Saturday, December 30, 2006

Women in Struggle Interview: Grace Lynch

17-Year-Old Grace Lynch from Castlederg in County Tyrone joined Ógra in 2006. In her interview she reflects on what she described as her first ‘hectic’ year in Ógra Shinn Féin.

Grace recalls her early encounters of Sinn Féin Ógra Shinn Féin and her strong interest in politics

“I was always republican minded and believed that British interference in Irish affairs were the root cause of division and conflict in Ireland. I also saw first hand, from living in Castlederg how nationalists were victims of sectarian harassment carried out by the RUC, which continues to this day under the guise of a ‘new police service’, namely the PSNI!"

Also the fact that Orange marchers insist in parading through nationalist areas of our town made me realise that something had to be done to make sure that the rights of nationalists in Castlederg are upheld. This led me to take a strong interest in politics, which influenced me to study it for A-level. Studying this subject opened my eyes to the world of politics. I then negotiated a work placement with Sinn Féin……….. this is what gave me an insight to the workings of Ógra Shinn Féin!"

“I am a strong-minded, highly opinionated woman, so my interest in politics basically came naturally to me, although the sectarian harassment of some family members and family friends on numerous occasions again carried out by the PSNI/RUC and loyalist band members obviously had some influence in the way I was going to think.

“I had been aware of a number of active Ógra Shinn Féin groups in the area. I had read numerous articles in local newspapers about Ógra and saw pictures of some of the protests, which had taken place, but I was never really aware of what the party’s objectives were or the amount of work that they actually do. But this was all made comprehensible to me during a car journey home from an Easter Commemoration in Stormont when I was lucky enough to be in a car with our National Organiser ‘Sleepy!’ (aka Barry McColgan) lol from Belfast to Omagh. He told me about the workings of Ógra and explained in detail everything about campaigns, protests, activities etc. He gave a profound insight into Ógra Shinn Féin, which strongly influenced me to join. And so I joined Ógra early in 2006, taking part in protests and different vigils for the heroic men of 1981. Then, on the 17th of June, we had a successful Ógra launch in Castlederg, where we recruited new members and discussed issues such as drugs awareness, demilitarisation, collusion, suicide prevention and proper policing, as well as the issue of orange marches in our town."

“I joined Ógra with the issue of ‘Brits Out’ in my head, but also simply because of the fact that I want to be involved in an organisation which is playing its part greatly to witness the establishment of a 32 county democratic socialist republic and Irish unity and independence"

Currently Grace hold the Portfolio of Secretary for Ógra Shinn Féin in Castledergs ‘James ‘Josie’ Connolly’ cumann. She outlined her role and also her priorities in this role and indeed within Ógra itself as

"My role basically entails working closely with our Cathaoirleach managing correspondence, organising meetings when they are needed, ensuring activism and generally assist the other Ógra members in our cumann. In the past, with my role, I have attended meetings with senior cumann members, written articles for newspapers and writing to An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern regarding the issue of the unacceptability of the high number of Orange parades in our town, asking him what he was going to do to make sure the rights of Nationalists in Castlederg were upheld and pressing his office to do more in regards this matter."

"In the upcoming year we will be focusing on the new ‘ARISE’ campaign, so I will do as much as possible to get this campaign publicised in the Castlederg area. Also, I am aiming to recruit a few more members in this area within the upcoming year as it is extremely important to make the youth of today aware of this youth movement, led by young people, for the young people."

In the First Year of the ‘James ‘Josie’ Connolly’ Ógra cumann in Castlederg it has worked hard to establish itself as an active, vibrant and determined group

“Seeing as we only launched Ógra in our area this year, we are just ‘getting on our feet. But in this time we have made our presence known through numerous leaflet drops, taking part in the ARISE campaign by Greening a number of British colonial Red post-boxes in the area and along with the senior cumann we held a vigil on the anniversary of each of the ’81 hungerstrikers. We also have taken part in numerous protests including ‘SMASH POLITICAL POLICING’, demilitarisation and against sectarian triumphalist marches in the Castlederg area amongst others."

“In the upcoming year we plan to recruit new members, its always good to have new faces and new opinions. We will also be taking part in and promoting the current Ógra campaign as much as we can in our area. In the future, it would be great to be able to host an enjoyable Ógra weekend in our town…so hopefully if all goes well for our cumann in the upcoming year then we can plan towards this!"

Asked on what shes likes most about Ógra Grace responded,

“I like the fact that there are so many dedicated members promoting the socialist republican ideals among the youth of Ireland. But the main reason would be the fact that everyone can have the craic with each other and everyone seems to enjoy being a member! Ógra events are always enjoyable and theres always a bit of craic mixed with politics.

I will remember the de-mil weekend 2006 in Omagh! It was great craic and extremely successful!! Also, the Ógra colour party making the front page of the herald (UlsterHerald- A local Tyrone Paper) the following week, with much controversy! We’re black shirted fascists and all that (according to a local Unionist Councillor)

Outside of Politics Grace enjoys,

“Going out (when I can), working in a nightclub isn’t all its cracked up to be! BEBO and playing Gaelic Football

Concluding bizarrely Grace commented,
“Without Ógra my life would most likely merely consist of washing my hair and spending my time on bebo!!ha
Quickfire Round
Favourite Drink : water (don’t want to sound the alco)lol

Favourite Music / Artist: Snow patrol, Westlife, Wolfetones, Uisce Beatha, The Feeling, Paolo Nutini etc Anything with words in it!lol

Favourite Film: Dirty dancing, Some Mothers Son, Zoolander, H3, In The Name Of The Father, The Green Mile, The Little Mermaid, Borat etc

Favourite Book: Awaiting the Lark

Favourite Holiday resort: Marbella

Most memorable moment in Ógra: Commemoration in Belfast for the 25th anniversary of the hunger strikers, proudly carrying the best banner there that day … our ‘James ‘Josie’ Connolly’ Castlederg Ógra banner!!lol

Person most influential in your life: Maire Drumm !

When the age-old fight is done,
And we put away the gun –
When Ireland’s freedom’s won –
We’ll remember Maire Drumm.

Person you would like to meet (living) : Nelson Mandela

Person you would like to meet (deceased) : Ché Guevara

If you were president of Ireland or Taoiseach what 3 things would you do to change Ireland?

1.) Try to establish a sovereign 32 county democratic socialist republic

2.) Release all the remaining IRA prisoners

3.) Do my best to ensure that all sectarian harassment is eliminated and that the rights of nationalists in the 32 counties are upheld!

