4/14/2006

First Republican commemoration in Stormont

I felt very privileged yesterday when I attended our first Republican commemoration in Stormont. It was my first visit to the "big house on the hill" and I am very glad that I attended.

I stood in the long gallery and looked out the window at the statue of Carson and then looked at the back wall of the gallery and saw the Proclamation in all its glory and I couldn't help feeling a little eerie.



Here we were in the bastion of Unionism; the very building was built with and for about 40 years lived off the Sectarianism that is the lifeblood of Unionism. This building stood for everything that the Proclamation did not. It stood for oppression, domination and discrimination. I remembered that Craig was buried outside and I was just wondering to myself how many summersaults he had done already.

In my opinion that was the most important building in which an Easter commemoration has ever taken place in. The same way that the leaders of 1916 took over the buildings of British rule in Ireland on Easter week so have modern Republicans "infiltrated" the most important building to Unionism.

Stormont is no longer a building of oppression for Republicans, we are slowly but surely taking ownership and that must be a very worrying thought for bigoted Unionism.

The fact that 50 years ago most if not all of us in that room would have had arrest warrants issued against us for partaking in an Easter commemoration was not lost on us.

Times are changing and the sooner Rejectionist Unionism accepts that then the easier it will be for them.

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