We gather here today to remember with great pride and to commemorate three brave Fenians, William Allen, Michael Larkin and Michael O’Brien better known as the Manchester Martyrs.
These three were innocent men that were victims of the British state wanting to send a message of deterrence to all those who make a stand against their wrong doings. a prison van was transporting two senior members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, as the prison van progressed up Hyde Road, Bellevue it was ambushed at the railway bridge by a group of Fenians, a gallant act that allowed the two senior members to escape, never to be recaptured.
After the ambush 29 Irish people were arrested, but only three of all who were arrested were to suffer the full extent of the British Governments evilness, these three men who came to be known as the Manchester martyrs, they were scapegoats, they were used to take the attention away from the major flaws in the British legal system, there was no evidence to support the claims that these three men were the individuals who fired the revolvers, there only crime was being Irish. These three men had their lives so cruelly snatched from them on 23rd November where they were publically hanged from a temporary structure built on the walls of a Salford Goal, the British Government were not content with publicly murdering 3 innocent Irishmen, they went on to burn all the remains that were exhumed from Strangeways prison, which rendered repatriation of their bodies, impossible.
For all those who have gathered here today, be proud. You all are evidence Irish Republicanism is stronger than ever before even here in England, and even after this major injustice they are still remembered with pride.
The Manchester Martyrs then as republicans today seek equality, justice and peace. The ongoing denial of Irish sovereignty by the British government remains the ongoing obstacle to a lasting peace. The Good Friday Agreement had at its core a British Sovereign claim to the six north eastern counties of Ireland. Those who signed this treaty did so with full knowledge of this. The demand for British withdrawal of their illegal claim to part of Ireland’s national territory was never on the table or their minds. They are the traitors, and like others before them, they are Irelands shame.
As Prisoners the Manchester Martyrs suffered then, republican prisoners suffer today at the hand of those administering British rule in Ireland.
We send revolutionary greetings to the republican prisoners and remember with pride Irelands Patriotic dead. Onward to the Republic and liberation of the Irish People.
“They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! – They have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”– Padraig Pearse.
NB: 0161festival.com is a platform for sharing a variety of articles about sports, arts, politics, history and Manchester. This article was sent in by Irish republicans living in Manchester.