Launch of Castlederg 'James Josie Connolly' Cumann (June '06)

Ógra Visit Long Kesh (Oct '06)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gerry Adams calls a meeting of Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP today announced that he has called a meeting of the party's Ard Chomhairle, which will take place at 1pm tomorrow, Friday 29th December, in the Great Southern Hotel in Dublin airport.

Mr. Adams said,

"I will put a motion to the Ard Chomhairle asking it to convene a special Ard Fheis on the policing issue. If the Ard Chomhairle agrees to that motion and others including the two governments and the DUP leadership respond positively, the Ard Fheis will go ahead in January."

Mr. Adams said:

"Eight years ago at the time of the Good Friday Agreement we put the demand for a new beginning to policing at the top of the political agenda. Since that time progress has been made in a series of negotiations with the British government. In recent days and weeks the Sinn Féin leadership stepped up our contact with the British government on this issue, including over Christmas. Considerable progress has been made during these discussions."

"I have now called a meeting of the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle. This will take place in Dublin tomorrow. I will give a full report on the negotiations."

"I will be proposing that the Ard Chomhairle convene a special Ard Fheis on the policing issue and I will put a motion to that effect."

"If the Ard Chomhairle agrees to that motion and others including the two governments and the DUP leadership respond positively, the Ard Fheis will go ahead in January."

In the run up to this Ard Fheis there will be an intensive period of discussion within the party which will be led by party Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald.

"In addition Sinn Féin will engage in a series of meetings with the wider republican and nationalist community across the island, including the families of our patriot dead and victims of state murder and collusion."

"Given the history of repressive and sectarian policing in the Six Counties, I don't want to underestimate the difficulties that this issue presents for many nationalists and republicans."

"However, the achievement of a new beginning to policing, as promised in the Good Friday Agreement would be an enormous accomplishment. And I believe that we have now reached the point of taking the next necessary step."

"I am certain that an initiative of this kind is in the interests of all our people."It is the right thing to do. If it succeeds it will advance the struggle for equality and the search for a just and lasting peace on the island of Ireland."

Monday, December 25, 2006

Be Like Bobby!

The following piece is an article from Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser Barry McColgan. He wrote the piece for the Ógra publication 'Awaiting the Lark' which is available to buy at most Sinn Féin shops and also online at (All profit will be used to publish further publications.) Copies limited.

The article is interesting in the fact that the author was not born at the time of the hungerstrike yet it was this massive sacrifice that inspired this young republican to get involved in the republican struggle.

Barry McColgan

In the classrooms, nurseries, workplace, the children and people of Cuba have a saying, ‘Be like Che!’It demonstrates the utmost respect for a National hero, a revolutionary who bravely assisted the people of Cuba in their victorious struggle to freedom, and who died struggling to achieve another beacon of hope in Bolivia.

So it is only right that the people pay homage to this fine revolutionary, ‘El Che’ and aspire to live their lives according to his ideals.

In Ireland we have many national heroes, many brave comrades who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the Proclamation words become a reality, dying on active service, or on Hungerstrike and while every contribution is just as important and valued, there is something about the 1981 hungerstrike which sticks out in the mind, something heartbreaking, inspirational, iconic!

Perhaps it is that all the other deaths were so sudden and abrupt, while the Hungerstrike was drawn out, young men, full of energy, with young families and their whole life in front of them preparing to die for their people.

So the Hungerstrike of 1981 was iconic and the Leader of that Hungerstrike Bobby Sands an icon, an image of hope, of bravery, of kindness and selflessness to oppressed people the world over.

A beacon of light to humanity, a young man who in an increasingly materialistic world give up everything for his nation and its people – our hero – our role model is Bobby Sands, and I think it is only right that we begin to advocate the use of the quote, ‘Be like Bobby!’ Inspiring our children to have all the fine qualities of this outstanding individual.

So, my thoughts on the Hungerstrike, first of all I think it is very important to point out that I wasn’t alive during the Hungerstrike – I would have to wait another 3 years, July 1984 until I was born into the occupied 6 Counties of Ulster.

In 1981 my father, who is now a Sinn Féin Councillor in Omagh District Council was only 17 and it was during this time he got involved in the struggle. I write this because during the first 10 years of my life, my entire knowledge of the Hungerstrike was from seeing posters, An Phoblachts and leaflets of 1981 around the house, and then asking my Da questions about it?

I always remember viewing the pictures of the Hungerstrikes as good and with pride, I always remembered Bobby Sand’s name because he was constantly mentioned, Martin Hurson because he was from Tyrone, and Patsy O’Hara because he looked like a neighbour of mine.

But from an early age the Hungerstrike to me filled me with thoughts of good and something to be proud of! The image of Maggie Thatcher conjured up other feelings – its funny how childlike thoughts get it so right and remain.My father and uncle were imprisoned during the war and so at an early age I remember visiting the Courts, the Crum, and the Kesh!

Stories of the Blanket, no wash and that awful year of 1981 always accompanied the journey on the way home, usually with the lingering question, ‘How did they do it?’I also remember attending Republican marches and the faces of the Hungerstrikers being carried, so my early age give me a great awareness from which I developed a massive interest in Irish History, all the factors leading up to the Hungerstrike and after.

In school, I learnt snippets of that era, but after joining Ógra Shinn Féin in the Summer of 2001, I remember reading the diary of Bobby Sands, so human, such an easy read and yet details everything it means to be an Irish Republican, egalitarian – achieving equality for all the people, selflessness, a national liberation movement part of a global struggle to free oppressed people, community led socialism – of the people, with the people, for the people, and one of the most important things that the diary taught me is that ‘ no matter how dark, never lose hope, there is always a way!’

Those inspirational words and the Hungerstrikers courageous, selfless sacrifice keep me going every moment of every day!

Republican valour and truth, dedication to the struggle and the people will always provide a way to smash any deadlock and force the struggle onwards.I realise now after travelling to other oppressed nations like the Basque Country and Corsica why Irish Republicans are held in such high regard – 1981 was a beacon of hope to so many oppessed people around the world - we should always remember this, the regard we are held internationally is testament to the calibre of activists the struggle commands past and present.

The Hungerstrikers to me are an endless source of inspiration, in times of difficulty I always think ‘What Would Bobby Sands do?’, they are an endless source of answers to any question, how can anyone attempt to criminalise, crush a struggle that answers back with enormous selfless courage like in 1981.

The legacy of the Hungerstrike and of the Prison struggle is the birth of a new confidence in Republicans, a new generation of activists, broad international and domestic support, challenged Republicans to diversify strategy and develop new arenas of struggle, the Peace Process and of course to create 10 icons of immense struggle, guiding all of us forward to freedom.

