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.
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)
Person you would like to meet (deceased)
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