Fallen Martyrs of Irish Republican Socialist Struggle Honoured
Comrades of the International Republican Socialist Network in the San Francisco Bay Area continued a long-standing tradition of symbolically honoring all those of died in the struggle Irish national liberation and socialism by laying a wreath in Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California. Because it has been illegal to bury the dead in San Francisco for decades, the city of Colma to its south has long served almost exclusively as the site of San Francisco's cemeteries.
The wreath was lain on the grave of the Fenian Thomas Desmond, best known for his coordination of the 'Freemantle Mission,' which liberated Fenian leaders who had been transported to Australia as prisoners and bringing them to sanctuary in the United States. The wreath-laying formed a part of an annual commemoration of the heroic action of the Irish Citizen Army in the Easter Rising of 1916 by the IRSN comrades.
In laying the wreath, composed of white cala lillies in a blue floral spray, representing the colors of the Starry Plough--Ireland's equivilent of the red flag, first flown as the flag of the Irish Citizen Army--at the graveside, a comrade of the IRSN expressed the Network's respect for "all those who had given their lives for Irish national liberation and socialism, from the republican socialist current within the 1848 rising and the Irish sections of the First International led by J.P, McDonnell to the recent martyrs of the Irish National Liberation Army."
The IRSN comrade continued:
"There are those who say that the national liberation struggle has ended for all time, but so long as six Irish counties remain under British occupation and the remaining 26 counties under a neocolonial regime, that struggle must continue. It continues, however, bound to the class struggle in Ireland, because national liberation cannot be won under capitalism and the socialist struggle in Ireland requires the ending of partition to unite the working class of the island. Thus the two struggles remain inseparable, just as James Connolly, Seamus Costello, and Gino Gallagher declared unwaveringly."