I am of the age of the Hungerstrikers, I think it is very important to point out, that all of the Hungerstrikers were of Ógra Shinn Fein age. (16-29)

I often think that young activists forget how lucky we are, while we undoubtedly face problems in our life and in the struggle, we must always find a way. I see the strength and dedication in young activists, I know that there is a Mairead, a Martin or a Bobby amongst the young Ógra activists of today, maybe prison and very direct oppression truly exposes the very character, the best qualities in people. But I know that every quality the Hungerstrikers possessed is within our young activists of today.

Young activists need to put our struggle in perspective and from this will come confidence, while we enjoy relative freedom, can socialise, go to the pub and discos, go to University, eat good food, watch TV, enjoy the company of our loved ones, have a relationship – do all the things normal young people do – the prisoners from the Hungerstrike era where locked in their confined cells 24 hours a day/7 days a week, had nothing but a coarse blanket as a garment, excrement on the walls, a flimsy foam sheet as a mattress, flooded cells, constant freezing temperature, no reading material or music (apart from Hurson Boy), no drink, no relationship, terrible food, endured constant beatings and torture from the screws – they were tough times and they truly had something to worry about, yet they adapted with massive resilience and got on with it!

Whatever problems we encounter truly are wee buns! With the Hungerstrikers in our hearts and minds we can overcome anything in our path, we are the generation who will see the rising of the moon – Onwards to the Socialist Republic!

Lurgan Ógra Highlights the Plight of the Castlerea 4!

Ógra Shinn Féin took to the streets of Lurgan on Tuesday 19 December to highlight the hypocrisy of the Dublin Government. Leafleting Lurgan town centre and outside local schools, Ógra asked the public to take a stand for the rights of our POWs.

Speaking of the action Ógra spokesperson Johnny McGibbon said:

"It is crucial that we remind people their are still Political Prisoners in Ireland. These men are entitled to be released under the Good Friday Agreement and the Dublin Government show a complete lack of will to fulfill their commitment!"

Nothing prevents their release of the four men, Kevin Walsh, Pearse McCauley, Jerry Shine and Michael O’ Neill, except the signature of the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell.

"There is no exception wrote into the Agreement regarding these men. Now 8 years after the Agreement and a year after the IRA formally ended its campaign, they are still Political Prisoners. They are IRA prisoners and should be released immediately!"

Tell Bertie Ahern to instruct his Minister for Justice to end his veto!

Demand the release of these men WRITE, CALL, Or E-MAIL:

Bertie Ahern T.D.,

1890 227 227Dept. of the Taoiseach,
01 619 4000Govt.Buildings,Upper Merrion Sq,
Dublin 2

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A.R.I.S.E. National Day of Action Demands Political Prisoners Freedom


Ógra Shinn Féin mobilised across Ireland on Saturday 16 December demanding the release of IRA prisoners in Ireland and anti Imperialist prisoners across the world.

There were protests, solidarity collections, candlelit vigils, banners made and thousands of leaflets distributed to a very supportive public.

There was also a public meeting held in the English midlands by Socialist Labour Party highlighting the campaign. The message went out loud and clear from the day of action - A.R.I.S.E and free the prisoners!

For the remainder of the month of December there will be further actions in solidarity with the prisoners.





For more photos of the day of action please log onto:

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Women in Struggle Interview: Grace Vaughey

Grace Vaughey is a member of Ógra Shinn Fein in Dublin. Originally from Meath Grace recalls her introduction to politics and Ógra Shinn Féin.

"In Transition Year, when I was nothing more than an apolitical 16 year old, I got involved a lot in debating. One time when I travelled to Monaghan to debate the pros and cons of genetically modified foods, I happened to meet the delightful charms of Morgan Fraser (whose ass I KICKED in the debate btw!!) and we became firm friends. The more I got to know him and his politics, the more I realised that I agreed with them. The decision was made for me. I had always been passionate about the Irish language and culture and this just seemed like a natural add on for me."

"I joined Sinn Féin when I was 16, joining the then new Drogheda Cumann and did a little bit of work there getting it up and running. I then moved to Dublin to go to Trinity and I joined the TCD Ógra cumann there on my first Freshers day, and then joined Dublin Ógra shortly afterwards, getting more and more involved with the senior party as time went on. I got slightly involved with the new Phibsboro/Drumcondra cumann, and the Cabra cumann also.

"In my first year in the TCD cumann, I held the position of secretary, Irish language officer and PRO, moving onto chair and PRO in my second year. On the Dublin officer board, I originally held Irish language officer, then took on the role of secretary, then PRO, and now students officer for Dublin. I also work a lot within the ethnic minorities group in the party, as well as the equality department."

Asked about her priorities for the upcoming year Grace said

"It's hard to say really. I think that your priorities shouldn't necessarily be determined by what role you have. My main priority is seeing more women integrating into the party, and into politics as a whole. Others would include getting young people, especially those who chose not to go, or were not able to go to college, finding their space within the party. I would like to see more cohesion between the senior party and Ógra, yet retaining that separateness that makes Ógra able to be as radical as they are now. "

"Being in PRO has certainly been the most taxing. Dublin Ógra always have one controversial protest on or another, so it's hard work making sure they all hit the headlines. Being chair of TCD has been particularly challenging. It's hard to keep students motivated, when the last thing they want after a day of lectures is to sit in on a meeting. The challenge is to keep it active, keep it interesting, and not bore people and drive them away with incessant meetings. Keeping the women in the cumann is always hard work, but I've held several "Women in Politics" sessions which does seem go an awful way in helping."

If Grace wasn't involved in Ógra she predicts

"I'd like to think that I would be involved in some kind of charity work, possibly women's aid, or working with the homeless. I would definitely be involved with working with disadvantaged kids, either from an emotional point of view, or on a more hands-on, possibly educating kind of way. I'd more than likely be involved with Irish language activism."

Reflecting on Dublin activism within Ógra in the past year Grace recalls

"There really would be too many to mention on this one. Dublin Ógra is extremely successful in this regard, whether it's protests outside Leinster house against collusion; disrupting auctions of 1916 memorabilia; paint balling British war ships; or holding numerous meetings about topics that are current and meaningful to the youth of the county."

Looking towards the Future of Ógra in Dublin, Grace forecasted

"I'd like to see Dublin Ógra integrate more with the Leinster Cúige, and hold regular meetings with the college reps from Dundalk and so on. Dublin may be the stronghold of the province, but so much more could be attained by proper communication."

