Thursday, December 30, 2010
Sinn Féin and Ógra Shinn Féin activists spent the day delivering water with the aid of a water tanker, particularly focussing on elderly residents and those who didn't have transport to access water at a local pick up point.
Speaking on the important community action, Pomeroy Ógra activist Marie Claire Devlin said,
"At these times of need, when many are without life’s essentials, including heat and water, we must play our part in providing for the elderly, and vulnerable in our community."
"The measure of any strong community is helping each other out at times like this, and the actions of the Sinn Féin and Ógra activists in Pomeroy today has helped build that community spirit and provided many with essential water which they otherwise would have been without."
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
That is a question that was asked and answered during the recent cold snap in Strathroy, as community activists put their shovels to work on clearing the snow and gritting the entrance and footpaths around the pensioner houses in the area.
Members of Sinn Féin and Ógra Shinn Féin supported by Strathroy Community Association worked voluntarily to clear the area around the pensioner houses and gritted the local shop to ensure that the senior citizens could venture out of their houses and access local services.
Speaking on the community action, Sinn Fein Councillor Martin McColgan said,
"The American social activist Dorothy Height said, 'Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient.' And that was the very spirit that inspired our actions in Strathroy during the extremely bad weather."
"We have a strong community spirit in Strathroy and that was demonstrated and fostered by the voluntary actions in helping our elderly neighbours. We should call with, and do all that we can to ensure that those most in need, especially the elderly in our communities are ok during extreme weather. These small gestures of human kindness can make a huge difference to many who may otherwise be lonely, feeling isolated and in need of even basic assistance. Through these acts, we grow as a person and a community."
Thursday, December 23, 2010
The event will have a charge of £40/€45 covering food, accomodation, entry to functions, and the talks, and will be hosted in the Gasyard.
Encouraging maximum attendance, National Organiser, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire stated - 'The congress is the key youth event in the party's calendar all young republicans should attend what promises to be an interesting and worthwhile weekend. The last number of congresses have been a steady development and I am confident that this congress will be likewise.'
'We have put in place an excellent clar which provides for good political discussion, interesting talks, stimulating debate, a chance to learn about the struggle, and of course the space for some ceol and craic, and the unique opportunity to meet young republicans from all ends of the country.'
'This is an exciting time to be a young republican - the whole political system is in tumult, and all the existing preconceptions have gone out the window. This is the time for young people to seize the initiative, and show leadership, and show the space for a new style of politics.'
'Added to that the party is currently re-evaluating the party's approach to youth in general and is taking a far more thorough and strategic approach, which will be led by the young people present at this congress. The congress presents an opportunity to discuss the way forward and forge new friendships. Bígí ann!'
Motions and nominations for the National Executive are to be in for Wednesday the 19th January
DEADLINE for payment and registration - Sunday 16th January - book now to avoid dissapointment.
To book send an application form (available from firstname.lastname@example.org) to 136 Barrack St Cork or to 4-5 James St. Omagh
For further info email Donnchadh at email@example.com
Clár (subject to change)
5.30 to 6.30pm - Food
6.30pm - Code of Conduct/Ground Rules, followed by Opening address
7.00pm - Presentation on Sinn Féin National Youth Strategy 2011-13
8.30pm – Function
9.00 am - Fáilte, re-reading of ground rules etc.
9.15 -11am - Motions part 1
11 -12.30 - The road from Bloody Sunday to Ballymurphy – Search for the truth
1-2.20pm - Motions 2
2.30pm - The Crisis, Cutbacks and Communities under attack – The case for a new politics in Ireland (cross party discussion on the current crisis, responses to it, and a vision for the future. Likely to include SDLP, LP, Alliance, Unionist and SF speakers)
4pm - International guests, if present, and reports and addresses by organisers
5pm - Presidential Address le Gerry Adams MP, Uachtarán Shinn Féin
6pm – Food
8.30/9 - Entertainment/function
10am – Rise
2pm/3pm - Bloody Sunday march
In situations like this is when we see the true value of community. Throught the country there were heartwarming stories of good community spirit and the spirit of an 'meitheal', as people did their utmost to help their elderly neighbours and assisted one another with heating and water issues. It is also in situations like these that community leaders show their worth. Republicans were not found lacking as Ógra and Sinn Féin activists throughout the country did their bit in making sure the vulnerable in their community were safe, and helping the community getting about their day to day business.
