Friday, December 28, 2007

Ógra mobilise in west Tyrone for Prisoners month

Saturday 22nd December seen the annual day of action for republican prisoners take place in west Tyrone. In Omagh and neighbouring Strabane Ógra Shin Féin held vigils in order to raise awareness of the men’s plight and in an act of solidarity with our imprisoned comrades.

In Omagh Ógra activists took to the streets with banners posters and leaflets. Thousands of leaflets were distributed in the town of Omagh, bustling with Christmas shoppers. Meanwhile in Strabane Ógra activists held banners and posters at Melmount Road / Bridge Street junction. Hundreds of cars were leafleted and many more drivers showed their support by sounding their horns.

Speaking following the day of action Barry McColgan, national organiser of Ógra commended all those involved variously throughout Ireland on the day of action

“The events in west Tyrone were two of a number of events held throughout Ireland in solidarity with our prisoners this year. In the New Year I would urge the two governments to show maturity and leadership and release the POWs, a number of whom face long years behind bars.

The two governments must fulfil their commitments regarding republican prisoners. Republicans have shown leadership and commitment to the peace process throughout the last decade, something that is lacking form both the Dublin and London governments.

We will continue to remember and campaign for the release of our imprisoned comrades until the day our prisoner’s are home for good. The decision to hold these men despite an end being called to the armed campaign by the leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann is totally unacceptable and immature.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mobilise for the Ógra Shinn Féin National Congress

Ógra activists, Sinn Féin members and republican youth are being asked to mobilise for the upcoming Ógra Shinn Féin National Congress on the 18 – 20 January.

The National Congress which is Ógra’s largest and most important event of the year, will be taking place in Dublin’s ATGWU Hall which is located on Middle Abbey Street.

Urging maximum attendance, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McColgan said,

“Ógra activists, Sinn Féin members and republican youth should be prioritising attendance at this year’s National Congress. Each Ógra cumann and activist has an onus on them to ensure maximum attendance. It will be an opportunity for us to discuss a difficult yet successful year, it will allow us to debate many relevant and progressive issues and will assist us in forging an activist based work plan for the year ahead.”

“The congress will include a leadership address from Gerry Adams, workshops and debate on pressing issues, protests, night of revolutionary music, attendance of international guests, and the launch of a new film and campaign. It is a packed clár of events, and will undoubtedly be an education, and confidence builder for anyone who attends.”

“I look forward to seeing everyone at the National Congress in January, what better way to start the new year than with a successful republican youth event where activists will be able to meet and build camradrie with other young republicans and international comrades. Mobilise now and play a part in its success!”

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

National Road Safety Film Ireland

Ógra Shinn Féin have produced a short film following the weekend's road safety vigil in Dublin. The road safety film includes shocking statistics on the number of deaths so far this year on Irish roads and includes interviews from activists representing Ógra Shinn Féin, Labour Youth and Young Greens.

National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McColgan said,

"The road safety film demonstrates the urgent need for action on this serious issue which claims hundreds of young lives every year."

"It was heartening to see the enthusiasm of the other youth wings to work with us on this campaign."

"The short film also shows the encouaging response we received from the public in Dublin, as we engaged with them and spoke of the campaign and the importance of responsible driving."

"Thousands of people witnessed the vigil in Dublin, please help us raise the issue to thousands more by promoting this film and through it, promoting the message of road safety - Moilligh Síos!"

Interview With Niall Doran - Derry Ógra Shinn Féin

Niall Doran took time to speak to Ogras Barry McNally earlier this week. Niall, aged 17 and a chef recently took the reins of Derry Ógra Shinn Féin. Formally known as Toirsire Republican Youth they recently reconstituted as Derry Ógra Shinn Féin.

Niall Started by telling me of his own republican beliefs and background

“Growing up in the local community and hearing first hand accounts of the events of Bloody Sunday had a huge impact on me. Learning about Bloody Sunday and Irish history in general was a real eye opener. My granda was a big republican and this is where I believe I got my republicanism from. I am following in his footsteps in contributing to the struggle for Irish freedom.

“Whilst at first I was too shy to join any group or youth organisation about pursuing my republican politics, I was invited by a friend along to a meeting and relented. This let me see that there was ways and means by which I could achieve and pursue republican objectives.

“I was always very supportive of Sinn Fein and their strategy; in my opinion their policies are the best, progressive way to the republic. A united Ireland can be achieved by pursuing the objectives and strategy of Sinn Féin. The armed campaign has brought us this far, politics will hopefully conclude the job for which many gave their lives.

Explaining the background of setting up Toirsire Republican Youth Niall said

“The idea to form a republican youth organisation in Derry such as Toirsire was first discussed in early 2005. This quickly led to the launch of Toirsire Republican Youth in Derry at Easter 2005. With the help of Derry republicans we set about campaigning, educating and agitating. Toirsire was a place to make politics relevant amongst peers and was about bringing our republican beliefs and values into our communities.

“Many of our first recruits were friends and family of victims of the struggle who were looking to learn more about their history and to continue on the struggle for which their friends and family gave their lives to achieve.'

“Toirsire were involved in numerous campaigns. We held protests in aid of the Hands off Cuba campaign and Cuban Solidarity around the 40th Anniversary events of the death of Che Guevara. We were also to the fore in campaigning and agitating to call our City simply Derry. Others call it the walled city, the maiden city and many other names; but I call a spade a spade, the same with our city, its Derry.

Questioned on how Niall first found out about Ógra or heard about Ógra he said

“Toirsire were invited to numerous Ógra events and weekends and we seen them protesting and were aware of them through the media and also knew members on a personal basis. The Coiste Youth camp in Ballintoy demonstrated how Ógra were organised nationally and had a good structure in place. Following this there were numerous people within Toirsire that we should become an Ógra cumann as opposed to Toirisre. It was a big decision however. But notwithstanding this we agreed with the decision to reconstitute ourselves as Ógra. As one of those who supported the move I seen Ógra as more organised then Toirsire. Also being a part of a bigger national movement has its benefits. We were involved with Sinn Féin since the inception of Toirisre so we were like an Ógra cumann in all but name. So it made sense to become Doire Ógra Shinn Féin.'

“Already we have been active on the Stand Up for Derry Campaign. It calls for more affordable social housing in Derry, for Magee University to be upgraded and calling for a motorway to Derry as well as an improved railway service in the area.

Pressed on the major issues affecting the youth of Derry today Niall said the two major issues were “the unacceptably high levels of suicide in the city and also drugs and alcohol abuse particularly amongst the youth.”

Outside of politics Niall enjoys cooking. He reflecting the pressure in the job he quipped “Don’t mention the stress!”

