Monday, April 30, 2007

RIP Cllr Michael McAnespie

(Michael launching Easter Lily with West Tyrone ÓSF in Easter '06)

Ógra Shinn Féin are shocked and saddened at the tragic death of Omagh District Councillor Michael McAnespie.

Michael was a lifelong Republican, and a member of Omagh District Council for 10 years, representing the Mid-Tyrone Electoral area.

He was a hard working councillor who earned the communities respect by working tirelessly on all essential social issues especially agriculture, health and good relations.

Michael was forever a welcoming and encouraging figure for young republicans newly joining Ógra and was present at a number of protests and public launches organised by West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin.

Our deepest and heartfelt sympathies are extended to his wife and family, to his many friends and comrades.

Michael will be sorely missed by Ógra Shinn Féin, especially his comrades who where lucky enough to have known and worked with him.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

A Global Day For Fair Pay

On the 29th of April 2007, Ógra Shinn Féin took part in the annual Mayday rally for workers rights in Dublin city centre. All over the world trade unionists marched in solidarity with workers struggling for better conditions, pay and even the right to join trade unions and exercise their rights and organise their labour. Roughly 300 hundred gathered at the Garden of Remembrance to march to Customs House Quay for music, speeches. Along the way Ógra handed out leaflets on workers rights and the Mayday edition of Glór na nÓg, which we produced in conjunction with the A.R.I.S.E. campaign which this month focuses on exploitation and workers rights.

There was a festive and comradely atmosphere as the ICTU marching band placed union standards like “The Red Flag” and “Le Internationale”. At the Customs House Quay the crowd were addressed by Chair of ICTU Youth and INO member Eddie Mathews, who expressed solidarity with those who are exploited and forced to work in inhumane conditions for next to nothing around the world. He also emphasised that the bosses will give us nothing so workers must organise and fight for what we need.

Another speaker from Belfast Trades Council spoke of the anti-sectarian and anti-racism of Larkin, Connolly and the Trade Union Movement. She recounted the story of the 1903 dockers strike in Belfast where protestant, catholic and dissenter came together for the empowerment of their class and fought long and hard for fair pay. She also emphasised the importance of the solidarity strike which were aid the campaign.

But thankfully the event was not drawn out with countless long speeches and entertainment was provided with music from Liam Ó Maonlaí of the Dublin Workingman's Band, Jalopy and Colours Afrobeat Orchestraband. There was also stalls and information booths setup in the adjoining Customs House Gardens. Liberty Hall’s top floor was later opened as a viewing room.

Ógra spokesperson Oisín Ó Dubhláin commented,

“Ógra will continue to take part in action to highlight the plight of the international working class and fight to end exploitation of workers by breaking the link with capitalism and working to establishing a 32 county democratic socialist republic.”


Friday, April 27, 2007

Ógra Organise Successful College Forum

On Wednesday 25th April, Ógra Shinn Féin organised a College Forum in 44 Parnell Sq. The forum was held in order to allow activists from college cumann around the country to come together and highlight successes and downfalls in previous ventures, and to organise and prepare for next years recruitment. A calendar of events, including a new Ógra national campaign was also discussed.

The meeting was well attended, with representatives from every province. Topics for debate included building a profile on campus, college specific campaigns and involvement with Student Unions. There was a lively and productive discussion on student issues like housing and registration fees. Also discussed was how best to create consistent, radical, and campaigning cumann which shows young people the relevance of republicanism and making it as accessible as possible.

College Coordinator Oisín Ó Dubhláin commented,

“Today was crucial in the continuing growth of Ógra in Irish colleges. We have set our goals for the coming year and discussed how best to achieve these. It is often said that students are apathetic but in truth they are disillusioned with establishment parties pushing the same policies and ignoring young voices.”

“Ógra seek to bridge that gap and will be meeting regularly to further strategise and organise in creating a mass student movement fighting for student’s rights and a 32 county democratic socialist republic.”

Glór na nÓg Hits the Streets

Thousands of the new Ógra Shinn Féin newsletter Glór na nÓg were distributed in the Holylands area of South Belfast this week.

