Led by the RNU official colour party the march began in the Garngad and although the heavens opened as it proceeded along Royston road it certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of participants or supporters with many additional supporters joining us as we proceeded along the route and made our way down High St.
The days events concluded with a short rally in Barrowfield Park where RNU National Chairperson Eadbhárd Ó Cuinn delivered the main oration with the Garngad RFB playing the National Anthem.
RNU/Cogús Scotland would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended our Commemoration and helped make it a success with a special mention going to the Garngad RFB, the Parkhead RFB, Justice for the Craigavon two campaign and IRPWA who took up our invitation to participate in the day events.
We would also like to extend our thanks to our comrades from Ireland who made the trip across to support us with members traveling from Belfast, Newry, South Down, Carlow and Dublin.
Chairperson (RNU Scotland)
Comrades, can I first start by thanking Republican Network for Unity here in Scotland for affording me the great honour of speaking today, at what is their 2nd annual commemoration, before I read the main statement today written by our friend and comrade Conor Hughes who is currently incarcerated in Maghaberry Gaol, I want to first speak of how proud our movement are of our comrades here in Scotland.
You, our Scottish comrades have stood fast over the past 15months when others have tried to say our movement was dead and going nowhere. Let today send a message to those that tried but failed to slander our good name – Republican Network for Unity are here to stay and are going nowhere, together we will move forward in struggle and do so in strength.
Comrades no longer should Republicans in Scotland be considered as no more than a fund raising entity for the Irish Struggle, you too are suffering just as we are in Ireland. Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee to name a few cities have exactly the same social deprivation issues as does Belfast, Derry and Dublin. Scotland also is seeking freedom and Independence from Britain just as we are In Ireland.
Only by means of rallying and organising our communities can we win the fight and overcome these issues together. Comrades, Community development is the key to success. Without community support our struggles will take longer to progress.
Scottish republicanism has been evident throughout Irish republican history. Lately they have been used as pawns, being asked to support only one group of POWs. This is not republicanism, while we can all have our own affiliation we must be politically neutral when dealing with Republican POWs and the national question.
Since 1998 republican prisoners returning home have been given piecemeal support, they and their families deserve better. We in RNU/COGUS with your support intend to change that and give our returning POWs all the support they rightly deserve.
The following statement is from Cogús POW Conor Hughes –
I would like to begin by thanking our friends and comrades here in Scotland for their unwavering support and continued dedication not only on supporting us and highlighting the conditions in Maghaberry Gaol, but the hard work and dedication promoting RNU and Cogús here in Scotland.
As you are aware it is now over 8 years since the signing of the 2010 August Agreement and Republican Prisoners are still fighting for this implementation. We have conducted Dirty Protests, been subjected to physical assaults, endured prolonged isolation, degraded and have dealt with persistent attacks on our living conditions.
Prison staff have time and time again shown their contempt for Republican Political Prisoners and their complete disregard for basic human rights.
The Maghaberry administration has upped their campaign of harassment and degrading treatment against Republican POWs. It has been made increasingly clear over the past several months with the POWS being charged both internally, by the administration,and externally by the courts.
These tactics create a hostile environment within the prison and as Republicans, we cannot and will not accept it.
Those with positions of authority and influence within the gaol seek to bully and harass incarcerated republicans. These acts will not be left unchallenged by those of us within the gaol and without.
Finishing off, as Republican Political Prisoners we continue the battle and continue to rise to the challenges that face us. We also remain committed to our goal, despite over 8 years passing.
That goal remains to see
the full implementation of the 2010 August Agreement.
Go raibh mil é maith agaibh
Cogús Republican Political Prisoner
With many thanks to: RNU Scotland for the original posting.
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