Monday, June 30, 2008

Organising for Freshers

Seamus Donnelly
National College Co-Ordinator
Ogra Shinn Fein

With the College year at an end and the Lisbon Treaty behind us, Ógra Shinn Féin has turned its attention to recruitment for next year. Indeed plans are already a foot for recruitment of a much greater number of dedicated activists in colleges up and down the country for next year.

We believe it is critically important for a republican voice to be heard in college campuses across the country over the coming year. With European elections across the 32 counties and local elections in the 26 counties Ógra activists will be critically important in these campaigns and so it is crucial we maximise our recruitment over the summer months and on freshers.

As part of our recruitment drive Ógra Shinn Féin would like to hear from anybody currently attending a college, university, IT or technical college who would be interested in helping out with existing cumanns or assisting in forming a cumann in their respective campuses.

All those interested are asked to contact myself at or the National Organiser at

The 'Green and White Army' chant Amhran na bhFiann

Gerry Junior

It would appear that Irish Republican's have infiltrated and established 'sleeper cells' in the leading game's developer Electronic Arts.

In a shocking blow to the union, the future stability of 'our wee country', and the morale of the green and white army, the newly developed Uefa Euro 2008 game has the 'Norn Iron' virtual players lining up on the field and standing to attention as Amhrán na bhFiann blasts out loudly in the background.

The subliminal messages behind this cunning plan will no doubt shake the very foundations of even the most ardent fan and to double the impact, the 'Norn Iron' team are crap, promoting the common sense approach that for Irish soccer to compete it must unite.

Angry 'Norn Iron' fans have already began venting their anger over internet forums, asking for EA to heed the fact that "northern Ireland remains part of the UK." And confused tourists have been witnessed scratching their heads in bewilderment on the Shankill Road as the Irish National Anthem belts out loudly from local Youth Clubs as young 'loyalists' compete with their 'national' team in the new game.

Who would have ever thought that 'computer games' would be a key site of struggle?

'The next generation of Amhran na bhFiann singing 'Norn Iron' fans'

Friday, June 27, 2008

Campa Naisiunta Óige '08 on Film

A short film has been produced of Campa Naisiunta Óige '08. It gives a brief glimpse into the lively debates, workshops, talks, and events that where spread out across the weekend.

The National Youth Camp contained an exciting mix of music, history, politics and debate. It helped build comradeship among young Irish republican activists and built their confidence and education throughtout the weekend.

Of particular note was the keynote address by Arthur Scargill, who spoke at lenght on 'reclaiming our economic and political rights', which covered Connolly, the Coal Miner's Strike and his own political life. The passionate and animated speech, provided much thought and debate, provoking many interesting ideas and opinions.

We would urge you to watch the short film, pass it on to others and make sure that you are at next year's Campa Naisiunta Óige '09.

We'll see you there!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bodenstown ’08 - An Phoblacht Abu!

A large delegation of Ógra Shinn Féin attended the annual Bodentstown commemoration on Sunday 22nd June. Many of the Ógra activist’s present had attended the National Youth Camp in South Armagh.

The 2008 commemoration was led by a republican colour party responding to commands in Irish. A number of republican flute bands also took part and earlier in the day the South Derry memorial flute band had captured the Fergal Caraher memorial cup in the bands competition.

A number of Ógra banners were on show and provided a very colourful addition to the parade as it took its traditional route from Sallins to the graveside of Wolfe Tone in Bodenstown graveyard.
Ógra fed into the main parade which was several thousand strong.

Main Speaker of Bodentown was Mary Lou McDonald MEP in her address she said

“This time last year who would have predicted the political landscape we find ourselves in today. Both Ian Paisley and Bertie Ahern have gone. The people have rejected the Lisbon Treaty. Our own party has undergone a significant re-organisation and renewal. Republicans are facing forward with confidence.”

“10 days ago almost one million people in this state voted No to the Lisbon Treaty. We have now reached a moment of democratic truth. The actions of the Government on this matter must reflect the clearly expressed will of the people. At present there is a window of opportunity. The Government can either seize or squander that opportunity. The choice is theirs. If the political will exists a better deal can be renegotiated not only for Ireland but also for the peoples of Europe. Earlier this week we submitted a set of clear cut deliverables that could be achieved through renegotiation. We will continue to play a constructive role in the renegotiation process.”

“As we go forward from here today we are under no illusions about the challenges that lie ahead. But equally let no one be under any illusion about the determination and ability of this generation of republicans to meet those challenges head on and to achieve the re unification of our nation. An Phoblacht Abú, A chairdre, An Phoblacht Abú.”

Unionist Engagement – A Key Strategic Challenge!

Damien White
Ógra Shinn Féin

At the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis ’06, Gerry Adams outlined 5 great strategic challenges facing republicans at that time; one of those key strategic challenges was unionist engagement.

