Comrades and friends,
When we gather here to commemorate the life and ideals of Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen, we also celebrate the entire radical, republican, and socialist tradition from which our party has sprung.
When we look at those who inspire us individually and as a movement they all have certain things in common. From Tone to Cathal Goulding and Tomás Mac Giolla; from Paine to Martin Luther King the people who inspire us as socialists all had fire in their bellies, all had a willingness to step forward and be in the forefront no matter what the danger to themselves; and all shared a deep love of humanity.
But these men and women over the last two centuries shared one other common feature from which we must learn. We must learn from their power to analyse, their power and willingness to identify the guilty in society no matter how great or how powerful. We must learn from their power to propagandise – using every method available in their time. But above all else we must learn that these people offered solutions, practical solutions; solutions that cut through the guff, solutions that made sense to the working man, the peasant, the tenant, the landless labourer. And because they offered solutions which made sense, they offered hope. They provided inspiration and leadership and built their movements from that solid basis.
We must therefore learn that it is not enough to analyse, it is not enough to criticise – we too must provide solutions and offer hope.
Read the rest here.