Concluding the interview Niall was asked how to make politics relevant to young people

“You need to bring it down to young peoples level-simplifying it to something they understand. By doing this it makes politics relevant to young people and makes it more transparent.'

Quickfire Round:

Favorite Food: Pasta

Favorite Drink: Carlsberg

Favorite Music / Artist: Gary Og

Favorite Film: In The Name Of The Father

Favorite Book: Derry – Through the Lens by Willie Carson

Favorite Holiday resort: Salou

Most memorable moment in Politics: The Coiste weekend in Ballintoy.

Most influential person in your life: Frances Hughes

Person you would like to meet (living) George Bush - Just to kick him in the B****

Person you would like to meet (deceased) Frances Hughes

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

- End Partition
- End the use of Shannon airport by US Military
- Make Irish the first spoken language of Ireland

CRH say’s “Merry Christmas” to Irish homeless and gives the two fingers to Palestinian homeless

Stephanie Lord

What a delight it was for me to see that Cement Roadstone Holdings (CRH) has decided that it will team up for the Simon Community in Ireland in a venture that will see them make an annual contribution of up to €1 million to the charity in an effort to end homelessness across the country. While it is fantastic to see any business embarking on some journey towards corporate responsibility, but there are huge problems when this is clearly only a tokenistic gesture by one company who never before gave a rats ass about human rights.

Here’s how the scheme will work; for every 3 months a branch of CRH has no accidents in the workplace a sum of money will be donated to the Simon Community operating in that region. If a branch has no accidents for a full year Simon will get an additional 25% on top of the original donation. Aside from the fact that all companies are statutorily obliged to ensure that there are no accidents in the workplace – getting company management to adhere to basic health and safety compliance requirements should be a given and not the only incentive to give to charity.

But here is where the problem lies. How is it that CRH on one hand can see the absolute tragedy of homelessness (and also the lack of homeless service provision by the government one can presume) in Ireland on one hand, and then implement all these wonderful initiatives to combat it – while on the other hand they own a 25% stake in Mashav Cement? Mashav Cement owns Neshar, the sole provider of cement in Israel – the cement that was used to build the apartheid wall through Palestine displacing thousands of Palestinians and contributing to homelessness as communities are torn apart and separated.

It is incredibly hypocritical that the likes of Donal Dempsey, a Regional Managing Director of CRH can be quoted on the Simon Community website as saying that "CRH is one of the largest building material suppliers in the world and we see an immediate connection with an organisation like Simon, who are synonymous with helping to shelter and house the most vulnerable members of our society. Every single member of our 7,000 strong workforce north and south will be involved in the success of this very worthy project". Yes Donal, it is worthy to support those who are aiding the vulnerable of our society but not while you are contributing to something as immoral and unjust as the apartheid wall in the West Bank. The International Organisation for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination have told the UN Economic and Social Council that “Israel's presence and policies in the Occupied Territories are legally and morally unacceptable. Consequently, while the ordeal of the Palestinians have been tragic, its imprint on others with a sense of justice and knowledge of history was distressing, to say the least. With the construction of a wall, creating a de facto new border fraught with a host of further predicaments, the lives of the Palestinians have become even worse.” If CRH had a shred of moral decency about them, they would immediately end their complicities in the actions of the Israelis.

The Simon Community cannot be blamed for taking the money that CRH are offering. There are literally thousands of homeless people across Ireland. There is no exact figure available because of the lack of comprehensive homeless surveys done. According to the Government, you are homeless if you live in the doorway of the Central Bank on Westmoreland St. However, if you live on a sofa in your friend’s house or a hostel you aren’t. The Simon Community do fantastic work and provide a much needed service to those who would receive nothing if they did not exist and the demands placed on them are growing daily. They are under-funded and under-resourced. Nobody could blame them for taking money from CRH when it is so terribly needed.

It is the absolute deceitfulness of CRH that is disgusting. All they are doing is paying lip-service to the idea of being charitable and what they are giving with one hand they are taking away with the other. While they might be giving the homeless of Ireland a bit of hand, they are giving the two fingers to the people of Palestine and actively contributing to the destruction of whole communities there.
The first page of CRHs Code of Business Conduct document states that they are “committed to being ethical and responsible members of the business communities in which they operate”. It is now high time that they cut the bullshit and started acting like it and stopped contributing to the blatant abuse of human rights in Israel for once and for all.

(Above: A Refugee camp in Palestine)

Ógra Shinn Féin attend event in Aras an Uachtaráin.

Ógra Shinn Féin attended an evening hosted by President Mary McAleese with the former President of Latvia, on Thursday 13 December in Aras an Uachtaráin. Aine Downes and Barry McNally were there to represent Ógra Shinn Féin at the evening. They were two of over 200 delegates at the event.

Dr Vaira Vike Freiberga, President of Latvia until May last, spoke on theme "Ideals versus Ideology". Dr Vike-Freiberga is an interesting woman and gifted speaker whose background as a child refugee in a divided Europe and as a former Head of State brought a distinctive perspective to this debate.

The address was followed by Q and A session led by President McAleees and De Vike Freiberga. Renowned musicians, Donal Lunny and Dúchas then took up the stage to conclude the formal events for the evening. Traditional Irish music and Irish dancers brought an end to the evening.

Participants then were invited to adjourn to the State Reception Rooms for the Aras for light refreshments.

Speaking on the event Aine Downes of Ógra said

“Dr Vaira Vike Freiberga is a very gifted orator and raised many stimulating and questioning issues. She spoke at length about how a nations values cannot be imposed upon another nation. This is very evident at the minute given US foreign policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, a policy which Dr Vaira Vike Freiberga herself supports. I found this in itself strange. The event as well as being an opportunity to engage with President McAleese and Dr Vaira Vike Freiberga was also an opportunity to engage with other youth groups throughout the island of Ireland.

Moilligh Síos this Christmas - McGibbon

Sinn Féin Councillor and Ógra Shinn Féin national secretary Johnny McGibbon has called on road users and parents to be mindful of the added risks of road accidents over the festive season.

Councillor McGibbon said,

"I am calling on all road users to be extra vigilant at this time of year especially as children are off on holidays for several weeks. With the winter conditions and with more children out playing on the streets it is important that drivers are more aware and adapt their driving to suit these conditions.

"At Christmas and other holiday times of the year roads can be more dangerous, certainly more so for children who are excited about Santa Claus and gifts than minding the road. There are a number of dates in the calendar when the Irish roads see more unfortunate and sometimes avoidable accidents than others, particularly public holidays such as Christmas and any school breaks when many parents will go on more outings with children.