Throughout 2006- 07 Unionist Engagement at a local level was developed leading to the launch of Sinn Féin’s unionist engagement document in Stormont’s long gallery.

In promoting this and promoting dialogue, a welcomed addition to Campa Náisiúnta Óige ‘08 was the Young Unionists.

For the first time the UUP youth wing addressed the youth camp on the topic of, "What the 1916 proclamation means to you?” They joined Ógra Shinn Féin, SDLP Youth and Labour Youth.

Alexander Redpath represented the Unionist youth wing.

While other Unionist parties were invited to participate including the DUP and PUP, they failed to send anyone. While this is regrettable, we were glad unionism was not left unrepresented and we thank the unionist party for being the voice of unionism, showing leadership in articulating the opinions of unionism.

These type of engagements and dialogue help us as republican’s to understand the intimate thoughts of young unionists and, provides us as young people an opportunity to come together, mislay fears and mistruths and find common ground. This can only be a positive contribution to our future.

Republican’s have initiated engagement between our two communities, and between our people, as a way of deepening understanding and building and fostering respect for other views and traditions.

I hope for the day when young republican’s could likewise address a unionist debate in the same manner as they addressed ours, because it will be through debates like this that we can address our misconceptions about each other and will help to bring a greater understanding about how we should move forward from this point on.


Le Barry McNally
Ógra Shinn Féin

Having watched the closely the democrats race for the White House recently I would have been forgiven for mistaken that the US were about to end their decades long embargo on Cuba if Barack Obama was in charge.

In May the BBC worldwide service declared ‘Obama pledges Cuba policy change’. Could this be the end of the economic embargo aimed at strangling what is a very progressive and developing country? Of Course not, we all know too well how the BBC and indeed the US Government manipulate what we the public see and hear.

So what of the policy change being spoken of by the BBC?? This would mean that if Obama won the presidential race and was president of the United States of America ‘he will seek direct diplomacy with the communist government in Cuba’. So much for a ‘policy change’. No sooner had the words came from him that he stated that the decades old embargo would remain on Cuba. He also said his Republican rival John McCain's ‘hardline stance’ on Cuba would not advance freedom on the island- yet he believed his would. The real interests of the US and Obama were revealed when he said "I would be willing to lead that diplomacy at a time and place of my choosing, but only when we have an opportunity to advance the interests of the United States". The interests of the US are at the heart of this latest stage managed rambling from Obama.

So will Obamas stance on Cuba affect its prosperity?

I don’t believe it will, the resilience and determination of the Cuban people and government will win this battle. There is absolutely no doubt that the embargo affects Cuba hugely in terms of trade, investment and fiscal prosperity. However the Cuban people and government have shown throughout the past four decades that despite the economic embargo live will go on in Cuba. The attempts by the US to strangle Cuba will not work and they should realise this fact and cease in their attempts at doing so.

Within days Fidel Castro had responded to Obama’s remarks. In his response Castro poses a number of questions and states that he doesn’t expect a response from Obama. Amongst the questions pose Fidel asks includes:

Is it right for the president of the United States to order the assassination of any one person in the world, whatever the pretext may be?

Is it ethical for the president of the United States to order the torture of other human beings?

Should state terrorism be used by a country as powerful as the United States as an instrument to bring about peace on the planet?

I will leave the final words up to Fidel Castro:

“In his speech, Obama portrays the Cuban revolution as anti-democratic and lacking in respect for freedom and human rights. It is the exact same argument which, almost without exception, U.S. administrations have used again and again to justify their crimes against our country. The blockade, in and of itself, is an act of genocide. I don’t want to see U.S. children inculcated with those shameful values.
We have never subordinated cooperation with other countries to ideological requirements. We offered the United States our help when hurricane Katrina lashed the city of New Orleans. Our internationalist medical brigade bears the glorious name of Henry Reeve, a young man, born in the United States, who fought and died for Cuba’s sovereignty in our first war of independence.
Our revolution can mobilize tens of thousands of doctors and health technicians. It can mobilize an equally vast number of teachers and citizens, who are willing to travel to any corner of the world to fulfil any noble purpose, not to usurp people’s rights or take possession of raw materials. The good will and determination of people constitute limitless resources that cannot be kept and would not fit in a bank’s vault. They cannot spring from the hypocritical politics of an empire."

From Hebron to Jenin: Palestine Public Talk

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Camping, Debating and Educating

The Tí Chulainn Cultural Activity centre, An Mullach Bán, in the picturesque ring of Gullion was the setting for Campa Náisiúnta Óige ‘08. The Centre is the jewel in the crown of South Armagh tourism and offers an insight into the rich cultural heritage of the region. The sloping hills of Slieve Gullion and meandering lakes between counties Armagh and Louth was an ideal setting for the 5th annual 3 day event.

From early Friday morning groups from throughout Ireland began arriving in South Armagh . By early evening a camp site was clearly evident to the rear of the Tí Chulainn centre.

Barry McColgan welcomed delegates from thoughtout Ireland and also a number of international delegates who travelled for the event. Those who had arrived on Friday evening were then given a tour of the Tí Chulainn centre and its striking surroundings.The first formal event then kicked off. Ógra’s Barry McNally chaired a public talk on barriers to young people in society. A young POW Tomas Marron, Senan McAoidh, who is a young Irish speaker and a young woman, Claire O’Hanrahan outlined the prejudice within society due to their positions.

Tomas spoke of the presence of a so called ‘criminal record’ placed barriers in front of him in terms of employment, entry into various countries and he also highlighted the break down of relationships due to long periods of imprisonment.

Claire, in her presentation outlined her opposition to a view that women were second class citizens in many walks of life. She said the Free State constitution of 1937 underlined the view that the women’s place should be at home. She said that republican's should be to the fore in challenging this. She pointed to the 1916 proclamation as the only constitution republican's should recognise. She pointed out that the ‘Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens’.

Last to speak was Senan McAoidh, a young Irish speaker. He spoke at the lack of provision for Irish speakers living outside the gaeltacht areas. He also outlined the difficulties of dealing with statutory bodies through the medium of Irish. Following the conclusion of the presentations by the 3 people a lively question and answer session kicked off.

Quick of the heels of the public discussion was West Belfast Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Harry Connolly. Harry spoke of 'A Century of Republican Youth in Struggle', which following the screening of a DVD on the same issue. Harry highlighted the role of republican youth throughout the struggle for freedom in Ireland from 1909 to the present day. Following the DVD showing and talk the political events concluded for the day.

The entertainment for the evening was provided by Armagh triumvirate Paddywagon.

Saturday morning seen a tour of South Armagh taken by two member of the Republican Movement in South Armagh. Included on the tour were various republican monuments, and spots were Irish Republicans lost their lives in the latest phase of the conflict.

Following the conclusion of the tour there was a public talk on the proclamation of 1916. Various youth groups including Labour Youth, Young Unionists and SDLP Youth participated alongside Ógra Shinn Féin. A very lively debate erupted following the submissions by each speaker.

Next to address the Youth Camp was the keynote speaker Arthur Scargill. Arthur spoke passionately on the issue of ‘reclaiming our economic and political rights’. He also congratulated the 26 County electorate for rejecting the Lisbon treaty, and also spoke about his political life, recounting many personal stories that forever shaped the course of British and world history. He spoke particularly on the part he played in the Coal Miner's strike and on the role that socialists have in creating a better Ireland, and a better world.

Wrapping up political engagements for the youth camp was an international talk from members of the Catalan youth movement JERC and Sinn Féin's youngest MLA Daithi McKay. They spoke of the long standing links between Irish republicans and republicans in the Catalan Countries, and how each nation can continue to inspire each other as we progress to freedom and equality.

Barry McColgan of Ógra than stepped forward to conclude the political aspect of this year’s youth camp and commended all those who attended and paid tribute to the Republican Movement in South Armagh for hosting the event.

Derek Warfield of the Wolfe tones provided that nights entertainment in the nearby Silverbridge resource centre. It was there that Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser presented the representatives from the Catalan independence movement with a token of Ógras gratitude. He presented them with a Hungerstrike bodhran from Castlerea jail.

Speaking following the weekend National organiser of Ógra Barry McColgan said,

"The camp provided an opportunity for young republican's and international delegates to come together, build comradeship and debate many key issues in our struggle. Every activist who attended the camp, have left more informed and more confident in the struggle we wage for national liberation and socialism."

"It was of particular honour for Ógra Shinn Féin to host the legendary socialist and Trade Unionist Arthur Scargill who delivered an absolutely inspiring speech on our role in building an alternative Ireland and an alternative world, his analysis and passion was hugely thought provoking, and provided much debate and reflection."

"The National Youth Camp, has created an annual forum to build comradeship, confidence and debate amongst Irish Republican Youth. We look forward to the year ahead to build and put into action, the debate and education we gained throughout the weekend."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Slógadh na n-Óg

Senan MacAoidh
Ógra Shinn Féin

Deireadh seachtaine cultúrtha lán de chraic agus de spraoi a bheidh ar siúl ón 18 go 20 Iúil.

A cultural weekend full of craic and fun that will be on the 18th to 20th July.

The three day event will be set in the beutiful heartland of the Donegal Gaeltacht, and will include music, sessions, debates, a gaelic football match, a film and a traditional story telling event with a seanchaoi.

D’éinne a labhraíonn Gaeilge, is deis iontach í seo chun í a úsáid lastigh d’Ógra Shinn féin. Beidh díospóireachtaí polaitiúla agus craic i ndán dúinn uilig frínár dteanga dhúchais.

For learners and new comers to the irish language this will be an oppurtunity to learn some irish in a comradly and informal atmosphere.

You will be immersed in the language, entering an area where it is used as the first language and all business and interaction are conducted through Irish. Be prepared for an enjoyable weekend that will also be educational.

Fá choinne eolas breise glaoigh:

(00353) (0)86 06 44 185

For more information ring: above.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Anti-Bush Anti Imperialism Raised Loud and Clear in Belfast

Ogra Shinn Fein mobilized activists from across Ireland for yesterday’s protest against US Imperialism at Belfast City Hall. The protest was called in response to George Bush visiting the city.

Over 100 Republican activists including Sinn Fein MLA’s and councilors marched with banners and posters from the party’s Sevastopal Street Office to join the joint protest at Belfast City Hall.

The Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness also met with George Bush, and raised Sinn Fein’s objections and concerns over the ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speaking at the protest, National Organiser of Ogra Shinn Fein, Barry McColgan said,

“A loud and clear message was sent out to George Bush and the world that Ireland rejects Imperialism. Ogra Shinn Fein called for Imperialists out of Iraq and Afghanistan, but also out of our own country.”

“Hundreds of people mobilized today demonstrating their anger at US foreign policy but also in strong solidarity with peoples’ brutally oppressed by US tyranny.”

“The protest and demands we vocally aired today, must continue to be highlighted in Ireland and across the world to resonate and put pressure on the incoming US President to end these unpopular, murderous and illegal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Political Games – Fianna Fáil and SDLP

Lee Casey
Ógra Shinn Féin An Lorgain

Fianna Fáil’s decision to organize and contest elections in the occupied six counties raises a lot of issues for me. The air is also thick with talk of the SDLP and FF amalgamating into one party. This also raises issues for republicans.

FF’s decision to enter the north’s political arena isn’t motivated by an active social conscience or principled creed. It is simply a desire to quench their thirst for political power and influence. FF likes to masquerade as the so called ‘republican party’. This claim is even more far-fetched when you consider that FF have had a mandate in the 26 counties, on and off, for decades. They could have pushed republicanism and re-unification to the fore front of the political agenda at national and international levels but this failed to materialize on every occasion.

Indeed the FF committee set up to organize the move up north was headed by none other than the then Minister for Foreign affairs Dermot Ahern. The fact that FF installed their Foreign Minister to this position just says it all about their commitment to re-unification.

Then there is also the on-going saga of the SDLP amalgamation. To the SDLP amalgamating with FF is nothing more than a last ditch attempt at political survival. The party has lost votes at the last three consecutive elections and due to the on-going electoral strength of Sinn Féin there will no doubt be a fourth election added to what is already a very poor electoral statistic.

To FF amalgamation is simply manipulating the SDLP with the promise of political survival and in return being allowed to use the SDLP electoral structures to attempt to gain a foothold in the north. The move cannot be construed as ideological either. FF and the SDLP are chalk and cheese ideologically. The SDLP likes to think of itself as a social democratic party, whereas FF have done little next to nothing to advance any sort of welfare or social policy agenda in the 26 counties. These political games are not with the benefit of the people in mind or the good of the nation as a whole. It’s simply

So if you are a careerist, champagne socialist, soldier of corruption, not destiny, then join the charismatic Mark Durkan and the exciting Brian Cowan in maintaining partition, making Ireland the political rent boy of the EU and preventing the onset of real justice equality and freedom.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another Europe is Possible with No! 2 Lisbon result

It has indeed been a Friday the 13th the yes campaigners would rather forget. A resounding No! 2 Lisbon was the result, with a comfortable 110,000 votes ahead and a margin of 53.4% to 46.6%.

A considerable achievement considering the profile of those calling on support for the Lisbon Treaty. Sinn Féin was the only major party to call for a No! vote.

Sinn Féin and their youth wing Ógra Shinn Féin have continuously said that a better deal could be negotiated for Ireland in Europe, and as a result have campaigned and canvassed for a no vote.

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

“We would like to commend all the progressive groups and people who have played their part in this excellent result, especially those who came out to cast their vote. The electorate in the 26 Counties have stood up for Ireland, and Europe, they have voted in the best interests of the almost 500 million European citizens’ denied a vote, including the 1.8 million in the North of Ireland.”

“People have voted for a social Europe, for a Europe that protects worker’s rights, promotes public services and respects the sovereignty and neutrality of nations.”

“Another Europe is possible, the people who came out across the 26 counties to vote No! have made that a reality. It is now up to the Dublin government to negotiate and demand a better deal for Ireland and Europe.”

“And it is also imperative that all the progressive organisations that ensured a resounding No! vote, continue to work together, campaign, and organise for the type of Europe they envisage, a ‘free federation of free peoples.’”

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ógra Shinn Féin to take part in Protest at Bush Visit

Ógra Shinn Féin will participate in the protests against George Bush and US lead War in Iraq when he is expected in Belfast next Monday 16th June.

The protest will highlight their anger over the ongoing US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speaking on the upcoming protest, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McColgan said;

"We will be mobilising our activists next Monday to send a message loud and clear that the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are illegal and must come to an end."

"Thousands upon thousands of Iraqi and Afghanistan citizens, including women and children have been unnecessarily killed, the stability of these nations have been shaken to the core, and the sovereignty of its peoples stolen and ignored."

"The protest next Monday must resonate with the incoming US president that the ongoing occupations are illegal, inhumane and must be ended."

"While we will be visibly and vocally protesting, the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will meet with George Bush and raise these concerns with him."

Don't forget to bring your tent!

With only one week until this year’s Campa Náisiúnta Óige 08, in Tí Chulainn South Armagh, there is an expectation of a large turnout throughout the weekend and particularly for the keynote speaker Arthur Scargill and the Massive Irish Night with the Wolfetones’ Derek Warfield.

The upcoming Irish Folk band Paddy Wagon have also confirmed to play on the Friday Night.

The National Youth Camp will be a great weekend of education, craic agus ceol and will be an opportunity for young people to come together from across Ireland and internationally to build solidarity, and share ideas.

As spaces are now limited, we would ask all outstanding areas to send in booking forms ASAP. Forms can be obtained from and should be sent with the fee, to 4 – 5 James Street, Omagh County Tyrone.

We look forward to seeing you next weekend. Don’t forget to bring your tent!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Lisbon Treaty - Your Choice!

Tomorrow, Thursday 12 June, citizens across the 26 Counties will have an opportunity to vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

Your vote will dictate the future direction of Ireland and Europe.

Your vote will have a deep impact on the 6 million people in Ireland, including the 1.8 million citizens in the north and and almost 500 million European citizens denied a vote in this crucial referendum.

The Lisbon Treaty if passed will minimise Ireland's power in Europe, erode Ireland's neutrality, increase privatisation and decrease public services, attack worker's rights and damage our environment by promoting and introducing nuclear power.

The Lisbon Treaty is another step in eroding Irish sovereignty, and creating a European Superstate.

This generation of Irish youth will be worst affected if it is passed.

It will be us and our children who will live in a privatised two tier inequal Ireland, an Ireland that freely discriminates against workers, a militarised Ireland that plays a pro active role in Imperialism, and a nuclear powered Ireland that pollutes unabbeted in pursuit of economic profit.

The future of Ireland and Europe rests in your hands and in your vote.

In the interests of everyone and our future generations..

Tomorrow, Thursday June 12th, Vote No! 2 Lisbon.

Vótáil Níl!

Iris does it again...

Irish Robinson really is a feckin’ ejeitt, her latest gaff concerning gay people has to be the stupidest thing she has ever came out with, and believe me there have been plenty.

Dodo Iris made her latest comments whilst speaking on BBC radio. Instead of discussing the brutal homophobic attack on a young man, Iris decided to tell the world that sexuality is not an intrinsic or innate part of human beings, rather its a choice and according to Dodo Iris, people can choose to be either gay or straight

Iris was even kind enough to suggest that she had a ‘’ lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices - trying to turn homosexuals away from what they are engaged in’’ She continued that she would be ‘’happy to put any homosexual in touch with this gentleman.”

Isn’t she great?

Perhaps some one should tell Dodo Iris that life is not like a McDonalds drive through.

Also just out of interest, I wonder does our wee Iris know about the rumours that engulfed her beloved leader William of Orange.

Yes folks you heard it here first, William of Orange was famous in High society, and not just for his antics on the battlefield either.

William is described by historians of the time as flamboyant and as a man who ‘preferred the company of men’ nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

The Duchess of Orléans in her letters spoke repeatedly of the close relationship that William had with ‘’men who share the King’s inclinations.’’

I think as a tribute to Dodo Iris and indeed to all bigots out there that we should make William of Orange Grand Marshall of the Gay Pride Parades around the country.

Off course without Union Jacks, I think a rainbow flag would be preferred by Billy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Can Homophobia be Cured.............?

Community Activist
Ógra Shinn Féin

………..Perhaps a more appropriate question for Iris!

Homophobia has no place in any society. Hatred, segregation and discrimination cannot be condoned; homophobia promotes all three and therefore must be challenged.

We expect political leaders to be conscious and vigilant in the face of such hatred, yet time and again the DUP nails its bigoted narrow minded colours to the mast.

Of course bigotry is nothing new from the DUP camp, with reams of anti catholic rants and threats from all rank and file, including ex superior Papa Doc, to quote from. So excuse me for not being shocked!

But the recent anti gay outbursts by Ian Óg and now ‘first lady’ Iris Robinson are absolutely abhorrent and disgusting.

While it was none the less offensive back in the days when the DUP where but an after thought in Unionism, their bigoted homophobic remarks are now all the more potent as they occupy the title of biggest party in the North.

With power comes responsibility, which they are shirking and under equality legislation they are breaking the law.

Ian Óg and Iris Robinson are high standing members of the DUP and if their inflammatory and extremely offensive remarks are not dealt with effectively, then this opens up society to be tolerant of such fascist views.

A simple solution would be for them to resign, and failing that they should be pushed.

For a multitude of reasons, suicide is on the increase across Ireland, including the North, and one of the factors in young people self harming and taking their own life’s, is being unable to deal with their sexuality because of the pressures of society.

If young people already find it difficult to ‘come out’ and be proud of who they are, how do you think these idiotic ‘leaders’ of unionism’s remarks will assist in this?

The recent remarks will further isolate the gay community and make it extremely difficult to create an open, egalitarian and tolerant society.

With attacks on gay people, this bigot does nothing to challenge this, but infact broadens acceptability and perhaps invokes these disgusting attacks.

Iris Robinson and Ian Óg should face the guillotine (political one that is) and be confined to the dustbin of history, alongside their antiquated fascist bigotry.

We all have a part to play in ensuring the ideals of the 1916 proclamation are realised, and we must challenge homophobia where ever it surfaces, in order to achieve a truly democratic, socialist and tolerant Ireland, as Bobby Sands put it,

‘Our revenge will be the liberation of all!’

Beat the Bigots - Support Gay Pride!

Ross Hallinan

As I am sure a lot of you were, I was horrified at DUP MP Iris Robinson’s comments on homosexuals and her beliefs that ‘they could be turned’ with counselling. Such a disgraceful comment, unfortunately, is not surprising from a DUP elected representative, remembering Ian Paisley Junior’s infamous Hot Press interview.

As someone who knows how excruciatingly difficult and painful it is to accept yourself to be homosexual, and to inform your loved ones, I find Mrs Robinson’s comments completely irresponsible, offensive, and bigoted. Such behaviour is totally unbecoming from an elected representative.

The sheer audacity to suggest that a homosexual could be ‘turned’ is totally unbecoming from a woman who is elected to represent people from all walks of life, and an immediate and sincere apology should be forthcoming from Mrs Robinson. We are supposed to be living in a new, cosmopolitan Ireland, where people are accepted for who they are, but certain people seem to think they can abuse their position of authority and power to portray their negative, bigoted views.

But there is a way that the bigots can be ignored, and I would call on all Irish Republicans to support the initiatives of Gay Pride Ireland, with enthusiasm.

Very soon the annual Gay Pride festival will kick off in Dublin. Events celebrating Gay Pride will range from fundraisers for Gay Pride Ireland to street carnivals and parades.

I call on all Ógra Shinn Féin members to make a special effort to show solidarity with the fantastic work done by Gay Pride Ireland by attending these, or other events. Details can be obtained from myself at

Beat the bigots! Support Gay Pride!

IN FOCUS - Ghjuventú Indipendentista

Orlagh McCauley
International Officer
Ógra Shinn Féin

Continuing our theme of looking at our international comrades, we look at the youth movement in Corsica, Ghjuventú Indipendentista.

Since 1770 France has occupied Corsica. The island west of Italy and above Sardinia was sold to the French authorities in 1764 and since then the Corsican people have been in a struggle to regain their independence. Ghjuventú Indipendentista (GI) was created in 1999 by a group of young Corsican people who felt that young people had no voice in the Corsican Liberation Struggle. Their main goal is the end of French occupation and the recognition of the Corsican Nation.

GI gives full support to the Corsica Nazione. This senior party was created in 1992 and WHICH received approximately twenty percent of the seats in the Corsican Assembly. The French authorities have refused to negotiate with Corsica Nazione on many occasions due to the armed struggle between the National Front for the Liberation of Corsica (FLNC) and the French authorities. In 2004 this party joined with eight other nationalist parties to create Unitá Naziunale.

On July 6th, 2003 a referendum was held in Corsica to create a new national collective assembly to replace the two departments which were created in 1970 with minimal powers. The Corsican people would have also benefited from a greater degree of autonomy from the French and greater recognition for the Corsican language. Unfortunately the referendum was defeated with 54,990 voting in favour compared to 57,180 votes against.

GI is organised in the University of Corsica and in Corsican towns. Their goals are the defence of students and young people, to keep alive Corsican history and traditions and to promote the national language, culture and social activities. The university is an important site of struggle for the Corsican people. It was only in 1981 that the French allowed the University to reopen. Before then people were denied the right to third level education in their homeland and anyone seeking to further their education had to leave Corsica to do so.

GI hold an annual Scontri Internaziunali in which young political groups from across Europe travel to Corsica to show their support for GI and the Corsican struggle. The aim of this event is to show the Corsican and French the support the nationalist movement in Corsica receive. It is also an opportunity for these youth groups to compare struggles and learn from each other.


Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy has said that the name Arthur Scargill will forever be synonymous with trade unionism and left-wing politics. He was commenting on the news that Scargill will be visiting the local area on Saturday 21st June. The MP who confirmed that he would be meeting with the former leader of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) during his visit, said that Arthur Scargills visit would bring back many vivid memories to all those who were battling against inequality, in particular the Thatcher era.

Conor also encouraged young people in particular to attend the lecture by Arthur Scargill in Ti Chulainn Centre on Saturday the 21st of June. Scargill, who served as President of the most powerful union in Britain, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), for most of the 1980s, came to international prominence nearly 25 years ago, when he led the striking miners in their epic battle with the Thatcher government from 1984 to 1985. Thatcher wanted to shut down pits throughout Britain.

The miners wanted to protect their industry and their livelihoods. The strike was one of the most bitter and hard-fought in living memory. For 12 months, miners picketed their pits and faced financial hardship, vicious attacks by the police and demonisation from the establishment media. When they returned to work in March '85, many believed a new era had dawned in Britain . Thatcher had broken the most powerful union in the country and was about to embark on a strategy of privatisation, which would bring about the end of many other traditional industries. Arthur Scargill was born in a small village, two miles south of Barnsley in South Yorkshire . He has lived in that village all his life.

Both his father and grandfather were miners. He became involved in the National Union of Mineworkers and led his first strike when he was 16 and at 21 years he was elected the youngest delegate in Yorkshire . Arthur played a significant role in the 1972 National Miners' Strike, which eventually led to the downfall of Edward Heath's Government. The miners victory was described by Scargill as a victory for the working class, and it catapulted him onto every front page in Britain . He stood for election as full-time leader in Yorkshire the same year, and won it by 70% of the vote. In 1977 he was elected chair of the British Anti-Nuclear Campaign and in 1981 he became President of the NUM. In 1984-1985 he led the biggest miners' strike in history.
Over the years he has been the target of unprecedented media-led smear campaign, but Scargill who retired as President of the NUM after over 20 years in the job in 2002 is still regarded by most as a legendary Socialist and Trade Union activist.
The event is part of the National Youth Weekend,Campa Náisiúnta Óige 08, which sees a wide range of political, cultural and social events, including a youth debate on 'What the proclamation means to you?' which will include contributions from all major youth wings. There will also be an international youth talk on 'freedom for small nations' with youth activists from Ireland , Wales , Scotland, Basque Country and Catalan Countries speaking on national self determination.
On the social front, The Wolfetones' Derek Warfield will provide the music on Saturday night 21st June in Silverbridge Resource Centre. For booking forms and further details contact: 02882 253040 or

Monday, June 09, 2008

Ógra Shinn Féin Highlight No 2 Lisbon Treaty in Lurgan

Ógra Shinn Féin activists in Lurgan highlighted the Lisbon Treaty today in Lurgan town centre. The Treaty goes to a referendum this week, but only allows citizens in the 26 counties to cast a vote . Those participating said they wished to highlight the fact that northern citizens could not vote.

Sinn Féin Councillor Johnny McGibbon commented,

This referendum effects the entire country, but only citizens in the 26 counties will be casting a vote. We believe it ridiculous that citizens in the north part of Ireland can’t vote on a referendum that effects them as much as it effects people in Tralee, Galway or Dublin.”

He continued,

“Fianna Fáil had a great opportunity to put all-Ireland politics into action, but they failed to deliver.”

Ógra spokesperson Lee Casey also commented,

“We set out today to highlight the upcoming referendum and the fact that people here in Lurgan can’t even vote. We believe this referendum should have been on an all- Ireland basis, as it will effect every person on this island. Many people in the town today shared this frustration.”

Recent opinion polls have seen a great increase in the amount of support for the ‘No’ campaign, voters go to the polls this Thursday 12th June, in what will be a very interesting conclusion to the referendum campaign.

Let's have a better deal for Ireland.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Dublin and Louth fans urged ‘Don’t Score an Own Goal!’

Ógra Shinn Féin activists where joined by Dublin’s Aengus O’Snodaigh TD and Mary Lou McDonald MEP and Louth’s Arthur Morgan TD and Cllr Tomas Sharkey outside Croke Park today, to urge GAA fans, ‘Don’t score an own goal, vote No! 2 Lisbon.’

Deep GAA rivalry was put aside before the match as Louth and Dublin activists united to send a strong message to the thousands of spectators on a blistering championship Sunday. Thousands of leaflets where distributed, and a banner was on display as activists engaged with hundreds of fans.

Ógra Shinn Féin spokesperson, Aine Downes said,

“We received a very positive response from the people we engaged, with many using the opportunity to speak to our elected activists. There was a strong message coming from many GAA fans today that they will be voting No! to the Lisbon Treaty on Thursday.”

“A very energetic and vibrant No! 2 Lisbon campaign has been rolled out by Sinn Féin and Ógra over the past few months, but we still have 4 more days to go, and these will be crucial in ensuring the proper outcome for Irish and European citizens. Let’s make everyone proud on Thursday 12th June, achieve a resounding No! vote and send the Dublin government back to the drawing board to re-negotiate a better deal for Ireland.”

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Dublin Youth Against The Treaty!

Dublin youth activists united in protest today outside the European Union house to urge a No! vote in this Thursday’s Lisbon Treaty referendum.

The protest, which included an open mic and street theatre, was jointly organised by Ógra Shinn Féin, and the Connolly Youth Movement, with members of the IPSC and Anarchist activists also in attendance.

Following a very imaginative and visible protest which had Brian Cowen and Charlie McCreevy present, there was an extensive canvass of the thronged Grafton Street asking people to secure a better deal for Ireland, and vote No!

Speaking on the protest, Ógra Shinn Féin spokesperson Oisin Dolan said,

“We sent a very clear message to the public today that the Lisbon Treaty is a bad deal for Ireland. It will erode our sovereignty, militarise our country and Europe, attack workers rights, and damage public services. For many reasons it is in the interests of citizens in the 26 Counties to reject this Treaty and send the Dublin government back to re-negotiate a better deal for the Irish people.”

“It was a good demonstration of anti imperialist unity today, and with 5 days left, it will be important to mobilise and popularise all progressive opposition to Lisbon. We can achieve it, if we keep up the momentum. I want to appeal to all young people to unite against the Treaty and vote No! to ensure a brighter future for Ireland.”

Friday, June 06, 2008

Conradh Liospóin – Mo bharúil faoi.

Le Senan Mac Aoidh
Ógra Shinn Féin

Ar ndóigh tá an vóta ar Chonradh Liospóin ag druidim linn, beidh orainn dul amach go dtí ar n-ionad vótála áitiúil ar an 12ú Meitheamh agus rogha mór a dhéanamh faoin treo ina bhfuil an tír agus an mhór-roinn seo ag dul. Ag glacadh leis go mbeidh gach ball Ógra os cionn 18 ag vótáil níl, ta an dualgas orainn an scéal a scaipeadh fén chonradh seo, an tiochar a bheas aige ar an domhan seo má éiríonn leis sa vóta. Tá ‘fhios againn cad chuige go bhfuil sé dona don tír seo, ní chaithfidh mé dul ar aghaidh fén chailliúint chumhachta, an míleatú, príomháidiú srl.

Ba mhaith liom labhairt faoi ghné amháin den fhadhb anseo. Tá scoilt i measc mhuintir na hÉireann fén chonradh, go bunúsach tá an argóint uilig fá dtaobh de cén dearcadh domhanda atá agat. Tá ‘fhios agam cén dearcadh atá agam, aontaím le Séamas ó Chonaighle nuair a labhair sé faoi ‘Aontas saor de dhaoine saora’, is ceart agus is cóir do ní hamháin an Eoraip ach an Domhan teacht le chéile fá choinne leas na ndaoine ach ní seo atá an tAontas Eorpach ag cur chun cinn san am i láthair. Ní ‘riailú ón bharr’ atá uainn. Caithfidh muintir na tíre seo a bheith i gceannas ar a dtodhchaí féin ‘fhad ‘s nach gcuirtear isteach ar dhaoine eile i dtíortha eile. Tá neamhspleáchas tabhachtach, tá comhoibriú idirnáisiúnta tabhachtach fosta. Creidim in aisling an tsóisialachais idirnáisiúnta agus tá an conradh seo ag tiomáint 100% in éadan na haislinge sin.

Ar na taobh eile tá nós/cultúr/idíeolaíacht an nua-liobrálachais á bhrú chun tosaigh ag Fianna Fáil, ina bhfeachtas ar son an chonartha. ‘margadh saor’,’saoirse’, ‘iomaíocht’, ‘táirgiúlacht’, ‘an EACNAMAÍOCHT’. Seo na buzz-fhocail sa religiún nua. Is cuma faoina na doine ach is í an eacnamaíocht atá mar phríomh-chúram ag an stát, dar leo.
Seo an rogha duit, os do chomhair. Cé thusa? ‘bhfuil tú sásta glacadh le Éire, le Eoraip, le Domhan atá rite agus eagraithe trín phrionsabal seo?

Ní seo an treo ceart, chun a chur i gcuimhne dúinn, tá an domhain i bponc, i gcruachas, níl go leor bia ann( bheul tá, ach tá an mhórchuid i lámha an mhionlaigh shaibhir), tá tubaiste mhór ag druidim linn, an t-oighear ó thuaidh ag leá, tá bochtanas millteanach go forleathan, tá níos mó sclábhaíochta ann anois ná a bhí ariamh i stair an domhain, níl oideachas ceart ar fáil do mhór-chuid daoine. Agus tá ceannairí mean-aicmeacha na hEorpa ag iarraidh an cacamas seo, an Conradh Liospóin a reachtáil. Ní dóigh liom, ní ghlacaimis leis.