The recently launched newsletter has proved a valuable tool in raising the profile of Ógra, and promoting Republican Youth politics amongst the Student population of the Holylands and beyond, as local areas take to the streets of Ireland distributing the newsletter.

The bi-weekly newsletter will launch a special May Day edition this week; focusing on the issues of Worker's Rights and anti-Imperialism.

Catalan demonstration for self-determination in Dublin

On Wednesday 25th of April, a group of Catalans together with Ógra Shinn Fein organised a protest at the GPO in Dublin. It was the day that was commemorated the Battle of Almansa. Three centuries ago, dated on 25th April of 1707, Catalan army was defeated by Borbon army, consequently the Furs of Valencian Reign were abolished. It is remembered in Valencia with games, readings, human castles and a unitary nationalist demonstration to show that today, Catalan Countries are still alive.
Catalan Countries are a little nation without sovereignty, in the east of the Iberian Peninsula and south of the Pyrenean mountain range and includes all territories where the Catalan language is spoken. There are 4 important capitals: Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Perpignan and Barcelona.
They have a population of about 12 million people and their native language is Catalan. In Catalonia,more than the 40% of the population is in favour of self-determination: Catalans demand complete national sovereignty for the Catalan Countries, that is, total political independence from France and Spain.
Politically the Catalan Countries are, at the present, 3 Autonomous Communities within the Spanish state plus a region of the French state. They have 3 parliaments, which, however, have little legislative power, and 3 autonomous government called Govern Balear, Generalitat Valenciana and Generalitat de Catalunya. They became part of the Spanish state in 1707-1714. In those years, the army of the kingdom of Castlile invaded the Catalan Countries and from then on they were no longer a sovereign state.
Until the present, the Castilian kings, at first, and then the different Spanish governments and dictatorships have tried to eliminate the Catalan cultural identity and create animosity between the Catalans and the rest of the people in the Iberian Peninsula. Nevertheless the Catalans have managed to keep their language and traditions alive and they still continue to claim the sovereignty that was theirs but was taken from them by armed force.
On Wednesday, Irish and Catalans showed the best international solidarity. In Dublín, Ógra and the Catalan independentists supported the right for all nations to self-determination, a common struggle still to be resolved for several nation in Europe.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ógra organise Youth Canvass in Dublin

On Wednesday 25 April Ógra Shinn Féin engaged in a youth canvass in Dublin. Over 1000 houses where blitzed with Dublin News and many young people where engaged at the doorsteps and on the street.

Barry McColgan, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin said,

“While all Ógra activists are engaged in canvassing and election work in their local area, we are organising a number of specific youth canvasses for the duration of the election in the 26 Counties.”

“We will especially be targeting priority constituencies where we hope to elect Sinn Féin T.D.s. The youth vote can make all the difference in the election, and we know from polls and actual voter pattern that more and more young people are increasingly voting for Sinn Féin.“

“Today’s canvass in Dublin was very positive and many young people indicated that they will be voting for Sinn Féin, because in their words, we are the party of youth, the party of change.”

Leitrim Ógra Shinn Féin demand freedom for SEGI

On Saturday, the 21st of April, Leitrim Ógra Shinn Féin organised a leaflet drop demanding the release of the leadership of Basque youth organisation Segi.

The activists involved got a very good response in the locality and many people were very interested and appalled in learning about the injustice being served in the Basque country.

Speaking on the issue Connaught organiser for Ógra Shinn Féin Dominic Kerrigan said,

“Today’s leaflet drop was a huge success, people from all walks of life approached the activists while leafleting and many were outraged when they heard what was happening in a 'democratic' country.”

“Ógra were commended for their work with many people pointing out it is up to Ógra to educate people on matters such as this, as mainstream media doesn’t want anything to do with the issue.”

He went on to say,

“For years we have seen the criminalisation policies of the Spanish government towards the Basque people, and this most recent ruling shows once more that the Spanish government has no intention of letting the voice of Basque be heard.”

“Ógra believe in freedom for the Basque country and we will continue to campaign until that freedom is achieved.”

Jo Ta Ke.

Tiocfaidh ár lá.

New Student Union Election Website Launched

After their success at the polls in March, the Ógra Shinn Féin Cumann at Queens University head into another round of elections in May hoping to add to their victory by getting another member elected to the executive. As part of their election campaign and an extension of the more professional approach adopted to Student politics within the Uniniversity, the Cumann have launched a Blogspot to aid them in canvassing the Student body and to make the voters aware of their candidates and the reasons why they should vote for them.

Speaking on the launch of the website, Cumann spokesperson Caoímhe Crossan outlined the idea behind the iniative.
“The internet has been proven as a fundamental tool for interacting with young people in today’s world. This can be clearly seen by candidates in the 26 County elections creating Bebo pages for their campaigns. It is from this background that we decided another avenue to inform the student body would be through a blogspot where they can obtain information and interact with candidates by posting comments."
"We hope that like Bebo the blogspot will give us an extra edge in appealing to the voters, particularly that voting is now done online. However people must still come out and VOTE, at the end of the day it’s their union and their voice and sometimes it takes a four letter word to be heard so please VOTE”
The Students Union Election Blogspot can be found at:

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ógra organise protest in Belfast for SEGI

Belfast City Hall was the venue for an international solidarity protest by Ógra Shinn Féin, demanding an end to the repression of Basque Youth movement Segi. The Spanish judiciary recently deemed the youth organisation as terrorist. Ógra Shinn Féin deemed the arrests as farcical and has called for the immediate release of the Segi members arrested.

While protesting Ógra activists also distributed over 1000 Glor na nÓg's and added signatures to the online SEGI petition:

Cúige Uladh Organiser, Johnny McGibbon commented,

"The protest went very well, and it was clear activists made an impact on the public today."

"Many passers-by questioned Ógra activists as to the motives for the protest, and many were duly horrified when they were given the information regarding the repression of Segi."

One passer-by commented,

"Flashbacks of internment" and another said "Same oppression different country!"

Mr McGibbon continued,

"The tactics of the Spanish Government are nothing short of a 'criminalization policy', and this has no prospect of success. As we know well in Ireland,(to quote the great Bobby Sands), 'they have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit' of the determined young activists of Segi."

"We Will Stand in Solditarity with them!!"

Jo Ta Ke

Tiocfaidh Ár Lá!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Youth Wings Unite to Demand a Weekend Election

The youth wings of all the state’s main political parties are calling jointly for the government to commit to weekend voting in the interest of guaranteeing and promoting students’ and other young people’s right to vote.
We believe that the holding of a ballot on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, is one of the best methods by which to guarantee the maximum participation of Irish youth in the upcoming election, their most crucial of civic rights and responsibilities.
The relevant arguments have been discussed at length recently, but we maintain that the statistical evidence indicates that weekend voting, especially Saturday voting, has led to increased turn out. In respect to students in particular, there is an added need to ensure that their special difficulties at the end of the college term, including exam pressures, post graduation and summer planning, and accommodation concerns, do not prevent them from participating in the ballot.
We issue this call not in the spirit of partisan interest, but rather the interests of Irish students and young people. We welcome any initiative to increase youth participation in the political process and sincerely hope that the wishes of Ireland’s youth are given the due consideration in this matter.
In the event that the election is not held on the weekend, we urge all students to apply as soon as possible to their local authority to get on the postal voter register so as to guarantee their ability to vote on election day.
Elizabeth Munnelly, President, Young Fine Gael
Lorcan Price, Leas Cathaoirleach, Ógra Fianna Fáil
Abey Campbell, Chair, Young Progressive Democrats
Barry McColgan, National Organiser, Ógra Shinn Féin
Patrick Nulty, Chair, Labour Youth
Edward Davitt, Chair, Young Greens

Ógra Statement Read at Monaghan Easter Commemoration

Ógra Shinn Féin Monaghan activist, Senan Mac Aoidh read the Ógra Shinn Fein Easter statement at the Monaghan County commemoration over Easter Weekend.

The commemoration was well attended by Republican activist s and supporters from throughout the 'border counties'. Michelle Gildernew MP was the main Speaker at the county commemoration.

In line with many commemorations stretching the length and breadth of Ireland , Senan read the statement on behalf of Ógra Shinn Féin. In the statement Ógra Shinn Féin recommitted themselves to the vision of the 1916 proclamation and pledged to continue the freedom struggle until the establishment of a 32 county democratic socialist republic.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ireland's History is Not For Sale

The Comhairle Naisiúnta of Ógra Shinn Féin has expressed their anger and disappointment at the decision to once again auction off pieces of Irish history to private interests. The sale of these items at Adams & Sons in Dublin yesterday was yet another indicator of the Dublin government’s failure to properly ensure the culture and history of our great nation is preserved for the enjoyment and education of all its people.

Ógra Shinn Féin alongside Sinn Féin picketed this disgraceful sale of our history and called for steps to be put in place to ensure that never again will national treasures like one of P.H. Pearse’s final letter, an original print of James Connolly’s “The Re-Conquest of Ireland” and the Declaration of Independence of the 1st Dáil be sold into private hands away from the people of Ireland.

We would also like to recognise the work of those who have preserved these items over the years when government after government had consigned them to the dustbin of history and forced them into private sale.

Ógra spokesperson Oisín Ó Dubhláin commented,

“These items which range greatly in age and uniqueness are the property of the Irish people, and should be preserved in their name for their benefit. We thank those who have worked to keep our history alive and deeply regret and condemn the Dublin government’s lack of interest.”

Monday, April 16, 2007

West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin hold solidarity protest

Saturday 14th April seen Ógra Shinn Féin take to the streets of Omagh in solidarity with their international comrades in the Basque country. They were joined by Sinn Féin Councillor Martin McColgan.

The Spanish judiciary recently deemed the youth organisation as terrorist. Ógra Shinn Féin deemed the arrests as farcical and has called for the immediate release of the Segi members arrested. Shortly after the determination made by the Spanish courts arrest warrants were issued for the immediate detention of the Segi leadership within days the entire leadership of the Basque youth organisation had been arrested. Currently the leadership of Segi have been distributed to over 20 prisons in the Basque country.

Members of West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin handed out upwards of 500 leaflets and unfurled a banner proclaiming 'End the repression of Segi'. The activists got a good response from Saturday shoppers and passers by, many enquiring as to the reasoning of the protest. There was a continual presence of PSNI during the protest in Omagh.

Speaking of the protest West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin international officer, Lee McMahon said,

"This harks back to the days of internment in Ireland. I would call for the immediate release of the Segi youth activists arrested at the behest of the Spanish government. We in Ógra Shinn Féin will be stepping up our campaign for their release. We have written to the leadership of Segi in Euskal Herria and later this year in September we will form a large contingent of Ógra Shinn Féin to visit our Basque comrades."

"Indeed in July we will welcome members of Segi to Ireland. As long as the farce continues we will be active on the issue. We have recently launched an online petition to force the Spanish government to reverse their non-sensical decision. To this end we would urge everyone to sign the petition and call with one voice 'FREE THE SEGI ACTIVISTS'."

The petition can be signed online at'

Leaflet drops were also held in Strabane and Castlederg.

The Troop Surge Still Isn’t Working!

David Byrne
Meath Ógra Shinn Féin

As I predicted in my earlier article, terrorist George Bush’s troop surge isn’t at all working. It is extraordinary that three-and-a-half years after the US captured Baghdad it still controls so little of the city. The objectives of the surge, was to control the city of 7 million people, Baghdad, with 61% of the Iraqi people in favour of attacks on the forces of occupation. It amazes me that Bush and his cronies cannot see that a surge into a particular area of the country will not succeed. For instance if the US army mounts pressure on the Shia Mehdi Army in Baghdad, they will simply push out and concentrate attacks on US supply lines.

But President Bush has much more ambitious expectations. "With Iraqis in the lead," he told Congress on 23 January, "our forces will secure the city by chasing down the terrorists, insurgents, and the roaming death squads." He is speaking here of gaining full control of Baghdad. This is not likely to happen because the Sunni insurgents and Shia militiamen are too well entrenched and generally have more legitimacy in the eyes of Iraqis than government forces.

Bush’s paranoia has forced him to blame Iran for the successfulness of the Shia Militias. Bush has continuously turned down Iranian and Syrian requests to talk about the occupation. Perhaps there is a more sinister motive in his magnificent surge and his hostility towards Iran. Perhaps he has other intentions for the use of the 21,000 extra troops that have been drafted.

US confrontation or war with Iran will prolong the war in Iraq.. If the US stages air raids, assassinations or pin prick attacks against Iran then it is likely to increase rather than reduce its involvement in Iraq.

In reality there is little evidence that it gives critical support to either Sunni insurgents or Shia militias though it could do so if it needed to. After spending four years failing to defeat the five million Iraqi Sunni the US could find itself fighting the 17 million Iraqi Shia as well.

After all, there is one thing that unites all Iraqis. And that is US/Brits out!

For related link:

Ógra Basque Youth Solidarity Protest at GPO

Leinster Ógra activists organised a protest on Saturday (14 April) at the GPO in Dublin, against the imprisonment of SEGI members by the Spanish Government.

Ógra activists took part in the protest, handing out leaflets and with a petition available:

The petition will be sent to the Spanish Goverment to put pressure on them to reverse the six year sentence imposed on the SEGI National Executive members. Huge numbers of the public, were very enthusiastic and stopped to talk to Ogra representitives to learn more about SEGI's role in the struggle for Basque self-determination.

Dozens of signatures were collected on Saturday with an overall positive response from passers by.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Petition for Basque Youth Movement - SEGI

A chara,

Ógra Shinn Féin have set up an online petition demanding an end to the ban on Basque youth movement Segi and to demand the immediate release of Segi's National Executive which has been jailed for up to 6 years.

Please sign the petition and pass on to all contacts.

Is mise le meas,

Ógra Shinn Féin

West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin 'not deterred'

West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin have said they are 'not deterred' by an appearance on the combat 18 linked website Redwatch.

The Republican youth organisation was photographed at a march outside the BBC offices in Belfast , which was organised in protest at against the media's portrayal of events in the Middle East last summer. The march was organised against the media portrayal of the carnage being wrought against the people of Lebanon and Palestine , against the Israeli military's campaign of destruction in Beirut and southern Lebanon in general.

The march was organised by the Anti-War Movement in conjunction with the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Friends of Palestine society at QUB.

The photographs have recently been published on the Redwatch website.

Barry McColgan, from Ógra Shinn Féin said that Ógra will ‘continue undeterred’ and are ‘not phased’ over being featured on the Redwatch website.

However he said it was a sinister website used to stir up tensions. The site he said contained the quote "Remember places, traitors' faces, they'll all pay for their crimes" which he said was sinister in itself.

"It has come to our attention that Ógra Shinn Féin are featured in the Redwatch website. With implicit threats throughout the website it is clear that this is a fascist organisation whose aim is to stir up tensions. While we note that some of our members have been pictured on the website, we won't be deterred; in fact it will make us more resilient."

"We are getting stronger, more young people are joining Ógra and more people are voting for Sinn Féin. Republicanism is growing and we make no apologies for this. If the might of the British war machine and its death squads couldn't deter republicanism than neither will a website representing a minority, fascist view."

ÓSF Easter Statement Heard Across Leinster

Ógra activists across Leinster read the Ógra Shinn Féin Easter Statement.

Statements were read to crowd's in Kilkenny, Meath, and Dundalk.

Finbar Poland read the Easter statement in Dundalk, David Joyce in Meath and Ryan Fulton in Kilkenny.

Eugene Garvey, Leinster Ógra organiser said,

"As well as the statement's, Ógra members marched in bands and colour parties and hundreds of the Ógra newsletter Glor na nÓg was handed out. Huge interest was shown amongst the hundreds of youth in attendance and many recruitment forms were filled in."

"The Spirit of 1916 was evident amongst the modern day Republican Youth as we proudly remembered Ireland's Patriot Dead!"

Ógra Lurgan Active in Easter Commemorations

Ógra Shinn Féin proudly commerotated the Easter Rising this past weekend. Lurgan Ógra were out in strength in the Upper Bann area participating in the commemorations, and proudly remembering Ireland's patriot dead.

The ÓSF Easter Statement was read in no less than 4 commemorations over Easter Saturday and Sunday, covering the areas of Maghery, Portadown, Derrymacash and the main Lurgan town commemoration on Easter Sunday. The statement was confidently delivered by Orlagh Creaney in Maghery and Portadown, and by Eamonn Brady in Derrymacash and Lurgan.

Ógra activist Lee Casey also proudly read the Proclamation of the Irish Republic at the Derrymacash commemoration, whilst other Ógra activists participated in the colour party and organisation of the commemorations.

There was also an Ógra stall at the beginning of the main Lurgan commemoration, which Ógra Lurgan used as their base to distributed hundreds of recruitment leaflets and the newly launched Glór na nÓg newsletter.

Fergul Connolly of Ógra Lurgan said,

"Today we remember Ireland's patriot dead, and we are honoured to participate in the Easter Commemorations. "

He continued,

"The struggle for Irish Freedom is ongoing. Like our comrades before us, we must show drive and determination; and play our own role as young people in the struggle. We must now move on from Easter and renew our committment, and call on young people to come forward and join the struggle for Irish Freedom."

"Everyone, Republican or otherwise, has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small, no one is too old or too young to do something"- Bobby Sands

Thursday, April 12, 2007

vóta do pobal na Sé contae ins na toghchán d'Uachtarán na hÉireann

Tá Ógra Shinn Féin ag éiliú go dtugtar vóta do pobal na Sé contae ins na toghchán d'Uachtarán na hÉireann. Iarrann Ógra Shinn Féin go mbeidh na toghchán d'uachtarán na hÉireann atá le teacht, na céad toghchán uile-Éireann ó 1918.

Ins na toghchán deireanach toghadh Máire Mhic Giolla Íosa mar Uachtarán na hÉireann. Is as Béal Feirste ó dhúchas í Máire. In ainneoin seo áfach ní raibh a comharsana i mBéal Feirste, ná duine ar bith eile ins na sé contae, in ann vóta a caitheamh ar a son. Tá Ógra Shinn Féin ag iarraidh go mbeidh athrú iomlán ar an scéal seo.

Dúirt an Taoiseach le linn aimsir Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta, go bhfiosródh sé an mbeadh slí ar bith inchur a bheith ag muintir na sé contae ins na toghchán uachtaráin. Tá naoi mbliain imithe ó shin anois agus an cuma ar an scéal nach bhfuil fiosrúcháin ar bith déanta ag an Taoiseach, ná duine ar bith eile sa stát seirbhís, ar an ábhar céanna. Níl aon amhras ach go ndéanfadh céim mar seo, cead vótála a thabhairt do mhuintir na Sé contae, d'Uachtarán na hÉireann, aon rud ach maitheas don proiséas. Go háirithe leis an dul chun cinn atá á dhéanamh faoi láthair ins an proiséas síochána, tá Ógra Shinn Féin den tuairim gur anois an am ceart do Uachtarán uile-Éireann.

Anuas ar seo tá comhairlí fud fad na tíre ar nós; Doire, Blá Cliath, Omagh, Trá Lí agus Dungannon tar éis tacú leis an smaoineamh do toghchán uile-Éireann don Uachtarán. Caithfear éisteacht le ionadaithe daonlathach na ndaoine, agus toil na ndaoine a cur i bhfeidhm.
Ag labhairt ar an ábhar seo dúirt Eagraí Náisiúnta Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McColgan, "Go raibh ag muintir na Sé conate, mar saoránaigh na hÉireann le pasanna Éireannach, vóta a caitheamh do Uachtarán na hÉireann."

