Around 150 republicans gathered in Dungiven on Sunday for the annual Easter Commemoration where Sinn Fein MP, Martin McGuinness was guest speaker.
In the graveyard of Dungiven chapel, Mr. McGuinness and Liam McCloskey unveiled the re-dedicated O’Carolan/Kilmartin monument.
Addressing the crowd, Mr. McGuinness said this year was the 30th anniversary of the Hunger Strike of 1981. He said the day was not a day for high politics. “Today is a day when we have the opportunity to pay tribute to our fallen comrades and extend ongoing solidarity to their families and friends”.
“We remember all republicans who have died and who gave service in the current phase of the Irish people’s long struggle for national self-determination. And we remember all who have died in the tragic conflict in our country and sympathise with all who were bereaved,” he said.
“The IRA fought a long guerrilla war in these hills and in towns and cities and villages across the north for over 30 years. The IRA forced the British government to the negotiating table. But the IRA were not war-mongerers. They were a revolutionary force which, when an opportunity to advance the struggle for Irish unity through peaceful means was established, removed itself from the political equation.”
Mr. McGuinness said: “The recent election results in the 26 counties show an all-Ireland and united Ireland political strategy in action. Sinn Féin have made the breakthrough in the South.
“I am asking the electorate to speak loudly on May 5th, to come out in large numbers and in doing do take this opportunity to make it clear that the Irish people have a vision for a better future.”