In Belfast, activists joined council workers and members of the community in gritting and clearing the paths and roadways and in attempting to get Belfast back moving. From MLAs and Cllrs to ordinary activists, and from the young and the old, a great response in all parts of the city ensured that SF stepped up to the plate in assisting the community.
Likewise in Derry, republicans were on the streets to assist with the efforts to help the vulnerable.
Pictured here, Derry Ógra activist Padraig Nash along with Northlands Sinn Féin Cllr Eric Mc Ginley, helping elderly residents in Hazlebank
Meanwhile in Tyrone, Ógra and Sinn Féin activists gritted the entrances to elderly residents houses in Strathroy and other parts of the town.
These are but a portion of the many actions that activists have undertaken to help the community and to show leadership, and throughout the 32 counties activists have not been found wanting. Make sure you do what you can to assist the vulnerable during this cold weather. If people are short water, try and help them get some, and check up on neighbours who are living alone. As republicans it is our duty to ensure that all portions of our community are looked after, and its the responsibility of all activists to show leadership in their own communities.
So maith sibh to all who have been involved in such initiatives (send on any pictures if you want them to be put on the blog) and keep up the good work comrades.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Ógra Shinn Féin
We live in interesting times in Ireland today. We have a Dáil Government which seems intent on going against every moral fibre in society. They have cut in health, education and in social welfare and have robbed from every Irish household. Not only have they done this but they are looking to secure a bailout that will indebt the Irish people for many more years to come. When one person sees this you’d ask yourself ‘surely they’ve a good cause for doing so?’. Then they find out it’s for banks, banks which are effectively privately owned businesses that have made a series of bad investments through their own greed.
The most vulnerable in society are now taking the brunt of this economic incompetence and if the bailout is secured, will for many years to come. We’ve seen tens of thousands take to the streets in opposition to this measure but where’s the opposition in Dáil? Fianna Fáil up until recently did not consider bringing this to a Dáil vote. The opposition clearly were not seen to be credible enough as an opposition for the Government to consider bringing this before Leinster House.
Sinn Féin forced the Government’s hand here by the threat of legal action. We now see this vote was forced to be heard in Leinster House.
One of the most important economic decisions on this Island was going to be taken by a small number of people. If Sinn Féin were not in Leinster House, would Labour or Fine Gael have brought similar legal action? Their activity or lack thereof recently speaks volumes and they bring shame to the term ‘opposition’. To further insult Sinn Féin’s unique position and actions, Fianna Fáil being Fianna Fáil tried to pass this decision off as a party motion!
Sinn Féin despite all untrue and unfair myths by the opposition parties are now more so than in recent years being seen as the only credible alternative to banking bailouts, cronyism, fraud and attack on vulnerable. People now see their anger being portrayed to a tee by Pearse Doherty TD and others.
People know the rest of the so-called opposition for what they are and what little they can or will do when they need to be done. So know it is up to us as members to bring the message further, bring it to the people who feel they have no alternative to cronyism, who feel as though all parties are as bad as each other and, in some respects, can you blame them?
Show them a better, fairer alternative and show them how their vote can be one of the greatest weapons against this cronyism and corruption by replacing someone who doesn’t work for you, with someone who does - that’s where Sinn Féin have proven our worth, by the hard work that we, and our senior party comrades have done so far and will continue to do.