Tacaigh le tá leis an bhfeachtas seo. Éiligh toghchán uachtaráin uile-Éireann ó do ionadaí tofa áitiúl.

Ógra Activist Completes Tour of the Basque Country

Ógra Shinn Féin activist Ian Breslin has just returned home from a tour of the Basque Country (5 - 10 April). Ian was there to show our support for Segi, after they were deemed a ‘terrorist organisation’ by the Spanish courts. Whilst in the Basque country Ian addressed various gatherings and demonstrations.

Ian addressed an International rally in the Basque country which seen a crowd of over 10,000 people, he addressed the crowd in their native Basque language. However whilst in the Basque region, Ian experienced the repression felt by the Basque people, who have to endure it on a daily basis. He was held by the guardio civil on a roadside in the Basque region along with Segi members. They were detained at the roadside for a number of hours.

Speaking following the tour Ian said,

“The tour around the Basque country was worthwhile and through it we in Ógra have demonstrated strong solidarity with Segi but also built up many contacts with other International youth movements. The situation in the Basque region at the minute is tense given the ruling by the Spanish courts regarding Segi. However saying this, there is a wealth of support for Segi in the Basque country and people, young and old, are coming out in protest demonstrations and are active in their opposition to the ruling."

"What is also evident, is the amount of young people willing to take on the leadership responsibilities within Segi. It is clear that this ruling will not stunt the growth or support which Segi enjoys."

"Whilst I was there we were stopped by the Spanish military who searched myself and several Segi activists at gunpoint, a statement I had planned to deliver at a demonstration was seized. I was questioned and the other occupants in the car were questioned as to how they knew me. So it was very clear that repression and intimidation is clearly evident in the Basque Country with the Spanish State endorsing the repression and intimidation handed out by their own military.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin Out In Strength

West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin were out in strength at the Tyrone County commemoration of the Easter rising in Carrickmore on Easter Sunday. Before and during the march hundreds of the new Ógra Shinn Fein newsletter, Glor Na nÓg were handed out. Ógra members also were evident in various colour parties and bands throughout the parade.

On the route of the parade, two members of Ógra Shinn Féin from West Tyrone, Stephen McGahan and Sean Person, both from Omagh preformed a historical enactment of the last speech from the dock of Robert Emmet. Both were kitted out in attire of that time and provided a complementary addition to the parade. Bands fell silent as they filed past the (somewhat younger) equivalent of today’s Robert Emmet.

After the conclusion of the parade the crowd of several thousand assembled at Carrickmores Garden Of remembrance for the speeches. Brian Crawley of the Tyrone National Graves association chaired the proceedings. Chairperson of West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McNally stepped forward and read aloud the ÓSF Easter Statement. Another Ógra activist from the area, Siobhan McElholm also laid a wreath on behalf of west Tyrone Ógra at the Tyrone Garden of Remembrance.

Tyrone had no fewer than 30 wreath laying ceremonies throughout the Easter weekend and Ógra members were variously involved in these also.

Armagh ÓSF play key role in Easter Commemoration

It was evident in Armagh that republicanism is at its strongest point since partition as stated in the Easter statements, as the largest crowds for many years’ now came out to honour Ireland’s patriot dead at the Easter commemoration in Armagh on Monday 9th April.

Ógra Shinn Féin in Armagh played a key role in the Easter commemoration, two Ógra colour party’s meant there was strong showing of republican youth through out the parade, Armagh City Ogra Shinn Féin laid a wreath on for all volunteer’s who gave there lives in the struggle for Irish freedom.

Armagh Ógra was also busy promoting Glor na nÓg, an interesting news letter, a glimpse into Ógra for non members but most importantly profiling Ogra and the work we do both locally and nationally, a very effective recruitment tool, it also housed Ogra Shinn Féin Easter statement.

For the first time Armagh Ógra Shinn Féin read the Easter statement in Armagh, given the republican youth a voice in Armagh, Niamh Bratton of Ógra Shinn Féin Armagh, delivered the statement with confidence and impressed all those who attended.

