Updated: 18/04/17 : 05:19:02
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Unity is our strength says Whyte at 1916 Ceremony

"It is incredibly important to remember the strength our unity creates. It is communicated to us that we are powerless to change our destiny.  Those of us gathered here today know that is not true, and Ireland is beginning to awaken," said Mr Corey Whyte, when he addressed those attending the People First annual Easter 1916 commemoration ceremony in Sligo on Easter Sunday.

Led by flag bearers carrying the Tricolour, the Red Flag and the Plough and the Stars, participants in the ceremony marched from Cairns Drive to the Republican Plot in Sligo cemetery to hear Mr Whyte deliver the oration.

“Over the past three years every source of corruptible power in this country worked together in an attempt to impose water charges on the Irish people.   And what was the result?  A nation said ‘no more!  People from every community in Ireland gathered as one.  Communities united and a mass movement was born that realised it had the power to force change for the better.

"The establishment politicians were sent scrambling forced to make pitiful concession after concession. But the issue is now much bigger than water. The working class people of this county have awoken with a justifiable fury and appetite for justice. There is no concession that will make this hunger for a fairer society disappear.” Mr Whyte said

'Early Referendum'

Cllr Declan Bree who presided at the ceremony said “While the government has been stopped from imposing water charges, we cannot be complacent.  The establishment parties have voted to retain Irish Water and to continue installing meters in new houses.

This clearly leaves the door open for any future government to introduce charges and privatise our water resources.  In this context there is now a need for an early referendum to insert into the Constitution an amendment which would rule out any future privatisation of water, or water services.” he said.

Following the oration as a lone piper played a lament, floral tributes were laid at the Republican Plot by Ms Laura Scanlon on behalf of People First; Ms Laura Hayes on behalf of the Connolly Forum; and by Ms Sinead Costello on behalf of the People’s Movement.  The ceremony concluded with the National Anthem. 

As the parade made its way to the Republican Plot a short ceremony also took place at the grave of Republican Socialist and People First activist Marcus Murray, who died last year.