"Many children will receive bikes this Christmas and venture onto the roads for the first time and I would appeal to parents to ensure all new bikes are fully fitted with lights and their children with helmets and a basic knowledge of the Highway Code. "Parents should also ensure that children travelling in cars are well secured with the proper constraints and that the car is never overloaded.

"Drivers should also ensure that their vehicle is kept maintained, slow down and never ever drink and drive and hopefully we can get through Christmas without a major tragedy. Moilligh Síos this Christmas

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

National Moilligh Síos Vigil

Saturday last in Dublin Ógra Shinn Féin in co-operation with the Young Greens and Labour Youth held a National Road Safety mobilisation as part of their Moilligh Síos Campaign. The demonstration was well attended by all the participating organisations, and attracted a lot of interest from the public. Speakers from each organisation stressed the need to be more vigilant on the roads, especially around Christmas time, as the mortality rate on roads in Ireland was reaching epidemic proportions.

Speaking after the demonstration Ógra Shinn Féin National Campaigns officer, Peadar de Bluit said that he was encouraged by the turnout at the demonstration;

“The gathering of young people here today sends out a strong message, and should leave the Irish public in no doubt that the youth of Ireland are serious about changing the culture of driving that exists in our country. Already this year more than 400 people have died on roads across the island and this will continue to be the case unless there is a proactive approach to road safety in our country. The fatalities caused by speeding are needless and could easily be avoided if people took it upon themselves to drive more responsibly and allow adequate time for their journey.”

“We have been working closely with our comrades in Sinn Féin on this issue and will continue to do so into the future. Ógra Shinn Féin took the initiative to confront this massive issue by undertaking the Moilligh Síos Campaign, despite its sensitivity and the magnitude of it. By taking leadership on this issue we were successful in gaining the support of the Young Greens and Labour Youth for this mobilisation today. We, in Ógra Shinn Féin, are well aware that we cannot achieve change on this issue by ourselves. To successfully tackle this issue we need a joined-up approach with cross-party commitment to end the needless loss of life.”

“We re-iterate our demand for a comprehensive all-Ireland Road Safety Strategy and remain convinced that this is the only way in which change can be affected on this issue. Although our Moilligh Síos Campaign is drawing to a close we will continue to act as a radical voice for change on the issue of road safety. Road carnage is the second biggest killer of young people in Ireland this statistic is unacceptable and we will do everything in our power to ensure that this changes, and that the roads of the future are safer for everyone that people get the message: Moilligh Síos!”

South Down prepares for major Ógra expansion

With already two well established Ógra Cumainn in the county, Down is proving to be an area of exceptional growth for the party at Ógra and senior level. With in the space of two short years, Ógra membership has doubled, three new Sinn Féin Cumainn have been formed and the party slashed the SDLP majority in South Down from 10,000 in 2005 to less than 400 in 2007 (328 to be precise.)

In fact in 1997 only 1 voter out of 10 voted Republican, now 1 out of 3 vote Sinn Féin, without question, a transformation is taking place.

In the new year, Ógra members representing both the Pádraig Pearse, South Down and Castlewellan/Newcastle East Down Ógra will meet to discuss and plan the next stage of Ógra expansion in the county.
Róisin Mc Greevy, organiser of East Down Ógra Shinn Féin believes that the county still holds huge potential.
‘’I have no doubt that Ógra will continue to grow, for us this is only the start.’’
She continued:
"We already have another group of young people joining in the new year from the Ballynahinch area.’’
Her views are shared by Lisa Travers of South Down Ógra:
"We are expanding and we are growing, Ihave no doubt that 2008 will be our year.’’
She continued:
"I believe that the potential is there to form at least two new Ógra Cumainn in the early stages of 2008, one in lower Mourne and a second in Ballynahinch’’.
‘’Our aim is to establish Ógra throughout the county I know we can and we will,’’

Killer Coke

Eugene Garvey
Ógra Shinn Féin

With regards to last week An Phoblacht (13th Dec 07) and the central page article which includes a photo of a number of comrades during the lunch break,

I couldn’t help but notes that in the small photo there was five delicious bottles of Colombia blood AKA Coca-Cola products being enjoyed. Are we now getting sponsored by killer coke? Do we no long Support the killer coke campaign?

A campaign that seek to stop a gruesome cycle of murders, kidnappings and torture of union leaders and organizers involved in the daily life and death struggles at Coca Cola bottling plants in Colombia. Were eight people have been murder for being union leaders or in one case a manager who was considered friendly to the union. The most recent being the murder of Adolfo de Jesús Munera Lopez in 2002.

I also wonder did these products come from the Drogheda Coca- Cola bottling where 256 workers will loss there jobs next year flowing recent announcements.

This is not the first time I have seen Coca Cola products being sold our drunk at major Sinn Féin events or meeting. I have often voiced my disgust at comrades supporting coke, the responses I receive range from using ignorance as defence, that they had no other choice or that they are “addicted” to it. Regardless of excuses you either support worker right or you don’t.

I find it very ironic and sad that at an event where we are meant to be re-launching the party as a left wing alternative and ”engaging modern Ireland ”, we use a photo like this. Also as I looked at the photo I couldn’t help but notice that the key figures where Male Stale and Pale (with the exception of the coke). Is this the 32 socialist democratic republic we dream and work for or are we, like I hope, going to achieve the “Real Thing”.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Photos of Basque Protest in Dublin 08/12/07

Ógra Shinn Féin Organise Basque Solidarity Protest in Dublin

Ógra Shinn Féin held a demonstration outside the GPO in Dublin Saturday last in solidarity with the people of the Basque country, especially the leaders of Batasuna and SEGI, who have been recently arrested and sentenced to irrational jail terms, by the Spanish authorities. In response to this Ógra Shinn Féin working with the Dublin Basque committee mobilised onto the streets of Dublin to bring the issue to the public.

Speaking after the protest Ógra Shinn Féin International Officer, Orlagh Mc Cauley detailed the reasons for the protest;

“I’m delighted with the attendance at today’s demonstration. Ógra in co-operation with the Dublin Basque committees brought the plight of the incarcerated pro-independence Basque activists to the streets of Dublin. Today’s protest attracted a lot of attention from the people of Dublin who seemed genuinely interested in the ongoing situation in the Basque country. Ógra Shinn Féin stand and will continue to stand in solidarity with the people in the Basque country in their calls for independence.”

“Ógra Shinn Féin mobilised here today in co-operation the Basque Solidarity committees to demand that the Spanish Government re-initiate the process of political engagement with Batasuna. The behaviour of the Spanish Government in the context of the Basque political is unacceptable and Ógra renew our demand that talks between the sides are restarted immediately.”

