Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tyrone goes Green

The green post box campaign continues apace as the O'Neill County gets a new shade for its post boxes.

Dozens of more post boxes have been returned to their national shade of green in the past week with the republican youth movement Ógra Shinn Féin claiming they are, "harmonising post boxes across Ireland, providing a public service by saving An Phoist a lot of work and money as we approach Irish unity."

Only last week Tyrone Ógra reported that they had begun a fresh drive to 'green' the post boxes of the historic republican county, grabbing the headlines in the local media.

The campaign has picked up further momentum with more and more Tyronians waking up to the welcome sight of a green post box.

(Loughmacrory, Co. Tyrone)

A Tyrone Ógra spokeperson said,

"Ógra Shinn Féin has been extremely active in various campaigns including suicide prevention, drug and alcohol awareness, road safety, pushing for free education, and we have re-initiated the green post box campaign to awaken national consciousness, and pave the way for an Irish Republic that stays true to the 1916 proclamation."

"We believe that this simple yet effective action, which is widely endorsed in the villages, towns and estates were it is done, helps state very clearly that we live in Ireland and helps to spark debate on Irish unity."

(Gortin Main Street, Co. Tyrone)

(Greencastle Crossroads, Co. Tyrone)

(Crocknaboy Road, Greencastle, Co. Tyrone)

(Mountfield, Co. Tyrone)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Voices on Unity - Brendan Coffey

Cllr. Brendan Coffey
Waterford County Council
Fine Gael

My opinion on the Unification issue is that it is something I believe should and will happen. I don't believe it will happen in my life time. I firmly belive that it can and should only occur as per the terms of the Good Friday Agreement i.e. by referendum of the people of NI. The GFR agreement is the vehicle that will ultimately deliver unification, when that will be is the big question.

Voices on Unity - Gareth Wilson

Cllr. Gareth Wilson
Armagh and District
'I'd like to know your attitude/position on the use of violence for political gain/aims?

Also, if you were involved in vandalising post boxes across Northern Ireland?'

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ógra Shinn Féin delegation visit Catalonia

Ógra Shinn Féin sent a delegation to attend Acamapda Jove, a festival organised by JERC in Catalonia from 15th to 17th of July. JERC (Left Republican Catalan Youth) is the youth wing of Esquerra Republicana. The festival, which is attended by tens of thousands of young Catalonians each year and features many popular bands such as Skatala and Banda Basotti. The most prominent theme of the event was indepedence, aswell as anti-facism, equality and internationalism.

A number of political acts were held over the weekend of events, including the signing of the Declaration of Montblanc, which Daithi Byrne from Dublin signed on behalf of Ógra Shinn Féin. The main points of the declaration were;

  • We show our support for the Independentist Youth, which is currently leading the independentist movement in the Catalan Countries.
  • We express our support for the People's Initiative to hold a referendum in the Principality of Catalonia that will be carried out in the coming months.
  • We demand that the Spanish and French States take the commitment to resolve the political conflict experienced by the Catalan Countries through democratic means and by recognising the right of self-determination of peoples.
  • We reaffirm our commitment, support and solidarity amongst the different Nations without State that want to exercise their right to self determination.

The first Acampada Jove fifteen years ago had two-hundred attendees, but this year it attracted thirty thousand-people who thronged to the event located in Montblanc, a medieval town about an hour from Barcelona. The event is one of the most successful projects of the Catalan countries, and results from the collaboration of all young indepedendists. This year, the festival came on the heels of one of the most interesting political contexts in recent times for Catalonia. Throughout 2010, over half a million citizens have been able to excercise their right to decide on their political future in 463 municipalities of the Catalan countries. Daithi Byrne, who attended on behalf of Ógra Shinn Féin said;