The bailout must opposed by all members of society, the bailout will undoubtedly be economically and socially disastrous for Ireland. While Ireland has seen political oppression and is the final stages of 800 years of this oppression, we are now entering into an enhanced viciousness of the capitalist greed to deny the people of further of their self-determination financially. While Fianna Fáil are all too happy to satisfy to banks at the price of our fiscal sovereignty, the sovereignty inherited by Irishmen and women, the right of self determination, that dwells on our right to define the governing of this Island. While Sinn Féin uniquely strives and campaigns for a United Ireland, the South is now very much at the centre of this battle. Sinn Féin needs to be at the forefront of that fight and promote the will of the people.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The protest, which had several hundred in attendace, comes after the decision was made to scrap the 30 pound allowance from students of low income families throughout
"The recent decision by the Tory government to scrap the education maintenance allowance in
EMA is not just a ‘token thirty pound’ a week, or a small incentive to stay in full time education; it is for a lot of young people, and indeed their family’s, the deciding factor in whether they can afford to continue education, or be forced to go straight into the workplace.
Over the past few weeks, Sinn Fein have made it very clear that EMA needs to be retained to ensure that those who wish to pursue their education are able to do so.
Thankfully, the ultimate decision lies with the assembly and not within destructive, cut-crazy Tory hands.
Danny Kennedy, the minister of employment and learning, has not yet committed to retaining EMA, and by doing so has only amplified the level of unease and uncertainty among students.
This is simply not good enough!
Ogra are calling on Mr Kennedy, and indeed all MLA's to stand by the young people of the north, and ensure that they have the option of choosing there own destiny, unhindered by money or any other restricting element
Ogra will continue to campaign on this important issue, voicing the concern of all young people until there is a guarantee that EMA will not be cut, no mater what!"
Monday, December 13, 2010
Members of the republican youth movement met tonight (Monday 13th December) to discuss the potential impact of the cuts to young people interested in pursuing further education, and to draw up a campaign plan to exert pressure on Minister for Employment and Learning, Danny Kennedy, to not implement the cuts.
The EMA is an allowance granted to 16-19 year olds, from a low income family who are pursuing higher education.
Ógra Shinn Féin who have a long running campaign in support of educational rights, have said that cutting the EMA ‘will disproportionally and negatively affect working class students from pursuing higher education.’
Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin spokesperson, Laura Gildernew said,
“The Tory cuts against Education amount to an attack on working class people’s right to higher education. The proposed hike in University fees and now the withdrawal of the EMA if allowed to proceed by Danny Kennedy will effectively sound the death knell to our economy, by destroying the future of our biggest asset, our young people; it will also create a two tier education system where only those that can afford it can go.”
“Withdrawing the EMA will disproportionally and negatively affect working class students from pursuing higher education. We are committed to campaigning to ensure that the EMA continues and that young people, particularly those most in need are supported and facilitated all the way in pursuing higher education. We believe in universal education which is free at every level, our investment in our young people is an investment in our collective futures.”
The 37th Anniversary Commemoration for Jim was led by the Strabane Memorial Republican Flute Band, Jim’s family, and many republicans from throughout Tyrone and Donegal including many Ógra Shinn Féin activists.
The presence of so many young republicans was particularly apt, as Jim was only 20 years of age, when he was killed on active service on the 15th December 1973, close to the bridge.
Following wreaths being laid on behalf of the family and Sinn Féin, former political prisoner and Brixton Escapee Pearse McCauley give the main oration, noting Jim’s early politicising in being involved with the young Socialists, the Civil Rights Movement and his commitment and dedication as a young IRA Volunteer. Pearse spoke of Jim’s ultimate sacrifice, inspiring many many young people from Strabane, and how it was great to see his family as steadfast and committed so many years on, paying particular tribute to Jim’s mother, who has attended the annual commemoration every year without fail.
Following Pearse’s oration, the short march back to Clougfhfinn was concluded with the Strabane Memorial RFB playing Amhran na bhFiann.
