Comrade Gerry MacLochlainn, former Irish POW in english jails, could not attend the event GAZA AND THE PALESTINIAN REVOLUTION due to family illness, but sent this message to us:
"As an Irish Republican I want to send my greetings to you as you gather in London to consider Gaza and the Palestinian Revolution. I am sorry that because of a family emergency I am unable to be with you in person but my solidarity is extended to you my sisters and brothers as you partake in this historic and important event.
Today we cannot fail to think of the dreadful suffering inflicted on our Palestinian brothers and sisters in the latest Zionist invasion and aggression against the people of Gaza. The scenes we had to witness during this latest aggression reminded me of the day the borders opened after the so-called “Pillar of Defence” and I stood on the ruins of the Dalou family home as we were told that the emergency teams had just found and recovered another body from 45 feet underground in the ruins.
Horrible though these massacres are in their scale we cannot forget that the reality of the Occupation is that day in day out Palestinians are subject to vicious reprisals, evictions, and confiscation of land and property in the rest of Palestine and we must never let up on our struggle to support the Palestinian people’s fight for freedom and self-determination. I can assure you all here and I send this message to the people of Gaza and Palestine as a whole that the people of Ireland stand with Palestine.
As Irish Republicans gain more political strength and alongside other progressive people we will ensure that our Government as the government of a country that had to fight long and hard for our freedom, that our Government will take its place in the vanguard of a diplomatic and political campaign to isolate the Occupation and help the Palestinian people achieve national self-determination and bring about a peaceful future in the region.
As we look at Gaza we cannot fail to acknowledge the courage and steadfastness of the people as they faced the most brutal and vicious campaign of slaughter imaginable. We must also pay tribute to and express our solidarity with the heroic Palestinian Resistance who acted in sharp contrast to the indiscriminate murder gangs of the IDF and demonstrated that Palestine would not go quietly into that dark night.
I want to conclude by promising my continued support for Palestine which I have been committed to my whole life.. Even in the dark days of 1981 during the Hunger Strike as I sat in Wormwood Scrubs Gaol as an Irish POW I was lifted by the sight of the mothers of Gaza standing in solidarity with our hunger strikes. I vowed that day that I would stand by your sons and daughters for ever more.
Palestine – you are my country too as is any oppressed nation but you are special to me. I have said in Gaza that one day I want to walk through Al Quds with my friends from Gaza and to join them in prayer at Aqsa, in the capital of a free Palestine.
LONG LIVE PALESTINE, FREE FREE PALESTINE"