"It is an honour to be invited to represent Ógra Shinn Féin at Acampada Jove, only a week after approximately two-million people marched through Barcelona to voice their desire for the self-determination of Catalonia. From the first day of the event I was told of the unfortunate situation that the Spanish Government decided there was no legal basis for recognising Catalonia as a nation, and ruled against Catalan taking precedence over Spanish, therefore preventing children in schools from being taught the native language. The festival itself was fascinating, succeeding as a result of the mixture of music and the desire for Catalonian independence. The crowds which attended the weekend of events were all young and mostly political, and many existing similarities could be seen between JERC and Ógra Shinn Féin, especially the dedication of young activists to suceed in community projects. I think these trips are hugely beneficial not only because of the strong historicial ties between JERC, SEGI, Ógra and others, but also because of the new people one meets, such as the delegates from the YSI (Young Scots for Independence), Gazte Abertzaleak from the Basque country and Darreu from Asturias. I was approached by countless young Catalonian independentists who declared their support for Sinn Féin and its efforts to achieve a united Ireland, as well as the recent Ógra campaign 'Who fears to speak of a united Ireland?'.

Dublin Ógra commemorate Asgard landing at Howth

Dublin Ógra Shinn Féin activists travelled to Howth on Saturday to take part in a day of activities to commemorate the Howth gun-running of 1914.

The significant milestone in Irish history was in response to the arming of the Ulster Volunteers. The weapons, from Hamburg in Germany were to be used to to arm the Irish Volunteers in the run up to the 1916 rising. Nine hundred Mauser rifles 29,000 rounds of ammunition were to prove pivotal in the events of Easter Week.

Dublin Ógra activists from across the county arrived in Howth in the afternoon. Donning replica Irish Volunteers uniforms, they distributed leaflets in English, Irish, Spanish and Polish to the many locals and tourists who had gathered to watch the commemoration take place. After the distribution of thousands of leaflets and the arrival of the Dublin Republican Flute Band, the crowd marched along the East Pier in Howth to the very spot where the Asgard unloaded the arsenal of German weapons on the 26th July, 1914.
The Irish Volunteers were founded after the Tory Party in England joined with the Unionists in North-East Ireland in an armed conspiracy to prevent legislative Home Rule for Ireland. When the First World War broke out at the time of the Howth gun-running Home Rule was postponed.

The skipper of the Asgard was Erskine Childers who later worked for Dáil Éireann and took part in the Treaty negotiations in 1921. He opposed the Treaty and the Partition of Ireland and was executed in 1922 by the Free State government during the Irish Civil War.
When the guns were landed on that day in 1914 they were taken back to Dublin City by the Irish Volunteers. The British Army fired on a crowd of civilians in the city, killing three of them. Every year Ógra Sinn Féin in Dublin commemorates the Asgard landing in celebration of the spirit of Irish freedom, in support of the demand for Irish unity and in remembrance of those who died.

Voices on Unity

As part of Ógra Shinn Féin's National Campaign 'Who Fears to Speak of a United Ireland?' Ógra has endeavoured to engage with a wide variety of opinion, to gain a better understanding of why people oppose or support Irish Unity, and to use this experience to enhance our tactics. This has thus far involved debates, articles and discussions, and is intended to continue over the coming time.

As part of this initiative, National Campaigns Officer has undertaken to send all elected reps in the country the below email.

Dear Cllr X,

I am a member of Ógra Shinn Fein, a republican youth movement, and our current national campaign is titled 'Who Fears To Speak of a United Ireland?'. This campaign has as its aim to re-examine the case for reunification from a new perspective. As part of this we are looking to collate a wide variety of opinions from, among others, elected representatives, to outline their opinions on the United Ireland issue and highlight their reasons for supporting/opposing the re-unification of Ireland. This can take the form of either a short video clip (30 seconds - 1 minute) or a written piece (100-200 words). If you would like to participate in a short video clip, I have a camera and can organise to meet you and record that with you when you are free or, if not, please forward me on a written piece in your own time. We would be very glad to hear from you and we are sure your contribution would add greatly to the overall project.

