Friday, October 30, 2009

Public Talk; Ireland’s Future? Free, Green and Left

As part of their National Congress, Ógra Shinn Féin are hosting a public talk titled; ‘Ireland’s Future? Free, Green and Left’.

The public talk is open to everyone and will be held upstairs in the Felons Club, Falls Road, Belfast on Saturday 14th November at 3pm sharp.

The speakers include Eoin O’Broin from Sinn Féin, Steven Agnew of the Green Party and Donal Lyons, from Labour. The talk will provide discussion on various issues such as Irish unity, the green agenda and the left in Ireland, and will allow an opportunity to debate the merits of a left progressive coalition.

Encouraging people to come along, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin Barry McColgan said,

“The public talk is set to be very interesting and has the potential to spark a lot of debate, and provide ideas around the future role that progressive left activists can play in ensuring an Ireland that is free, green and left. The three speakers are excellent and will provide a lot of food for thought, each have great insight and play a pro active role in shaping the future direction of their respective parties.”

“We would be delighted if you could join with us on the day, for a thought provoking discussion on Ireland’s future. Bígí Linn!”

Ógra Shinn Féin gets active in South Tyrone

South Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin are having a formative meeting on Tuesday 3rd November. The meeting will take place at 7pm in the Dungannon Sinn Féin office and is open to anyone interested in joining the republican youth group.

The meeting has been called in response to a surge in new recruits following the National Hunger strike March in Galbally, and will discuss upcoming activities, the naming of the cumann, and to organise a public launch.

Speaking on the new cumann, Ógra activist Laura Gildernew said,

“Ógra Shinn Féin are very active throughout Tyrone, and organised a very successful republican youth weekend in August to coincide with the Hunger strike rally in Galbally. Our activism and pro active campaigning throughout Tyrone is making republican politics relevant to young people on the ground and as a result we are seeing a surge of growth across the county.”

Encouraging people to come along on the night, Ógra activist Caolan McAnespie said,

“We provide young republicans with a platform from which to get active and have a say in the future direction of the struggle. We are the radical campaigning edge of Sinn Féin, and provide the vehicle for republican youth to come together for education, debate and to organise. If you are interested in playing your part in the republican struggle, come along and join Ógra Shinn Féin.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Coalisland Ógra Shinn Féin to organise ‘burning of Long Kesh’ exhibition as part of launch weekend

To mark the 35th anniversary of the burning of Long Kesh and the murder of Volunteer Hugh Geread Coney, Ógra Shinn Féin Coalisland will host an exhibition from Friday the 6th to Sunday the 8th of November.

The event will take pace in the Cornmill Heritage Centre, Coalisland and will see the launch of the new Cumann, which has taken the name of two local volunteers, Hugh Coney and Kevin Kilpatrick.

The exhibition will open from 5.00pm Friday to 6.00pm Sunday and will include various pieces of information on internment, the burning of the prison and the aftermath that has affected and continues to affect so many lives.

To officially launch the Cumann there will be a short presentation from the Ceartais group at 7.00pm Friday, on the effects and use of the deadly CR gas on republican inmates during the burning.

The event is aimed at giving a greater understanding to young people on a sometimes overlooked period in republican resistance and promises to be a very worthwhile and enjoyable experience.

(Óglach Hugh Coney)

Event details:

The venue is the Cornmill Heritage centre Coalisland.

The exhibition opens on Friday at 6 o'clock, followed by the official launch of the cumann at 7 and a short 15 or 20 minutes presentation by ceartais at half 7.

The local Sinn Féin cumann has organised a sponsored canal walk on the Saturday at 3.00pm which will end in the Cornmill where we will have refreshment available.

The exhibition will open from 11 to 7 on Saturday.

The exhibition is open from 11 to half 5 on Sunday.

There will be a donation box and a shop throughout the weekend in order to raise funds.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fermanagh Ógra Shinn Féin set to launch

Ógra Shinn Féin will be launching a new cumann in Fermanagh on Friday 6 November at 8pm in the Derrygannon Hall. The launch will include a talk from veteran republican Sean Lynch and from Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser Barry McColgan.

The youth wing of Sinn Féin, have been active throughout Fermanagh in the past year, assisting with Debbie Coyle's election campaign in Enniskillen, and hosting the National Youth Camp on the Fermanagh border in Knockatallon in June.

Ógra Shinn Féin want to build on this engagement and work, and establish a local cumann, where young republicans from the Fermanagh area are coming together themselves to develop ideas, events and actions that can assist in the overall struggle to gain Irish freedom.

Speaking on the launch of the cumann, Fermanagh Ógra activist Ruari Cosgove said,

“Ógra Shinn Féin are the radical edge of the party and our main role is to recruit, educate and to campaign. We provide a platform for republican youth to have a say and play a part in the future of the struggle. We are also a youth movement, for young people and led by young people.”

“We would be delighted if you would join with us on the night to ensure a successful start of Fermanagh Ógra Shinn Féin. The launch will be followed by a Big Irish Night with Ireland's Biggest Rebel Band 'The Spirit of Freedom'.”

See you all there. Bígí Linn!

Time Change for Showing of 'Young Guard of Erin'

A chairde,

Please note that the special performance of 'The Young Guard of Erin' as part of the Ógra Shinn Féin National Congress will now take place at 8pm on Friday 13th November.

Anyone interested in coming along are advised to get a ticket, and be there on time as the play will begin at 8pm sharp.

Tickets are priced at only £5, which includes the play and a rebel night afterwards with 'The Spirit of Freedom', and can be got by contacting 07885569940 or

If everyone could please publicise the time change, and use the updated poster above to promote the event.

Go raibh maith agat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Solidarity With Basque Trade Unionists And Political Activists

Ógra Shinn Féin activists from across the country joined a protest organised by Dublin Ógra and the Dublin Basque Solidarity Campaign. This is one of a series of demonstrations attended by Ógra members over the course of 2009 with more activity expected on the issue.

North Leinster activist Ross Taylor, who has visited the Basque country several times said; "We are here today to show solidarity with the 37,000 people who marched behind the Basque trade union banner in Donostia. Oppression in the Basque country is not heard of in the media. We will continue to do what we can to highlight this and stand shoulder to shoulder with Basque comrades."

Participants distributed leaflets and with Irish and Basque flags carried large placards with slogans including: “ End the repression of Basque’s: Freedom of Expression! Freedom of the Press and Radio! Freedom of Assembly!” “Spanish Police Torture Detainees!” “765 Political Prisoners Spread Over Britain and France!” “Jon Anza – ‘disappeared’ since April 2009 – what have you done with him?” “Hands Off the Basque Trade Unions!” “Hands Off the Belfast Basques!”

Dublin Ógra Shinn Féin's weekly stall at the GPO highlights the plight of the Basque people with leaflets and information about Ógra's activism.

Ógra Shinn Féin look to Louth

Ógra Shinn Féin recently held a weekend in County Louth. The series of events took place between Dundalk and Drogheda, from the 23 – 25 October. Activists from Cork, Meath, Tyrone, Armagh, Fermanagh and throughout Louth came together for a weekend of education, debate, and craic agus ceol.

Events ranged from a showing of the highly acclaimed ‘Blanketmen’ film produced by Barry Curran, a rebel night with the Spirit of Freedom, discussion with Laurence McKeown, talk on Na Fianna, to a march in memory of the 22 Irish Republican Hungerstrikers.

At the Hungerstrike March in Drogheda, Ógra Shinn Féin formed up with a colour party commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the foundation of Na Fianna Éireann, and Ógra activist Donnchadh O’Laoghaire spoke about the significant anniversary and the role that young republicans can play today.

Speaking on the weekend, Ógra activist Daithi Kellaghan said,

“I would like to thank all who attended the weekend, educational weekends can help explain where we have come from, and set the context for today, and what we as young republicans need to be doing. The Hungerstrike march was well attended and Ógra’s contribution was a fitting memorial to Na Fianna Éireann and all the young Fians who have died in Ireland’s freedom struggle.”

Ógra Shinn Féin initiate Child Protection Training Drive

Ógra Shinn Féin recently provided young activists with child protection training. The training was provided by Youthnet in Tar Anall, West Belfast on Sunday 25th October.

The programme will enhance the skills of activists in working with young people, and bring a more professional attitude to organising events and engagement with wider youth in the community.

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

“Child protection is something which every youth organisation needs. Child protection training legally enables an organisation and their activists who have gone through it, to adequately and legally work with youth who are 17 and under, but it also enhances skills and promotes models of best practice in how to work with young people.”
“Ógra Shinn Féin will be pursuing a pro active programme to ensure that by the end of next year, 100 young activists have gone through child protection training.”

Thursday, October 22, 2009

West Belfast to Remember the Blanket Protest

West Belfast are set to remember the historic and heroic actions of the hundreds of Republican POW’s who endured the Blanket Protest, in a special showing of the documentary ‘Blanket men’ made by Barry Curran, followed by a panel discussion that includes Jim Gibney, Seanna Walsh and Goose Russell.

The event will take place at 8pm in the Felons, West Belfast, on Sunday 25th October, and will be an opportunity to hear from Blanket Men, some of whom spent 5 long years on the blanket in their fight against criminalisation. Their defiant and selfless stance would eventually lead to the Hunger strike and smash criminalisation.

Encouraging maximum attendance for the night, event organiser Paul Quinn said,

“It is important to remember the sheer courage and determination of the Republican Prisoner’s of War over 30 years on from their heroic stance, to not wear a convict’s uniform, but instead endure 5 hard years on the blanket, demonstrating to the world that republicans would not be labelled criminals and that our struggle for freedom is just.”

“The night will present an opportunity to speak to men who took part in this historic act of resistance and the men and women on the outside who campaigned for the prisoner’s demands. Indeed Jim Gibney, was a leading figure in the H Block/Armagh campaign, and Seanna Walsh was on the blanket and was Bobby Sand’s best friend. We would encourage all to come along for a deeply interesting, and inspiring discussion – Bígí Linn!”

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Republican Students Engage with MLA’s in Assembly

The ‘Sheena Campbell’ Sinn Fein Cumann in Queens organised a successful trip to the Assembly. The well attended educational tour started off with an overview of the Stormont buildings, with the tour guide detailing the history of the building. Activists were then shown the chambers and the committee room.

Sinn Féin MLA’s Cathal Boylan and Willie Clarke had an informal discussion about their respective briefs, and they gave a quick break down of their daily duties and the important input students can have in shaping future motions and policy.

Speaking after the event Grace Lynch of the Sheena Campbell Cumann said:

“Today’s trip was educational, it served to remind us the history of unionist dominance and mis-rule in the past, to the situation today where Sinn Féin are the largest party in the north and that the work we are doing up there serves to better our own communities.”

“It was a good opportunity for new members to engage with MLA’s, and see how much work Sinn Fein are actually doing within the Assembly, and was a chance for them to put forward any ideas that they had to the MLA’s in regards to DSD, Policing & Justice and keeping Republican politics relevant in all aspects of their work.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dublin tour hailed a success by Strabane Ógra

Ógra Shinn Féin in Strabane recently organised a successful historical tour of Dublin on Saturday 17th October. The Republican youth movement visited several sites of historical significance to the Irish revolution including, the GPO, 16 Moore Street (last stand of the 1916 rising), as well as a thorough tour of Glasnevin cemetery.

Speaking on behalf of the Tobias Molloy Ógra Shinn Fein cumann following the event local activist John McDermott said;

“We are extremely pleased with the turnout for this tour which we have organised as part of our education programme. The 30 seater bus left the Sinn Féin centre at 7:30am and arrived in the capital at 11:00am where we quickly embarked on the ‘Rebel tour of Dublin’, visiting sites of national significance such as the GPO, garden of remembrance etc. Throughout the tour the group were given fascinating stories of Irish rebellion from our very knowledgeable guide Pat Finley. He told us the about the Easter Rising, Tan War, Civil War and periods of resistance right up to the present day.”

“Following the comprehensive tour of rebel Dublin, we were given a tour of Glasnevin cemetery where some of our most famous revolutionary leaders are buried.”

“It is vitally important that young people are educated on our nation’s history. Tours such as this are an excellent way of bringing home the reality of Ireland’s past to young people in such an intimate way that they would not experience in school or from reading Irish History books.”

“Dublin is a city steeped in Ireland’s revolutionary history, and this was brilliantly articulated by our tour guide Pat Finley whom I would like to thank on behalf of the cumann for an excellent day.”

Louth Republican Youth Weekend - Bígí Linn!

Education cutbacks must be halted

Ógra Shinn Féin has called on the Government to give a guarantee on the commitment not to introduced registration fees for college students. The commitment was made after a dramatic negotiation between Fianna Fáil and the Green Party over the future of the Government. Dubbed "third level fees by stealth", the registration increased from €900 to €1500 this year, leaving many students and their families struggling the make ends meet.

At a protest against education cutbacks in Dublin on Saturday 17th October, Ógra activists welcomed the commitment by those involved in negotiations not to further hinder access to third level education. However, the cutbacks agenda is still alive and well with the budget only weeks away. ÓSF National Organiser Barry McColgan spoke at the street protest in Dublin;

"I welcome the commitment in the revised Programme for Government to cease plans on introducing third level fees; however students and families must have a guarantee that they will not be punished for this by being forced to pay an even higher registration fee. That, in my opinion amounts to nothing more than third level fees by stealth. Budget 09 saw an increase in the third level registration fee from €900 to €1,500 a year. This is itself was a regressive measure and has meant hardship for less well off families. Any move to increase this fee further would place added pressure on families struggling to make ends meet. Going to college is not cheap. The cost of accommodation, transport, course materials and food alone present major barriers to students from disadvantaged areas attending third level colleges. More increases in the registration fee would act as a further barrier to participation in third level education."

Activists in Dublin Ógra Shinn Féin have been instrumental in organising protests and direct action against the fees in the past and attending organised marches which seen thousands of students from across the country attend.

"Ógra Shiinn Féin remains strongly opposed to third level fees, believing that education is a fundamental right and could and should be funded through fair direct taxation. The promise not to introduce third level fees is good but not good enough. The Greens must ensure that there will be no further increases in the student registration fee and that access to third level education rests solely on the students’ potential rather than their ability to pay. Overall this is a bad programme for Government by a bad and discredited Government. The programme is full of vague generalities and is easily picked apart and, given both Fianna Fáil and the Green Party’s previous record on programmes for Government, there is no reason to believe that anything positive will be delivered on the back of this one. The Green Party should have taken this opportunity to bring down this discredited Government in order to pull the plug on NAMA and other shambolic policies."

Ógra Shinn Féin Organise Suicide Prevention Training Programme

Ógra Shinn Féin have worked in conjunction with PIPS to deliver their community lifeguard training programme to over 20 young people.

The suicide prevention training programme was delivered on Sunday 18th October in Belfast, to young people from across the north, including Ógra Shinn Féin activists, members from the Young Greens, SDLP Youth and even the youngest MLA Daithi McKay.

Ógra Shinn Féin have been pro active and vocal on the issue of suicide awareness and prevention over the past number of years, lobbying government for an adequately resourced All Ireland approach to the issue of suicide prevention, and raising awareness through the organising of public talks, and skilling dozens of young people up in the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) programme by delivering the scheme in communities, and colleges throughout Ireland.

Commenting on a very productive day, Ógra Shinn Féin Uladh Organiser Fra Cochrane said,

“Suicide is the biggest killer of our young people in Ireland, and is something which we as a youth organisation must be proactive in tackling. Ógra Shinn Féin have been extremely proactive on the issue of suicide prevention and todays PIPS community lifeguard training is a continuation of that work, engaging more and more young people and equipping them with the skills to work in their, school, community, work or family environment to be more aware of the issues surrounding suicide and to potentially save lives."

“We would like to thank PIPS, the young people who participated in the programme, and would encourage other young people to become more aware and active in tackling this national epidemic which has cost the lives of so many people, particularly young people. Ógra Shinn Féin will continue to play their part in tackling this massive issue, and have pledged ourselves in assisting PIPS to role the programme out to dozens of more young people across Ireland.”

Friday, October 16, 2009

Strabane Republican Youth – A Brief History

The ‘Tobias Molloy’ Ógra Shinn Féin Cumann in Strabane have released a DVD detailing the history of Republican youth in Strabane.

Dedicated to local Fians, Jim McNally and Tobias Molloy, it explains the local struggle of young Irish republicans throughout the past decades, in particular the role of Na Fianna Éireann and Ógra Shinn Féin today.

The DVD also includes interviews with cllr Brian McMahon (ex Na Fianna Member), cllr Jarlath McNulty (ex H-Block Youth Activist), Seán Darragh (founding member of Sinn Fein youth), John McDermott (founding member of Strabane Ógra Shinn Féin) and Sean Gillespie (founding member of Strabane Ógra Shinn Féin).

The DVD documents the various activities of each group, how they were influenced by certain events and how it affected their lives.

The DVD is available for £5 and can be obtained by contacting John McDermott on 07588227811 / Sean Gillespie on 07856414252 or by emailing

Please note; Limited Copies.

Onwards and upwards for Dublin ÓSF

Dublin Ógra Shinn Féin are set to become the most active society in Dublin's universities. Hundreds of new applications to join were made over the last month at freshers events. Ógra Shinn Féin socities were represented in the following unversities;

  • Trinity College
  • University College Dublin
  • Dublin City University
  • Griffith College
  • Dublin Institute of Technology

Sinn Féin flags were hoisted and freshers packs handed out to applicants who signed up in their droves. A high quality newsletter, DVD on the history of the republican struggle, stationery and a copy of the proclamation were included in the packs. Application figures have surged since last year, signalling a rise in political awareness among students opposed to fees and other policies introduced by the shambolic government. Asked about the attraction to Ógra Shinn Féin, one student stated that she wanted to be active in the campaign against fees and the general ineptitude of the Fianna Fáil/Greens. Another student stated that Ógra Fianna Fáil were "ran like dogs" from a freshers event in DCU. Ógra activist Daithí Byrne commented on the surge in applicants;

"Students are saying they attracted to our radical politics and activism displayed over the years in Dublin, most recently the anti-fees campaign. They aren't satisfied with the 'all talk no action' policy of other opposition groups like Young Fine Gael."

Paddy Daly, Dublin college co-ordinator commented on the successful freshers campaign; "This has been a huge success for us with people genuinely interested in getting involved in republican politics and activism. The priority for me will be to build a new college structure for Dublin ÓSF and organise events such as protests that will put us on the map."

After a spectacular freshers recruitment drive, Dublin Ógra Shinn Féin are putting education/introduction to Sinn Féin high on the agenda, which will include one to one meetings with each applicant. Anti-fees will also be high on the agenda for the coming weeks.

To contact Dublin ÓSF:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Successful and Inspiring Sheena Campbell Lecture held in QUB

Friday the 16th October 2009 marks the 17th Anniversary of Sheena Campbell death. Sheena was just 29 years old when she was gunned down by a loyalist death squad working in collusion with the British Government.

Sheena was a member of Sinn Féin and had stood as a candidate for that party in the Upper Bann area in a Westminster Parliamentary by-election in 1990. To mark Sheena’s death, the Sheena Campbell Sinn Féin Cumann in Queens University Belfast organised a memorial lecture on her life.

Joint First Minister, and Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator, Martin McGuinness was due to speak, however given the current climate and the urgent talks looking to secure the devolution of Policing and Justice he was unable to make it at the last minute. Stepping in at late notice was Sinn Féin MLA for Upper Bann and the Party’s Assembly group leader – John O’Dowd.

John knew Sheena, not only as a Sinn Féin activist, but also as a friend. John spoke truthfully and emotionally about his memories of Sheena, and talked about some of the events he attended with her. John then opened the floor to a Q&A session, which saw a broad range of questions put forward with topics including; how to make Republicanism more relevant to young people, the devolution of Policing and Justice and to Sinn Féin’s performance in the 26 Counties.

Following the talk, John presented the Campbell family with a bronze statue of a woman with a bin lid, representing the long standing role women have had in the struggle for Irish Freedom.

Speaking after the event Grace Lynch of the Sheena Campbell Cumann said:

“Today’s event was a great success with over 100 students attending the lecture. This is evidence that after 17 years, the legacy of Sheena Campbell is still alive. Many attending the lecture today were only children when Sheena was murdered, however, the large number of young people present today illustrates the eagerness of people to learn about our history, and look for ways to ensure that such things don’t happen again.”
“Sheena is an inspiration to me, she was a young woman with a small child, however she still found the time to work on her degree, and at the same time continue to drive the struggle for Irish Freedom forward. Sheena Campbell gave her life for a dream not yet realised. It is our duty, and the duty of every Republican to strive every day to make that dream a reality.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Minister for All Cultures, Not Just One

Lee Casey
ÓSF An Lorgain

If only people with closed minds had closed mouths, what a world we would live in. The DUP Minister for culture, arts and leisure, Nelson McCausland MLA is one such example. DCAL is an extremely important department and its actions have wide reaching implications for the cultural soul of the six counties. In the midst of the negotiations over the devolution of policing and justice, we must not take our eye off the importance of this department.

You don’t need to be an expert political analyst to realize that the DUP are using the department of Culture, arts and leisure to perpetuate a hard-line unionist stance in an attempt to gain back some of the 66,000 votes they lost to the Traditional Unionist Voice in last Junes European Election. The philosophy of ‘let’s be as hard as Jim’ manifests itself in the actions of the DCAL minister and his complete lack of acknowledgement of cultures other than his own.

His politically motivated over-reaction to the recent Hunger strike commemoration, which was held in a GAA ground in Galbally, is a recent example. Speaking of the event, the DUP MLA said ‘It cannot be right that a sports ground should be used for commemorating and celebrating something as offensive as the whole H-Block episode.’ This is a typical hypocritical response from a Minister who is also a member of the Orange Order, which annually commemorates a battle which happened over three hundred years ago. Yet an event that still opens up emotional scars in republicans is dubbed as ‘offensive’.

The DUP minister has also examined the possibility of cutting funding to GAA Clubs which are named after our patriot dead. In an interview for the BBC he stated ‘this sort of activity, the naming of things that commemorate and celebrate terrorism, these have to be a thing of the past’. This is none-other than an attempt by the DUP to eradicate any trace of republican history and pride in our patriot dead and must be condemned by anyone with any concept of equality and respect for cultures other than their own. But it is in his total opposition and resentment of the Irish language that fully reveals how one-cultured this poor excuse for a culture minister really is. Speaking of a possible Irish Language Act, which is enshrined in the St Andrews agreement, he arrogantly claimed ‘the DUP has vetoed that. It will not come to pass’.

Nelson McCausland holding a position of influence over culture in a country as rich with culture as Ireland, is comparable to a member of the KKK being in charge of race-relations in some southern-American state. It is a slap in the face to the many people, in the GAA and Irish language movement to name but a few, who have fought to keep aspects of Irish culture alive throughout the dark ages of direct rule and unionist misgovernment. The only thing positive to come out of the DUP’s tenure in DCAL is that it has exposed publicly the ignorance of the DUP; something we all knew was alive and breathing beneath the façade of extremist unionism.
What we really need for the ‘shared future’ that he speaks of is a culture minister who will respect all cultures and traditions and not merely promote his own culture and denounce another culture for political purposes. As Irish Republicans seeking to build a republic of equality, we know the importance of seeking tolerance and respect between cultures. This is why we are vehemently opposed to attacks on orange halls as well as GAA clubs and why we don’t, unlike the DUP, just place emphasis on one over the other. All such cultural attacks are to be totally and unambiguously condemned. This is why we are totally against any form of racism or sectarianism, be it directed at those who identify themselves as unionist or nationalist or at any other group in Irish society. Perhaps the worst cases this year of this sort of behavior were the disgusting and disgraceful attacks on the people of the Roma community in South Belfast. Scenes of this evil episode were broadcast across Europe and did not paint Ireland in a positive light. All such attacks must come to an immediate end and are must be totally condemned by everyone in our society.

Despite the attempts of the DUP and others hostile to Irish Republicanism, Irish culture is as strong as ever and continues to go from strength to strength. It will take a lot more than Nelson McCausland and the DUP to stop this.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Special Performance of ‘Young Guard of Erin’ for ÓSF National Congress

The upcoming Ógra Shinn Féin National Congress will have a special performance of the excellent and emotive play ‘Young Guard of Erin’.

The play has been produced particularly for the 100th Anniversary of the first republican youth movement, and tells the story of Na Fianna Éireann and some of the young Belfast Fians who died in the most recent phase of struggle.

It will be performed at 8.30pm on Friday 13 November in the Felons, West Belfast and will be followed by a rebel night with Ireland’s biggest rebel band ‘The Spirit of Freedom.’. Entrance to the event will be £5, tickets are essential.

Encouraging get a ticket and come along on the night, West Belfast Ógra activist Róise Níg Uidhrín said.

“Na Fianna was very active right across Belfast, and this was reflective in the huge membership but the even bigger sacrifice played by the young Fians in our city. The play ‘Young Guard of Erin’ is an excellent way to tell the story of the lives of these young boys, who where ordinary people living in extraordinary times, and whose bravery shone through when they paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.”

“The play will be an opportunity to remember the sacrifice and significant role of republican youth in struggle, particularly the young Fians who died. We would encourage everyone to join with us in the night to watch this excellent play = Bígí Linn!”
For tickets please contact 07885569940 or

Sheena Campbell Memorial Talk - Bígí Linn!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Irelands Biggest Rebel Band 'The Spirit of Freedom' set to play Dundalk

The Spirit of Freedom Rebel Night will be held as part of the Dundalk/Drogheda Ógra Shinn Féin weekend 23 - 25 October. For anyone interested in attending please contact (00353) 872674301.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Ho Chi Minh

Community Activist
Ógra Shinn Féin

From the first moment I read and learned about the extraordinary life, ideals and struggle of Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, he has deeply inspired me.

Perhaps his character appeals to me so much, because his political beliefs much like mine and many other young republicans, where first provoked by anti imperialism, a desire for national liberation, but over time, and the many lessons his life brought him, became a committed socialist.

He was born in the late 19th Century into a Vietnam oppressed and occupied by France, the sub standard of living enforced on his people by the 'colonial masters', and their denial of even the most basic of rights, led to an early political awakening.

His life was dedicated to the freedom of Vietnam, and the creation of a new, more equal society. As one commentator in the following video points out, "He had an unshakable will that helped liberate a country, and humble a Superpower."

Inspired by Lenin's ideas and writings on national liberation, Ho Chi Minh, travelled to Moscow where he attained the skills and know how, that would keep him, the Vietnamese liberation forces and their people in good stead over the turbulent years that led to their hard fought freedom.

He led the Vietnamese in evicting the French colonialists, and although he died in 1969, his inspiring legacy has been attributed as the burning force behind Vietnamese victory.

Millions of Ho Chi Minh's people where killed in their struggle, but his undaunting leadership coupled with the people's unwavering endurance, ensured that they could not, and would not be beaten.

It was his leadership that led to a national awakening, and consciousness in Vietnam, it was his leadership that ensured Independence and victory.

I would encourage everyone to watch the above documentary, as an insight and a glimpse into this revolutionaries life. Hopefully it will spark an interest, that will lead to further knowledge of this historical figure and the struggles that he led.

Big Rebel Night Set For Derry

Billets available for any Ógra activists wishing to travel, please contact Adrian on 07759487101 to confirm.

Recruitment numbers up in NUI Maynooth

Ógra Shinn Féin were a familiar presence in NUI Maynooth on Wednesday 30th September at the annual clubs and societies day. Ógra activists distributed leaflets calling on students to join Sinn Féin and also ones on third level fees.

The Lisbon campaign was high on the agenda amongst the other political societies on campus yet ÓSF and another group calling for a NO vote where told they were not to distribute Lisbon literature, despite the fact that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil were displaying large ‘vote yes’ posters and handing out their own yes literature.

Not to be ones who support political censorship, ÓSF defied the order and distributed their leaflets, and indeed many students took the time out to engage with our activists on the issue of Lisbon and what a NO vote would mean.

Students also were attracted by the Ógra desk flying a Basque flag and also engaged on the subject of Spanish state oppression and the plights of the two Belfast based Basques fighting extradition. As always Sinn Féin proved to be a popular choice for those seeking to join a political party, as one of our activists explained to many students; we are the only party relevant to young people and to students and that many of our leaders like Toireasa Ferris, and Pearse Doherty, where student activists in their time in university.

The new freshers pack and the freshers DVD also helped to recruit more names, and the NUIM cumann are confident of having a strong and active cumann on campus in the forthcoming academic year.

Speaking on the day Ógra activist Cathal Donnelly said,
“I am delighted with the contribution we have made to the freshers fayre in NUIM this year. Coupled with distributing literature on republican issues we provided the new first year students with the opportunity to get active and opposing the fees being proposed by the Fianna Fáil minister Batt O'Keefe who was heckled by ÓSF activists when he visited the campus last year. I am confident we can provide a strong republican voice for the students of Maynooth for the upcoming year and we hope to have a strong presence at the upcoming ÓSF National Congress in Belfast”.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Success at St Mary’s Freshers

Sinn Fein has held another successful recruitment day event in St Mary’s College, Belfast as part of their ‘freshers’ day participation in university colleges throughout Ireland.

An unprecedented number of staff and students made themselves known at the recruitment stall in the West Belfast University indicating both their support for the party and their interest in our campaigns and political activities.

Over 80 students also applied to become Sinn Fein party members which is largely significant due to the small student population in the college. Two local Sinn Fein assembly members, Sue Ramsey and Jennifer McCann were present at the recruitment stall, providing an overview of the party’s politics to interested staff and students.

Speaking at the recruitment stall West Belfast Sinn Fein MLA Sue Ramsey said,

“Today’s recruitment stall here in St Mary’s has been hugely successful in terms of both the interest shown at our information stall as well as the large number of people who have applied to join the party. I look forward to meeting our new members in the weeks ahead”.

Sue’s colleague Jennifer McCann continued,
“The fact that Sinn Fein was the only political party to participate in this particular event is testament to the emphasis that we put on young people and our willingness to engage with the youth on issues that affect them. I am delighted with the positive response that we received in St Mary’s today and it cements the fact that we continue to be the only party effectively representing the republican youth.”

Big Irish Night in Galway - Bígí Linn!

Billets available for any Ógra activists wishing to travel. For more information contact Mairead on; (00353) 857167725

Video promoting ÓSF National Congress 2009 - View and PASS ON!

National Na Fianna Éireann 100th Anniversary Celebration Dinner Dance

Ógra Shinn Féin are organising a special Dinner Dance in Belfast to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Na Fianna Éireann. The Na Fianna Éireann 100th Anniversary Dinner Dance will take place in the Holiday Inn, Ormeau Avenue at 8.30pm on Saturday 14th November, complementing Ógra Shinn Féin’s National Congress, which is taking place in Belfast over that weekend.

The families of all the Fians who lost their lives in the most recent phase of the struggle, have been invited, and will be guests of honour on the night, each set to receive a special presentation from Ógra Shinn Féin.

The night will include a sparkling wine reception, 4 Course Meal, poetry, music and song commemorating ‘a century of republican youth in struggle’, a guest speaker, and music by Tyrone’s finest, traditional/rebel band ‘Poitín’.

Speaking on the special Na Fianna commemorative dinner, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McColgan said,

“We look forward to hosting the families of the young Fians who lost their lives in the most recent phase of the republican struggle. These families have endured much pain, suffering the loss of their loved ones, and it is the least we can do on Na Fianna’s 100th Anniversary, to host them appropriately and honor the commitment and sacrifice of their loved ones, the Fians on the Roll of Honour.”

“We would encourage everyone to join with us in honoring the sacrifice of the young Fians, and to help celebrate 100 years of republican youth in struggle, sparked by Na Fianna Éireann in 1909, and continuing to burn strong in Ógra Shinn Féin today. The night will be a night of remembrance, of celebration, and a night of craic agus ceol. Bígí Linn!”
If you are interested in ordering a ticket, please contact 07885569940 or ASAP.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Cork colleges to progress from succesful freshers

Ógra Shinn Féin kicked off the college year in Cork with successful societies days in both CIT and UCC on the 22nd and 23rd of September respectively.

CIT's Niamh Kerins and Joe Lynch were assisted by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire and David Collins of the UCC Martin Hurson Cumann in collecting a large number of signatures from prospective members and generating quite an interest among the student population.

CIT's Joe Lynch and Niamh Kerins

With a flurry of political activism expected on campus following the election of the Student Union President as Mayor of Bandon, Ógra aim to beat the forefront in the year ahead and beyond.

Likewise, in UCC the Martin Hurson cumann looks forward to a succesful year promising societies day. Cathaoirleach Seán Ó Sé had this to say
UCC's Alan Conway

'The cumann recieved among the highest number of signatures of any political society on campus. We aim to be the most active group in UCC this year and follow on from our hard work last year. We have already had a number of meetings and attended a philsoph debate on lisbon featuring Toireasa Ferris, and hopefully we can push on from this positive start to the year.' l to r Joe Lynch, Tony Black, Seán Ó Sé, Niamh McConigley

Friday, October 02, 2009

Comhdháil Náisiúnta Ógra Shinn Féin 2009 – Bígí Linn!

Ógra Shinn Féin will be hosting their biggest event of the year in Belfast. The Comhdháil Náisiúnta (National Congress) 2009 will be taking place over the weekend of the 13 – 15 November, where over one hundred youth delegates will converge in The Felons on the Falls Road.

This is a significant year for the republican youth movement, as it marks the 100th Anniversary since the founding of the first republican youth organization, Na Fianna Éireann. Indeed ‘A Century of Republican Youth in Struggle’ will be the theme of the weekend of debate and activities.

Alongside the usual debate, workshops, and discussion, there will be some events of note, including a special showing of the play ‘Young Guard of Erin’, a mural unveiling commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Na Fianna’s foundation, a 100th Anniversary Celebration Na Fianna Éireann Dinner Dance, a challenge match between Na Fianna veterans and Ógra Shinn Féin, and a big Irish night with ‘The Spirit of Freedom’.

Encouraging maximum turnout to the Comhdháil Náisiúnta 2009, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin Barry McColgan said,

“We would encourage the maximum turnout among all Ógra cumann and young republican activists, to the upcoming Comhdháil Náisiúnta in Belfast. This is a significant year in the republican youth calendar as it marks 100 years since the foundation of the first republican youth organization Na Fianna Éireann, the young Fians played a huge role in advancing the struggle, and demonstrated their sincerity and bravery as over 50 laid down their lives in pursuit of an Irish Republic. They provide us with endless inspiration to carry on their struggle, to recruit, and educate a new generation of Irish republicans, and to campaign on the most relevant and pressing issues of today.”

“The Comhdháil Náisiúnta presents an opportunity for young republican activists to come together for a action packed weekend of youth focused events, building lasting friendships, sharing ideas, and debating and plotting the future direction of Ógra, and Sinn Féin. This will be an excellent weekend to come together in remembrance of our fallen comrades, but more importantly to build the ideas and organization that will deliver the free and egalitarian Ireland for which they died. See you all in Belfast – Bígí Linn!”