Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Goss and Gaughran remembered in Dundalk

ON August 13 a commemoration was held in Dundalk in memory of two great Dundalk Republican soldiers - Richard Goss, executed by a Free State firing squad on August 9, 1941 and Liam Gaughran, who took the fight to the British and was imprisoned on the Isle of Wight in the 1940s, where he contracted TB and was released to return to his home and died in August 1947.

The parade assembled at the Lisdoo Arms and led by a Republican colour party and a piper marched to St Patrick's Cemetery where proceedings were chaired by Ruairí White, Ard Chomhairle, Republican Sinn Féin. A wreath was laid on behalf of Republican Sinn Féin by Niamh White and a decade of the Rosary recited as Gaeilge by Nuala Moore. Richard Walsh, Derry read a statement from the Republican prisoners in Maghaberry jail presently on protest.

The oration was given by Líta Ní Chathmhaoil, who said in the course of her address: "It is incumbent on all of us to highlight the plight of the Republican prisoners by pickets, protests, leafleting, contacting people of influence or any way possible. This is our duty and the prisoners rely on us for support.

"The root cause of the conflict in Ireland remains the presence of the British government and its forces here. Permanent peace will only come with final British disengagement from Ireland but the endeavour to get the entire body of nationalists to endorse and administer English rule here continues. Faithful Republicans believe with 1916 leader James Connolly that 'the British government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have any right in Ireland'. True Republicans insist that the British government and its occupation forces must give a date for disengagement and then the whole Irish people, acting as a unit, can determine how they will live together and govern themselves.

"There are still brave women and men who are willing to give their all so that future generations of Irishmen and women can live in a New Ireland where all sections of the population of the island may live in peace and harmony and we pledge them our full support. Republican soldiers like Richard Goss and Liam Gaughran and their comrades of the 1940s, who died in action, on hunger strike, by Free State firing squad, at the hands of a British hangman, both in Dublin and Belfast and as a result of the ill-treatment they received from their captors, as well as the martyrs of the current phase of the struggle, provide the inspiration for a new generation to take up the struggle and bring it to a successful conclusion."

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