PSNI and the Easter Lily

I see that our new start to Policing hasn't fully removed the behaviour of the past. Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has slammed the PSNI and the Public Prosecution Service for bringing him and fellow party activist Kevin McColgan to court over distribution of Easter Lilies outside the Tyrone v Monaghan game at Healy Park last Easter Sunday.

The West Tyrone MLA said:

“This was a ludicrous charge that should never have been brought before the court in the first place.  Unfortunately I can only conclude that there was politics at play in the decision to bring these charges. People are very angry about this case and many are contrasting our treatment with the hands-off approach taken towards flag protestors who have been disrupting our town and other parts of the six counties since before Christmas. I completely fail to see how the public interest has been served in this case.  The court costs along with the PSNI bill will run into thousands of pounds, all at the taxpayers expense."

There we have it, the stark contrast between the actions of the PSNI regarding Republicans and Unionists.

On one hand it allows Willie and Jamie's knuckle dragging cronies to take part in illegal marches all across the Six Counties with no attempt made to stop them or indeed to arrest and charge them as they are obligated to and then they prosecute two Republicans for selling Easter Lilies outside a GAA match on the most important day in the Irish Republican calendar.

Republicans are well used to this kind of hostile treatment from the supposed forces of law and order.

The Easter Lily is a very important symbol in Irish Republicanism.

It was Cumann na mBan who presented the Easter lily in 1925 and it was Constance Markievicz that popularised the wearing of the Easter lily in 1926.

The design was inspired by the traditional flower of Easter which adorns so many Churches and homes in remembrance of Christ's death and resurrection.

Often called the “white-robed apostles of hope” lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s agony. Tradition has it that beautiful white lilies sprung up where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the ground in his final hours of sorrow and deep distress.

The lily is a symbol of hope, unity and love. It's also a symbol of the great resurrection and in our case the resurrection of the Irish nation and its desire to be free.

After the split in 1969 the “stickies” got their nickname because of the new way in which they attached their Easter lily, the Republican Movement stayed with the traditional paper and pin.

Republicans continue to honour the heroic sacrifice made in 1916, when republican revolutionaries, outnumbered and ill-equipped, took on the might of the British Empire and asserted in arms Ireland’s right to freedom.

Irish republicans wear the Easter lily to honour all those who have given their lives in the cause of Irish freedom in 1916 and in every decade since.

Every Irish person, regardless of their party political allegiances, should show their pride in our founding fathers by wearing this little badge.


David Lee said...

great post - the judge should reprimand the police for wasting the courts time; and no more softly softly on masked-up, vandals from east belfast - nice detail there about the lily too,
- may I use this space to urge anyone interested in irish history- film-docs etc - to get over to http://irishtorrents.info/ and signup, we have a huge database and friendly staff :) email me for an invite if you're having trouble- thanks chris

David Lee said...

lets not forget that the Queen visited Ireland last year and paid her respects at the memorial for the republican fallen soldiers in dublin, so if she can bring herself to do that, anyone in the O6C who still wants to pretend to be british first as opposed to Northern Irish first; ( or even simply: irish ) has no excuse not to follow her example-
The carpet is truly moving under you if you think change has not come , first balance is being restored esp as regards flags; but in the final analysis the union flag cannot stand with the tricolour; as one must give way eventually to the other.

Evan said...

Just on the Willie point you made. It was an issue raised in todays Irish news. Bucket collectors, from FAIR, BNP & Britain First during Saturdays weekly fleg protest in Belfast have yet to be challanged by the PSNI despite the collections taking place infront of a huge police presence for nearly 11 weeks.