which made it possible, it is not through some special quality of ours, but that we found it lying in the gutter and we alone were willing to take on the struggle and sacrifice, the abuse and calumny, involved in picking it up.

If the National Party is still relatively small enough, it is significantly bigger than it was six months ago, and more to the point we are gathering those young men and women who have ground their teeth in passing the symbols of oppression for long enough to be interested not in demonstrations of outrage but in the patient hard work of building a movement dedicated to one Idea and committed to one allegiance – Ireland always and Ireland only!

And as Pearse bade us to we “believe that if we who hold the full national faith have but the courage to step forward we shall succeed more easily than most people suppose in gaining the people’s adhesion to our ideals and our methods – lesser ideals having proved unattainable and wiser methods more foolish.”
We are bound for Rebellion. Again.

Ar Dheis ar Aghaidh!

Justin Barrett
Uachtarán An Pháirtí Náisiúnta