“Ógra Shinn Féin fully support the demands of the Basque left-independence movement the demands. We believe their cause is just and condemn unreservedly the treatment of the Basque people by the Spanish authorities. We stand, and will continue to stand, in solidarity with the youth wing in the Basque country – SEGI. We have close ties with SEGI and we believe that the attempted criminalisation of them by the Spanish authorities is a cynical, un-democratic move.”

“The Spanish Government need to immediately accept the right of the Basque people to self-determination. Ógra Shinn Féin therefore call on the Spanish authorities to immediately re-initiate the political process and put an end to the political posturing which they have engaged in up to this point.”

“Freedom for the Basque Country, Saoirse dosna Bascaigh, Jo ta ke!”

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Road Safety Signs Erected in West Tyrone

Road Safety Signs have been erected in West Tyrone by Ógra Shinn Féin as part of their ongoing 'Moilligh Síos' Road Safety campaign. The road safety billboards have been erected in the run up to the holiday period in order to raise awarness around the issue of road safety and to urge drivers to drive responsibly.

Stephen McGahan spokesperson for West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin said,

"We have erected the billboards in areas where hundreds of cars pass everyday. Simple measures like this can help raise the issue of road safety immeasurably and hopefully help save a life."

"The erection of the billboards is just another action in the campaign. We have organised a number of local vigils, distributed thousands of leaflets and engaged with thousands of young drivers. Although it is very difficult to assess the success of campaigns like this, we are hopeful that our many actions have contributed in making drivers think before they drive."

"The response to the billboards have been very positive to date with some relatives of those who have lost loved ones on the roads thanking us for the initiative. Considering this response we would encourage other Ógra areas to erect billboards before the campaign ends in January."

Seanna Walsh addresses West Tyrone Youth Forum on 1981 Hungerstrike

Seanna Walsh, former political prisoner, Officer Commanding of IRA prisoners, and close friend to Bobby Sands was in Omagh yesterday (12th December) to address the West Tyrone Youth Forum on ‘The 1981 Hungerstrike.’

The West Tyrone Youth Forum which takes place monthly in the local Sinn Féin Office, has been running for a number of years now and has continued to organise educational talks and provide local youth and students with a platform to air their questions on pressing and historical issues.

The talk on the Hungerstrike was intended to coincide with December being prisoner’s month and it received a brilliant turnout with students from five of the main local schools.

Michelle McMenamin speaking on the talk said,

“Seanna Walsh delivered a very insightful talk, giving a backdrop to the circumstances leading up to the 1981 Hungerstrike which would see his close friend Bobby Sands die.”

“Seanna talked intimately about the prison struggle, about the unbreakable spirit of the prisoners and touched on the personal characteristics of the hungerstrikers he knew.”

“The talk was thoroughly thought provoking and inspiring, and provoked a good debate following Seanna’s address with many questions and comments being aired from the floor. The talk on the 1981 Hungerstrike has created a huge interest amongst the youth and students in attendance with many providing suggestions for future themes. I would encourage all young people from the West Tyrone area to attend the next youth forum in Jaunary and to become part of the debate.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Hell of Crumlin Road Gaol

December is traditionally known as Prisoners month for Sinn Fein, and this is no different for Ógra.

West Belfast Ógra Shinn Féin got a very rare opportunity this week to get an inside look into the “hell” of Crumlin Road Gaol and to witness the conditions endured by republican prisoners down through the generations.

Tom Williams, a young republican aged only 19, was hanged and buried in Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast after he was convicted of involvement in the killing of RUC man Patrick Murphy in West Belfast on Easter weekend of 1942. Williams was one of six IRA men and two women, including senior republican Joe Cahill, who were convicted of Murphy's killing. Before Williams’s death he left some messages on the back of playing cards. One message said,

“To ever who receives this to pray for me always & pray for the cause for which I am dying. God Save Ireland.”

Paul Mc Cann of West Belfast Ogra had this to say,

“To be in a building where some of Ireland’s bravest men and women were killed for simply trying to get rid of the British occupation in Ireland was an experience in itself for me. Every republican should think of the effort put in by Prisoners like Tom Williams and Joe Cahill. They were men who didn’t wish for a united ireland but worked for it and gave their lives for Ireland."

Paul also added,

“The presence inside the jail on a cold dark wet evening made the hairs on the back of my neck stand, when we learnt of the conditions that the prisoners faced. I struggle to see how any republican could find it comfortable to be in a place like Crumlin road with its history.”

“Also in the prison we learnt of some of the brutality which the prisoners had to face, and in todays society it would be seen as inhuman. The prison also had its own diplock court room, and gallows.”

Oíche Gaelach i Stormont

le Peadar de Bluit
Dé hAoine (7/12) seo chaite tionóladh ceiliúradh den Gaeilge i Stormont. D’eagraigh Uactarán Shinn Féin an ocáid, a thaispeáin an t-athrú atá ag teach tar pholaíocht na tíre seo. Bhí thart ar 200 daoine ag an ócáid a chonaic ceol, rince agus spraoi i rith na hoíche. D’fhreastal poblachtánaigh ó gach carn den tír ar Stormont ó Cill Choinnigh go Dún na nGall, agus Gaillimh go Blá Cliath. Bhain an uile duine a bhí ann sult ollmhór as an ócáid tábhachtach seo do Ghaeilgeoirí Shinn Féin, agus gníomhaithe na Gaeilge sna sé contae.
(Ógra Members with Irish American Comedian Des Bishop)

Last Friday a celebration of the Irish language was held in Stormont. The event organised by the Sinn Féin President, Gerry Adams, was a clear indicator of just how much things have changed in the six counties. There were in excess of 200 people in attendance enjoying the music, song and dance during the evening. Republicans from all over Ireland gathered in Stormont from Kilkenny to Donegal, and Galway to Dublin. Everyone who was there thoroughly enjoyed the night, which was an important night for Gaeilgeoirí in Sinn Féin as well as Irish language activists in the six counties.

Tá sé tábhachtach go gcaomhnaítear an suim sa Ghailge anois laistigh agus lasmuigh den gluaiseacht agus cabhrú le fás na hathbheochana atá i gcruth thar a bheith sláintiúil na laethanta seo. Ba cheart go ndéanfaidh Gaeilgeoirí cineadh dearfach Gaeilge a úsáid gach uair is féidir leo. Ní féidir le teanga maireachtaint gan daoine á labhairt. Tá sé de dhualgas ag Gaeilgeoirí ní hamháin an Ghaeilge a labhairt nuair is féidir leo, ach daoine eile a spreagadh í a labhairt chomh maith.