Relating top what Grace likes most about Ógra grace stated

"The comradeship. Never have I come across such a tight knit community that embraces everybody that shows even half an interest. Ógra is often much more than politics, and it's one of the main reasons why we are so successful."

Grace sees her major achievements within Ógra as

"Going to Corsica with Barry was an eye opening experience. It was great to learn of a struggle that, if I can be honest, I knew absolutely nothing about. The Corsicans were so eager to learn of out struggle and learn from it that it renewed my republicanism tenfold. The Cead Blian march in Dublin's city centre also was a real eye opener to the interest in republicanism in the county and to the fact that many people are willing to get involved if they just knew how. It was the biggest march I have ever been involved in, and the party came together all over the country to make it happen in style. There have been so many other experiences within the party that have shaped and changed who I am that I couldn't possibly list them all."

Quickfire Round:

Favourite Food: Cheese fries in Eddie Rockets

Favourite Drink : Milk

Favourite Music / Artist: I literally can listen to anything, bar county and western. Snow Patrol, Damien Rice, Damien Dempsey, Tori Amos... Waaaay to many to mention!

Favourite Film: The Shawshank Redemption.

Favourite Book: "Vindication of the Rights of Women" – Mary Wollstonecraft.

Favourite Holiday resort: California

Most memorable moment in Ógra: Circulating a vicious email about Margaret Thatcher and making all the headlines :)

Person most influential in your life: Sprocket my teddy

Person you would like to meet (living): Margaret Thatcher, so I can apologise. Then say it allllll over again to her face.

Person you would like to meet (deceased) Michael Collins, and ask him just what the hell he was doing.

If you were president of Ireland or Taoiseach what 3 things would you do to change Ireland?

1) Reduce the age of voting to 16. A controversial topic, but it needs to be done.
2) Truly bi-lingualise the country. No more half measures.
3) Make it illegal for Barry McColgan to say he's from West Tyrone more than 20 times a day.

Friday, December 15, 2006

New A.R.I.S.E Video!

Ógra Shinn Féin has produced a new video for their current National campaign, A.R.I.S.E.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” ~Voltaire

Ógra Shinn Féin believes in freedom of speech and spreading our message to the widest possible audience – uncensored. Therefore we explore all avenues to promote our politics and actions.

The video hopes to capture the Anti-Imperialist theme of the campaign and cover all the issues of which A.R.I.S.E is an acronym (Racism, Imperialism, Sectarianism and Exploitation.)

Ógra Shinn Féin has begun to utilise this new avenue of media, which we hope will help generate interest amongst the youth and promote the politics of the proclamation to a new generation.

Lenin once said,

“If it were necessary to give the briefest possible definition of imperialism, we should have to say that imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism.”

I agree with that – now lets end it!

A.R.I.S.E and Smash Imperialism!

Please view the video at:

Also if you would like to view all our videos please visit:

A.R.I.S.E Day of Action For Political Prisoners

Ógra Shinn Féin have organised the national day of action on Saturday 16 December to call for the immediate release of all IRA prisoners, and to highlight the plight of political prisoners the world over who are incarcerated for their role in Anti Imperialist struggle.


White Line Collection

@ 2.30pm

Falls Road, Outside Dunville Park



@ 3.30pm

Northern Bank



@ 1pm

Abercorn Square


Leaflet drop

@ 11.30am

Town Centre



@ 3pm

GPO, O Connell Street



@ 2pm

Daunt Square

Cahir, Tipperary


@ 7.30pm

Outside Castle


Protest and Info Stall

@ 1pm

Shop Street


Candle Lit Vigil

@ 8pm

Rostrevor Town Square

In addition to the above list there will be other vigils and protests happening across Ireland, also all areas will be undertaking a huge leaflet drop to raise the plight of the prisoners!

Please make every effort to attend any events in your area!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A.R.I.S.E National Day of Action - Saturday 16 December

Ógra Shinn Féin will be holding a National Day of Action this Saturday 16 December to highlight the plight of domestic and international prisoners incarcerated for their role in Anti-Imperialist struggle.

The political prisoner’s day of action will witness actions in villages, towns and cities across Ireland. Actions will vary from leaflet drops, information stalls, banner launches, to protests and white line vigils.

The national day of action is part of the current A.R.I.S.E campaign.

The day will be used to primarily highlight the fact that there are still IRA prisoners in jail, even after the army’s declaration to end to its armed campaign.

National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Fein Barry McColgan said,

“All IRA prisoners should have been released. Instead of this, eight years after the Good Friday Agreement and over a year after the IRA formally ended its campaign, IRA prisoners remain in prison. The Dublin government must be challenged especially, for their complete lack of political will on this issue.”

The many actions across the country will also highlight political prisoners internationally.

“Prisoners are the product of struggle and conflict. When an establishment fears change it seeks to destroy that change. In America black and Native American activists languish in penitentiaries; in Ireland we witnessed one of the most inspiring and heart breaking prison struggles, the Hunger strikes of 1981, in Spain the authorities keep Basque nationalists in jails many miles from their hometowns and families.”

“In every struggle there are casualties and there are prisoners. As part of the A.R.I.S.E. campaign, Ógra Shinn Féin is highlighting the issue of Political Prisoners the world over. We ask you to support the day of action and attend any events in your local area.”

If any area would like to recieve materials for the day of action please contact immediately.


Fáilte romhaibh uilig go ‘Club 25’ eagraithe ag Tionscanadh Óige Dhroim Bríde
Drumbreda Youth Project was established in the summer of 2006 by a number of young adults from the Drumbreda and St Brigids Hill area. The idea behind the Project is to ensure that young people have a say in shaping the future of our area. While we have contacts with the local community group, we retain our independent identity as a voice for the youth in the estate.

We are currently raising funds for the Project by running a series of nights in association with Gildernews, we would like to thank all those who have attended these events, and we hope for their continued support for upcoming events. The funds will go towards the creation of a new entrance feature on our estate which will commemorate all those who have given their lives in the cause of Irish freedom and particularly the memory of the ten Irish hunger strikers who were murdered by the Thatcher regime 25 years ago this year.

Drumbreda Youth Project would like to thank Ógra Sinn Féin for their help and assistance in organising this event and all those who have helped with the publicity and administration. We would also like to thank Gildernews for their continuing support.

Chair of Ogra Shinn Féin in Armagh, Damian White said,
“It is encouraging to see so many young people turn out to support what is a youth project of community development, the activism shown should be an inspiration to other estates to develop active youth projects, Ogra Shinn Féin would help and support other projects in the town that will help to remember and educate the youth for a new generation”.

