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Constituency Newry Newry and Armagh Politics

Newry Man Becomes Leader of Saoradh

Newry based activist Stephen Murney has been elected as the national chairperson of republican group Saoradh following their national Ard Fheis in Newry recently.

Speaking during the Ard Fheis Mr Murney said:

“I’ll begin by saying how humbled I am to be standing here as the newly elected national chairperson of Saoradh.

It’s certainly a daunting task and a tough job but I’m up for the challenge in leading the party for the next few years. 

I want to pay tribute to my predecessors current Republican Prisoner of War Davy Jordan, who’s now languishing in the occupiers Gaol in Maghaberry, Davy served as our first chairperson and I learnt a lot from him during those few years. And our outgoing chairperson Brian Kenna who has led the party since 2018, again Bru has been a pillar of strength for Saoradh and is always at hand to offer sound advice and direction whenever needed, which was more often than not. Bru won’t be stepping back in any shape or form, indeed I predict I’ll have him tortured during my term………he’ll be glad to hear.”

“I have big shoes to fill but with a solid foundation and dedicated core membership we can strive together to help build the movement of victory.

Saoradh are well-known in avoiding the cult of personality and this is evident today. Other groups and political parties have made the grave mistake of not making positive changes. To tread the path of blind faith and personality is simply counter-revolutionary. 

Like my predecessors I have no desire to serve this role longer than necessary. 

I want to commend the outgoing National Executive for their hard work and commitment throughout the past year. Members of the party’s executive not only work on a national level but also on a local level in their respective areas and all this is done in what little spare time they have and on a voluntary basis. 

There are a few changes to the national executive as you can see with some new faces along with the not so new.”

“This isn’t about me or any individual being chairperson. It could have been anyone here today. We are very much a bottom up grassroots party and we take our direction from you – the membership. 

We live in difficult times with thousands of working class people suffering under poverty. Some of the highest levels of child poverty in Western Europe can be found in Ireland. The cost of living has gone through the roof with families having to decide whether to heat or eat. For Saoradh’s part we’ve had to organise school uniform drives and assist food banks North and South. In an ideal society this is not something we should have to do but given the nature of both failed states we have had no choice but to embark on such initiatives to help alleviate the difficulties faced by our communities.”

“Energy prices have soared yet Ireland gives away its natural resources.

Homelessness is at epidemic levels yet thousands of homes and entire housing estates lie idle and empty across the country. 

The failure of Stormont, with suit wearing gombeens squabbling amongst each other while at the same time lifting huge wages is a travesty. This particular institution has been a failure since its inception. 

This is all the outworking of partition. The solution is simple. End partition and put in place a system that ends the exploitation of humankind by humankind. That is what a Socialist Republic is and that is how conflict in Ireland will end, that is how economic violence will end and we can reach our fullest potential as a society and as a proud resilient people.”

“It would be remiss of me to stand here without mentioning Republican Prisoners. Our men and women held in captivity are at the coalface of the struggle.

Just a few days ago our captive comrades were forced to issue a statement highlighting the extent of their suffering. 

Over 100 forced strip searches of Republican Prisoners were carried out in the space of just 2 weeks. 

The fact that the great and the good remain silent is not surprising. The fact that some who purports to champion prisoner issues aren’t shouting from the rooftops is shocking but again not surprising.”

“We salute our Prisoners in Maghaberry, Hydebank and Portlaoise and their families. They are the backbone of the Republican struggle. 

I also want to acknowledge all of our members and supporters who suffer at the hands of the Crown and Free State forces on a daily basis. In the past week alone we have witnessed vicious and brutal house invasions of Saoradh members. 

Since Saoradh’s formation in 2016 there has been a prolonged and systematic attack on every aspect of our movement by both the British and Free State. Our enemies fear us, they fear our resolve, they fear our ideas, strategies and potential and rightly so.”

“All of you here today have borne the brunt and have been through the mill. 

  • Stop and searches
  • House raids
  • Arrests
  • Assaults 
  • Imprisonment
  • Censorship with countless party social media pages being removed by Facebook and twitter. And a hostile media who are rarely willing to carry our press statements. 
  • Job losses with party members being made unemployed due to their political views
  • Internment
  • Frozen Bank accounts
  • MI5 approaches 
  • Weaponising of social services and other agencies

Some of the most draconian and repressive laws available including in the Free State when a guard of certain rank has his opinion accepted as evidence. 

We can’t even remember our dead at Easter in peace and dignity without being attacked in cemeteries by the British Forces of occupation. The ghoulish scenes we witnessed in Derry this year will be hard to forget.”

“Despite enduring all of the above, you are all still here. That says more about the determination and unwavering resoluteness of Saoradh members than it does about our enemies. 

Comrades Saoradh was established six years ago at a time when Irish Republicanism was practically voiceless. It’s true to say we have made great strides in building a Revolutionary Irish Republican Movement across Ireland and beyond. Our growth, strength and rebuilding of the Republican Movement has been recognised on an international level and we are regularly invited to attend revolutionary anti-imperialist conferences and events around the world, including in Athens, Paris and Berlin.”

“It is also recognised in the statements we have received today from comrades around the world.

From our party comrades in Italy, 

The Anti-Internment Group of London, groups with links to former Black Panther mumia Abu jamal and Native American Leonard pieter.

The anti-imperialist front who we have recently met in Greece, the Samidoun Palestine Prisoner Support Network and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] with whom we have built strong Revolutionary connections. 

It is also true to say that there are areas of struggle that we are lacking in. Make no bones about it, we are up against it. It’s easy to lose heart and it happens the best of us.”

“We have to be honest with ourselves and deliver self-criticism when the need arises. It would be very easy for me to stand up here and pat ourselves on the back. 

Revolution is all about change and revolutionaries don’t sit idle.”

“To quote Karl Marx “Revolutions are the locomotives of history.” 

Comrades there are some things we need to change. 

We need to change our approach to the occupation and we need to change our activism

We need to be more vibrant

We need to be more intense 

We need to be more radical

And we need to be more militant

Throwing out social sound bites every now and again might sound good, but not following through with action is not good enough and does a disservice to the movement and what it means to be a Revolutionary.”

“Fidel Castro once said “We shall judge the conduct of organisations not by what they say they are, but what they prove they are, by what they do.”

Take a look at our National Executive. Leadership positions are filled with younger energetic faces and of course the older more weathered ones.With our younger activists at the helm and our older ones helping to steer, to give advice and lend a listening ear we can push the Liberation struggle forward with a new dynamic approach.”

“I can say with confidence that in the coming months you will see radical change within the party and wider movement. This can only happen if everyone here puts your shoulder to the wheel and plays their part. There is a role for everyone.

Comrades today we have debated motions on our activism, international affairs, social issues and have discussed strategies and hammered out ideas. We have set the agenda for the future and I have outlined a new radical, revolutionary path that we will embark on, that we must embark on.”

“Today is a new chapter for our movement and we enter the coming year with renewed vigour and determination.”

“We must take no steps backwards; our steps must be onward, for if we don’t, the martyrs who died for you, for me, for this country will haunt us for eternity.

Beirigi Bua. Onwards to victory”

ENDS

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