These opinion pieces are being collected locally by Ógra activists across Ireland and, when we have received a substantial amount of them back, they will form a series of opinion pieces which will be published in a booklet and/or reel of video clips which will, in turn, be circlated within local and national media circles, and ultimately will inform our strategy for achieving Irish Unity.

Keeping with our bilingual policy we hope to get pieces in both English and Irish language so má bhfuil Gaeilge ar bith agat, bain úsáid as i d'alt
Thanking you for your co-operation.

A chara,
Táim i mo bhall d'Ógra Shinn Féin, gluaiseacht poblachtach na hóige, agus tá feachtais náisiúnta againnfaoi láthair dar teidil 'Cé atá eaglach a labhairt faoi Éire Aontaithe?'. Is é an cúspóir den fheachtais seo ná chun athscrúdú a dhéanamh ar na hargóintí difriúil maidir leis ath-aontú na hÉireann. Mar pháirt den feachtais seo tá muid ag iarraidh éagsúlacht leathan na dtuairimí ó ionadaí tofa i measc daoine eile agus in iad seo, bheadh tuairimí éagsúla ar Éire Aontaithe agus na fathanna go mbeadh tú in aghaidh nó i gcomhair í. Más mian leat a bheith páirteach, tá fís-ceamara agam agus is féidir liom cruinniú a eagrú leatsa chun píosa gearr a thaifeadadh (30 s - 1 nóiméid) nó, ina áit sin, is féidir leat sliocht gearr a sheoladh orm (100-200 fcl.) le do thuairimí ar an tábhar. Bheimís sásta do thuairim a chloisteáil agus táimíd cinnte go mbeadh do dhréacht an-úsáideach dúinn inár dtionscadal!

Tá gníomhaígh Ógra Shinn Féin ag bailiú iad seo go háitiúil ar fud na hÉireann mar sin nuair a bhfuil dóthán seolta ar ais chuigainn beidh muid ag déanamh suas agus, go dochasach, ag foilsiú leabhrán agus/nó sraith ghearrthóg físe a mbeidh scaipthe trína meáin go háitiúla agus go náisiúnta.

Tá súil againn go gheobhaidh muid freagairtí sa Bhéarla agus sa Ghaeilge, mar sin, má bhfuil Gaeilge agat, bain úsáid as i do phíosa!

Go raibh maith agat as do chomhoibriú,

Le meas,
Luke Callinan
Oifigeach Feachtais Náisiúnta,
Ógra Shinn Féin

The repsonses have started to come in now in a steady stream, and we have received many interesting responses.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be posting as many as possible of these opinions, be they positive, negative, or downright odd. (Cllr Gareth Wilson DUP, Armagh and district, take a bow).

We are encouraging activists to take ownership of this issue. Contact your local reps, and get their opinions. If they support Unity, find out how they think it will happen, or if not, flush them out and get them to spell out why they disagree with it. And it needn't be just elected reps. Ask prominent sports people, or personalities in your area, or even ordinary activists or members of your community. All contributions will add to our understanding of the issues. Or why not get a camcorder, and we can get youtube clips up.

Then send all of them on to and the debate can carry on here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Deireadh Seachtaine fiúntach ag Slogadh na nÓg 2010

Bhí Slogadh na nÓg ar siúl ón 16ú go dtí an 18ú Iúil i Leitir Fraic, i gConamara Co. na Gaillimhe i mbliana.

Ba é téama an deireadh seachtaine ná poilitíocht na Gaeilge, le cainteanna ar an nGaeilge sna mBlocanna H agus ar Gluaiseacht Cearta Sibhialta na Gaeltachta, agus is ar sin a thosaigh an deireadh seachtaine or trathnóna dé hAoine.