Keep a watch out for future events being held throughout 2007, particularly the official unveiling of the memorial in the summer of next year.

Go raibh mile agaibh go léir agus bainigí sult as an oíche seo. Beirigí bua! Beidh ár lá linn!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Remember the POWs this Christmas

Barry McNally

It is all to easy to get wound up in the festive cheer and hype in the run up to Christmas and while I do no advocate going ‘cold turkey’ (excuse the Pun) on Christmas altogether I do ask everyone as you sit around your table this Christmas spare a thought for republican prisoners who spend yet another Christmas away from home and loved ones.

In years gone by Christmas for republican POWs were a time of comradary, prisoners understood each other’s position. During the festive season candles would glow on windows throughout Ireland, in memory of the republican prisoners.

However 8 years on from the signing of the GFA agreement and over 10 years on from the IRA cessation the fact still remains that these men have to face Christmas in the bleak dark setting of a prison cell. The decision by the leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann in July 2005 in calling an end to that phase of the armed conflict removed and precondition for IRA POWS to be held incarcerated. History has shown that the end of any military campaign heralds the release of political hostages, why so is this not the case in Ireland.

The Dublin government, in particular have yet to fulfil its part in releasing IRA POWS in Portlaoise and Castlerea. Other prisoners who face Christmas behind bars are our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends and comrades.

Ógra Shinn Fein have been campaigning, along with it other groups to ensure the men do not have to spend another Christmas away from home and loved ones.

This Christmas we will again highlight their plight by having protests and vigils in the west Tyrone area in the run up to Christmas to show our support to our republican comrades who face the dreadful task of facing Christmas away from home.

The onus is firmly on the London and Dublin Governments to ensure that these men are released so that they too can enjoy Christmas with friends and family.

The Despot’s Dead!

Stephanie Lord

December 10th, the International Day of Human Rights this year also became the day that genocidal mad man, former Chilean dictator and all round despot Augusto Pinochet finally died. Callous and unyielding in his ruthlessness, the name ‘Pinochet’ has become synonymous with torture and murder for Chilean people. He has been reviled by left-wingers across the globe since he seized power from a democratically elected left government in 1973.

He died over 15 years after his downfall in 1990. Even at this stage he still faced multiple charges of kidnapping, murder, and torture as well as accusations of drug-trafficking and tax evasion. Former Brit warlock Margaret Thatcher has apparently said that she is “deeply saddened” by his death. I bet she is. At the grand old age of 81, she’s another year closer to hell too. Pinochet is probably keeping a seat warm for her down there beside Hitler and other assorted nutters. Thatcher once thanked him for “bringing democracy to Chile”. Clearly her definition of democracy is a military coup d’etat, followed by years of suppression, thousands of disappearances, with thousands more forced to flee Chile, the banning of all leftist parties and an estimated 2,095 deaths. Funny that she felt the change in circumstances in Chile had brought democracy even though it had an incredibly stable democracy already in place. Pinochet the “democrat” also forgot to pay his taxes to the grand total of $28million which he had stashed in numerous foreign bank accounts until a pesky US senate investigation uncovered that one.

Pinochet, after his arrest in London 1998 on foot of a Spanish extradition warrant, Jack Straw the British Home Secretary allowed him to return to Chile due to ill-health. When Pinochet arrived in Chile, he promptly abandoned his wheelchair. Despite this miracle, he simultaneously claim ill-health in an effort to not have to stand trial. Perhaps Jack Straw had uncovered the hash-stash his son was off selling to tabloid reporters in the style of an episode of Cheech and Chong, and it had such a profound effect on him he failed to realise the error in what he was doing. I really don’t know.

Illness was to become a recurring theme for Pinochet and every opportunity to try him was dogged by his claims of having dementia/feeling under the weather etc. His death has stolen from the people he wronged the satisfaction of seeing him live out his days in a prison cell. I won’t crack open the champagne because the man is gone. He should not have died in a military hospital after years under house arrest. He should have served a prison sentence appropriate to his numerous crimes against humanity – life.

Pinochet’s old bellicose buddy Thatcher can send all the condolences she wants but it will not take away from the fact that the man was a criminal. A criminal who has departed this realm without ever having being sentenced. It is widely acknowledged that more could have been done to bring him to justice. Perhaps if Jack Straw had acted differently…who knows? It does serve to show however, the importance of having a speedy and efficient justice system. Not that the Brits are strangers to ineffective justice systems.

All that matters now though, is the world has one less neo-liberal in it. And with the clock in Thatcher’s kitchen tick tock tick tocking in the background we might be two less sooner than we think – best keep that champagne on ice.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ógra Shinn Féin on useful visit to European Parliament

On Monday the 4th of January, members of Ógra Shinn Féin from the McDonagh/Farrell cumann, UCD, visited the European Parliament building in Brussels. From an early morning flight over, the Ógra activists made their way to the parliament buildings to meet with the Sinn Féin team working there. They gave us a briefing in their important work in Brussels on issues such as workers' rights and other areas.

The activists were then given the 'official' version of the European Union by a Eurocrat, extolling the virtues of the Union and the dire evils of nation states and the horror of any economic system other than the neo-liberal one promoted by the EU.

Following the less than impartial briefing, the UCD activists then met with Gorka, an activist from the Basque left wing nationalist party Batasuna. To meet their Basque comrade they were required to leave the parliament building as Gorka, as a member of Batasuna, is banned from the building as the EU considers all those organisations that aspire to independence and socialism in the Basque country to be terrorists.

Gorka explained the situation in the Basque country, including Batasuna's peace proposals and the Spanish government's intransigence on the issue of Basque hunger striker Iñaki de Juana Chaos.

The activists flew home later that evening following a long but educational day. It was clear to the activists that the current direction in which the EU is seeking to go would be totally unacceptable to Republicans but that European cooperation on certain issues would be useful to all.

'An Ireland of Equals in a Europe of Equals' is a good goal, but if things keep going the same way there may be a new slogan – 'Britain out of Ireland – Ireland Out of Europe.'

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ógra Join IPSC to protest Atlantic Homecare support of Israel

On Saturday 2 December Ógra activists in Galway joined in solidarity with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Committee in picketing the Galway branch of Atlantic Homecare's store.