Mar a chéile le gach ócáid de chuid Sinn Féin na laethanta bhí grúpa láidir ó Ógra ann. Ní iomlán na daoine óga a bhí sa grúpa Ógra áfach, bhí daoine óga ann ó scoileanna áitiúla sa cheantar. Chomh maith le sin bhí roinnt iar-baill de Ógra Shinn Féin ag freastal ar an ócáid agus iad anois ag obair le Sinn Féin. Bhí sé spreagúil na daoine óga seo go léír a fheiscint ag freastal ar an ócáid seo ag cur na bréige faoi easpa suime an ógra sa Ghailge ina luí go hiomlán.

It is imperative the increasing interest in Irish is maintained both within and without the movement and that the ongoing revival of Irish is aided in whatever way possible. It is the responsibility of al Gaeilgeoirí to use and promote the Irish language at every chance possible. This responsibility is prevalent for young people more so than anyone else, and it appeared from Friday night that the youth of Ireland are more than willing to take up this mantle. Outside of the substantial Ógra contingent that can be seen at most Sinn Féin events these days, there was a number of young people from Gaelscoileanna in the immediate area, as well as many former members of Ógra now absorbed into the Sinn Féin structures. This significant group of young people showed that the future of the Irish was assured for the foreseeable furure.

Is cuid lárnach de oidhreacht is cultúr na hÉireann í an Gaeilge. Tá sé de dhulgas againn ar fad í a fhoghlaim is a labhairt. Mar a dúirt an Piarsach tráth,

“Tír gan teanga. Tír gan anam.”

Cavan Cola


There is a great injustice which has been visited on the people of Cavan and Ireland for many years. This crime the most vile and cruel since partition is the denial of that which is the birth right of all the citizens of Ireland and took pride of place in the great county of Cavan. I speak of course of the years of drought of the nation's favourite and most delicious beverage, the ambrosia of the Gaels…..Cavan-Cola.

I well remember this, the pinnacle of Cavan achievement from my childhood. A marvel of chemistry and nature, volatile as Vesuvius yet refreshing as….well…em…a bottle of Cavan-Cola!

But this crime has not gone unnoticed the people have risen and they are clear in their demands. WE WANT CAVAN-COLA! No to the alien Coke and Pepsi or inferior Country Spring!

With a health service on the brink of disaster, almost non-existent public services, imminent ecological doom and the continued occupation of Iraq and Palestine its so reassuring that the people of Ireland have their priorities so straight.

Well I suppose we should support empowered communities but I'm not sure nostalgic sugar junkies constitute a community.

Show your support:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Basque Film Launched at Basque/Irish Night in Belfast

Ógra Shinn Féin recently launched a film at a Basque/Irish Night in Conway Mill Belfast. The film explores the cultural, social and political realities in the Basque country and looks at the current struggle for independence. It is presented by Ógra Shinn Féin activists who travelled to the Basque Country in September to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the Basque people and youth movement Segi.

Introducing the film, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McColgan said,

"The current high level of oppression being directed at the Basque people is a disgrace. The Spanish state's totalitarian clamp down and human rights abuses must be highlighted and exposed across the world. We have a huge job of work to play in Ireland, we must raise the issue with the Irish public and we must lobby the Dublin government to put pressure on the Spanish for their ridiculous measures which have included the banning of political parties, arrests and torture of legitimate political, social and cultural activists."

"The film produced by Ógra Shinn Féin goes someway in raising awareness on the current situation on the fragile nature of the Basque democratic processes. It also shows the resilience and vibrancy of the Basque people and demonstrates that despite massive state oppression the movement for independance grows. I would urge everyone to watch and promote the film."

If you are interested in getting a copy of the DVD which are priced at £5/8Euro (All profit will be used in the production of future films). Please email

Tuition Fees! A Call to Mobilise for the Youth

Michál Harkin
Sheena Campbell Cumann
Ógra Shinn Féin

The recent decision by Stormont to allow the increase of Student fees in line with inflation is yet another devastating blow to the Students of the North of Ireland.

The fees, ‘capped’ at £3000, now stand at £3145. For students from disadvantaged areas, this could mean the end to their hopes and aspirations of a degree. Sinn Féin Assembly member for West Belfast Sue Ramsey who is the Chairperson of the Assembly Employment and Learning Committee said,
"The majority of the parties opposed Student Fees in their election manifestos and many indeed called for their abolition. On this basis it is incumbent on us to oppose any increase in Student Fees."
"Reg Empey may have pointed to some review in the future yet he provided no detail about how this review can deliver for our young people and no indication about how he will tackle the negative impact that Students Fees is having, particularly as a barrier to students from poorer backgrounds. He won't even admit it is a problem."
But where is all this money going? Research seems to be the byword of every Higher Education Authority across this Island.
In the South, where the government and private companies fund the Universities, then by all rights the universities must produce what they are being paid to do.
But what happens when, as is the case in the North, students are paying the University to provide them with a degree, but the University uses their money to fund their own research.
I believe the day is coming fast when students who have had lectures, tutorials and classes cancelled, will be requesting refunds from universities who’s greed and selfishness continues to spiral out of control.
Let’s campaign for what we need, a higher education system that works with the student’s, for the student’s, not a corporate image.
Ógra Shinn Féin is against Student fees, has always been against fees, and always will be against fees.
Education is a right, not the preserve of the privileged few!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Moilligh Síos!

Peadar de Bluit
National Campaigns Officer

Ógra Shinn Féin

Tá an Nollag buailte linn arís. Is bliain fíochmhar crua a bhí againn le 12 mí anuas. In ainneoin seo áfach tá dul chun cinn déanta ag Ógra Shinn Féin i rith an ama sin. Faoi láthair táimid i mbun feachtas náisiúnta ag díriú ar sláinteachas bóithre. Tá obair maith déanta againn ar an gceist ón samhradh anonn agus ba cheart bheith bródúil asainn féin faoi sin. Is ceist tromchúiseach í ceist an sláinteachas bóithre, agus tá sé an spreagúil do go leor daoine go roghnaíomar obair a dhéanamh air.

Christmas time is with us again. Republicans have endured a reasonably difficult year over the past 12 months. Despite this however, Ógra Shinn Féin have continued to develop and grow. At the moment we are in the midst of a national campaign focusing on road safety. We have done very good work on this issue since the summer and we should recognise that. Road safety is an extremely difficult, sensitive question, and many have been encouraged by the willingness of Ógra to take on this issue.

We have nearly reached the end of the current campaign but before that we must focus on the national mobilisation scheduled to take place in Dublin on Saturday. Labour Youth and the Young Greens, have come together with ourselves in Ógra Shinn Féin to sponsor a national youth vigil calling on Irish people to take Road Safety more seriously, and make a real effort to change the driving culture that exists in our country. This issue transcends borders, politics and nationality; it affects all ages, races and genders. This why we have campaigned on this issue for the past six months, and why we are mobilising in Dublin on Saturday.

Tá mise ag glaoch ar chumainn Ógra fud fad na tíre teacht go Blá Cliath ar an Satharn agus a cinntiú go bhfaightear an teachtaireacht. Is ceist í an Sláinteachas Bóithre a cuireann isteach ar gach aoinne is cuma cén aois nó cén cuid den tír gurb as dóibh. Más rud é nach raibh tú gníomhach go dtí seo impím oraibh teacht ar an Satharn agus a bheith páirteach san agóid.

I urge all Ógra activists to travel to Dublin on Saturday and send the message to the people of Dublin and the people of Ireland that the Irish youth are serious about Road Safety and that we want something done about it now. If there is any area which has not yet been active on this campaign, for whatever reason, now is your chance to play your part. Come to Dublin on Saturday, bring your friends, relatives and fellow comrades. Come to Dublin on Saturday and make your voice heard, make sure Ireland gets the message – MOILLIGH SÍOS!

Beirigí Bua,

Staff Captain Jim McGinn Remembered

Seán Gillespie
Strabane ÓSF

This Sunday (December 8th) will see the annual commemoration march for volunteer Jim McGinn, west Tyrone command Oglaigh Na hEireann.

The passing of 33 years has not diminished the painful memories of that tragic day at Clady bridge, on the Tyrone-Donegal border.

Jim and three comrades were on active service, and preparing to carry out an attack on the occupying forces in the north. The bomb Jim was carrying was a remote controlled device. As the volunteers walked across the bridge, the bomb exploded prematurely, killing Jim instantly and injuring his three comrades, one seriously.

Jim was only 20 years of age at the time of his death and deep sorrow and sadness engulfed his native Strabane as news of the event spread. Black flags appeared on houses throughout the town and this sombre mood prevailed throughout the Christmas period.

Subsequent to his death, Jim had taken an active and full part the civil rights struggle. He joined the Republican movement shortly after internment and was forced to go “on the run” following an operation in early 1972. Jim held the position of engineering officer of the west Tyrone command staff at the time of his death, a position which bore testament to his ability.

Jim was renowned for his humour and friendly nature and his outgoing character endeared him to young and old alike. He had a deep love of his native culture, reflected in his involvement with An Comhaltas Uladh. Jim’s intensive study of the writings of James Connolly made a deep impression on him and fuelled his desire to achieve social and economic justice for all, and the clear understanding that this would only be achieved through the removal of divisive british rule.

Every year friend’s family and comrades of Jim’s, gather at the spot where he died to lay wreaths and pay tribute to his memory. His annual commemoration will kick off at 3:00pm at the river club Cloughfinn Co. Donegal, and will proceed to the bridge at Clady Co. Tyrone, led by the Strabane Memorial flute band.

This brave young Irish soldier will live on as an inspiration to the Republican youth of today, who continue to play a part in the unfinished struggle for freedom, for which Jim gave his life.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ógra urged to get active for Prisoners' Month

ÓGRA Shinn Féin National Organiser Barry McColgan has urged Ógra Shinn Féin to get active throughout the month of December to remember POWs who are still held in jail this Christmas.

According to McColgan, whilst many protests, leaflet drops and vigils will be highlighting the incarceration of Irish republican POWs, a number of other actions will highlight international POWs. Prisoners held as a result of anti-imperialist struggles such as The Miami 5 and Leonard Peltier will be the focus of a number of events.

Barry McColgan said:

“This year, we will also be focusing on the imprisonment of the Segi leadership. The past year has seen an increase of repression in the Basque Country which has seen the imprisonment of many people due to their political beliefs. We extend our continued solidarity greetings to our imprisoned comrades in the Basque Country and will remember them this year also. Having visited the Basque Country in the summer, the large delegation of Ógra Shinn Féin members saw at first-hand the repression in the Basque Country. We call for the immediate release of the Segi leadership and call for an end to the repression.”

As part of Prisoners’ Month, Ógra members have already visited republican comrades in Castlerea.

Barry McColgan urged groups nationally to organise a day of action in the run-up to the festive period for POWs worldwide and the IRA POWs who still remain behind bars despite the end of the recent phase of armed conflict by the leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann.

Argos – the shop where they not only reserve goods, they reserve some staff as well.

Stephanie Lord

Over the weekend we saw the disgraceful behaviour of those in Drogheda, Swords, Jervis Street and other outlets go without being remarked on by the media. This disgraceful behaviour was by Argos management and those who chose to disregard the picket-line outside of Argos and venture inside to engage in some festive shopping courtesy of the scab-labour that had been flown in by the management that day. I find it ironic that many in Drogheda can be up in arms regarding the impending closure of the Coca-Cola plant and subsequent relocation of production to a non-unionised plant elsewhere and then rearrange the order of their moral high ground so they are enabled to pass a picket-line in a well-publicised industrial dispute, and therefore undermine the purpose of the workers strike as a result.

It is understandable that Christmas is only around the corner and nobody wants to see a 6 year olds disappointed face because they didn’t get their Action Man, but with a little clarity it is easily seen that a child will eventually get over that. On the other hand, workers do not strike in the month of Nollaig for nothing and knowing your employment will become even more precarious as a result of taking a courageous stance, and possibly eventually non-existent is slightly harder to get over. Argos profits are up by 50% this year. Their employees are seeking a 10% pay-rise. They might be on more than minimum wage but that is still unacceptable if it is below subsistence remuneration.

The introduction of strike-breaking workers by Argos management was a despicable action, and regardless of their employment status within Argos before Saturday’s strike – they are still scab labour and this is to be expected from a company who are under pressure from IBEC to make an example of their low-paid staff so that others in the private sector do not get too inspired by it. The fact that it is socially acceptable to now cross a picket line, regardless of whether you agree with the objectives of the industrial action is astonishing. It is unthinkable (for this writer at least) to cross a picket-line whether it is Aer Lingus, CIE, Dublin Bus, Argos or workers from the Centra down the road on strike.

What makes this even more galling is that the scabs who were flown in to Argos stores showed no solidarity even as fellow workers, to those on the picket line. Nobody is quite sure how many workers were flown in, but one thing is for sure here – Argos were not going to let the cost of flying anyone anywhere be a problem and given the profits of Argos were €8.1 billion for this year, chartering a plane or paying €300 a head for last minute seats on flights is peanuts to the shopping giant. It’s quite obvious that this was an issue of breaking the strike and not doing their best by their customers. Mandate, the trade union of which most Argos employees are members of up until recently had a recognition agreement with Argos for the purposes of collective bargaining. The human resource wizards in the company have realised that they could get away with giving workers less if they did away with recognising Mandate and only went along with the National Wage agreements, another example of how social partnership agreements are only undermining the trade union movement in this state – and the sooner ICTU wake up to this the better.

As for those who crossed the picket-line and ventured into the store for their child’s Action Man, I sincerely hope that their child enjoys it. I hope that being a consumer rather than a citizen was worth it. I also sincerely hope that when they give the Action Man, they spare a thought for those who went on strike to get 90 cent extra an hour and rethink their actions next time they see a picket line and do the right thing by not crossing it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mac Ádhmaidh ag óstáil Ceiliúradh na Gaeilge i Stormont

Beidh Uachtarán Shinn Fein Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh MP MLA ag óstáil Cheiliúradh na Gaeilge i Mór-Halla Stormont ar an Áoine 7 Nollaig @ 7in.

Tá Foras na Gaeilge ag déanamh comh-urraíochta ar an imeacht agus beidh ionadaithe ó chomhlachtaí agus eagraíochtaí Gaeilge as achan chearn den tír i láthair.
Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Mac Ádhaimh fá dtaobh den imeacht:
"Tá dul chun cinn suntasach déanta maidir leis an Ghaeilge le blianta beaga anuas. Is ón ghnáthphobal a tháinig an spreagadh agus an dul chun cinn seo, agus ba é dua, díograis agus dúthracht na múinteoirí, na dtuismitheoirí, gníomhaithe teanga agus cuid mhór daoine eile a choinnigh an Ghaeilge beo leis na blianta.
"Sa lá atá inniu ann, tá an Ghaeilge ag fás as cuimse, agus tá méadú leanúnach ar an líon daoine óga atá ag iarraidh í a labhairt.
"Is í an dóigh is fearr agus is éifeachtaí lena chinntiú go leanfar le fás agus forbairt na Gaeilge ná í a bheith ina cuid bhríomhar de ghnáthshaol na ndaoine.
"Tá sé rí-thábhachtach fosta go ndéanfaidh muid an méid atá bainte amach i gcothú agus i bhforbairt na Gaeilge le blianta beaga anuas, a cheiliúradh.
"Tá ceiliúradh an Aoine seo chugainn ina chuid thábhachtach de seo.
"Tabharfaidh an ócáid deis do phobal na Gaeilge, do cheoltóirí, do ghníomhaithe pobail agus polaitiúla, do pháistí agus go leor eile an ceol s'againne, an Ghaeilge agus an cultúr Gaelach a chur i lár an aonaigh agus a thaispeáint don saol mór.
"Tá an Ghaeilge ina gné lárnach dár saol mar phobal, is den Ghaeilge muid mar phobal riamh anall, agus caithfimid í thabhairt linn isteach san am atá amach romhainn agus í a bhronnadh ar an chéad ghlúin eile."
Tá an ócáid ar leith seo á comh-urrú ag Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh agus Foras na Gaeilge.
Nóta don eagarthóir.
I meas na ndaoine a bheas i láthair, beidh cór na n-óg, Nollaig agus Áine Brolly; Gearóid Mac Lochlainn, Máire Bean Uí Bhruadair agus Frances Black.
For english version:

Youth Wings Unite to Urge Road Safety

A Road Safety Vigil will be held at the GPO, Dublin, on Saturday 15th December at 1pm, Ógra Shinn Féin, Labour Youth and the Young Greens announced today.

Road traffic accidents claim hundreds of lives every year on Irish roads, with young people being a high proportion of the victims.

"Four hundred and three people have died on roads on the island of Ireland this year alone" said Barry McColgan of Ógra Shinn Féin.

"It's nothing short of a national tragedy. We need to urgently raise awareness of the issue, and we need action now, both north and south."

"We feel that young people have a responsibility to act as peer leaders in highlighting this issue, and trying to end this annual carnage."

The Road Safety Vigil has been organised in the run up to the holiday season, to call on the youth of Ireland to take responsibility on the roads and to slow down.

"It's a sad fact that road accidents and deaths increase during the Christmas holiday period", said Labour Youth's Enda Duffy.

"It's the complete antithesis of the season of happiness and joy."

"As well as urging people to drive carefully, keep to the speed limit, and not to drive while tired, we would also appeal to everyone to never ever drink and drive, never to let your friends get behind the wheel while drunk, and please, report any suspected cases of driving drunk to the Gardaí."

"Alcohol is one of the main causes of road accidents, and every of those accidents is avoidable".

Stephen Crowley of the Young Greens, meanwhile, called for greater preventative action.

"We have to reduce people's dependence on their own cars as the sole mode of transportation, particularly in rural areas. Cheap and easily available public transport would dramatically reduce the temptation and opportunity for people to drive under the influence."

"Where no alternative is available, we would encourage people to nominate a designated driver."

He also called on pubs to help designated drivers by providing them with free non-alcoholic drinks for the night.

"It's a simple solution which is already being run by soft drinks companies, which we strongly welcome. But not all pubs participate in such schemes, and we would encourage everyone in the industry to joining, and help us reduce the number of families who will lose a loved one on the roads this Christmas."

Ógra Shinn Féin, Labour Youth and the Young Greens invite everyone who can to come to the Road Safety Vigil, and play a part in national road safety.

Christmas Time for Ógra!

Gerry Junior

According to a recent survey by Deloitte, the international consultants, the Irish will be the number one spenders this Christmas among eurozone member states.

I would enter a rant about capitalism, neo-colonialism and the false sense of wealth created by Tony the 'Celtic' Tiger, but instead i'd like to focus my attentions towards slagging Ógra.

If the Irish are the number one spender's I'm wondering what the number one gift the bearded one (no not Gerry) will be delivering to Ógra cumann this Christmas.

Starting in the capital (and no McNally I'm not referring to Carrickmore), Dublin, I anticipate a heavy purchase of the Communist Manifesto, fun galore with Karl Marx piling out of all those jackeen stockings this year.

Turning my attention to West Belfast, the good old gold chain is a certainty for our comrades in the Turf and the Murph.

West Tyrone, well thats too obvious, an IRA T-shirt in one stocking and a pair of sand boots under the tree.

Armagh, a bag of fertiliser, (for the grass stupid!)

Kilkenny, a gaelic football, I know they'll struggle with that one.

Monaghan, a pair of scissors for the land of long haired Ógra, apart from one bald activist.

Lurgan, champagne, well not quite, a local speciality known famously as Lurgan Champagne - aka Buckfast.

I can just imagine all the Derry 'wans' adoringly weari ng their new 'I Love Mark Durkan' T-Shirts.

In North Antrim, Santy will be throwing Ulster Scot dictionaries down the chimney or you never no he might even throw in a visitor centre courtesy of the DUP and chief elf Sweeney.

Dundalk will be stocking up on the soon to be released 'Eugene Garvey - Christmas in El Paso.' The quivering angelic voice is sure to be an instant hit. Spiral eat your heart out.

The Ógra in Cork will obviously be putting Independence as top of their Christmas list but not for Ireland, for Cork itself.

South Down and Drogheda will be hoping for a few male activists from Santy's sack because they have the huge dilemma of having an overwhelming number of female members.

And to finish this little slag fest, good aul Cavan, we'll you know what they say about Cavan people, miserable b******s.. A lump of coal and a mandarin orange if their lucky.

Nollaig Shona from Gerry Junior!

An bhfuil dearmad déanta ar an lucht oibre?

le Peadar de Bluit

Sar a thosaím b’fhearr dom a soiléiriú cé go díreach atá faoi caibidil agam anseo. Níl mé ag dul ag déanamh measúnú ar an páirtí polaitíochta den teideal céanna, dhein mé a dhóthain trácht dóibhsiúd an lá cheana. Oibritheoirí na tíre seo atá i gceist agam, go háirithe iadsan atá níos faide síos an scála pá. Is dócha gur oiriúnach an t-am anois é comhrá a athosú faoi stad na gnáth oibrithe sa tír seo. Tá dhá buiséad idir lámha ar an oileán beag seo againne faoi láthair, agus ceachtar acu ag déanamh mórán maitheasa do lucht oibre na tíre seo, in aineoin go bhfuilimid féin sa rialtas ó thuaidh. An rud is náirí áfach ná go bhfuil na polaiteoirí go léir (muid féin san áireamh arís) á rá go bhfuil an réiteach is fearr faighte sna coinníollacha atá ann faoi láthair. Níl le déanamh againn anois, a deirtear linn, más rud é go bhfuilimid gann fós, ach an crios a theannú beagainín níos mó.

Ó theas, ach go háirithe, caithfear a admháil go bhfuil fás borb feicithe againn san eacnamaíocht le deich mbliana anuas. Anois, is cuma sa tioc cad a deir lucht Fianna Fáil, nó an Páirtí ‘Daonlatach’ níl an saibhreas seo tar éis filleadh ar an gnáth duine agus ní fillfidh sé riamh is cuma cé chomh crua is a oibríonn duine. Tá muintir Fianna Fáil agus a gcuid gealltanaisí ag teacht salach anois ón mbuiséad deireanach. Duireamar féin go hiomlán soiléir siar mí Bealtaine, nach bhfaigheadh siad a gcuid pleananna a cur i gcrích, agus cáin a ísealú, ach tugadh an cluas bodhar dúinn faraor. Tá rud éigin ábharaín níos measa in ann áfach, agus feicim ag teacht go mear é. Tá slí amháin sa gearr téarma go dtig leo íoc as a pleananna ar fad – príobháidiú. Gan dabht tá siad tar éis obair maith a dhéanamh de cheana le Aer Lingus, Eircom agus Greencore, is dóigh áfach go bhfuil níos mó in ann. Níl todhchaí ar bith dearfach ag teacht chugainn má leanann an scéal seo. Má táimid chun éirí i gceart arís ba cheart go mbeimid ag spreagadh Éireannaigh chun a ghnó féin a thosú, ag réitiú an bealach do pobail tógraí comh-oibriú a chur ar bun. B’fhéidir ansin go mbeadh sé níos furasta ar dhaoine marachtaint agus tabhairt ar ais don stáit.

Níos mó agus níos mó tá an lucht oibre á thostú. Tá an méid seo á dhéanamh go han-cliste, agus go han-éifeachtach. Is plean le dhá cuid é. Ar an gcéad dul síos tá na íocaíochtaí leasa shóisialaigh, go dtí seo bhí sé de chumas ag an rialtas na íocaíochtaí seo a caitheamh in aon slí go mba mhian leo. Dá mbeadh rud ar bit cearr le duine bhí siad i dteideal íocaíochtaí. Mar a dúirt scríobhneoir cailiúl Gearmánach faoi na rudaí seo tráth, gur chiúiniú an lucht oibre a bhí ann, agus is fíor dó é is dócha. Mar sin feictear don cuid eile againn go bhfuil beagnach lán-fhostaíocht againn a cruthaíonn an dara fadhb, ‘macalla an Fís Meiriceánach’. Seo an rud céanna a mheall an hEorapaigh chuig Meiriceá sa tosach, is a coimeádann na páirtithe coimeádacha i réim ann anois. Sé an cur i gcéill ná gur féidir le duine, nó gur gá leo fiú, iad féin a ‘fheabhsú’. Mar sea ní bhíonn daoine buartha, agus ní bhíonn siad sásta éirí aníos, faoin stad ina bhfuil siad. Is as seo atá an freagra againn, tá dearmad déanta ar an lucht oibre, tá dearmad déanta orthu ar an ábhar go bhfuil siad tar éis dearmad a dhénamh orthu féin. Ní freagra sásúil é sin domsa áfach. Caithfimid mar poblachtánaigh sóisialach, an lucht oibre a gríosú chun coinníollach níos fearr a éiliú ón rialtas, torthaí a gcuid oibre a fháil agus cruth úr a cur ar scéal na tíre seo.

Solidarity Protest For Arrest of 46 Basque Political, Social and Cultural Activists

Ógra Shinn Féin are organising a solidarity protest against the constant oppression this Saturday 8 December @ 4pm at the GPO in Dublin.

Last weekend 46 Basque political, social and cultural activists were re-arrested and imprisoned by the Spanish authorities despite being granted bail in March. They face 527 years and 6 months imprisonment for daring to mobilise for Basque Independence.

The enormous oppression and torture that is currently being directed by the Spanish Government is harping back to the days of Franco. Despite the huge efforts of a 'censored' and 'outlawed' Batasuna for peace, these undemocratic and human rights abuses clearly demonstrate that the Spanish are not sincere in their calls for peace in the Basque Country.

Please come along to show solidarity with the oppressed people of the Basque Country!

Jo ta ke!

"In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued - they may be essential to survival." Noam Chomsky