Do labhair an chomhairleoir neamhspléach Seosamh Ó Cuaing ar ábhar Cearta Sibhialta na Gaeltachta i leith caighdeáin bóithre, stáisiuin radió agus cearta iascaireachta. Bhí an suim ag cách ann, go mór mhór an chomparáid a bhí idir an streachailt i gConnamara, agus an streachailt a bhí ar siúil sa tuasiceart ag an am. Do tháinig an trathnóna chun deireadh le feásta beag chun breithlá iar-Eagarthóir Náisiúnta, Barry McColgan a chéiliuradh.

Thosaigh an Sathairn le turas timpeall Connamara chun taithneamh a bhaint as an tírdhreac álainn, agus chun roinnt de stair na háite a fhoghlaim. Cuireadh béim ar an Phiarsach agus Máirtín Ó Cadhain i rith turas Poblachtánach de Chonamara. Beirt fhear a thuig an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge mar pháirt den ghluaiseacht do shaoirse. Ar an tslí do stop gníomhaithe ag Mainistir Kylemore, agus ag teach an Phiarseach ag Rosmuc, áir ar chaith sé a chuid samhraidh fhad is a bhí sé in a múinteoir.

Chomh maith leis sin cuireadh ranganna Gaeilge ar fáil chun barr feabhais a chuir ar Ghaeilge muintir Ógra Shinn Féin.

Bhí mar an chaint dheireanach caint le Seamas Campbell agus Eoghan MacCormaic ar ábhar an Ghaeilge sna H-Blocks. Is caint fíor shuimiúil a bhí, agus do thug sé léargas nua do cách ar tabhacht agus úsáid an teange
Bhí ceol agus craic óiche dé sathairn, le roinnt amhránaíocht den scoth le Fintan Warfield, agus go leor eile, le iarracht den scoth ag David Collins ar Peigín Leitir Mór
An maidin dár gcionn do bhain daoine usáid as an aimsir maith chun siúilóid trí páirc náisiúnta Chonnamara sular bhuail siad bóthar.

De réir eagarthóir Connachta, Mairéad Ní Fhearghail, 'Is mór an fiúntas ar bhain daoine as an deireadh seachtaine agus do léirigh na cainteanna uile tábhacht na Gaeilge. Tá súil agam gur bhain daoine an thaithneamh as, agus go bhfuil daoine ag suil le sloagahd 2011 cheana féin!'

The weekend of the 16th to 18th of July saw the annual Slogadh na nóg take place in Letterfrack in Connamara. The theme of the weekend focused around the politics of Irish, and the role that it plays within republican and nationalist politics.

The first talk on the Friday was given on the Gaeltacht Civil Rights Movement by Independent local Councillor Seosamh O’Cuaing, an active member of the movement. The movement were involved on a number of different campaigns of relevance to the wider themes at issue, including fish-ins, and campaigns on the quality of the roads and on the need for a radio station in Irish.
Many activists found the discussion to be very interesting, in particular the exploration of the parallels between that struggle and the struggle for civil rights which was underway at the time in the north. The Friday evening ended with a celebration of Tyrone activist Barry mcColgan’s birthday, we have excluded the pictures for fear of causing Barry excessive embarrassment.

The Saturday morning began with a republican tour of Connamara, with activists taking in the rich history of the area, and enjoying the breathtaking scenery. The tour focused on Padraig Pearse and Mairtín Ó Caidhin among others, these two in particular being republicans who understood the importance of the Irish language in the struggle for independence.

The tour stopped at the beautiful Benedictine monastery, Kylemore abbey, and at Pearse’s cottage in Rosmuc, where he spent his summers when he was a teacher.
On returning from the tour, activists took a quick lunch before getting right back in to the swing of things with Irish classes with local Gaeilgeoirí, and by the end of it, activists confidence in speaking (and singing) in the language had greatly improved.