The bone of contention was AH's persistence in selling Israeli made products mostly in the form of Keter garden sheds, wheelbarrows and storage boxes, a letter of protest was handed to the store's manager, John Clarke, by IPSC chairman, Richard Kimball, requesting AH,

"to voluntary make an ethical stance against the collective punishment of Palestinians by the Israeli State ... and to reconsider its support for the racist and persistent abuse of basic human rights by Israel"

Donna Ferguson RIP

Ógra Shinn Féin extends our sympathy to the family and friends of our comrade Donna Ferguson, who died on Tuesday.

It was with shock and deep sadness that activists in the west learned of the tragic death of Donna in a road accident in Fermanagh.

Donna was a bright, ethusiastic and motivated young woman, and all who came in contact with her were charmed and impressed. A woman in the middle of everything, she played with the Erne Gaels and Fermanagh inter-county football teams, she broadcast on both radio and televison, and was an up and coming young journalist, writing for local and national media, and editing a Galway based student magazine.

Donna was a committed Republican and was a member of the D'Arcy / Hurson Cumann in NUI, Galway. She was a strong, independent and informed woman whose dedication and world-view was an inspiration to all who met her.

She will be missed by her comrades in Ógra Shinn Féin and the Republican family in Galway.

Ar dheis dé go raimh a anam uasal

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A.R.I.S.E and Follow Ógra!

Stiofán Mag Eacháin
West Tyrone
Ógra Shinn Féin

At the recent Ógra Shinn Féin National Congress held in Dublin’s Liberty Hall, we launched a new broad Anti - Imperialist campaign, A.R.I.S.E, which is an acronym for Anti Racism, Imperialism, Sectarianism and Exploitation.

The campaign aims to highlight and challenge Imperialism and it’s by-products both at home and abroad.

As young Republicans we fully embrace this campaign, we believe in order to build a new Ireland - an Ireland of Equals, we must bring these evils (Racism, Imperialism, Sectarianism and Exploitation) to an end.

These by-products of Imperialism affect our everyday lives and must be challenged at every given opportunity.

Capitalism is evident in everyday society. Profit before people seems to be the watchword of many Governments throughout the world today. The same exists in Ireland. The whole system is corrupt and must be challenged.

People are having an extra financial burden having to pay for basic necessities of life. This can be seen through the much-publicised privatisation of the water system. We all have seen capitalism raising its ugly head in places such as Rossport, Co. Mayo in a profit before people farce.

Sectarianism is also a major scourge on society in modern day Ireland. The conflict here in Ireland is not a religious one - however the British government in particular, attempt to portray this.

We can look at the three-pronged (so called criminalisation, ulsterisation, ‘normalisation’) approach of the British in the late 1970’s as evidence (if any was needed)

The existence of a Police FORCE as opposed to a civic policing service is yet another example.

In line with numerous western societies the PSNI are agents of coercion and their ultimate aim is to uphold the state through whatever means possible. They are working to a political protocol determined by MI5. In any democratic society (which doesn’t presently exist in Ireland) a police service should deal with civic policing duties.

The A.R.I.S.E campaign will cover many issues, such as Republican prisoners at home and solidarity with prisoners abroad i.e. Leonard Peltier, The Miami 5 and the injustices in Guantanomo Bay. The campaign will also cover the illegal occupations of Ireland, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan and the Malvinas.

It is time for us to A.R.I.S.E. and mobilise as many people in support of our objectives!

Time For Action!

Smash Imperialism!

ÓSF Revolutionary Handbook Re-Launched

On Monday 4 December, South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils joined Ógra Shinn Féin in Belfast to re-launch the ‘Revolutionary handbook’.

The handbook has been re-launched with a new cover after having to go for a re-print given its popularity.

The ÓSF Handbook contains information on setting up Ógra groups, the internal structure of Ógra and contains short descriptions of the basic raw materials of Irish republicanism.

Republicanism, socialist and feminism are just a number of issues which are addressed in the handbook.

Speaking at the launch of the handbook National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McColgan said,

"The handbook equips activists with the politics of Ógra and a step by step manual to education, campaigning and recruitment. The initial 2000 copies have been distributed, another 10,000 have been re-printed and are currently being distributed."

“The Revolutionary handbook is essentially a small synopsis of Irish republicanism from 1798 right through to the present day. It deals with Irish republican youth movement from the formation of Na Fianna in 1909, and right through to the current movement of Irish republican youth, Ógra Shinn Féin.”

Ógra Shinn Féin Meet with Revolutionary South African Leader

On Monday (4 December), Ógra Shinn Féin held an internal activist meeting in Belfast with South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils.

Ronnie was a former Director of Intelligence for the military arm of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), is a member of the Communist Party and ANC, and was appointed to his present Ministerial role in 2004.

Ronnie spoke at length of the importance of youth in any liberation struggle, recalling his involvement in the struggle in South Africa as a teenager. He spoke candidly about his involvement with the ANC, the MK and also related his progression from a guerrilla fighter to minister stating,

“I still miss my AK – 47, but you can’t exactly be a government minister and have and AK strapped around yourself.”

The activist meeting raised many issues including racism, policing, international solidarity, transition to power, outreach, and truth and reconciliation.

Barry McColgan, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin said,

“The meeting was extremely thought provoking and inspirational, many people have read or watched documentaries about the South African Struggle, but we learned a first hand account through Ronnie.”

“You don’t get an opportunity to meet with a Revolutionary Leader everyday, and so obviously Ógra used the time effectively to equip ourselves with the vast knowledge and experience of Ronnie Kasrils.”

“From the meeting it was clear that South Africa will continue to support Sinn Féin and Ógra in achieving our objectives in Ireland, we are two nations involved in one struggle!”

Policing – Reform or Revolution

Sean Brady

Since the partition of Ireland two state forces have emerged with similar agendas. They have inherited many qualities of the old orders of control. The Garda and the RUC/PSNI. (The force has changed its name several times) are the strongest wings of state control. The RUC is the more starkly apparent of the two given its infamous role as a counter insurgency force and tool of repression.

The primary role of western-modelled police forces (as opposed to services) is to put back into place those who move beyond their remit. The police belong to an intricate system of governmental control encompassing, the judicial system, state prisons, the media and the statutory bodies. Their desire to protect and serve citizens is questionable.

A move on policing in terms of the latest negotiations will not give republicans the power to collapse the corrupt institution of the RUC from within. We will not wrest the important aspects of state control from the British government.

While our people and communities need safety, the limited devolution of policing powers to the assembly will not achieve this nor create accountability within this force. Having limited control of a strong arm in society does not, has not, and will not alleviate the causes of crime. We must understand the social and primarily economic causes of most ‘crime’ before attempting to address it.