Damian White of Ogra Shinn Féin Armagh said,

“At Easter time we remember those who gave their lives in the fight for Irish freedom many of whom were of Ógra age, so it is fitting that the republican youth of today play such a key role in the remembrance of Ireland's patriot dead."

"The struggle is yet unfinished business and at this time we renew our commitment to our primary goal which is our most fitting tribute to our fallen volunteers, in the new site of struggle we must and will show the same commitment as those who have gone before."

"I would like to thank all the bands who came to play at the parade, 1 of the bands comes from Scotland every year, I also would like to thank the Ogra Shinn Féin colour party form south Armagh for their attendance, and all the speakers, Mary Doyle, John Crawley, Cathy Rafferty, Niamh Bratton, and the main speaker Barry McElduff."

West Tyrone ÓSF announce Day of Action for Basque Youth

Ógra Shinn Féin in West Tyrone has revealed plans to hold a day of Action on Saturday (14th April) as part of the A.R.I.S.E. campaign and to show solidarity with the Basque youth organisation Segi.

Segi recently have been deemed as a ‘terrorist organisation’ by the Spanish judiciary. This has led to the mass arrest and imprisonment of its leadership in the Basque region. There have been demonstrations both in the Basque country and Ireland at the ruling.

Ógra Shinn Féin National Executive have already forwarded a letter of support to the Basque youth movement. In the letter Ógra pledged to continue to support and highlight the plight of the imprisoned leadership of Segi. Indeed Ógra are currently planning a mobilisation to the Basque country in support for their comrades in Eukal Herria.

Speaking ahead of the day of action Ógra Shinn Féin International Officer Ian Breslin said,

“Ógra Shinn Féin have always supported and called for freedom and independence for the Basque Region. We have worked alongside our international comrades in Jarrai, Haika and Segi and have build up strong links with these youth organisations. The ruling by the Spanish courts that somehow Segi are a ‘terrorist organisation’ is ridiculous."

"However imperialism knows no boundaries and we have seen this type of obstruction being used in Ireland against republicans. We will continue to pledge our support for the right of the Basque people to freedom and independence. Indeed I have recently returned from the Basque country to show the support of Ógra at this time for our international comrades. Freedom and independence for the Basque country!”

Ógra Shinn Féin will be holding a protest and leaflet drop at:

Abercorn Square

School Bar (Top of the town)

Main Street
Omagh (Outside Northern Bank)

All welcome!

A.R.I.S.E. against International Imperialism

For the month of April, for the A.R.I.S.E campaign Ógra Shinn Féin will be highlighting the destruction and havoc that Imperialism is casting across the globe.

From Iraq, to Palestine, Afghanistan, to the Basque Country and Lebanon, we want to highlight the oppression and inequality being created by occupying forces and neo colonialists.

Anti – Imperialism is about challenging Imperialism in all its forms, in previous months we have highlighted the plight of political prisoners, demanded the end to the occupation of Ireland, challenged racism and sectarianism and this month we are demanding an end to Imperialism Internationally.

Thousands of people have been slaughtered as a result of the US and British led invasion of Iraq, just today, two reports released from the Oxford Research Group and Oxfam have damningly criticised, the Oxford report stating,

"Treating Iraq as part of the War on Terror only spawned new terror in the region and created a combat training zone for jihadists."

And the Oxfam report described the occupation of Iraq as a, "terrible misadventure".

The continued oppression in the Basque Country must also be challenged, the banning of Basque youth movement Segi and the arrest of their leadership, must be confronted as the fascist act that it is.

We need to raise awareness of their plight amongst the Irish public, and demand that all Irish political parties challenge the Spanish state on this oppression.

This month is about highlighting these cases of occupation and others, through protest, vigils, street theatre, leaflet drops, postering, letter writing and petition signings.

We must get the message across Ireland this month and highlight the plight of these occupied nations which we as an occupied nation can empathise with.

As our slogan stated in 2003, “US out of Iraq, Britain out of Ireland!”

To view video on the A.R.I.S.E. campaign: