Friday, February 29, 2008

Brits Out!

Gerry Junior

Gerry Junior has learned that a certain Louth cumann have submitted a motion to this week’s Sinn Fein Ard Fheis which calls on Sinn Fein and Ogra activists to ‘refrain’ from using the historic republican phrase, ‘Brits Out!’

If successfully passed, the PC brigade will have young republicans calling on the British Army to please move from our land if you want, or it’s up to you, but we’d prefer if you left.

Good luck with them explaining this to West Tyrone Ogra who just loved a bit of ‘Brits Out’, as the pictures demonstrate.

A recent programme by BBC, hosted by Martina Purdy looked at the top terms and slogans from the recent conflict, and in the Top 10 was ‘Brits Out’ and even the BBC recognized that it was the British Occupation that Republican’s where referring to.

If those opposed to the term ‘Brits Out’ turned on UTV last week they would have been deeply offended because the dreaded ‘Brits’ Awards where on.

Or maybe its not the term ‘Brits’ that is offensive, so here is some variations for our PC friends, Brits go, Brits leave when you want, Brits you have no right to be here, or maybe, just maybe Brits Stay??

Let common sense prevail and have this motion confined to the dustbin of history by giving it a resounding rejection, but just incase they get their way, here it is maybe for the last time before it is censored forever;


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wee Daniel and Big Ian

Gerry Junior

I see that Daniel O’Donnell’s years in the country charts, good Christian living and long line of elderly, almost deceased female admirers has won him the privilege of junior minister and right hand man to the Big Man.

One DUP insider, Paul McDingleberry said,

“Everyone is so joyed having Donegal’s finest at the helm, he’s quite the catch.”

Commenting further, Sammy O’Naturist, said,

“The Big Man’s wife, that damn Eileen, sorry I mean Dame, is a huge fan of Daniel. She has been since she turned 70, and this has swayed the DUP’s decision.”

Gerry Junior contacted Betty Gravesoon, the 128 year old president of the official Daniel O Donnell fan club, to see what her thoughts where,

“There could be considerable loss of life of the North’s elderly population if Daniel’s tour schedule is affected; his sexy dance routines have kept my heart ticking long beyond my years.”

So there you have it, you either need to be a relative, property developer or Eoin McLove to go far in the DUP these days.

Give us the Night!

Community Activist
Ógra Shinn Féin

As part of the NARC campaign, one of the aims is to lower drug and alcohol abuse, to urge responsible drinking and start to debate ideas that will move us away from the current norm of binge drinking.

Binge drinking and the associated affects are dangerous for our youth and bad for society. From assaults, to road accidents, alcoholism and bad health, this list is just some indication of the negative affects associated to binge drinking and highlights the need for us collectively to start tackling this huge problem.

Having travelled to many European cities, the same problems that Ireland encounters with binge drinking and it’s associated affects like assaults and anti social behaviour is not as evident and significantly lower.

While there is a culture of responsible drinking in many other European countries, one other obvious thing is the late night, if not 24 hour opening hours at the weekend for bars and clubs.
This is in huge contrast to Ireland, where North and South most places stop serving at 1pm with everyone out on the street by 2pm.

This has two effects, revellers, punters, or whatever term you like, consume as much alcohol as possible into them in a very short space of time aka binge drinking. And secondly, everyone after consuming huge levels of alcohol are evicted from all the pubs and clubs at the same time, filling the streets with an alcohol fuelled crowd of hundreds, and the resulting chaos is well documented each week.

Although it would be a considerable change in culture to the public and practice to the publican, a simple change in the law would allow bars and clubs across Ireland to have later opening hours, if not 24 hours at the weekend.

Later opening would ensure that binge drinking is not as prevalent as people aren’t racing against the clock while drinking, and it would ensure that everyone doesn’t leave the club at the same time, avoiding the usual chaos, and ensuring more taxis are freed up, for people to get home safe.

This is not a selfish opinion expressed in order to allow my peers and I extra drinking time at the weekend, it is expressed as a young Irish person concerned at the impact excessive and binge drinking is having on our young people and from a personal experience, on my family and friends.

This is a progressive measure, which I believe Ógra should consider. I believe this will be a popular position and impacting strand of the NARC campaign, and will gain consensus and support amongst the broad section of Irish youth.

Start the fight back against binge drinking – give us the night!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

All we want is the truth!

This past weekend 23rd-24th February, Ógra Shinn Féin An Strath Bán organised a weekend of events around the British government’s collusion/soot-to-kill policies.

The weekend kicked off on Saturday morning in Lisnafinn community centre with the monthly meeting of Cuige Uladh and was followed by a demonstration in Strabane town centre.

The protest saw Ógra members take to the streets dressed as members of the RUC, UDA and british army, acting out role plays demonstrating the passing on of information on Nationalist/Republican ‘targets’. The protest attracted a mass amount of attention as members of the public became curious as to the presence of state forces and unionist paramilitaries on the street on a packed Saturday!

In an interview with the Strabane Chronicle, Ógra Shinn Féin spokesperson Seán Mac Giolla Easpaig said;

“We are here today to campaign for the truth about Britain’s dirty war in Ireland, especially its role in formulating the repressive counter insurgency policies of Collusion/shoot-to-kill. Today also marks the 23rd anniversary of the deaths of IRA volunteers Charles Breslin and brothers Michael and David Devine. These three men were executed by the british SAS without any chance to surrender and there is strong evidence to state that they received their “shoot-to-kill” orders directly from Whitehall.”

After the protest, activists sat down to lunch back in the community centre before listening to a presentation on the history of British state sponsored violence. The presentation was given by Strabane Sinn Féin councillor Brian McMahon along with Paul Gore, Strabane SF’s education officer.

After the well received presentation, activists were shown a dvd on the shoot-to-kill murders of the three volunteers in 1985 which was followed by a question and answer session. That night a function had been organised by the Strabane Memorial Flute Band where everyone was treated to a a great nights craic with music from 'Flight of the Earls' and the Coatbridge RFB all the way from Scotland.

Sunday saw the annual Breslin/Devine commemoration parade organised by the SMFB, during which the banner of ÓSF was proudly carried. The entertainment for the rest of the night included a quiz, band competition, and music by Strabane’s very own Terry Boyle.

Strabane Memorial Flute Band and Ógra Shinn Féin would like to thank everyone for their support, and we look forward to seeing you’s all next year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fine Gael Incompetence Bodes well for NO! 2 Lisbon Campaigners.

Aine Downes
Ógra Shinn Féin

It is in the opinion of this writer to get an all-round view of arguments for, as well as against on the issue of the Lisbon treaty.

It’s important to gain an insight into the minds and of course the arguments put forward by the opposition side as well as one’s own.

And so this is what took me on my merry way down to Buswells Hotel last week to the Young Fine Gael debate on all things Lisbon.

Ridiculously out-numbered by Young FGers and feeling a little underdressed (everyone was in suits) I wondered as to the very small attendance and also the odd choice of guest speakers on the ‘No’ side’.

Now, if you believe everything you read on a certain political discussion forum you will find that it was originally planned that Patricia McKenna would represent the ‘No’ side but her invitation mysteriously disappeared after the baby-blueshirts received a little telling off from HQ. Hmmm...

As for the small attendance, it seems that very little advertising was actually done save a couple of posts on a few websites.

Expecting an interesting debate, to say the least with Lucinda Creighton and Alan Dukes on the ‘yes’ side and Finnian McGrath and David Quinn on the ‘No’ side of things, the reason none of our esteemed speakers nor any high-profile, competent ‘No’ campaigners were asked to be present became abundantly clear when fresher TD, Lucinda opened her mouth.

Reading carefully from her ready-prepared speech, Creighton outlined what she said were three, distinct new challenges which we face in Europe and which the Lisbon Treaty sets out to address. These were energy, the environment and peace-keeping.

She did however not elaborate on any of these three, save a brief mention of the fantastic would-be EU army which would save us from judgement day itself!

She also described in detail about how the Lisbon Treaty sets out to make the EU more democratic, something that made this writer feel just a little bit uneasy considering the fact that, should a ‘yes’ vote be obtained 105 new powers to the EU will be appointed and 68 vetoes lost therefore causing Ireland to lose its power to stop laws not in our interest.

We lose our commissioner for 5 out of every 15 years. There will be a 50% drop in the states voting strength in the council of ministers, not to mention the single legal personality which the EU will become, allowing it to behave like a state.

Lucinda if you’re reading this I would suggest that you rethink your definition of democracy. Just a suggestion.

When I relayed these details to dear old Lucy (to the chorus of groans of disgust at the dirty shinner in the background) she seemed reluctant to offer any sort of rebuttal preferring to press ahead with the ready-made YFG questions instead.

When this writer quizzed her on the huge erosion of our neutrality that would coincide with a common foreign and defence system she took this very much to heart, crying out:

“I reject that comment, our so-called neutrality has nothing to fear from the Lisbon Treaty!”.

Well…I think that sums it all up nicely.

Don’t you?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Foglaim Gaeilge, Aon Duine?

Le MacSainordú
I used to think Irish wasn’t very important. I thought it was a played tune in the history of Ireland, and I never thought it would be in anyway important to me.

I thought Irish was a subject in school and that was it. I didn’t have any special feeling towards it, and unfortunately, that was typical in my class, school and amongst my friends. When I left school I stopped my Irish, and I never really thought of it again until just a few months ago. And in truth I was lazy.

But after a while I began to understand the importance of the Irish Language. I saw the movement amongst young people and the Irish speaking community, especially in the six counties. I saw the language growing, and I liked it. I began thinking, “What kind of country do I want?”

We are Republican activists, and we have the responsibility to develop the Irish Language; within Sinn Féin at least, and throughout the country at most. I believe it is the responsibility of everyone in Ógra and in Sinn Féin to build a bi-lingual party. With this to achieve, we must all become learners; every one of us. It isn’t easy to learn- I know, I’m trying!- but it is very important.

Until a few months ago I was lazy. I said, “Ah I don’t have enough time, I’m too busy.” But that was my excuse. I heard a particular person speaking recently, and he said, “A person without time for Irish, is a person without time for the struggle.” I agree completely. Speak whatever you have and do your best!

A country without a language, is a country without a soul.
Learn Irish!

Mheas mé tráth nach raibh an Ghaeilge iontach tábhachtach. Shíl mé go raibh a port seinnte, i stair na hÉireann, agus níor shíl mé go mbeadh tábhachtach ar bith ann dom.

Cheap mé gur ábhar scoile a bhí sa Ghaeilge, agus é sin amháin. Níor mhothaigh mé rud ar bith speisialta fúithi, agus bhí sin tipiciúil i mo rang agus i mo scoil agus i measc mo chairde, ar an drochuair. Nuair d'imigh mé ón scoil, chuir mé deireadh le mo chuid Ghaeilge agus níor smaoinigh mé faoin Ghaeilge arís go dtí ach amháin cúpla mhí ó shin. Agus i bhfírnne, bhí mé falsa.

Ach i ndiaidh tamaill, thuig mé thábhact na Gaeilge. Chonaic mé an ghluaiseacht i measc na ndaoine óga, agus an pobail Gaeilge, sna sé chontae go háirithe. Chonaic mé an teanga ag fás agus thaithin sí liom . Thósaigh mé ag smaoineamh, "Cén cineál tíre a ba mhaith liom?"

Is gníomhaíthe poblachtacha sinne, agus tá de chúram againn an Ghaeilge a fhobairt, istigh i Sinn Féin ar a laghad, agus ar fud na tíre ar a mhéad. Creidim go bhfuil an dualgas ar gach duine in Ógra agus i Sinn Féin páirtí dátheangach a thógáil. Le seo a bhaint amach, caithfidh muid éirí agus foghlaim, gach duine againn. Níl sí fuarasta a fhoglaim – tá fhios agam, tá mé ag iarraidh é a dhéanamh!- ach tá sí iontach tábhactach.

Go dtí cúpla mhí ó shin bhí mé falsa. Duirt mé, "Ah níl go leor ama agam, tá mé ro-gnóthach." Ach ba é sin mo leithscéal. Chuala mé duine áirithe ag caint le déanaí, agus duirt sé "duine gan am don Ghaeilge, 'sé duine gan am don streachailt". Aontaím ar fad. Labhair cibé atá agat, ach déan do dhícheall.

Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam.
Foghlaim Gaeilge!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ogra Shinn Fein create petition opposing censorship at University of Ulster

Ogra Shinn Fein have created an online petition to oppose the controversial University of Ulster's 'political protocol'.

The University of Ulster currently has a 'political protocol' in place which effectively bars political parties to organise openly and freely in the Universities campus and its facilities.

To date, all political parties organised in the University of Ulster have faced the brunt of the 'political protocol'. Elected representatives are banned from attending Fresher's Fayre and where threatened to be forcibly removed by UU staff at Magee's recent Fresher's, and the Ogra Shinn Fein cumann at Jordanstown where also recently refused to set up a stall to promote the pressing issue of drug and alcohol awareness.

Ogra Shinn Fein are set to step up the campaign to overturn the 'protocol', and are asking other political organisations, college societies, the student body and general public to support the campaign and oppose the Universities blatant censorship and disregard for freedom of speech.

Urging people to sign the online petition, University of Ulster student and Councillor Johnny McGibbon said,

"I am calling on those who support freedom of speech and political expression to sign this petition which opposes the University of Ulster's 'politicol protocol.' As citizens in the North of Ireland move forward to a shared future, a future of mutual respect for diversity, and nurtured through discussion, the University of Ulster is stuck in a time warp."

"The University of Ulster is stating through this 'protocol' that politics is contencious, that debate and respect for diversity is wrong. This crazy decision instead of helping us fight the disgusting acts of sectarianism and racism in modern society, actually fosters the ignorance that creates these evils."

Equal Rights for Equal Work

This Tuesday Ógra Shinn Féin joined its comrades in Sinn Féin incalling for agency workers to be legislatively protected in the sameways as ordinary workers. A motion tabled jointly by Sinn Féin andLabour which called on the government to enact legislation to protectthe rights of agency workers and to support the introduction of thelong promised EU Directive on Temporary Agency Workers was to be votedon Wednesday night. A large joint demonstration was held outsideLeinster House by Sinn Féin, Labour and SIPTU urging TD's to voteagainst the spread of exploitation despite the threat of thegovernment whip. The motion fell by a very small number of votes lastnight in the 26 county Dáil.

This is a hugely important issue. Increasing numbers of jobs arebeing filled by agency workers who are working for lower pay andconditions, in the process displacing directly employed workers. Theabsence of legislation providing for the principle of equal treatmentof agency workers means that they are being used by employers to drivedown wages and to side step duties they would have to directlyemployed workers.

Ógra spokesperson Oisín Ó Dubhláin had this to say,

"The current situation with agency workers in this state epitomisesthe race to the bottom which is being attempted by many employers inthe wake of the Irish Ferries fiasco. Trade unions, political andcommunity activists cannot allow workers to be exploited in agencyjobs nor can they allow it to in turn depress wages among ordinaryworkers who fear for their livelihood. If the government lets thishappen then they are seriously jeopardising workers rights and itshould be taken as an attack on the entire labour movement and theworking people of this state."

Ógra Shinn Féin build strong solidarity in Corsica

Ógra Shinn Féin representatives Órlagh Mc Cauley and Michael Grey attended the 4th annual Scontri Internaziunali Di A Ghjuventi in Corsica hosted by Ghjuventi Indipendentista (GI) a Corsican Youth Movement calling for the independence of the Mediterranean Island Nation from France.

Ógra as well as representatives from Sardinia, Catalonia, Brittany and the Basque Country discussed the importance of native languages, music and youth, in the struggle for freedom and independence.

Delegates also expressed their continued support and solidarity with the people of Ireland.

Ricard Sánchez of the Catalan independence movement JERC stated in a public debate that:

‘’We as representatives of the Catalan youth, reaffirm our support for Ireland’s right to unity and freedom, British occupation like Spain’s occupation of Catalonia must end.

Delegates also spoke in great detail about the continued efforts to preserve and strengthen the position of Native languages.

Representatives of the Basque youth Movement Segi, who cannot be identified for their personal security, thanked Ógra Shinn Féin for their continued support and assistance, Segi also spoke about the fight to preserve the Basque language:

‘’The best way to defend the Basque language is to speak it; at home, at work, everywhere, we have that power, no one can stop us speaking our language.’’ She continued: ‘’As long as we speak Basque our language will live.’’

Órlagh Mc Cauley International Officer for Ógra speaking on Corsican University Radio stated that Ógra had learnt a lot, while in Corsica.

“Irish Republicans support the right for the people of Corsica to sovereignty and independence, what Michael and I have witnessed and learnt during our time here will benefit Ógra.’’

Ógra members debated at a number of public debates and spoke to representatives of the Corsican press on several occasions.

Michael Grey Recruitment Officer for Ógra concluded that:

‘’This has been a fascinating week, we have learnt a great deal about Corsica and their struggle for freedom.’’

He continued:
“We in Ógra have continued to forge strong friendships and common work plans with other youth wings, it is my firm believe that it is within this unity that lies our strength.’’

Ógra Shinn Féin sends revolutionary greetings to Fidel Castro in retirement

Ógra Shinn Féin sends revolutionary greetings to Fidel Castro on his decision to retire as President of Cuba, and wishes him well personally and the Cuban people in continuation of the revolution.

Barry McColgan, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin speaking said,

“Although Fidel standing down doesn’t come as a shock, it marks the end of an era.”

“Fidel Castro has shown tremendous courage and inspirational leadership since he overthrew Batista 50 years ago. Despite repeated assassination attempts, coups and harsh economic sanctions directed at him and Cuba, he has remained defiant and created an egalitarian society that boasts the best health care and education systems in the world.”

"Fidel is also is a friend to Ireland, having met with Gerry Adams, and spoke strongly in support of the Hungerstrikers, saying ‘Tyrants shake in the presence of men who are able to die for their ideals, after sixty days of hunger strike! Next to this example, what were the three days of Christ on Calvary, as a symbol down the centuries of human sacrifice?”

“We wish Fidel continued health and express our support to the Cuban people as they continue onwards with revolution.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ógra i mBéal Feirste ag tacú leis an Ghaeilge

Ar an 16ú Feabhra, an sathairn seo chaite a bhí '' an Pharáid Cheiliúrtha ar son na gaeilge agus na héagsúlachta '', inar seoladh teachtaireacht shimplí do na húdaráis, ag rá go bhfuil pobal láidir bríomhar Gaeilge ann agus nach ngéillfímis go deo don bhrú atá ag teacht anuas orainn le déanaí go háirithe.Ba ócáid iontach bríomhar é inar tháinig líon mór daoine amach ag tacú leis an teanga agus leis an chultúr atá faoi ionsaí fíochmhar ag lucht an DUP fé lathair. Chuaigh an pharáid go hiontach maith agus tig liom a rá go ndeacaigh sé i bhfeidhm go mór ar mhuintir na cathrach, ón chuma a bhí orthu.

Is iontach an rud é pobal na Gaeilge a fheiceáil amach ag bailliú le chéile ar lá amháin ag slógadh mór amháin, rud a chaithfidh tarlú arís 's arís go dtí go bhfuil torthaí dearfacha againn agus acht Gaeilge láidir ann do mhuintir uile na hÉireann.

Bhí muid as Ógra Shinn Féin ag an pharáid chun ár dtacaíocht a léiriú don Ghaeilge, go háirithe d'Acht na Gaeilge, rud atá gá millteannach ann ó thuaidh chun cearta na nGael a chosaint agus le comhionnanas a bhunú idir Béarla agus Gaeilge.

Fé láthair is iomaí deacracht atá ann ag pobal na Gaeilge, ar ndóigh leis an Aire Chultúir sotalach sin Edwin Poots i réim, tá sé ag léiriú lá i ndiaidh lae go bhfuil sé tiománta in éadan dul chun cinn na teanga.Tá sé soiléir go bhfuil rún ag an DUP agus ag an Aire seo an Ghaeilge a chur faoi chois. Ní thig linn glacadh leis an meoin sin.

Cinnteoidh Ógra Shinn Féin agus pobal na Gaeilge i gcoitinne nach mbeidh stop ar bith leis an dul chun cinn, leanfaidh muid ar aghaidh ag tógáil agus úsáid ár samhlaíocht chun todhchaí gheal a chruthú d'ár dteanga.

UUJ Deem NARC 'Offensive'

Lee Casey,
James Sheridan Cumann,
Ógra Shinn Féin

‘To sin by silence when we should protest, makes cowards of men’ is a quote from the American author and poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox. It promotes resistance and activism and is the complete anti-thesis of what the University of Ulster calls its ‘political protocol’.

The so-called ‘political protocol’ is a set of rules concerning the activities of political societies at all of the University of Ulster’s four main campuses; Magee, Coleraine, Belfast and Jordanstown. It states that ‘Political activity is a fundamental right devolved to the students union and the activities undertaken by its clubs and societies’.

It aims to create a politically neutral environment by suppressing and slapping down the activism of Political societies with the goal that it will supposedly avoid causing offence to ‘students, staff or visitors to the university’. This may sound both reasonable and understandable but recently the issue has come to a head.

The James Sheridan Jordanstown Cumann applied, via the vice-president of the students union, to the provost for permission to have a stall. The stall was to be positioned in the mall section of the university as this section is the busiest part of the campus. The Stall was needed to allow the James Sheridan cumann to have an official launch of Ógra Shinn Fein’s new campaign N.A.R.C. (not another ravaged community). This is an important, hard-hitting campaign based around the issue of Drugs and alcohol awareness.

However, due to the suppressive and restrictive nature of the protocol and the tyrannical tendencies of the University Authorities our application was denied. What is so wrong with being active on-campus about an issue such as drugs awareness? Does the University of Ulster want their students to take drugs?

The reality is that this protocol is pure hypocrisy. The University of Ulster offers a politics course and yet if their students, be they unionist or republican in political persuasion, decide to exercise their acquired knowledge through the mantle of activism they are slapped down and restricted.

In the students union section of the university there is large billboard urging students to register to vote, because if they don’t they will ‘lose their voice’. Yet what is the purpose of the political protocol if not but to silence the voice of politics and politically active students?

The University of Ulster has over 25,000 students, and for those students, who are the future leaders of this country and are destined to be the great minds of tomorrow, for them to be deprived of any access to political issues or involvement in political activism as a result of this protocol is not only wrong but it is also an unhealthy thing for society and much more a threat to democracy. Adolf Hitler once said ‘What joy for rulers that men do not think’, and for our future great minds to fall into the trap of not thinking about issues is setting a dangerous precedent.

The political protocol is a relic of a bygone era. We all live in a new peaceful society with its political foundations a lot more stable than they once were. There is no need for such a restrictive policy on political activism. Queens University allows for a lot more freedom and caters for the nurturing and development of political societies.

To return to the focus of my original quote, we in Ógra Shinn Féin will not sin by silence when we should protest. We are active and will continue to be active and vocal about this issue until the restrictive chains of the protocol are broken and both political activism and freedom of speech can return to the University of Ulster. I urge all political societies in the University of Ulster to unite with Ógra Shinn Féin in their opposition to this restrictive political protocol.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ógra Shinn Fein says NO! 2 Lisbon

Ógra Shinn Fein activist, Áine Downes along with Mary-Lou McDonald MEP addressed a packed conference hall last Friday at what was Sinn Fein’s first public meeting on the treaty of Lisbon.

Addressing the conference Ógra spokesperson Áine Downes said:

“It is true that Ireland has seen many benefits as a result of its membership of the EU. However not all have been good and the treaty of Lisbon contains more of the bad than the good.

“The erosion of our neutrality, loss of democracy, the move towards common foreign and defence policies, the indirect pressure which will be placed on public spending and the promotion of nuclear power through the EURATOM treaty are only a handful of reasons to vote no in this referendum and there are many many more.”

“When I see a treaty that protects our neutrality, promotes our environment, secures our public services, then and only then will I vote yes. Until then however I will be voting NO to Lisbon and would urge everyone to do the same”.

Republican Youth Weekend in Strabane

This weekend (Sat 23rd – Sun 24th February) Strabane Ógra Shinn Féin will host a number of events to coincide with the Strabane Memorial Flute Band’s annual commemoration parade in the town for Volunteers Charles Breslin, and brothers Michael and David Devine, who were executed by the British SAS in 1985.
(Charles Breslin)
This month’s Cuige Uladh meeting will also be held in Strabane Sinn Féin offices at 12:00pm on Saturday 23rd February. Events have been organised throughout this weekend by the Strabane Memorial Flute band and Ógra Shinn Féin, these include a ‘Youth 4 Truth’ protest on the British government’s collusion/shoot-to-kill policies.
There will also be a DVD showing on the killings of volunteers Charles Breslin, and brother's Michael and David Devine. A political talk will be given by one of Strabane’s Sinn Féin Councillors, followed by a local launch of Ógra’s new campaign N.A.R.C.
Accommodation will be provided on Saturday night in the local community centre which will cost £5 for use of the facilities, (bring sleeping bag). Below is the clar for the weekend.

(David Devine)

(Michael Devine)


Saturday 23rd

12:00 - Cuige Uladh meeting

2:00pm - Youth 4 Truth protest on Collusion/shoot-to-kill

3:00pm - tea/sandwiches

3:30pm - launch of N.A.R.C. campaign

4:00pm – DVD showing

5:00pm - Political Talk

9:00pm – Rebel night in Teach Joe, music by ‘Flight of The Earls’

Sunday 24th

2:00pm – Annual Breslin/Devine Commemoration March

4:00pm – Band competition in Strabane ‘score site’

4:30pm – Quiz and music by ‘Terry Boyle’ in Katy Dalys

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ian Óg ain’t ‘no punter’

Gerry Junior

Gerry Junior is utterly disappointed at the resignation of Ian Óg from the office of First Minister.. No seriously.

Ok so he’s homophobic, sectarian, corrupt, and an out and out gobshite..... but hey that’s not a bad thing for us.

If he is the ‘articulate’ voice of Unionism, then surely those that currently vote along Unionist lines will catch themselves on sooner rather than later. A credit to republicanism is our Ian Óg.

An advocate, maybe not, but with enemies like him, who need’s friends...

Sometimes I wondered was he allowing Daithi McKay to write his next chapter or stage manage his next comedy of errors.

Ian Óg was a gift to Republicanism, a true bigoted face of Unionism, a career driven opportunist, who had a fetish for property developers.

However Ian Óg’s crowning moment in his brief 10 month escapade as Junior Minister, was losing out narrowly to the Bishop of Hereford when he was nominated as the ‘Stonewall Bigot of the Year 2007.’

So the ‘Conqueror of Clontibret’, ‘Promoter of Punt’ has succeeded in forcing the Óg meister from his ministerial position, how long until he removes him from the Assembly completely?

The little issue of Dromore...

Be honest lads

Now that the dust has settled and the bravado has quieted down.

Is the result of a by-election in a tiny section of county Down really that important? To be honest only time will really tell. But what we do know, from experience, is that by-elections can be an interesting barometer of the feelings and sentiments of people on the ground. They can either be an encouraging whisper of support, or a roar warning of difficult times ahead.

Dromore has granted us both, the fact that the Ulster Unionist’s held onto their seat did come as a massive surprise to all political pundits, there where some who fixed their gaze on the ‘new’ party of Jim Mc Allister, and his Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) stealing the seat and weakening the DUP. They did not, but they did deny the DUP victory and that was embarrassing.

Dromore was one of the areas in Lagen Valley that marched solidly behind our wee Jeffery into the arms of Papa Doc. The fact that many, 20% of the electorate in fact, voted for TUV, is significant. Also important, is that while the Ulster Unionists were able to benefit from the split, there percentage of the vote still fell, indicating that the problems that blighted their performance in previous elections remain.

But for us, the real interesting part of this election centred around the electoral ward of Ballyward where the majority of nationalists live. Ballyward is in the constituency of South Down and although the numbers are small the results were still being viewed as an indication of strength for both Sinn Féin and the SDLP.

The fact that Sinn Féin, for the first time I might add, triumphed in this area over the Stoops has unnerved the party’s already ailing membership. Although numerically a small victory, it is a victory non the less, and further prove of the continued rise in support for Sinn Féin and our strategy.

Tiocfaidh ár lá.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Brendan Hughes - A Working Class Hero

“We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;”

It is with great sadness that Ógra Shinn Féin members learnt of the passing of Brendan Hughes. The Dark as he was fondly known, was a legendary republican activist.

His death will be a great loss to his family and friends, but also to the wider republican community and we send our condolence, thoughts and sympathies to all at this difficult time.

Brendan was a proud Republican Socialist, rooted to his working class background. His extraordinary record of activism was inspired by a deep commitment to ending the oppression of the ordinary person.

His bravery and commitment was immense, having spent 14 years in prison and actively led the 1980 Hungerstrike, his defiance shone through when he escaped from prison.

Although in recent years he disagreed with the direction taken by Sinn Féin, he was held in the highest regard by all.

A deeply inspiring Republican whose actions have played a huge part in the struggle for a Free and Socialist Ireland!

“Shedding yellow tears like child
For a legend passed away.”

Saturday, February 16, 2008

NARC mural launched in Omagh

West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin today (Sat 16 Feb) launched a mural in Strathroy Estate, Omagh, on the youth wing’s current drug and alcohol awareness campaign. They where joined by local Sinn Féin Councillor Martin McColgan.

The mural which depicts a syringe piercing through a young person and Ireland symbolises that as drugs destroy our young people’s lives, it also destroys our communities. A defiant message is also clear on the mural, ‘not another ravaged community.’

Ógra Shinn Féin’s Barry McNally speaking at the unveiling of the mural, said,

“The launch here today in Strathroy signals the start of the NARC campaign in West Tyrone. Murals are useful in promoting our message but in order to make a significant impact, we will be actively engaging young people throughout the area and asking them to collectively work on the community ethos of the campaign.”

“NARC will aim to raise awareness, lower drug and alcohol abuse, and highlight and tackle some of the underlying problems behind misuse. We will also be working with community and related groups to tackle this issue, and have planned a public talk next Thursday 21 February in the Sinn Féin Office at 3.45pm, where a representative from the local drugs and alcohol awareness group Ego Project, will deliver a discussion on drug abuse in the local area.”

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lisbon Treaty…. Hammered by the Irish!

Ógra Shinn Féin was on the streets of Dublin this week urging the Irish people to reject the Lisbon Treaty.

The youth wing of Sinn Féin set up stall outside the GPO, distributed thousands of newsletters and engaged with hundreds of young people, encouraging them to join in the campaign for a NO! to Lisbon.

Some street theatre at the stall also brought added attention.

Speaking on the Lisbon Treaty, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McColgan said,

“Ógra Shinn Féin believes in Connolly’s vision of Europe, ‘a free federation of free people’s’. The Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for Ireland, it will continue to sap sovereignty from the Irish people, it will erode neutrality and will lead to more privatisation. If not rejected, it will ensure right ward direction of economic policy and undermine public services and workers rights.”

“Ógra Shinn Féin will be the main political youth wing rejecting the Lisbon Treaty, we realise the enormity of the task ahead in convincing the Irish people, especially the youth that a NO! vote is in their best interests, but we are confident that we can be successful.”

“We received a very positive response from the public in Dublin and we will build on this engagement. We will be rolling out a vigorous, vibrant and engaging campaign in the months ahead, taking our message to communities, that another Europe is possible!”

Shell 2 Sea Protest at Statoil HQ

On the Sunday of the National Congress, Ógra activists joined Shell to Sea campaigners in a protest at Statoil HQ in Ireland.

The following short film which has been uploaded to Youtube covers the protest and the obvious surveillance by the Garda Special Branch.

Please assist in raising awarness of the Shell 2 Sea campaign and the plight of the Rossport community by promoting this film.

Shell 2 Hell - Victory to Rossport!

Upcoming Massive Rebel Night in The Hatfield

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Standing Up For Communities!

Barry McColgan
National Organiser
Ógra Shinn Féin

Ógra Shinn Féin’s N.A.R.C (Not Another Ravaged Community) campaign recognises the highly negative effects drug and alcohol abuse is having on communities and young people across Ireland, and is attempting to play a positive role in tackling this problem.

From the outset, N.A.R.C is not a finger wagging exercise; it is not about lecturing young people or communities, but rather starting a process of recognition, awareness and engagement.

Recognising there is a problem, raising awareness on all aspects of drug and alcohol abuse, and engaging with young people. We want to ask young people their opinions, on why there is a culture of drugs and alcohol misuse in modern Ireland.

Through engagement the campaign hopes to identify the underlying problems responsible for high levels of abuse and will attempt to highlight and address these issues.

This campaign is pro-community and pro-youth; it is about challenging the stereotyping and misrepresentation of modern Irish youth as anti –social and disengaged from community life.

In promoting youth, it is important to point out that more young people assist and are involved in volunteer, community, charity and sporting programmes than any other demographic group.

N.A.R.C is a campaign that stands up for communities and encourages young people to take pride in their local area. It urges everyone to collectively work together to ensure proper job opportunities, and fully resourced and funded youth facilities.

In tackling the national epidemic of drug abuse and attempting to empower communities, the campaign will strive to ensure, ‘not another ravaged community!’

The NARC Campaign will work to:

- Promote Drug and Alcohol awareness
- Lower Drug and Alcohol abuse
- Promote young people and community spirit
- Campaign for proper job opportunities and youth facilities
- Engage youth at a community level and spark a proper debate on drug abuse

Anti - Treaty Forces

The following letter was carried in today's '14 Feb 08' edition of An Phoblacht.

Roy Thornton
Dublin 5
With Labour Youth voting at its weekend debate in Dublin to back the Lisbon Treaty, and with the Young Greens firmly sitting on the fence (mind those natural wood splinters, boys and girls), this leaves Ógra Shinn Féin as the only youth wing standing against the 'super state' treaty.
So much for Labour and Green radicalism.

Derry Ógra host Youth 4 Truth Conference

Doire Ógra Shinn Fein hosted a successful conference on Youth 4 Truth on Saturday 2 February. The event-to coincide with the Bloody Sunday weekend was addressed by John Kelly-of the Bloody Sunday families and Amanda Fullerton of the Eddie Fullerton Justice campaign.

John in his address spoke of the need for Saville to deliver the truth in his upcoming report. It is expected that Saville will release the findings from the inquiry later in the year. According to John If this discloses the truth it will bring some form of closure to the families of victims killed on Bloody Sunday. However if it is Widgery part two then the campaign for truth and justice will continue.

In her address Amanda Fullerton spoke of the family’s belief that there was collusion in the murder of her father, Sinn Fein councillor Eddie Fullerton.

In 1991, British agents using the cover of the UFF sledge hammered in the door of the Fullerton family home in Co Donegal and made their way straight to Eddie’s bedroom. Eddie got up to investigate the disturbance and was shot dead. Months previous Eddie had received a death threat and a live bullet from a group styling itself the’ Maiden City Action Force’.

Amanda said that there had to be collusion in the murder due to possible leads in the murder not being following up by the RUC / PSNI and Guards in the south. She also alluded to the fact that the killers made their way to Eddie’s bedroom without having any knowledge of the layout of the house. Amanda also said since the formation of the Eddie Fullerton Justice Campaign facts and information have been presented to us to prove there was collusion in the murder. Stories of possible leads not being followed up, suspects not being questioned and the family being left in the dark in terms of the investigation has in all but name confirmed collusion.

Speaking following the Youth 4 Truth event, Niall Doran of Doire Martyrs Ógra Shinn Féin Said

“The conference today was about Amanda and John relating to their experiences of British state violence as young people. John was a youth when Bloody Sunday took place in 1972 as was Amanda when her father was killed in Donegal in 1991. The young people, who gathered today for the conference is the generation who are dealing with that legacy. We are the generation who are still demanding truth on the so-called 'dirty war' in Ireland. The British government must come clean and admit its role in collusion.”