Thursday, May 31, 2007

George Galloway to headline Campa Náisiúnta Óige '07

George Galloway MP is to headline this years Campa Náisiúnta Óige '07 (National Youth Camp).

The 4th annual, National Youth Camp, will take place in Ballintoy, County Antrim from 22nd-24th June. The weekend will include debate, music, workshops, culture and sport.

Martina Anderson MLA, Sinn Féin's spokesperson on unionist engagement, will speak on women in 1798 and the objective of the United Irishmen to unite, Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter.

There will be a panel discussion on young people and politics, with Sinn Féin's youngest MLA Daithi McKay and a member of the Young Unionist's.
There will also be a launch of a 'Youth in Struggle' film which is currently being made by Ógra Shinn Féin. The film will pay tribute to the huge sacrifice made by Irish youth during the freedom struggle, and will trace the role that republican youth have played from the formation of Na Fianna Éireann in 1909 until today's modern republican youth in Ógra Shinn Féin.

However, the main event of the weekend will be a speech by leader of Respect, George Galloway MP. The often controversial Mr Galloway will give the keynote address to the youth camp on Saturday 23rd June.

Galloway is perhaps best known for his vigorous campaign to overturn economic sanctions against Iraq, and for his visits to Saddam Hussein in 1994 and 2002. He was expelled from the British Labour Party in October 2003 when a party body decided that statements he had made in opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq had brought the party into disrepute. He was also included in the line up for celebrity big brother in 2006.
Watch George Galloway on Sky News:

Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser Barry McColgan said,

“This will be the fourth National Youth Camp, the first being held on the Aran Islands in 2004. Since the first successful youth camp, successive year's have witnessed an increased turnout and this year will be no different."

"And like previous year's it will be a good mix of politics, education, debate and music. Already confirmed to play this year, are great bands like McForien Duv, Whirlygig and the acclaimed Paddywagon."

"The National Youth Camp has always proved a great success amongst Ógra activists and young republicans, it has constantly been thought provoking and provided a good arena for debate. The talks on Globalisation, Internationalism, Che Guevara, and the Hungerstrike to name but a few, has sparked more thought on these matters, and assisted in debates and campaigns by Ógra."
"With some talks, often having controversial speakers like Alex Kane, speaking on 100 years of Ulster Unionism at the 2005 Camp, they have no doubt led to further discussion on the topic and laid the foundation for practical implementaion of the debate through Unionist outreach work."
"I have no doubt that George Galloway's address this year will continue that tradition, and be just as thought provoking if not more than previous speakers."
"There are already many numbers confirmed, so I would urge everyone who would like to be part of Youth Camp '07, to book now."
For more info and booking form please follow link:

Monday, May 28, 2007

Never Give Up!

Eugene Garvey
Ógra Shinn Féin
Co Lú

We have heard of the “I generation” and with election 2007 the “Me Generation” were born and they came out to vote in force on issue around their own personal economic welfare. We have to respect that vote and we have to except that our (Sinn Féin) economic policy did not satisfy their wants.

I believe that the results of the election will end up seeing more of the same and will see the continued down grading of hospitals, and the increase of inequality in the 26 counties for the next five years or possible less, but I hope not.

I have seen some comrades with there heads down over the results, and it is understandable. However I don’t think it was a terrible day for us, although it was a blow. We have increased or vote in nearly every area we ran candidates in.

To Sean Crowe I would like to say well done on the work over the last five years, and to send him my sympathies over the result on Friday. I am sure he won’t put the suits away quite yet as the local election is just around the corner and the next time out, I'm sure he will regain his Leinster House seat. To all the other candidates and election workers I think they did a great job.

Comrades we have seen a lot worse days than Friday, and we have over come them. At least we are all still standing and we did not have to hear the lament. My head is still stuck up high and proud as ever because I know our day is coming.

Never Surrender. Never give up. Onwards To Victory!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ógra Shinn Féin engage in online RTE Youth Debate

Ógra Shinn Féin have participated in an online debate on alongside other youth wings for the upcoming 26 County General Election.

The questions ranged from public transport, to education and going out.

RTÉ.ie put six questions to the six main youth parties to find out where they stand on issues important to young voters like themselves.

For questions, answers and other info please log onto:

Ógra Shinn Féin brave the elements to canvass Monaghan

Ógra Shinn Féin braved the elements and 'torrential' rain to canvass in North Monaghan on Friday 18 May.

A number of Ógra activists from Tyrone, Armagh and Monaghan joined local councillors and the candidate Caoimhín O Caoláin on the 'Battle Bus' to canvass villages and country road's scattered across rural county Monaghan.

Speaking on the youth canvass, Ógra Uladh Organiser Johnny McGibbon said,

"We had a very successful day and engaged many young people on the hundreds of doors we canvassed. As well as the election literature, we also handed out copies of the Ógra Shinn Féin youth manifesto and the election special Glór na nÓg."

"From the great responses at the doors, it is evident that Sinn Féin will again pull a huge vote in Monaghan and Caoimhín O Caoláin will be successfully returned."

"From the many canvasses we have been engaged in across the 26 Counties it is clear that more and more young people are voting for Sinn Féin than any other party. We are a youthful, vibrant party and young people in Dublin, Cork, Sligo and Monaghan are voting for us to deliver change, to deliver a free, egalitarian country."

Ógra Shinn Féin Blitz Sligo/North Leitrim in Youth Canvass

Ógra Shinn Féin organised a youth canvass of Sligo/North Leitrim on Saturday 19th May in preparation for the 26 County General Election.

A busload of activists made the journey through Manorhamilton and Sligo town, asking people to give Sinn Féin candidate, Sean McManus their vote in the forthcoming election. Ógra activists leafleted all of Sligo's main streets, shopping centres, and held a canvass with the candidate, Sean McManus and Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle member Mitchell McLaughlin.

Thousands of leaflets were distributed throughout Sligo and Sean got a very positive response from shoppers and passers by.

National Organiser of Ógra, Barry McColgan speaking at the youth canvass said,

“We went out in Sligo to target and boost the youth vote and to help our comrades in the 26 counties, this is the advantage of having an All Ireland party."

"During the canvass we got a great response from the people on the streets and the feedback was very positive. Ógra Shinn Féin have carried out many actions in the run up to the election and youth canvasses have been very beneficial in promoting voting amongst the youth. We hope from the successful canvass of Sligo, that we have contributed to the success of a future Sinn Féin TD.”

Ógra Shinn Féin urge large youth vote!

Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser, Barry McColgan has urged young people to use their vote in the 26 County General Elections tomorrow.
Speaking on the eve of the poll, McColgan urged young people to use their franchise.

"I would like to urge young people to vote in this election. You have the power to send a very strong message to the establishment parties tomorrow. I would urge a strong vote for Sinn Féin candidates throughout the various constituencies. With your help we can increase our strong representation in Leinster house."

"We believe that it is high time issues such as the National Question is prioritised by the Dublin Government. Also we will be pursuing action on Suicide Prevention, Road Safety and the give away of National Resources at Rossport."
"Ending the sale of national historical artifacts and Northern representation in the Oireachtas must also be addressed by the incoming Government."

"We believe a strong representation of Sinn Fein T.D's will ensure that such issues are addressed."

"Tomorrow I urge you to come out and vote. Vótáil Sinn Féin!"

Monday, May 21, 2007

Remember Patsy O Hara and Ray McCreesh

Today 21 May 2007, marks the 26th Anniversary of the deaths of two of Ireland's bravest sons. Patsy O'Hara from Derry City and Raymond McCreesh from South Armagh died a horrific slow death on Hungerstrike in Long Kesh Prison.
They volunteered their life to smash the British policy of criminalisation, and to advance the national liberation struggle.
Their heroic and selfless actions alongside their eight brave comrades would be a catalyst in the struggle for freedom and re-ignite a flame that burns strong today.
Both Irish patriots, Patsy and Ray where very young men when they gave their lifes for freedom - as young if not younger than some of the readers of this post.
They had their whole life in front of them - but rather than been labelled a criminal, they took a courageous and conscious decision to confront the Brits head on with Hungerstrike.
Their heroic yet tragic bravery is an inpiration to young Irish Republicans today, to Ógra activists and oppressed youth the world over.
We remember Vol. Patsy O'Hara and Vol. Ray McCreesh with pride!

Gerry Adams urges Youth to Come Out and Vote on May 24th

(Gerry Adams debates with ÓSF at National Congress Nov '06)

As this vitally important general election comes closer I want to make a special and direct appeal to young voters. I know there is a widespread cynicism among the public and among young people, in particular, about standards in public life and deep frustration that the political system does not deal with the everyday cares and concerns of our youth. That includes a failure to provide much needed creative, cultural, sporting and other facilities in our communities often leaving the public house as the only place for socialising.

There is also a deeply worrying epidemic of suicide and self-harm, including drug use among young men across the country which is not unrelated to a sense of despair about the nature of our society and what if offers for the future. Promoting real and radical change and putting an end to the deep inequalities that have left many, many thousands of young people out of the loop of the Celtic Tiger is what Sinn Féin is about. We want you to join us in that work and to contribute to the real movement for change that we are now witnessing on this island.

Many young people are increasingly excluded from things that have long been considered as basic rights. That includes the right to have an affordable roof over your head without having to pay extortionate amounts of money to landlords, banks or mortgage companies or long hours on lengthy and exhausting commutes. You should not be forced to pay prices which are hyped in order to make super profits for already super rich speculators and developers - up to €100,000 in profit is made on the construction and sale of a new home in any part of this State in recent years.

In both the public and private sector the lower paid, including younger workers, take the brunt of cut backs, lay offs and pay cuts. The majority of the 400,000 public servants are routinely blamed for poor service provision even though much higher paid managers and politicians are responsible for mismanagement and incompetence.

As republicans we demand equality and basic rights for all, in education, in health, in accessing proper public transport and in housing. We are committed to neutrality. We are committed to ending the use of Shannon airport by US troops on their way to Iraq.

As republicans we also accept that citizens have responsibilities as well as rights.

Responsibilities to our society, to our neighbours, to those less fortunate than ourselves, to the environment and to the millions in poverty and starvation across the developing world. We are appealing to you to join us in the long road to freedom and Irish re-unification, to join in a struggle that has made us a party ready to meet the challenges and fit to lead this country for the years ahead.

I am appealing, in particular, to those eligible to vote for the first time and others who have not used their vote in the past, and those who are thinking of not voting at all to come out on May 24th and make a choice. I am asking you to bring your friends and vote for your local Sinn Féin representative and to join us in a historical movement for real change in this country.

Remember Laurence McNally, Pete Ryan and Tony Doris

A campaign has been launched recently by the families of three East Tyrone volunteers, Laurence McNally, Pete Ryan and Tony Doris in an attempt to establish the true facts surrounding their deaths 16 years ago.
The three men were murdered by undercover British forces on 3rd June 1991 in the Co. Tyrone village of Coagh. The aim of the campaign is to secure the necessary finance to bring the case to Europe.
A number of fundraising events have already been held but there will be a special fundraising function taking place in the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan to mark their 16th anniversary on Sunday 3rd June 2007. A guest speaker will be in attendance and music will be provided by local rebel group, Paddywagon. Admission is £5/10 euro.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Derry Republicans Organise Tour of Hungerstriker's Graves

In the past week up to 85 Derry people, made up of ex-republican pow's, members of the Derry republican youth group Toirise and other republicans travelled across the Six Counties, to visit the graves of all ten 1981 Hunger Strikers. At each grave young people from the Toirise group laid an Easter Lily in honour of the dead.
Before leaving Derry City they visited the graves of H Block martyrs Patsy O’Hara and Mickey Devine where flowers were laid in memory of and tribute to the two Derry city hunger strikers. They then travelled the short distance to Dungiven to pay their respects at the grave of another Co.Derry hunger striker and martyr Kevin Lynch before moving on to Bellaghy where martyred hungerstrikers and cousins Francie Hughes and Tom McElwee are buried side by side.
Travelling on up the road to the Republican plot in Belfast’s Milltown Cemetery the younger generation of republicans laid lilies on each of the graves of martyrs Bobby Sands, Joe McDonnell and Kieran Doherty, who are buried side by side in the belfast republican plot.
Bik McFarlane O/C of the H-Block prisoners during 1981 addressed the crowd and spoke of his great pride in seeing so many young people on the tour.
Afterwards the group were invited back to the Roddy McCorley club for lunch before they journeyed on to South Armagh's Camlough and the burial place of Hunger Striker, Raymond McCreesh where they met Conor Murphy, the newly installed Regional Development Minister.
The last grave the group visited was that of Martin Hurson who is buried at Galbally in County Tyrone, again as in all of the graves they visited flowers were laid amidst a few minutes of silent reflection and tribute.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ógra Shinn Féin fully support Suicide Prevention campaign

National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McColgan says that the youth movement fully supports, a campaign launched today by the Action on Suicide Alliance. They are calling on political parties to give a commitment to implement suicide prevention measures if elected to Government.

Speaking earlier McColgan said,

"Suicide is the biggest killer of our young people, it is a National crisis which every party across Ireland, should be united in tackling. Suicide Prevention urgently demands added resources and funding, at the outset of our Suicide Prevention campaign we demanded the creation and implementation of an effective all-Ireland suicide prevention strategy."

"We also called upon the British and Irish governments to take immediate steps towards implementing a national strategy that will promote an integrated, fully resourced, and holistic prevention strategy across all 32 counties of our nation. So that these tragic and preventable deaths become less common and hopefully a thing of the past.'

"We re-iterated that call on Sunday when we launched our youth manifesto for the upcoming 26 County General Election. It is a disgrace in a nation blighted with such tragic and preventable deaths, that the standing Health Minister Mary Harney, allocated only 1.85 million Euro, compared to the 18 million that has been freed up in Scotland to deal with this crisis."

"In our youth election manifesto we also proposed that there be increased provision of mental health facilities for young people, that the Mental Health Act 2001 be fully implemented and that the recommendations of the Government's Mental Health Expert as set out in their report A Vision For Change (2006) also be implemented."

"We in Ógra Shinn Féin fully support the demands of the Action on Suicide Alliance and all the other community, voluntary and youth groups working to combat the tragedy of Suicide."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ógra Shinn Féin Launch Youth Election Broadcast

Ógra Shinn Féin has today launched a youth election broadcast for the upcoming 26 County General Election.

It is aimed towards young people and includes the launch of the Ógra Shinn Féin Youth Manifesto by National Organiser Barry McColgan, and interviews from Séan Crowe TD and young Sinn Féin candidate Séan Tracey.

Speaking on the launch of the video, member of An Chomhairle Náisiúnta Ógra Shinn Féin Caoimhe Sloan said,

“We produced the video which will now be displayed on YouTube, GoogleVideo and Bebo in order to engage with Irish youth on forums they use.”

“We are asking young people to make use of their vote in this election, and to vote for the party that best represents youth – Sinn Féin.”

“The video deals with issues that Ógra will be highlighting in the upcoming election including Irish Unity, suicide prevention, road safety, tackling homelessness amongst young people and challenging international imperialism, including the US Military use of Shannon Airport.”

“On the 24th May vote for Irish Unity; vote for youth and for change, Vótáil Sinn Féin!”
The video is now available on YouTube at:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Michael O’Neill welcome home from Castlerea Gaol

(Michael Walking Free Today)
Michael O’Neill
Failte abhaile agus adh mór ó Ógra Shinn Féin.
Ógra Shinn Fein welcomes home Michael O’Neill and wish him the best of luck. Michael has been released from Castlerea jail after serving many years behind prison walls.
We in Ógra Shinn Féin have visited our comrades in Castlerea and we will continue to do so until the last Prisoner walks free.

Whilst welcoming Michael home we also remember the imprisoned comrades Michael leaves behind and we re-dedicate ourselves to ensuring their freedom in the very near future. Indeed these same men should not remain imprisoned at a time when the IRA has declared an end to their armed campaign.

Despite the fact that Michael has been released from jail, he, like so many Ex POWs faces many barriers in relation to securing employment due to the presence of a so called 'criminal record'.
Recognising this Ógra Shinn Féin once again call for such a barrier to employment and many other aspects of life such as holidaying abroad to be lifted. We call for the abolition of so called criminal records for those convicted, many in diplock courts, for playing their part in the freedom struggle.

Ógra Shinn Féin welcome you home Michael, and wish you good luck in the future.

National Ógra Shinn Féin Sponsored Walk

(A previous ÓSF sponsored walk in Tyrone)

Ógra Shinn Féin are organising a National Sponsored Walk in Kilkenny on Saturday 7 July. The walk will coincide with the Kilkenny Ógra weekend being held on that date.

The walk has been organised in order to raise funds for upcoming events and projects.

We would ask that all cumann and activists mobilise and ensure that the maximum amount of funds are raised.

Sponsorship cards have now been sent out to all Ógra contacts and cumann, if you have any queries please contact us at

Ógra activist visits the 'Green Fields of France'

Damian White of Armagh Ógra Shinn Féin went on the Messines Project trip to France and Belgium run through the “Armagh together programme” and said that it was a huge success. A report of the trip in his words..............

The Messines project centres on the battle of Messines during World War 1, when the 16th (Irish volunteers/republican) and the 36th (UVF/loyalist) Regiments joined together and fought together side by side.

As the Unionist outreach officer in Armagh, this trip was important to go on, we as republicans don’t associate ourselves with the World War’s and they are seen as part of the British establishment in Ireland. But there are few points to note, John Redmond of the Home Rule party, actively encouraged Irish Republicans to go and fight, under an agreement (later broken by the British) that there would be Home Rule for Ireland after victory in the War.

There were more Irish Republicans than Loyalists that went to fight in the war. The youngest soldier killed in the war was an Irish Volunteer from Waterford City aged just 14.

The other major reason why Irishmen fought in the war was to help defend other small nations, Belgium a small catholic country needed our help and so the Irish volunteers responded.

Belgium has never forgotten what other nations did for it and as part of the trip we went to the Menin gate where every night at 8.00pm a large crowd gathers and the road is closed as Belgians say thank you to all who died in the war with a wreath laying ceremony and last post, this ceremony has been carried out over 27,000 times.

We also went to the Somme site in France where the biggest loss of life in such a short space of time was recorded. Largely down to bad military tactics, one of which was to walk across, instead of running across the Battlefield on the morning of the first attack, as the commanders ignored all intelligence that stated, that the massive artillery fire had not achieved any of its objectives, interesting point to note is that both the 36th and 16th ignored British rules (like good Irishmen) and charged across the battlefield and were one of two regiments that had any kind of success that day taking the positions they were meant to.

We also visited the Island of Ireland Peace Park were a 32 foot high tower stands to represent the 32 counties of Ireland and the men of each county that fought, the tower is made from stone shipped over from Ireland. In the park also lies plaque with quotes from members of both the 16th and 36th regiments. We then moved on to the 36th Ulster Park which has some great work going on at the minute and is one of the best sites in both France and Belgium, 3 years ago they bought the forested land where the 36th Regiment front line trench where and are creating a walking tour (a work in progress) of the trenches and the week we were over they has just began work on a new bunker complex. The whole site gave the closest view as to what it would have been like to be there.

The four day trip passed very quickly there wasn’t enough time to see everything; Republicans may never understand why Irish Volunteers went to the war when a greater war was to be waged at home. I’m really glad I went it was a real eye opener an experience that I don’t think I’ll forget.

Our wee tour ended like the Battle of Messines as on the last night the group like the 16th and 36th came together only not to fight but to sing. Songs were sung from both traditions and sung so well that Dutch, Germans staying in the hotel and even the bar staff all came to join our group and enjoyed the craic till the small hours of the morning.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Strabane Ogra Shinn Fein Remember The Hunger Strikers

Saturday 5th of May marked the 26th anniversary of the Hunger Strike. The Hunger Strike is a defining moment in Irish history, it was an attempt by the British to break the Republican struggle during a process of “Ulsterisation, Criminalisation and Normalisation.” The withdrawal of political status in 1976 resulted in the blanket protest, which culminated in the Hunger Strike.

The prisoners had five basic demands – The right not to wear prison uniforms, the right not to do prison work, the right to associate freely with other political prisoners, Restoration of remission lost as a result of the protest, The right to a weekly visit, letter, parcel and the right to organise their own educational and recreational pursuits. The British establishment refused to engage with the prisoners, and refused to give into the 5 basic demands. Maggie Thatcher and her government were attempting to label the Republican struggle as criminal, the prisoners were embarking on a struggle for the legitimacy of the Irish struggle for national and social liberation.

After 4 years of protest, talks and negations were exhausted and the prisoners embarked on Hunger Strike. Bobby Sands began his Hunger Strike on the 1st March 1981. On the 23 April, 30,492 people in the Fermanagh/South Tyrone constituency elected him as their MP, in doing so they recognised him as a political prisoner.

The people of the north had spoken, and again an intransigent British government refused to listen. On the 11th of June 1981, the people of the 26 counties came out and voted in their thousands in support of the Hunger Strikers. Paddy Agnew, a prisoner in the H-Blocks, topped the poll in Louth, and Kieran Doherty was elected for the Cavan/Monaghan area. All other Republican candidates polled well, and again the British refused to listen to the Irish people.

Bobby died after 66 days on the 5th May 1981. He was followed by his 9 comrades – Francis Hughes, Raymond McCreesh, Patsy O Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Tom McElwee and Mickey Devine.

Strabane Ogra Shinn Fein have unveiled a Mural in the memory of these brave men. A spokesperson said,

“We erected this mural to remember and honour our fallen comrades. The hunger Strikers were young men, with their lives ahead of them. In the light of British oppression they found themselves in jail. They refused to be labeled as criminals. We must remind people today of their selfless desire to defeat the criminalisation attempts by the British government and their commitment to advancing the struggle for Irish freedom. The aims for which these ten brave men gave their lives are still being fought for today and young republicans are constantly inspired by the sacrifice of these ten brave men in 1981.”

PSNI accused of heavy-handed and wrongful arrest

Ógra Shinn Féin has accused the PSNI of harassment of its members after an Ógra activist in Strabane was arrested late on Friday night.
The Republican Youth organisation has claimed that uniformed members of the PSNI harassed a well know member on his way home from a night out.
Speaking about the incident the youth, who does not wish to be identified said:
"I was walking home from a night out, I wasn't far from my house when a PSNI land rover pulled up beside me, all the PSNI members jumped out and surrounded me. I was then pinned up to a wall while two officers forcibly searched me. My mobile phone was removed from my pocket, and one of the officers proceeded to read through my text messages, and looking at my pictures and contacts. They had claimed that they stopped me because I was observed taking photos of them, this is untrue as I had no camera with me, and the camera on my phone doesn't work. I asked the officers for my phone back numerous times, each time being met with a wall of abuse. I advised the officers that I had done nothing wrong and that I had nothing hide. They refused to accept this, still holding me against the wall. When I asked again for my phone back a police officer stepped forward and advised me that I was being disorderly and that I could be arrested, I told him I knew my rights and that I had done nothing wrong. With that said I was then lifted and threw into the back of the land rover resulting in numerous facial injuries."
John McDermott, spokesperson for Ógra Shinn Féin An Srath Ban has slammed the PSNI for their actions over the weekend.
He stated,
"The actions of the PSNI over the weekend were totally unacceptable and deplorable; we had thought this sort of heavy handed tactics were embedded firmly in the past. Is this the policing service that a community not only wants, but needs? I think not. We require a police service that are representative of the community, a service that will act with the communities best interests at heart, these actions we witnessed over the weekend do not tick any of those boxes. The PSNI have to gain the respect of the community. We as Irish republicans and nationalists, deserve and require and accountable police service. What we have experienced throughout our history has been a political, sectarian and partisan police force, we need to change this. We need to see that policing with the community was achieved as the core function of the PSNI."He continued "We have made a complaint to the ombudsman's office. We need to ensure that the PSNI are accountable. The PSNI have a lot of work to do."

Election '07 must prioritise youth issues - Ógra Shinn Féin

Speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin's youth manifesto this morning Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser Barry McColgan said suicide prevention, road safety, Irish Unity and tackling homelessness among young people are key priorities for Ógra Shinn Féin. McColgan went on to say that young people and the issues facing them must be prioritised in election 2007. Following the election Ógra Shinn Féin will be launching a major national road safety campaign aimed at young people.
He said,
"Young people and the issues affecting them must be prioritised in this election. Young people are at the very core of our society and ultimately they are the future of our nation."
"The extraordinarily high levels of suicide, among our young people is a national crisis which Ógra Shinn Féin has prioritised and will continue to prioritise as we move forward. Suicide is now the most frequent cause of death among young people throughout the country. Ógra Shinn Féin is calling for an all-Ireland strategy for suicide prevention along with the provision of much needed youth facilities and services, including mental health services, throughout the country. The issue of suicide has not received the attention it warrants from the current Minister for Health Mary Harney and we believe that it is imperative that this issue is recognised as a national crisis in order for it to be dealt with in the appropriate manner."
"We in Ógra Shinn Féin do not believe Government focus should be on targetting or criminalising young people with regressive measure such as ASBOs. Rather, we should be looking for the proper implementation of the Children's Act to tackle low level crime while prioritising the provision of much needed youth facilities and services throughout the country. ASBOs have failed in other jurisdictions and are destined to fail here in Ireland and Ógra Shinn Féin is committed to opposing them while putting forward credible alternatives."
"While Sinn Féin is committed to ending homelessness in Ireland by 2010, we in Ógra Shinn Féin are quite concerned at the number of children and young people on our streets. We are calling on the Government bring forward a national strategy for ending homelessness and, in the interim period, under-utilised dwellings should be identified and made available as temporary accommodation for those sleeping rough."
"In our manifesto for election 2007 we once again re-commit ourselves to the achievement of our ultimate goal of the re-unification of Ireland and the establishment of a united, free, independent Ireland of equals where all of the children, and the youth of the nation, are cherished equally."
Key youth proposals

-As we approach the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, step up the campaign for Irish re-unification.
-Reduce the voting age to 16 and hold all future elections at the weekend.
-Develop an all-Ireland strategy for suicide prevention.
-Make road safety a national priority - including driver training and road safety, programmes in the school curriculum and make driver training compulsory,
-Establish a state run insurance company to ensure the exploitation of motorists of all ages is ended.
-Introduce legislation to prevent the auctioning off of documents and artefacts of historic significance.
-Oppose the war in Iraq and ban all US military aircraft from Irish airspace.
-Reduce the age of consent
-Double the grant at third level to reflect the true cost of living
-Increase the minimum wage to 60% of average industrial wage (approx €9.50) and keep them out of tax net.
-Increase state funding to community based arts, sports and recreational facilities for young people.
-Eliminate street homelessness by 2010.
-Abolish ASBOs.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Remember James Connolly and Francis Hughes

Today May 12 marks the anniversary of the deaths of two of Ireland's bravest and most highly regarded heroes.

James Connolly was executed by British firing squad on this day 1916, while his wounded body was held up by a chair.

Francis Hughes was allowed to die by the vindictive Margaret Thatcher, he breathed his last breath of life whilst on his 59th day of Hungerstrike in Long Kesh Concentarion Camp, 26 years ago in 1981.

Connolly was a visionary, an egalitarian man of the people, who's sincere convictions where ultimately demonstrated during the Easter Rising. His writings, and memory have and will continue to inspire Republicans to strive for a Socialist Republic.

Francis Hughes was a young man from South Derry, who joined the IRA to fight the oppression that was wrought on his local community and its people. He became a legendary volunteer and struck fear into the occupying crown forces.

He brought this fearless character with him to Long Kesh when he was finally captured and imprisoned - and famously as he decided to use his 'body as a weapon' and go on Hungerstrike he bid farewell to his comrades with the immortal words, 'Victory to the Provos!'

Both men have stirred the hearts and inspired countless people in Ireland and across the world who have taken inspiration from the bravery, courage and vision that was demonstrated in the Easter Rising 1916 and the Hungerstrike in 1981.

We remember our comrades with pride!

Sinn Féin to launch it's youth manifesto

Sinn Féin will launch it's youth manifesto for the General Election at an event in the party's Head Office, 44 Parnell Square, Dublin 1 tomorrow, Sunday 13th May, at 11am.

Attending the press event will be Dublin Central candidate Mary Lou McDonald MEP, Shaun Tracey - Dublin South and head of Ógra Shinn Féin Barry McColgan.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Charlie McMenamin successfully challenges RUC injustice!

Derry Republican and contibutor to Ógra Shinn Féin publication 'Awaiting The Lark', Charlie McMenamin has walked free from court 27 years after he was wrongly convicted.

Charlie was only 16 when he was convicted of 'terrorist offences' in Derry and was in custody for three years. But his case was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the body set up to investigate possible miscarriages of justice.

And yesterday Lord Justice Campbell said he and two fellow judges had a sense of unease about the convictions and upheld the appeal.

Outside the court Charlie, now aged 45, who lives in the Creggan area of Derry, said he was delighted not only for himself but also for his mother who had believed in his innocence all along.

He said:

"Down the years my mother encouraged me to keep trying to clear my name and now it`s been done."

Mr McMenamin`s wife Catherine was in court to hear the three judges quash his convictions.

During the hearing it was revealed that on the day the then schoolboy was alleged to have been involved in a gun attack on British Soldiers in the Bogside he was in a training school.

That information led to an official in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions telling the RUC that the charges were not to be proceeded with. But the court heard the direction was never communicated to the prosecuting lawyer and the teenager was `convicted on statements of admission he made to avoid more ill-treatment while in Strand Road police station`.

Charlie's comrades in Ógra are delighted with the result yesterday - highlighting again the injustices and inequalities of the British System need to be challenged and overturned!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pull down the watch towers, they're going home at last.....

West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin has said that the pulling down of the British army watchtowers in Omagh’s Lisanelly camp is results of the republican agenda delivering. The dismantling of the watchtowers follows the removal of a number of cameras around the perimeter fence of the British army camp this week. Many of the cameras facing into the strathroy estate and the adjoining strathroy road were removed.

Speaking of the demilitarisation of Lisanelly British Army Barracks, Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser Barry McColgan said,
“Ógra Shinn Féin has been very clear in our agenda throughout the last 5 years of our annual British demilitarisation weekends in Omagh. We wanted to see this blight on the landscape removed and the British army to be withdrawn from the north of Ireland. We have succeeded in gaining the dismantling of the base and we are happy with the progress made. However without other groups such as Sinn Féin and the Omagh Resident’s Demilitarisation Committee this progress wouldn’t have been achieved."

"We in Ógra Shinn Féin look forward to the closure of the base in August and are working towards hosting another demilitarisation weekend in Omagh this year as a final farewell to the manifestation of British Imperialism in the town. It will also act as a thank you to residents, comrades and indeed international comrades also for the help they have given us over the last 5 years of the demilitarisation campaign and weekends in Omagh."

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Workers Solidarity for the Month of May

Ógra Shinn Fein have been organising events and hightening awareness around workers rights and anti - exploitation for the month of May.
As well as actively participating in Trade Union organised May Day Parades in Dublin, Cork and Belfast, we have also been commemorating May Day by Flying the Starry Plough on Republican Monuments across Ireland.
As part of the ARISE campaign we are also active in distributing workers rights leaflets, the special May Day edition of Glór na nÓg and encouraging young workers to join Trade Unions.
Despite an election campaign we have maintained and must continue activity for the campaign and will continue to promote workers right and challenge exploitation.
"Only the Irish working class remains as the incorruptible inheritors of the fight for freedom in Ireland." James Connolly

Strathroy Estate, Omagh

Rebel Night in Hatfield

Big Irish Night

Hatfield Bar (Upstairs)

Ormeau Road


Wednesday 9 May

Back by Popular Demand

'The Spirit of Freedom'

Taille: £5

Doors open - 9.30pm

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Loughgall Martyrs Remembered at Queens University

Ógra Shinn Féin QUB today took part in a series of nationwide events to remember the massacre of The Loughgall Martyrs. The Cumann staged a commeration at the main gates of Queens University handing out leaflets to the public highlighting the issue of collusion and the British policy of ‘shoot to kill’.

Speaking on the event spokesman Eunan Carlin said,

“The 8 volunteers at Loughgall paid the ultimate sacrifice and this was just one of a number of events we hope to hold over the next year to remember them and the victims of state violence. We received a very good reception from the public today, with a lot if interest and support shown. It was great to see republicanism alive and well around the University.”

Ógra Shinn Féin Join Thousands in Remembering Loughgall Martyrs

On Sunday 6th May thousands of Irish republicans converged in the Cappagh / Galbally area to mark the 20th anniversary of the Loughgall ambush, in which 8 volunteers of the East Tyrone Brigade Oglaigh na hÉireann lost their lives. The thousands of people were joined by Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and Deputy first minister Martin McGuinness.

Ógra Shinn Féin formed up a contingent in the parade also. The Ógra delegation were led be a banner proclaiming ‘Ógra Shinn Féin remembers the Loughgall Martyrs.’

The parade, led by a republican colour party responding to commands in Irish made its way from Galbally community centre to the republican monument in Cappagh main street.

At the monument various wreaths were laid on behalf of The Tyrone brigade Óglaigh na hÉireann, Tyrone National Graves association as well as various family wreaths. There was also the lowering of the National flag and a lament played by a local.

Veteran Republican Brian Keenan was the main speaker and spoke of how the 8 men knew the risks involved by taking up arms against the British claim in Ireland . However he said the men knew no mercy would be shown by the British if they were captured and how this was true of the events of the 8th of May.

Ógra Shinn Fein spokesperson Stephen McGahan said,

“On Sunday we assembled in Galbally to commemorate and remember the sacrifice and courage of the Loughgall martyrs. Although it is 20 years from the deaths of the men the wounds of 20 years ago are still very fresh. I wasn’t even born at the time of the ambush yet I am inspired when I hear of the courage and dedication of the 8 men who were killed on active service."

"Indeed it must also be said that without the courage of such men there wouldn’t even be a peace process in Ireland . On their 20th anniversary we remember with pride, Paddy Kelly, Jim Lynagh, Padraig McKearney, Tony Gormley, Declan Arthurs, Seamus Donnelly, Gerard O’Callaghan and Eugene Kelly."

Strabane Ógra Launch Mural in Memory of Loughgall Martyrs

Tuesday 8th May marks the 20th anniversary of the Loughall ambush. In light of this anniversary, Strabane Ógra Shinn Féin has unveiled a mural in the town Centre.

Speaking at the unveiling spokesperson for Strabane OSF John McDermott said: “This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Loughgall ambush. This ambush epitomises the brit shoot to kill policy that was in place at this time. Although the SAS had the town, and the barracks under surveillance, the volunteers were able to enter the town with no problems. The SAS had set the trap and they lay in wait.”

“Thousands of rounds were fired by the SAS killing all 8 members of the IRA Vol. Eugene Kelly, Vol. Paddy Kelly Vol. Jim Lynagh, Vol. Padraig McKearney, Vol. Seamus Donnelly and Vol. Tony Gormley Vol. Declan Arthurs and Vol. Gerard O’Callaghan, and 1 civilian, Anthony Hughes. Anthony’s brother was also shot and fatally wounded, however survived.”

The spokesman continued “We erected this mural to commemorate the lives of these brave volunteers. The desire for Irish freedom was prominent in these men’s lives, and in an attempt to rid their country of injustices they took the fight to the brits.“

“The younger generation owe a great debt to all the spirited volunteers of Oglaigh Na hEireann, whose determination to achieve nation freedom and justice led them to wage war against the powerful oppressive british government. We salute these men, and we stand united in thanking the Loughgall martyrs, and the volunteers of Oglaigh Na hEireann for their contribution to our lives. We as young people should always acknowledge the bravery and selflessness of our comrades who have gone before us.”

Loughgall Martyrs Remembered at Carrickmore Vigil

An impressive crowd gathered in Carrickmore Co. Tyrone last night, May 7th, to remember the 8 brave volunteers ambushed by the SAS in Loughgall on 8th May 1987. Former PoWs, comrades, supporters, friends and family turned out in numbers to give Volunteers Declan Arthurs, Seamus Donnelly, Tony Gormley, Eugene Kelly, Patrick Kelly, Jim Lynagh, Padraig McKearney and Gerard O'Callaghan a fitting tribute.

After an honourable wreath laying ceremony, the crowd were addressed by many former friends and comrades of the fallen volunteers. Also local republicans, including members of the Loughgall Commemoration Committee, described their feelings and memories of the time and paid tribute to the fallen volunteers.

Perhaps the most moving and inspirational contributions though, came from the families of the 8 Volunteers. Their strength and sense of pride was clear for all to see, in what is undoubtedly an emotional time for the families.

Events were concluded with the ballad the 'Loughgall Martyrs' sung by Ógra activist Liam Lappin, followed by a rousing rendition of Amhran na bhFiann from the Martin Hurson Memorial Flute Band.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Final Countdown ….

With just over two days left till Election Day at Queen’s Student Union work is well under way to ensure maximum success for Ógra Shinn Féin. The Sheena Campbell Cumann have been actively campaigning and putting a final push on to try and get their candidate elected.

Speaking about the canvassing that has taken place, candidate for Student Community Action Officer (SCA), Dermot Keenan explained what the Cumann has been up to in final preparations,

“Over the last week we have been targeting specific areas of the campus were we know from past results that student turnout has been greatest. We have been involved in widespread leaflet drops, postering and using the internet as resources to get people aware of the elections and get them out to vote, so fingers crossed the hard work will pay off.”

The use of online voting is expected to mean a greater turnout than in previous years and this was one of the reasons the Cumann established a blogspot specifically for the elections.

The elections take place on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th May. Voting will be held online at –

For more information check out – and

Vótáil Dermot Keenan #1 SCA

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ógra Remember Bobby Sands at Belfast May Day Rally

(Ógra Activists remember Bobby Sands, with Sinn Féin MLA Fra McCann)
Ógra Shinn Féin joined various Trade Union and political groups, today 5 March at this years May Day Festival in Belfast. The festival was addressed by Tony Woodley General Secretary TGWU and Jack O’Connor, General President SIPTU.
Ógra activists distributed leaflets and posters to the sizable crowd assembled for the rally, and participated in the march proclaiming 'ARISE and Smash Imperialism'.
Ógra activists also took time to remember Vol. Bobby Sands who died 5th May 1981, after 66 Days on Hunger Strike. Himself a member of the National Union of Vehicle Builders and ATGWU, Bobby made the ultimate sacrifice for an Independent, Socialist Ireland.
"H Block is the rock that the British monster shall perish upon, for we in H Block stand upon the unconquerable rock of the Irish Socialist Republic!" - Bobby Sands

Friday, May 04, 2007

Ógra assist in Cuban Solidarity protest in UCD

Plans by the man tasked by the US administration with pushing the idea of “regime change’ in Cuba to deliver a low key address to students of Politics at University College Dublin last Monday failed when the event was greeted by demonstrators who responded to calls from Cuban solidarity groups.

Caleb McCarry is described by the US administration as its “Transitional Coordinator for Cuba”.

As protestors, including Ógra Shinn Féin activists gathered outside the venue of the meeting to be addressed by McCarry, college authorities hastily moved the location.

Protestors mounted a protest at the new venue and placards were posted next to the speakers podium and facing the US Embassy officials which read “Caleb McCarry Coordinates three key US Government policies:

- The Illegal Blockade of Cuba,
- The Secret Terrorist War against Cuba,
– The Global Propaganda against Cuba.

Why is UCD hosting him?”

Protestors prevented McCarry delivering his address, following which the chair adjourned the meeting.

Protestors included members of various political groups in UCD, such as Labour Youth and the Socialist Workers’ Party, as well as groups from outside the college, such as the Free the Miami Five campaign and the Cuban Support group.

Explaining UCD Ógra Shinn Féin’s opposition to the visit a spokesperson for the McDonagh/Farrell Cumann said,

“The University failed to publicise the meeting to the majority of the student population."

"The chair of this event called it a ‘debate’, yet no representative to speak on behalf of the Cuban citizens was invited. After a number of abortive attempts to begin the ‘debate, McCarry was escorted from the room by Gardaí and left to the care of US marines."

Meanwhile, Free the Miami Five Ireland has said that Caleb McCarry, was received at the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs by officials of the Irish Government on Monday 30 April for talks about the forthcoming proposal tabled by Poland and the Czech Republic to adopt the Bush Plan as official European Union policy under the working title of the “Long and Medium Term Strategy on Cuba”.

The document contains a classified section which it is claimed deals with illegal and terrorist methods the EU will assist the USA with to bring about the stated US policy of ‘regime change’.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Lets build peace, not monuments!

Frankie Gallagher
Donegal Ógra Shinn Féin

Bertie Ahern has recently announced that the Fianna Fail/PD government will (if re-elected) be allocating 5 million euro for the construction of a monument in the border region to recognise new found 'peace' in Ireland.

The Taoiseach announced this at the Fianna Fail 1916 commemoration. Bertie just wants to appear as a Republican 'Taoiseach' in a 'Republican Party'.

Like his 1916 rising 90th anniversary commemoration last year when the Free-State forces (who's principal aim is to uphold the capitalist 26 county state), marched in memory of the brave men and women who died for a Independent Socialist 32 county Republic.

But that is a different issue. I am writing this in protest of Bertie Aherns proposal. I think it is disgraceful and typical of the FF party. This was announced after he commemorated men such as Padraig Pearse who famously quoted "Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”.

I don’t believe peace exists today in the occupied 6-county's. We are on the path to peace definitely but true peace has not been yet been achieved. Bertie Ahern does not understand the meaning of peace as those who have always had it cannot understand it.