The potential setbacks for the struggle cannot be underestimated if we give credence to such a failed system to clinch a short-term deal with right-wing unionists and the British government. The pitfall within the current debate is its parameters. We can’t allow ourselves to be reduced to a discussion on reform of a British system. We must debate how we can develop and implement a policing and criminal justice model for Ireland now, or in the future. To do so we cannot put the noose of this failed system around our necks.

How do we deal with the ongoing policing and justice void within the country caused by British occupation in the north?

How do we challenge the economic and social inequalities intrinsic to both states and the corruption and ineptitude that characterises both regimes?

How do we rectify the social and economic ills that affect our communities, indeed all of society?

Firstly we must reject the failed model that is western policing and maintain our integrity as Irish republicans. We should recognise that crime is multi-faceted and challenge it accordingly; that the archaic, draconian, Christian model of ‘crime and punishment’ in this country does not and never should apply within a civilised progressive society. It simply does not work.

Why are the vast majority of prison populations from multi-deprived backgrounds and, in most cases imprisoned for crimes against people from the same background? Yet there are very few white collars in Maghaberry, Brixton or Portlaoise. Do the police deal with real crime or simply with controlling ghettos? In truth there are no greater crimes than those perpetrated daily by the Shell oils, Coca Cola’s, and Sellafield’s of this world yet these institutions are not effectively policed at all.

The challenge that faces us is that we are trying to wrest national sovereignty including control of the policing and justice structures from Whitehall and Leinster house and give it back to the people of Ireland. We must be bigger than the narrow debate surrounding policing.

Crucially, we as republicans are not to blame for the fracturing of our society by crime, poverty, politics or ineptitude. Taking a position, however strong, within this system will not help us change the situation. Republicans cannot solve the policing issue by becoming the police within this system.

We should tackle the issues and not try to effect cosmetic change within a British controlled and irreformable model of policing. We must find an alternative to the western norm of policing and control; a system that benefits society and deals with social harm at its roots. Our answer must be to invest in community development and to instil a preventative ethos, rather than chasing the wild goose of policing reform.

Safety, civility and cooperation is more than having ownership of, or access to, a body that can ‘punish the wicked’. The resources exist in this country to address societal failures but have not yet realised their full potential. Many of the resources of community empowerment are at our disposal; CRJ, the safer neighbourhoods projects, a litany of community/youth organisations and voluntary sectors. Our communities are capable of accepting a revolutionary initiative if they are participants in its creation and stakeholders in its success. We should not fall victim to the simplistic analysis of ‘a police force equals order and safety’.

We also cannot bow to the pressure to make a hasty and ultimately counterproductive decision. The decision on policing and criminal justice has the potential to set back or completely derail any radical change. It also has the potential to assimilate the republican movement into the institutions we’re committed to replacing. It would be a massive republican misjudgement.

We will become part of the problem not the solution. Our energies would be much better spent dismantling the failed apparatus of security and policing and dedicating its vast wasted budget to community strengthening measures, creating strong, independent, proud, organised, politicised and educated communities.

We cannot say yes to policing for short-term political gain. We must put forward a completely different, multi-faceted, long-term and transparent strategy. We must seek investment in and encouragement of preventative measures. We must expose state ineptitude and unwillingness to deal with the root causes of crime and also the real remit of police forces.

The debate that has begun is too narrow. We must not allow ourselves to enter the debate at this level. This is not a decision that can be taken within the narrow confines of reform or Patten or on a quid pro quo basis in negotiations. No one in the country is unaffected by this issue therefore no one should be left out of the decision making process.

We should rise above the media hype and state promoted hysteria. If we have political strength and political support, this is where we have to use it. We have an obligation to consult with, inform and then act on behalf of those people. We must give ownership of the policing question to society itself and allow the stakeholders to express what they would find acceptable - Hopefully a new and revolutionary social justice system.

Let us begin to collate their views and inform them of our own and move forward in a real debate about policing.

"Those who own your lands will make your laws and command your liberties and your lives." James Fintan Lalor

Party of the People

- Peadar de Bluit

We serve neither King nor Kaiser. This was the great and inspiring slogan of the Irish Citizen Army at the height of the first world war, a war supposedly fought under the guise of freedom and liberation for small oppressed states.

Ironically our small, oppressed nation was excluded from this momentous initiative owing to the kind charity of the great European powers who understood that we were as yet unqualified for the colossal task of self-governance.

The more likely scenario is however is the fact that support was growing for the progressive Republican alternative in Ireland, an alternative which offered real freedom for the people of Ireland, unlike the bourgeois, material, confined freedom being heavily propagated on the continent, by the capitalists and industrialists, the very people who had instigated the war with an eye to their own desires and goals regardless of the huge cost, counted in human lives.

The essential difference between the Irish Republican, and Continental models of government was that Irish Republicanism advocated an active role for the people of Ireland to make their voice heard, compared with the conservative, archaic model on the continent which ostracised, and rendered politics and governance irrelevant to the people.

We would do well to remember this epic slogan as we embark upon our current phase of struggle towards endgame for the British in Ireland. For decades our leadership guided the Republican movement through some very difficult times always remaining true to the goal of establishing a Socialist Republic, and our core Republican principles of, 'Liberty, Equality and Justice for all', as outlined in the Democratic Program of the First Dáil of 1919.

And through their efforts, despite the continued intransigence of the Dublin and London governments, reactionary Unionism and conservative Nationalism, we find ourselves to be the largest Nationalist party in the North, and an ever-increasing threat to the status quo in the South. More importantly however we now find ourselves, as a direct result of the Army's courageous move, in a position to move beyond a leadership led struggle, and to make a complete transition to a party whose membership, as we continue to move forward, is the principal voice, as we enter the final strait, on the road to unity, and a Democratic Socialist Republic.

It is our duty now to make our voices heard; no one is going to do it for us. Each and every one of us joined the Republican movement with the object of affecting real and meaningful change in our country, whether that meant re-uniting our island or breaking down the odious systems of government which plague our country, it is our responsibility to be true to ourselves and voice our opinions, be it in the cumann, Comhairle Ceantar, or Ard Fheis, this is our movement for the furthering of our aims and we must take advantage of that, now more so than ever before.

However, still remembering the words of the Citizen Army, we must serve neither King nor Kaiser but each other. To that end the calls for change must not be limited to Sinn Féin and Ógra Shinn Féin activists. It is our responsibility to actively consult with our friends and relatives, neighbours and communities, and indeed those in other communities as we continue to build the Ireland of the future and work towards our goal of a 32 county Socialist Republic.

