[Sinn Fein]

23 November 2001

Kilmichael Commemoration

Sinn Fein Councillor, Jonathan O Brien, today called for republicans and their supporters to ensure a good turn out at the Kilmichael commemoration in West Cork on Sunday.  The commemoration will begin at 1 o clock on Sunday 25th of November. The main speaker will be Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Sinn Fein TD for Cavan Monaghan.

Jonathan O Brien said: ``Eighty one years ago Tom Barry lead a 36 strong force of IRA volunteers to one of the most significant victories over British armed forces in West Cork. On Sunday we will remember the sacrifices of these men, including the two volunteers who died. We will also recall the cause they died for, a free and independent Ireland, inspired by the proclamation of 1916.

In the light of the high levels of poverty in the midst of prosperity; the lack of services for children with autism and other learning difficulties; and the hatred faced by the children of Holy Cross school in Belfast, it is clear that we have some way to go in establishing a nation where all the children are treated equally. 

The difficulties faced by republicans today in establishing an Ireland where all can prosper are very different from those faced by republicans in 1920. However we have in the good Friday Agreement a framework which we can build on to achieve this goal, inspired by the dedication and courage of those who struggled for freedom and justice eighty one years ago. Let us remember the past to inspire the future.''

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