The final talk was given by Seamus Campbell and Eoghan macCormaic, both of whom learned Irish in the H-Blocks. This was a particularly fascinating discussion, going through the methods and the motivation for learning the language at that point, as well as some interesting anecdotes, which gave a fascinating and unique insight in to the importance of the language.
The night drew to a close with music from Ógra’s own Fintan Warfield, and many more, with David Collins’ unique interpretation of Peigí Leitir Mór, coming in for particular praise.
The following morning activists arose at a leisurely pace, but many took the time to explore the Connamara National Park, and take in its sights and sounds, before hitting the road, after a highly enjoyable and interesting weekend.

Connaught organiser, Mairead Farrell said that 'People got great benefit from the weekend, and the talks highlighted the importance of the Irish language in our struggle. I hope people enjoyed it, and that they are already looking forward to Slogadh 2011!!’

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Big Summer BBQ - Bígí Linn!

Among the hills of 'Green' Tyrone

With the summer sun at it's height in Ireland's most beautiful, not to mention most republican county, the postboxes of Tyrone are again returning to their rightful shade of Green.

In an extension of the 'Who Fears a United Ireland?' campaign, the fresh drive to green the post boxes of County Tyrone has already added dozens to the already over 100 still green from the previous campaign.

(Pomeroy, County Tyrone)
A Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin spokesperson said,

"The green post box campaign aims to highlight the folly of partition, to awaken national consciousness, to state very clearly and visibly that we live in Ireland and to of course save An Phoist a job of work when we achieve Irish Unity."

"It is a novel and artistic way of promoting the All Ireland agenda, and the overwhelming majority of people throughout Tyrone like the fact that their post boxes are green, with many local young people taking upon themselves to bring their postboxes into line with the rest of the country."

(Coalisland, County Tyrone)

(Carrickmore, County Tyrone)

(Cappagh, County Tyrone)

(Clonoe, County Tyrone)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dublin Basque Solidarity Festival!

The Irish Basque Solidarity Committees have organised a day of events for the 18th of September. The Basque Solidarity Festival will involve a whole range of events, such as Basque food, an Exhibition, Films, some Basque Music, and more.

It will take place from 12 to 12 on the 18th September in the Pearse Centre, The Irish Institute, 27 Pearse St. Dublin

It promises to be an interesting and stimulating day of events, and should serve to highten people's awareness of the current situation in the Basque Country

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Succesful day of action on Youth Unemployment.

No sooner than the record unemployment figures had been released than Ógra activists hit the streets across Ireland.

Activists in Cork, Galway, Navan and Bray targeted Dole offices, FF constituency offices, and Fas offices highlighting the complete lack of action by the government on the Youth Unemployment sector.
Dole Queue in Cork

In Cork, activists picketed and leafleted outside the Dole office from half 8 until 10, at the offices of Green Senator Dan Boyle from 10 until 11, and from 11am at the offices of Minister Micheal Martin.

The fast developing new cumann in Bray targeted the FÁS office, highlighting that organisations complete inadequacy, as well as the obscene pay-off to Rody Molloy, granted at the same time the dole for young people was being cut

Staying in Leinster, Meath Ógra targeted the office of Minister Noel Dempsey, while activists in the West targeted the consituency office of another Fianna Fáil TD, Frank Fahy in Galway City.

Michael Martin's Constituency Office in Cork

Frank Fahy's Constituency Office in Galway

Other areas have since been active on this crucial issue and will continue to be in the weeks and months to come.

Speaking following the pickets, Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire had the following to say.

Green Senator Dan Boyle's Office in Cork

'The most recent figures released show 452,882 people are unemployed. Despite efforts in the Media to pretend that the recession is now over, 6000 people joined the ranks of the unemployed in the last month. This is the highest number ever recorded, but the government is still attempting to pretend that the crisis is exaggerated and under control.

Young people in particular are badly affected, with 1 in 4 now unemployed.
It’s clear that the government is unable and unwilling to tackle this crisis.

FÁS office in Bray, Ógra activists with Cllr John Brady

We undertook these actions to highlight the complete inaction on the part of the government and to encourage young people to get angry to get active, and to fightback. We intend to build on this to begin a sustained campaign to keep youth unemployment on the agenda. and to show the government that young people will not be ignored. Ógra can be to the forefront of the fightback''

Social Media is the way forward.