Strabane Ógra Shinn Féin spokesperson Sean Gillespie said,
“Jim McGinn was a very brave young volunteer who knew well the importance of developing republican politics, from an early age he immersed himself in the young Socialists and the Civil Rights Movement, before making the conscious decision to join the IRA, in which he played a leading role until his untimely death.”
“Jim is of constant inspiration to young republican activists today. We are honoured and feel privileged to be continuing on his legacy in achieving the ultimate freedom of our country and creating a society that lives up to the aspirations of our patriot dead. Nothing short will be suffice; a United Ireland as outlined in the Proclamation will be the only true monument to our gallant fallen comrades like Jim.”
Sunday, December 12, 2010
The debate began with Alex explaining how Britain has operated the classic colonial divide and rule strategy in Ireland using partition. He then went on to speak of the social and economic effects of partition and how they have been disastrous for working people, North and South.
Alex stated ‘Partition has led to discrimination in employment, waste of millions on maintaining the border, the external dependency of the two states, industrial under-development, unemployment, emigration and poverty. It has further led to conservative administrations in both states, low status of women, clerical control and stagnation in education and health provision.’
Next up to speak was the deputy leader of the UUP John McCallister. John obviously had an extremely different view from Alex. He spoke of how he would like to see the North of Ireland remain closely linked with Britain. He spoke of his loyalty to the crown and how he was proud to say that he is a British citizen.
John agreed that he would like to see an all Ireland health service and wanted a fair and just system for all sections of society; however he was adamant that he did not want to lose the North’s place within the ‘UK’. John stated, “Partition is here to stay whether you like it or not”, which caused much controversy from the audience.
The floor was then opened for a question and answer session which seen the two politicians attempt to get their views across as best they could as to why they feel partition should be abolished or should stay in place.
Alex Maskey stated that he wanted to see a brand new Ireland that was free from division and that promoted equality for all. When the UUP’s John was asked whether he would support a United Ireland if there was a majority consensus for it, he amusingly replied,
“Yes, I suppose I would have to if it was fair and equal to all.... but I probably wouldn’t like it very much!”
Overall the event went extremely well and had a great turn out. Chair of Queens SF Cumann Megan Fearon stated,
“We are so pleased with how the event went. It is great to see so many young people here tonight that have such a great interest in the political situation in Ireland, both North and South. I want to take this opportunity to thank both Alex and John for speaking tonight and making the event so fascinating, as the audience got to hear both sides of the argument. Partition frustrates national democracy and national reconciliation”.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Galway Ógra activist, Conor Stitt, gives an excellent speech at the Galway March against cuts on 4-12-2010
The event will involve showing the critically acclaimed, and deeply affecting film, 'Hunger'. This will be followed by a talk by former hunger striker Paddy Quinn, which will give young people a chance to learn more about the period and the experiences of the men who were involved in the prison struggle, but will show how the sacrifices made in that period have brought us to where we are today.
The event will take place at Tí Chulainn in Mullach Bán at 12am on Saturday the 11th of December.
All activists welcome
Please contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
“The left is back, and it's the only path we have to get out of the spot to which the right has sunken us, ... Socialism builds and capitalism destroys.”
Wise words from Venezualan President Hugo Chavez, and particularly apt.
Sinn Féin are flying high in the 26 County polls. The latest Red C figures published today (Fri 3rd Dec) has us at 16%.
Not only is that a jump of 5% for Sinn Féin since the last poll conducted in November, but we also have as much as the Dublin government parties combined, with Fianna Fáil relegated to 4th place on 13%, and the Greens on 3%.
This comes less a week following the spectacular election success for us in Donegal, with Pearse Doherty TD securing almost 40% of the vote, and in the process destroying the traditional Fianna Fáil stranglehold in the South West Constituency.
Our message was clear and simple in the by election. We are for investment and jobs, not cuts and immigration. We are for unity and prosperity, not division and deprivation.
Pearse's election and the publication of the poll today is proof that a growing number of Irish people are looking left.
They are looking for an alternative to the crooks who orchestrated the disastrous dismantling of the Irish economy and the shameless and criminal handout and usurpation of our sovereignty to the EU/IMF.
In a grounded, clear and coherent way, Sinn Féin are providing that alternative, in the EU, Leinster House, Assembly, Councils, and in the streets and countryside where it really matters.
Gerry Adams made a powerful call at the 2009 Ard Fheis for a left progressive alliance of change, appealing to the working class people of Ireland, to Trade Union’s, and Community groups to come together and present an alternative to the staid old tweedle dee/tweedle dum politics of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.
The appeal was also made to the Greens and Labour, to think again of their ill thought coalitions with parties of the right.
Coalitions and alliances that are so full of contradictions that they could only lead to the demise of the junior partners.
The Greens have told their own story in that regard, anihailated at the last local elections and facing further humiliation at the next general election.
While the Greens will be lucky to have a seat in the 31st Dail, progressive and left activists within Labour should be lobbying within the party to sever their pact with the devil, and to join a progressive alliance of change, with Sinn Fein, TradeUnionists and Community activists.
This would undoubtadly give new found confidence and hope to the overwhelming majority of people across
There has never been a better time to create a left progressive coalition in the 26 Counties, a coalition government placing people and equality at the very core of all their decisions.
At this defining moment in our history, when the corrupt and criminal parties of the right have brought us to the brink of state bankruptcy in order to protect their banker friends, we have a duty to build an alternative.
Their little lies and selfish interests have never been more exposed, and their credibility has never been so low.
James Connolly, a man who adorns quite a few Labour posters once wrote;
"Governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class."
Fianna Fail and the Greens made no bones about that.
But the grassroots of Labour surely cannot be content with propping up the blue shirts, to repeat the same crimes and inequality wrought by the previous government. The very crimes against humanity that Connolly struggled his entire life against.
"Which side are you on?"
Encouraging people to sign the petition, to gather signatures and pass it on, Pádraig Quinn said;
"The upcoming 26 County budget will be severe and cruel, with the Dublin government punishing those most in need, yet giving bail outs galore for their banker mates."
"The Fianna Failures and the Green's corrupt little coalition have no mandate for this criminal act, or the illegal sale of our sovereignty to the shady IMF/ECB. Add your voice to the petition demanding the suspension of this disgraceful budget and let's heap the pressure on these gombeens to ensure a general election, allowing the Irish people to decide their own destiny."
It was at the recent Edentubber commemoration that party president Gerry Adams announced his intention to stand in Co. Louth.
Many Ógra activists were present at the event which may very well be remembered as a significant turning point in Irish politics.
Speaking on the event, Cúige Uladh organiser Pádraig Quinn had this to say:
“This move unquestionably shows great direction and intent by the party, and comes at a time where real positive change and leadership is needed.
The southern electorate have been lied to time and time again by the Fianna Fáil/Green government, and as such they do not represent the Irish people.
Sinn Fein are a clear alternative to this failed government and with this continued momentum we have the possibility to make change that will ultimately benefit the island as a whole”.
During his announcement, Gerry also paid tribute to outgoing TD Arthur Morgan, stating:
I first met Arthur in Long Kesh in 1970s. He has been a committed republican for many years and has given impeccable service to Sinn Féin and to the people of County Louth, first as a Councillor and then as a TD
“Arthur played a key role in developing and delivering Sinn Fein’s peace strategy.
In recent years he has led Sinn Féin’s economic team in devising and implementing the party’s economic policy platform. He has been a vigorous opponent of the consensus for cuts argument being promoted by the government coalition and Fine Gael and Labour.
On behalf of Sinn Féin I want to express my deepest thanks to Arthur and his wife Marion”