Ask the people of the Falls, the Bogside, West Tyrone and even the Shankill if they have peace? Wasting much needed money on a monument does not mean peace exists. The Fianna Fail government would be better using the money to develop cross border and cross community projects, instead of wasting money on a 'landmark' to show the world what 'they have done for peace'.

So when people drive along the inadequate road infrastructure, past the barbed wire, pass by the nurses striking, and past the armed police patrol, they can look at the 'great monument' and give thanks to Bertie for allowing them to live in an Ireland of Peace, Equality and Justice.

Ógra target further seat on Queen's University Student Executive

Keenan For SCA

Vótáil Dermot Keenan 1 - Student Community Action Officer

My name is Dermot Keenan and I am a second year law student from Derry. On Wednesday the 9th and Thursday 10th May 2007 I will be standing for election to the Students Union Executive running for the non - sabbatical position of Student Community Action Officer (SCA).

The Student Community Action Officer is responsible for liaising between the Union and local voluntary groups – including children, the homeless and senior citizens. I believe that my involvement in youth politics and voluntary work make me the ideal candidate for this role.

I have been active in Student and Community youth politics, including the current ’Shell to Sea’ campaign for a number of years, being a Student Council member for the last 2 years and the current Chairman of Ógra Shinn Féin in Queens University. I am also a member of the True North Sub Aqua Club Search and Recovery Unit. This is a Voluntary group of recreational divers who assist the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) in helping those who get into trouble at sea.

I believe I not only have the required motivation and skills to carry out this job but also the experience and contacts necessary to ensure that if elected I will fulfil the remit of my job in a positive and professional manner.

To me it is vital that the Student population participates and interacts with the local community to ensure a positive and respectful relationship. Therefore I am asking you, the Students to make your voices heard and support the following aims on May 9th and 10th by logging on to QOL and voting DERMOT KEENAN 1 SCA.

If Elected I will endeavour to:

· Improve relations between Students and residents of the local Community, particularly in the Holylands where antisocial behaviour by a minority has damaged the reputation of students and created tensions in the past.

· Encourage Students to give something back to the local community by working with local residents groups and Voluntary organisations such as the NICVA, VSB (Voluntary Service Belfast) and the Volunteer Development Agency, as well as local churches and Charities.

· I will work proactively within the Students Union on behalf of all Students, representing their needs and interests in a positive manner within the University and wider Community.

· Work for an extension of the SSHH (Silent Students Happy Homes) campaign educating students as to what's involved and why. Focusing particularly on freshers and encouraging them to respect local residents sleep and property when on their way home and in their everyday behaviour.

· Create a number of specific volunteer weeks throughout the term. Each week focusing on a particular section of society which is in some way vulnerable and which students can help simply by giving a few hours of their time. With the intention that this would create an ethos of community activism and empowerment. Students must realize that this is not just a temporary home for the duration of their course but an active community which they form an integral part of.

· Lobby the University to cut its carbon footprint, encouraging car sharing among students or the provision of a park and ride service to help ease the problem of car parking.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New Ógra Shinn Féin cumann formed in Monaghan

This to announce the founding of the new Ógra Shinn Féin cumann in County Monaghan, on Friday last, the 27th of April.
Ógra Shinn Féin is the youth section of Sinn Féin, we are part of the broader Sinn Féin party, but we are a youth movement led by young people for young people.
We keep youth rights to the core of the Sinn Féin agenda.
We would like to use this opportunity to call on people in Monaghan between the ages of 15 and 29 to join the movement for change.
Get involved, get active!
Ógra is organised in universities, other 3rd level institutions and local communities across the country. We are an activist based organisation which focuses on the twin aims of republicanism, achieving national independence from Britain and building a Democratic Socialist Republic across Ireland for all the people living here.
For too long corrupt governments, greedy politicians and selfish multi-national businesses have attempted to run our lives. Ógra Shinn Féin is the only youth movement in the country willing to highlight and expose the way in which this country and this world are run.

We campaign for and support:

- the unification of Ireland
- the preservation of our environment from destruction
- demilitarisation of the British war machine in the 6 counties
- a proper policing service, no cosmetically altered RUC
- fighting poverty
- No student fees
- Anti-imperialism
To get involved with Monaghan Ógra Shinn Féin contact

McGibbon warns of further Sinn Féin incursions

Uladh organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin this week warned Bertie Ahern of further incursions by Sinn Féin members into the 26 counties ahead of the May 24th poll.
Johnny McGibbon said,
“As Uladh organiser I am rallying activists so to speak for yet another 'incursion' into the 26 Counties for electioneering and canvassing in order to return the strongest Sinn Féin team into Leinster house.’
‘Bertie Ahern according to a report in a Newspaper said he wasn’t worrying by what he called Sinn Féin imports, well I can confirm that there will be no let up in the ‘imports’. Indeed I can confirm I have been to the 26 Counties on numerous occasions in the recent past canvassing for various candidates. In fact this has included a visit to Berties own constituency.’
‘But I suppose this is one of many advantages of having an all Ireland party and not paying just lip service to the national question.’

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

ARISE for May Day!

Today, May 1st (May Day) is the annual international day of workers, of socialism. Ógra Shinn Féin is a socialist organisation, an organisation of young workers and trade unionists. A youth movement organised to promote equality, empowerment and to campaign for the ending of exploitation.

We take our lead from the Easter Proclamation 1916, and the democratic programme, both documents clearly outline our ultimate objective to be a Free 32 County Democratic Socialist Republic.

Yes we want to see, and will achieve a National Republic, but we are also Internationalists and we want to hold the Irish Socialist Republic as a beacon so that other nations may follow in our footsteps. We want to express and demonstrate true solidarity to other nations occupied and exploited by the imperialists and neo – colonialists.

The ARISE campaign issue for the month of May will be workers rights and anti exploitation and we have already kick started the campaign at the National May Day Rally in Dublin on Sunday 29 May.

We also will be marking May Day, with Ógra activists across Ireland active in commemorating the day in a suitable manner.

But the remainder of May must also be used in order to promote workers rights and to challenge exploitation both locally, nationally and internationally.

We must ARISE for the month of May and forever in solidarity with the respectable, incorruptible working class.

For video on ARISE campaign: