Republicans barred from elections in Six Occupied Counties
Republican Sinn Féin candidates have been prevented from standing in the local elections in the
Six Counties since May 1989 because they refuse to accept a British imposed oath disavowing the
struggle for Irish freedom. As a result thousands of Republicans have been disenfranchised and their
voice will not be heard at local government level. These elections are not free; Thatcher killed
democracy by imposing a political test oath.
"I declare that, if elected, I will not by word or deed express support for or approval of --
(a) any organisation that is for the time being a proscribed organisation specified in Schedule 2 to the
Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978: or
(b) acts of terrorism (that is to say, violence for political ends) connected with the affairs of Northern
· The text of the oath from the published British "Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Act".
WHAT THE OATH MEANS
The oath calls for the public disowning of the Irish Republican Army, Cumann na mBan, Fianna Éireann
and a repudiation of the right of the Irish people to use force of arms to end British occupation. That
right has been asserted in every generation and since 1970 it has been asserted at tremendous cost in
terms of life, liberty and human suffering. We as Republicans will not allow Ireland's fight for freedom to
be branded "800 years of crime".
Republicans have never accepted British oaths of allegiance. For 50 years our candidates were debarred
from public office because of their refusal to take such oaths. Many public bodies were abolished for
refusing to take an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. It required the great upheaval of the Civil
Rights Movement and the armed resistance of the people to smash the oath at local government level.
Can we NOW meekly accept the taking of such an oath? To do so would demean the whole cause of
Irish Republicanism and dishonour all those who gave their lives for Irish freedom, particularly the ten
brave soldiers who died on hunger strike.
Some candidates who use the term "Nationalist/Republican" have accepted the new oath. WE
CANNOT GIVE ANY SUPPORT TO THESE PEOPLE BECAUSE TO DO SO WOULD BE
HYPOCRITICAL. We are taking a principled stand and call on all Republicans to do likewise.
Our outgoing councillors, candidates and local representatives continue to serve the people and work
for our policy of ÉIRE NUA -- a federation of the four provinces in a free Ireland with decentralised democratic government. Join with us in that great historic task.
Republican SINN FÉIN