Right proudly high over Dublin TownAn Irish friend of mine in Belfast, James Daly, told me: "By the way, the Iranians sent a plaque to the family of my friend Patsy O'Hara commemorating his hunger strike to the death."
they flung out the flag of war
'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky
than at Suvla or Sud-El-Bar . . .
'Twas England bade our wild geese go,
that "small nations might be free";
But their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves
or the fringe of the great North Sea.
Oh, had they died by Pearse's side
or fought with Cathal Brugha
Their graves we'd keep where the Fenians sleep,
'neath the shroud of the foggy dew.
Intrigued, I looked up more signs of Iranian identification with Irish republicanism. Here's the most eloquent: Iranian revolutionaries renamed "Churchill Street" -- the street behind the British Embassy -- "Bobby Sands Street" (Pedram Moallemian, "Naming Bobby Sands Street," The Blanket, 24 February 2004). Despite the British government's pressures on the Iranians to change the name again, the street remains dedicated to the memory of the Irish revolutionary.
Neither in Iran nor in Ireland have the highest revolutionary goals been achieved yet. But the flames of republicanism are still alive in the finest of their men and women. Tiocfaidh ár lá. Our day will come.