Our leadership has taken us so far but now it is time for each and every one of us to stand up and be heard and to take the initiative and finish the journey, together.

Onwards to the Socialist Republic!

Tiocfaidh ár lá.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Women In Struggle Interview: Andrea O Kane

Andrea O’Kane is current organiser of the newly constituted Úladh Cuige of Ógra Shinn Fein she also in the past year has held the post of National Chairperson of Ógra Shinn Fein and Currently sits on the national executive of Ógra.

Andrea “first joined Ógra in Queen’s in 2002 but was involved in Sinn Féin locally in East Derry before joining Ógra as an organisation.”

Andrea States “I grew up in a republican family and politics was always discussed and thus I developed an interest in republicanism at early age. I believe Ireland should be free and as republican activist we have a duty to play our part in the struggle for freedom, as Bobby Sands said ‘Everyone has their part to play.” Therefore joining Ógra Shinn Féin was a natural progression”

Currently Andrea holds the portfolio of “Úladh organiser for Ógra but before this I was Chair of the Queen’s university Sheena Campbell cumann, 6 county P.R.O. and National chair of Ógra. I was also elected to the Queens University Student Executive and held the portfolio of Welfare Officer.

As Úladh organiser Andrea aims, in the next year “to sustain the constant growth of Ógra both in terms of numbers and activism. To continue to campaign on issues that affect young people today in Ireland and most of all to continue to strive towards our ultimate objective in ensuring the freedom of Ireland.”

“As Úladh organiser I liase with all Ógra groups in the province ensuring effective communication, cohesion and unity throughout the Cúige. We meet on a monthly basis to plan out our job of work for the rest of the month and to discuss and debate issues.”

Asked about what Andrea would be doing if she wasn’t involved in Ógra she stated “I honestly could not imagine not being involved in republicanism in some shape or form as Maire Drum once said “only those worthy of freedom are those who are willing to go and fight for it every day and die if necessary”.

“The ability to mobilise huge numbers of young active republicans and the motivation, dedication and energy of Ógra activists is what I like most about Ógra Shinn Féin. As well as meeting young republican activists from all over Ireland.”

Highlighting achievements with Ógra in the last year Andreas points towards “successful campaigns such as demilitarisation (as highlighted at the West Tyrone OSF weekend in October), suicide prevention and the growth of a revolutionary youth wing that will one day enjoy the freedom of our Nation. The establishment of a 32 county socialist republic is our ultimate goal in the struggle. This cannot be achieved overnight, however every day, month and year we aim to advance the struggle, and that is the yardstick on which we measure our success. Every day we grow in confidence that our day of freedom is close at hand. We are the generation who will witness the rising of the moon; we are the generation of freedom.

Beirigi Bua

Quickfire Round

Favourite Food: curry sauce and chips

Favourite Drink : Orange dilute

Favourite Music / Artist: Rebel

Favourite Film: X-men or The Goonies

Favourite Book: Harry potter and 10 Men Dead

Favourite Holiday resort: New York New York

Most memorable moment in Ógra:

The national hungerstrike rally in August in Casement Park and the huge mobilisation of Ógra with banners, binlids, blanket men and women. 30,000 people turning out to remember the hunger strikers was a signal, if any was needed that many many people (indeed many people who weren’t born in 1981) that hunger strikers will live on in the hearts and souls of freedom loving peoples worldwide. Our job is to make their vision a reality.

Person you would like to meet (living)

Fidel Castro

Person you would like to meet (deceased)

Mairead Farrell

If you were president of Ireland or Taoiseach what 3 things would you do to change Ireland?

- Implement legislation for the re-unification of Ireland
- Free education for all
- Free healthcare for all

Upcoming Belfast Shell 2 Sea Events - Mobilise!

Tuesday December 5: West Belfast meeting, 7PM, Culturlann.

Wednesday December 6: Picket and leaflet drop, 5PM, A-Town Shell Station.

Friday December 8: Leaflet drop, 1PM, Belfast City Hall.

Wednesday December 13: Public Meeting and video showing with Rossport resident, 7PM, Peter Frogatt Centre, QUB.

Thursday December 14: Public meeting and video showing with Rossport resident, 7PM, Felons Club, followed by traditional music session.


Friday, December 01, 2006

UUJ Ógra Shinn Féin Host "Women in Struggle" Event

Wednesday 29th November saw the 'Women in Struggle' DVD and discussion held in the University of Ulster Jordanstown Campus.

The DVD charted the key role of women within the Irish freedom struggle from its conception right upto the modern era. The event was oraganised by the Jordanstown Ógra cumann, and they were delighted to have in their company, Sinn Féin's National Director fo Gender Equality, Eibhlin Glenholmes.

Following the DVD showing, Eibhlin addressed the audience, encouraging young people to become active in politics and identifying particularly the need for young women to make a difference.

Eibhlin's address was met with much enthusiasm, evident in the debate which followed. The floor was opened up, with questions on the role of women activists in the armed struggle and questions on modern political developments making for a very interesting discussion.

Commenting on the event spokesperson Johnny McGibbon said,

"We hope today's event has highlighted the key role of women in the Republican struggle. From the women of 1916 to volunteers like Mairead Farrell, women have consitently resisted British Rule in Ireland."

He continued,

"With Ógra currently running a national campaign against exploitation-'A.R.I.S.E.'- it is only fitting we show people, their is a role for everyone in Ógra and in Republicanism. Today's leadership given by activists like Eibhlin, and many others, is an inspiration to all Republicans."


To view a video on women in struggle:

Smash Imperialism!


'...a people who for centuries have never heard a shot fired in anger upon their shores, yet who encourage their government in its campaign of robbery and murder against an unoffending nation; a people, who, secure in their own homes, permit their rulers to carry devastation and death into the homes of another people, assuredly deserve little respect no matter how loudly they may boast of their liberty-loving spirit.'

A quote that could easily be directed at the American people today, yet was written in 1899 by James Connolly in the Workers' Republic about the English people and their attitudes to the imperialism of their governments.

The English people's attitude to their countries imperialism has changed over the years, but only after many bullets has been fired upon their shores by Irish Republicans.

The Anglo-American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their proxy wars against Lebanon and Palestine via Israel shows that imperialism has not ended, and Ógra's ARISE campaign is as relevant to people today as any anti imperialist campaign has been in the past. While the visible face of imperialism may have changed in that it now wears the mask of 'democracy', but the aims of imperialism remain the same.

People must continue to oppose imperialism in all its forms, wherever it may be.