A number of months ago the importance of social media (Youtube, Twitter, Facebook plus others) was highlighted as the new and increasingly important way of getting the Republican message out to as many people as possible.

There is no question that Sinn Féin and Ógra are leading the way but much, much more can be done, every cumann should be on Facebook. While many areas are taking advantage of social media, some are still not, hopefully after viewing this video, people might change their mind.

Take a look at this video which demonstrates the mind blowing revolution that IS social media.

All in all, get on Facebook!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Big Summer BBQ Party

West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin will be hosting a summer BBQ party in Dromore, County Tyrone on Saturday 21st August.

It will take place in The Boe Inn, with food being served at 9pm sharp and music provided by The Glens Men from 'Poitín'.

The Summer BBQ party promises to be a brilliant night's craic, with a winning combination of great food and excellent music in the perfect venue.

Tickets cost £10 and due to it being a ticket only event, with capacity limited, you are advised to get your tickets early. To book yours contact Barry on 07885569940.

The cumann will also launch a new banner on the night and the republican youth wing hope to make the summer BBQ an annual event.

Encouraging people to get their tickets, West Tyrone Ógra Chairperson Kerry McColgan said,

"Dromore is a great town for fleadhs and we hope to capture some of the atmosphere of past fleadhs in the town. The BBQ promises to be a great night, with all proceeds going to the further development and growth of Ógra Shinn Féin in West Tyrone."

"The night will be a social gathering, a fundraiser but will also serve as a commemorative event for Vol. Dermot Crowley as we launch a new banner for our cumann which is named in memory of this brave young volunteer from Cork. There are many reasons to be there, so don't hesitate and get your tickets. We'll see you there. Bigi Linn!'

Ógra members wishing to travel will be put up in local houses.

A bus will also be organised from Coalisland, Pomeroy, Carrickmore, Loughmacrory and Omagh.

Launch of New Ógra Cumann at Tyrone Volunteer’s Day

The launch of the new Vol. Dwayne O'Donnell Ógra Shinn Féin cumann, was a fitting end and in many ways a highlight to this year's Tyrone Volunteer’s Day.

It was a culmination of events to remember Martin Hurson and all of Tyrone's patriot dead, including the Martin Hurson Memorial Cup, and commemoration.

Another thing which struck those enroute was the freshly painted post-boxes, back to their rightful shade of green.

The new cumann which covers the Cappagh, Galbally, Pomeroy area was launched in a packed, Boyle's Bar in Cappagh, the site of the brutal murder of Dwayne, his two comrades Vol. John Quinn and Vol. Malcolm Nugent and Thomas Armstrong. They were murdered in an act of state collusion by the UVF on 3rd March 1991.

Tyrone Hunger striker Martin Hurson's anniversary July 13th is the date when hundreds of Tyrone republicans come together in Martin's home village to remember all those young men who have given their lives in the most recent phase of the struggle.

In total 56 IRA volunteers and 3 Sinn Fein activists are on the Tyrone Brigade roll of honour.

Ógra Shinn Féin activists from throughout the republican county played key roles on the day with an Ógra Shinn Fein colour party leading the short procession, an Ógra wreath laid at the republican monument and Coalisland/Clonoe Ógra's Álanna Campbell finishing proceedings on the night by playing Amhran na bhFiann on the fiddle.

Caoimhín O'Caoláin gave a very powerful oration on the night noting the tremendous contribution down through the years by Tyrone republicans and attributing the strength of the republican struggle in Tyrone today to the sacrifice by all the men on the roll of honour.

Speaking on a great day of events, Vol. Dwayne O'Donnell Ógra spokesperson Seana Mallaghan said,

"It was great to launch our new cumann amid such a fitting commemoration to all of Tyrone's patriot dead, and particularly to host the launch close to were Dwayne was tragically murdered. Ógra played a key role in the organising of Tyrone volunteers day and we are extremely proud to assist in any way in keeping the memory alive of all the people whose life’s were cut short in pursuit of a national republic and a new Ireland."

"Vol. Dwayne O'Donnell will serve as a constant inspiration to us as we continue to work towards achieving a United Ireland. He will always be in our thoughts as we work to recruit new members, educate Tyrone's youth and campaign on all the issues affecting young people today."

If you are interested in joining Dwayne O'Donnell Ógra, contact Seana on; 07787 141657

Ógra Stand in Solidarity with Ardoyne and Springfield Road Residents

Ógra Shinn Féin activists from throughout Belfast and farther afield travelled to Ardoyne and the Springfield Road, Belfast on (Monday 12th July) to join hundreds of residents in their protest against the parades commission decision to allow the Orange Order to march through overwhelming nationalist areas against the wishes of the local people.

The republican youth wing joined in the protests organised by CARA (Crumlin Ardoyne Residents Association), and Springfield residents which according to a spokesperson, were 'dignified and peaceful at all times despite triumphalist and sectarian provocation and abuse by the Unionist marchers.'

Speaking on the protests, Ógra spokesperson, Barry McColgan said,

"We were in Ardoyne and the Springfield road to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the local residents, who have had to endure this triumphalist coat trailing exercise each and every year."

"The message was very clear from the protests; these provocative marches are not welcome by the local residents and as such should not be facilitated by the parades commission. We would condemn the PSNI’s use of plastic bullets over the past few days, these lethal weapons have injured, maimed and killed innocent people in the past, including young children. They should not be used, and we would call for a ban on plastic bullets immediately. We will continue to demonstrate our solidarity with the residents and campaign against these crazy rulings until they are a thing of the past. Re-route the flute!"

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Roof top protest at office of Noel O'Flynn TD

A group of five Ógra Shinn Féin activists today mounted a roof top protest against growing youth unemployment on the roof of the constituency office of Cork North Central TD Noel O'Flynn.

The protest lasted for approximately two hours at the constituency office on the Old Mallow road in Cork. After the Gardaí were called to the scene for the second time, the activists agreed to leave the roof on condition that Noel O'Flynn agreed to a public debate on the issue of unemployment, which he did.

Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, felt that the protest had been a success.

“We succeeded in highlighting the issue of youth unemployment, both on air and in person, and the protest also had a positive outcome with Noel O'Flynn agreeing to a public debate on the topic, which we look forward to.”

He added “People, especially young people are feeling angry at the Government’s lack of action on jobs and we are taking direct action to highlight this failure. We are calling on people to fight back against this government.

“We hope to build on the success of the recent protests, and we intend to continue our campaign over the coming time.”

Video from London Forum on Irish Unity

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Ógra blitz Connaught in Day of action on National Campaign

Connacht Ógra Shinn Féin brought the youth movement's national campaign to the attention of people across the cúige last Tuesday in a day of action which saw members travel from one county to the next, spreading the Ógra message.

The day started early for members travelling to Athlone for the first leg of the journey. There they erected a mural, which asked; ‘Who fears to speak of a United Ireland?’ The mural was placed in the prime location of the South Roscommon road which leads directly into Athlone town. This was seemingly too revolutionary for some people and so the mural had already disappeared three hours later. This, however, did not deter the diligent activists who continued on to Galway in order to continue their campaign.

Galway’s Shop Street was the next location to be graced by the group’s presence. The great weather meant it was bustling with people and it did not take long for the activists to hand out all their National Campaign leaflets. The sunshine clearly had a positive affect on Galwegians as the feedback was exceptionally good. One leaflet even managed to fall into the hands of a National Executive member of the Scottish National Party who commended Ógra for its work.

