A RENEWED call for British withdrawal from Ireland was made at the Sean MacDiarmada 1916 Society Fermanagh’s annual commemoration at the graveside of Jim Murphy in Derrylin.

The event on Easter Sunday was chaired by local republican Joe Cox, from Teemore, who introduced Eamonn McPhillips, from Newtownbutler, for a reading of the 1916 Proclamation.

Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Murphy family, former comrades, the 1916 Societies and Firinne.

Family members from the area laid an Easter Lily at the graves of republicans who are buried in the graveyard; others were laid on Easter Saturday across Fermanagh and Cavan.

A minute’s silence was held for all those who have died for Irish freedom and independence from 1916 to the present day. The main speaker was Pearse McGovern, from Kinawley, a cousin of Kevin McGovern who was shot and killed by the RUC 25 years ago. Mr. McGovern told those assembled that Brexit was the “gift that keeps giving”.

He said: “The British Government’s occupation of the Six Counties of Ireland has never been more vulnerable, with them leaving the EU the British border in Ireland has suddenly become the focus point and exposed the false claim that the constitutional question in Ireland has been resolved through the GFA [Good Friday Agreement].”

However, the speaker dismissed calls for a border poll to be held. He claimed that a border poll would be an internal vote confined to the Six Counties and excluding voters in the rest of Ireland. Mr. McGovern further alleged that a border poll would discriminate against the majority of citizens in the rest of Ireland and ultimately gave Britain a veto on Irish unity.

“Irish independence and freedom cannot and will not be achieved through a border poll. Republicans shouldn’t be fooled by those who spout this nonsense and should look closely at those who are promoting it. They are not republicans and only serve the interests of the British state in Ireland,” he said. Mr. McGovern claimed that a border poll would “only cement the continued occupation that we have today”.

Instead, he added that the solution was for Britain to “get out” of Ireland. He urged all to sign the 1916 Societies Petition for an All-Ireland Referendum on Irish Unity.