éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson has reiterated the party’s determination to actively oppose any visit to the Twenty-Six Counties by the commander-in-chief of Britain’s armed forces Elizabeth Windsor.
He was responding to comments by Twenty-Six County president Mary McAleese over the Christmas period that a Windsor visit could take place in 2010.
Speaking on RTÉ, McAleese also described the current relations between Ireland and Britain as “friendly, fraternal and collegial”.
Leeson said: “éirígí has long been on record as stating that any visit to the Twenty-Six Counties by Elizabeth Windsor will be actively opposed. In the last number of years people have taken to the streets in protest at even the suggestion that such a visit should happen. This is an indication of the strength of feeling there is on this issue.
“Elizabeth Windsor is the commander-in-chief of Britain’s armed forces. Her government and army remains in occupation of the north-east of Ireland. Any invitation by the Twenty-Six County establishment for this figurehead to visit the southern state would be portrayed as a final acceptance by the people of Ireland of the British occupation of Irish territory. This is most definitely not the case.”
Leeson continued: “In justifying her recent comments, Mary McAleese claimed that relations between Ireland and Britain have never been better.
“In the last year, the PSNI has fired plastic bullets at children, enthusiastically used 28-detention legislation and stopped and searched thousands of nationalists; the British army’s Special Reconnaissance Regiment is back on a war footing on Irish soil and the MI5 spooks have went into overdrive. Clearly, from an Irish point of view, relations between this country and Britain could be a hell of a lot better.
“The Twenty-Six County establishment should be aware that they will not be allowed to get away with mounting a charm offensive for the British occupation of Ireland.”
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