The meeting, held online, was also attended by Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney, and Esquerra Republicana MEP and International Policy Secretary Jordi Solé
The former president of Sinn Féin Gerry Adams expressed his full support for the President of Esquerra Republicana Oriol Junqueras, and former Minister Raül Romeva, as well as for “the struggle of the Catalan people” in a meeting held this week online with Lledoners Prison, where the political prisoners are being held. “You know you have our full support. The bonds between the Catalan and Irish peoples in their struggles go back a long way,” Mr Adams told the Esquerra Republicana leaders.
The former president of Sinn Féin recalled that he himself had been imprisoned for Christmas, “and it’s not a nice place to be.” “But I hope that by knowing that you are in the right will be a small consolation for you. And when you look back, you will see these days as almost a necessary part of the struggle to achieve the freedom of your people,” he said.
For his part, Sinn Féin National Chairperson and Junior Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive, Declan Kearney also wished to express his solidarity with the pro-independence prisoners as well as with “all those being persecuted and who have experienced the injustices of the Spanish State,” offering Sinn Féin’s support in the resolution of the conflict. Mr Kearney stressed the need for the Spanish government to recognize the gestures of the independence movement and to return to the negotiating table, adding that “they have clearly neglected their responsibility to continue the necessary negotiations in the current political situation.”
Mr Junqueras thanked Mr Adams and Mr Kearney for their support, saying it was “very important” to them and for “the joint struggle for human rights and democracy.” In the same vein, Mr Romeva expressed his wish to meet soon to share their common struggles. “Thank you for your solidarity and support, we look forward to going to Dublin soon to embrace and close ranks in our common struggle for democracy and self-determination,” he said.
The imprisoned former minister stressed that “there are almost 3,000 people who are suffering various forms of repression and are being persecuted by the state,” and recalled that “just last week a young man from Madrid was sentenced to 4 years in prison simply for demonstrating” in favour of the freedom of the political prisoners.
Gerry Adams explained that they had raised the democratic conflict in Catalonia before the Irish Dàil and encouraged them to hold an international day of action to demand the right to self-determination of Catalonia and the freedom of the jailed pro-independence leaders.