Mayo was the next scene of action where Mayo Ógra came out in full force to help their comrades from Roscommon and Galway, not to mention a dedicated Sligo activist, to cover the streets of Castlebar with posters. The posters, which displayed an Ógra Shinn Féin logo on the front and '' at the back, were erected on a number of posts around the town in an effort to raise awareness and celebrate the election of, our very own, Thérèse Ruane as deputy mayor the night before. The Ógra members found some perfect poles to hang the posters from, such as in front of the Free State army barracks and on the pole of a Garda Camera.

Sligo was the final stop for Ógra activists on an arduous, but enjoyable day. It was during the journey from Castlebar to Sligo that the lack of sleep suddenly hit all Ógra members and so it was with great effort that they carried materials from Connacht’s favourite Sinn Féin office to Sligo’s main street. The enthusiasm and solid preparation put in by the Sligo cumann soon lifted the spirits of their weary comrades and in no time everyone was all set to protest. During their protest, Sligo ÓSF chose to highlight the impact of partition on the economy, also tying in the burning issue of unemployment in what turned out to be a highly successful event. Leaflets were handed out, placards held aloft and the artistic Sligo banner was held proudly. Support from local councillor Arthur Gibbons was also greatly appreciated.

The day finally came to an end and the activists returned home to their respective counties. The day proved a complete success and all hope that the Slógadh na n-Óg in a couple of weeks time will prove to be just as much of a success story!

Reminder ; Please return booking forms for Slogadh na nÓg

Reminder - Contact Connacht Ógra Shinn Féin on:
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Go raibh maith agaibh uile.

Unionism on the Ropes

Lee Casey
Ógra Shinn Féin
An Lorgain

The recent Westminster election results make for interesting viewing. While republicanism moves onwards and upwards unionism is in the middle of a crisis of its on creation

The leadership of unionism is in crisis. Peter Robinson lost his East Belfast seat by over 1500 votes adding to his already weakened and scandal-ridden leadership position. The DUP parliamentary party appeared to support their leader by making him out to be the ‘master strategist’ and the ‘undisputed leader of unionism’. This amounts to nothing more than patting him on the back in order to find the best place for their daggers.

The UUP Tory link up ended in disaster with Reg Empey failing to win a seat in South Antrim which ended his leadership of the party. They also failed to unseat their former party member Sylvia Hermon in North Down and Mike Nesbitt literally should have stuck to the day job again failing to make an impact in Strangford. The grand wizard of the TUV, Jim Alistair, also failed to make an impact in North Antrim, despite his sectarian venom and bitterness being on full display throughout the election campaign.

More recent developments have also kept unionism on the ropes. Dawn Purvis resigned as not only a leader but also a member of the PUP putting the future existence of the PUP in doubt. Yet another unionist party in crisis. The imposing boundary changes under the review of public administration in the six counties were thwarted by the DUP minister Edwin Poots, due to the threat of a loss of control of a number of councils, including Belfast City council. The monumental publication of the Saville report, not only vindicated the victims as innocent, it also exposed to the world the brutal, imperial and murderous intent of the British Army and its actions on Irish soil. Unionist pride in the british army looks all the more baseless and the response from unionism was silent, save for Gregory Campbell, with his revisionist twist on events and his bitterness exposed for all to see in subsequent media interviews.

All this has led to much talk about unionist unity, mostly from the elephant in the room, the orange order, which just like the elephant, is grey and reducing in number. The Orange order and Unionism in general like the idea of unionist unity. They say this is on the basis of good governance for the six counties, but this is a smokescreen for keeping Martin McGuiness from becoming the first minister, an idea many unionists dislike, despite the fact that republicans had to bear Trimble, Paisley and Robinson in this position.

The tide is turning on unionism. It’s not the end but the beginning of the end of unionist domination and supremacy, the future is about equality and sharing power. We must not get complacent either and think it’s done and dusted, far from it. There is still a lot of work to be done to convince every one, including unionists, of the merits of the socialist republic we are working to create.