Following on from my posts here and here examining the forthcoming meeting between the visiting British head of state and Martin McGuinness, the deputy First Minster of the North of Ireland, here is a wonderful response from the 1916 Societies, the Independent Republican organisation. Though I view the visit differently from some other Republicans this display is an entirely suitable one. I hope Martin McGuinness makes it clear that though he greets and welcomes Britain’s queen as a visiting foreign head of state, she is just that – a foreign head of state visiting a foreign nation.
“ÉRIU IS OUR QUEEN
As we approach the visit to Ireland by the British Queen Elizabeth Windsor, a group of concerned Republicans will defy this visit from the Commander in Chief of the British Crown Forces of Occupied Ireland by staging which will probably be the biggest art project ever seen in Belfast.
The project was the brainchild of ordinary Republicans on the ground that raised funds from local people who live in one of the most deprived areas of Belfast and who have decided to mark this visit with a celebration of our heritage and culture.
It is the culture of a Gaelic people who live on an island surrounded by water and who are distinct in culture from, and who give no allegiance to, any foreign head of state.
The art project will take the form of large scale writing and the biggest tricolour ever to be displayed in this part of Ireland. The location will be the Black Mountain which will be a natural display board which will be seen by all of Belfast.
The writing will say “ÉRIU IS OUR QUEEN” which along side a massive 120ft x 60ft Tricolour will be displayed.
ÉRIU [Md. Ir. Éire] was the daughter of Ernmas [Md. Ir. Earnmhas] of the Tuatha Dé Danann. ÉRIU the personification of Ireland and goddess of sovereignty. ÉRIU is where the name ‘Ireland’ originates from. The more modern form of ÉRIU is ÉIRE. The dative case of Éire gives us Éirinn, which give rise to the phrase [Éirinn go Brách, anglicised as] “Erin Go Bragh” [Ireland Forever].
The art project will commence on Tuesday morning June 26th in which there will also be two day camp for the duration of the British Queen’s visit.
Everybody is welcome.
We the Children of ÉRIU who will save Republicans from the humiliation of a British Royal visit without a meeting or protest of opposition, WE the children of ÉRIU who are the uncompromised and the incorruptible true inheritors of the struggle for sovereignty, WE the children of ÉRIU who are from that class of people “the working class” who are indeed the only kings and Queens Ireland will ever have,
Erin Go Bragh!”
According to the latest reports the Occupy camp on the Black Mountain has come under attack from both the British paramilitary police force, the PSNI, and local armed gangs from the British separatist minority in the north-east. At least one person has been injured so far. Will update as I hear more.
Update 17/04/2013: Thatcher The Real Criminal
- Smells Like Victory (ansionnachfionn.com)
Still great to see the British crown forces up in the sky PSNI o what a lie. What’s changed? NOTHING>
Sorry i wrote that last comment wrong lol. The “still great to see” was my attempt at sarcasm.
Don’t worry, I think it worked 😉
Hm. Honestly, the display suggests – to me – insecurity in Ireland’s independence from the Crown. What’s classier? A meeting between two officials on equal footing, without any need for one to prove anything to the other, or an ostentatious display such as this?
Stressing to the Queen that Ireland is wholly independent from England – courteously – and that she is there strictly as a visitor, is a good idea. I don’t know if this move is.
I tend to agree with you, James. However I thought for those who take the opposite view the event was imaginative and well-staged and certainly struck a note with many people across Ireland who were aware of the cultural connotations in the display, both historic and mythological.
See here for its importance.
An an United Irishman, I think less bitterness and more understanding and respect for the unionists psyche and beliefs will bring about an end to partition more sooner. If you didn’t approve of her visit, it was easier to stay passive that put up the posters, signed and banners that I have seen. Small mindedness needs to be challenged and opened.
I agree with you to an extent, Ruairí. I have never been one of those Republicans who see the British minority in Ireland as simply misguided Irishmen and women and suchlike.
They must be accepted for the identity they have and express as their own. That includes their Britishness or however else they name it (Ulster-Scots, Scots-Irish, British-Irish, etc.).
However Nationalists must be able to express their identity too, in the context of the north-east region. And better peaceful displays than non-peaceful. Placed in another context is this any different than the Occupy displays or Environmental activism? I thought it a PR event worthy of Greenpeace. And again, better this than the alternative.
Éiriu is not and never was our queen, our country has never had or ever will have a “queen”, one of the first tenets of Repuclicanism is that no monarchy is recognised , whoever dreamed up this “Ériu is our queen” baloney is missing some part of basic Republican ideology. As if f that wasn’t bad enough they have totally disregarded the etiquette of the National flag: …The flag must never touch the ground under any circumstances, also, it must never be displayed in a horizontal position unless on a coffin where the green field covers the head of the deceased WISE UP , learn something first , then complain about it afterwards. I don’t agree with the whole thing either but at least Martin McGuiness had the good taste to treat the whole thing with a modicum of dignity and he’s a better and braver man for it.
Pól Ó Dúrois , Gaedheal
While strictly true, Pól, you have to place that within the broader (and older) Irish cultural context. From Sovereignty Goddess to Róisín Dubh a “queen” or associated symbolic female figure has always been integral to Irish notions of sovereignty and nationality. Its a concept with incredibly ancient roots, which many Irish Republican writers, poets and activists have drawn upon. Though I agree that the meeting between the deputy First Minister and the visiting British head of state was necessary I also agree with the peaceful and imaginative manner of the Black Mountain protest. Especially the manner it which it made modern use of such deep imagery from our literary and poetical traditions. It certainly resonated with me and seemed to do so with many others who truly understood the deeper meaning of the words.
Brian Michael Collins,
My Grandmother and Grandfather came to Canada in 1922 from Belfast . They told me as a child never go to Northern Ireland They lived through the troubles of the Black and Tans and were persecuted because of being Catholic and the Collins name by the Irish and English.
“Their is no hope for Northern Ireland , they would say, cursed and lost in their Bigited and Racist ways”