Monday, December 12, 2011

Uniting Ireland Survey


Sinn Féin Republican Youth is asking the opinion of the youth of Ireland in relation to the Uniting Ireland Project. We believe that it is integral that young people be given a voice in regards to the campaign for a united Ireland. If you would like to have your say then please follow the link to our survey

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A new drama to look at the history of the Labour Party...

Help prevent suicide in the community

Ógra Shinn Féin is hosting a training programme 'Preventing Suicides in the Community.' It will take place in Omagh Sinn Féin Office from 10am - 4pm on Saturday 14th January and will be delivered by PIPS.

This is a one day training course and is aimed at ordinary members of the community. Participants will learn how to identify signs that someone is at risk and may be considering suicide, how to engage safely and effectively with someone who you believe may be at risk of suicide. It will enhance knowledge of the wide range of support that exists for people at risk of suicide, highlight the importance of supporting someone in making a link to a source of help and demonstrate the importance of maintaining their own positive mental health.


If you would like to book a place on the course contact Barry on 07885569940.

Ógra Shinn Féin chairperson Kerry McColgan said,

"Ireland has one of the worst incidences of suicide. It is the biggest killer of young people and over the last ten years, reported suicides have risen by more than 25%.

There is no community, no family, and no section of society that has not been touched or affected by suicide which makes suicide prevention is everyone's business. We invite you to come along to the course which will equip you with the skill and know how, to spot the signs of someone contemplating taking their own life, and then being able to intervene and prevent it.

The more people involving themselves in these courses then the more lives can be saved, opening up these suicide prevention lifesaving skills to people in their own community. This literally could make all the difference in saving someone's life."

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Help stop suicide this Christmas


Ruairí McLaughlin

Ógra Shinn Féin, Doire


A Chairde,


Many of us will be settling down to our Christmas dinner with our families later this month and for many of us December can prove to be the happiest month of the year. However, this month traditionally sees a rise in suicide rates here in Ireland, particularly among young men. Just last week a young man from my own town took his life, several more people did the same in West Belfast, so many others have taken that drastic step this year.


The statistics from the National Office of Suicide Prevention says that in 2010 there were 486 deaths by suicide, 386 of these people were men, a massive percentage being young men. Although this is down from the record high of 527 in 2009, the stats are there for all to see, we have a massive issue in this country and it needs addressed immediately on an All-Ireland basis.


We must all lobby our MPs, TDs, MLAs, councillors & everyone in a position to effect positive change to adopt this as one of their key policies. Sinn Féin & Ógra Shinn Féin have long advocated this, it is up to the other parties in the Dáil & in Stormont to start pushing for this now. However, we as activists can not wait for the Government to act, we can begin to affect our own positive change. Simple things like offering a kind word, not being afraid to stand out from the crowd and stick up for a victim of bullying, even a smile can brighten up someones day. All these things can have a positive effect on a person who may be feeling there is nothing left for them to live for, it might not cure depression, but it might keep them going long enough to realise there is a way forward.


I ask my friends and comrades to join with me in 2012 to reduce the rate of suicides in Ireland and beyond. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and for what its worth I am always available to speak to anyone who is feeling down and may want to have a chat. You could say that for someone who is contemplating suicide, life can only get better, so give life a chance.


Lets all work together to make suicide history.


Monday, December 05, 2011

Derry Ógra Shinn Féin hold 2nd annual Function and Presentation Night

Derry Ógra Shinn Féin will be hosting their annual function and presentation night in Seán Dolans GAC in Derry on Friday the 16th December.


The night will begin with support music provided by Ógra member Luke McLaughlin; this will be followed by a presentation made on behalf of Ógra Shinn Féin Doire.

The keynote address will be giving by Sinn Féin councillor and former Sinn Féin Youth member Elisha McCallion.

The Main act on the night will be Glasgow rebel band “Glasnevin”

Tickets for the event are priced at £3; anyone wishing to attend is advised to purchase tickets early. Limited ‘pay at the door’ is available. To book tickets contact Ógra Shinn Féin Doire on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DerryOSF

Derry Ógra Shinn Féin, chairperson, Eamon McGinley said,

“This is our second annual function and I hope we can continue the success of last year’s event. It has been a busy 12 months for Ógra activists, facing three elections with one in the 6 counties, 26 counties and Martin McGuinness’ presidential campaign and countless campaigns around EMA, Student Fees, A President for All and our work with Derry Friends of Palestine and the events surrounding the MV Saoirse/Freedom Flotilla to Gaza.”

“I would encourage young Republicans from the city and further afield to attend this function and support the Na Fianna Martyrs & Pádraig Barton cumann, it promises to be a night of fantastic music and brilliant craic, with Glasnevin being one of the finest bands on the rebel scene. I hope to see you there. Bigi Linn!”

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sinn Féin Republican Youth support Maynooth Student's

Sinn Fein Republican Youth would like to voice it’s support for the actions of Maynooth Student’s Union and extend solidarity to the Union members who are currently peacefully occupying Fine Gael TD Anthony Lawlor’s office in Naas, County Kildare in protest of further education cuts likely to be announced in next week’s budget.




Ógra spokesperson and recent Maynooth graduate Cathal Óg Donnelly had this to say.
“It’s important to realise that many Student’s Unions shy away from even the idea of direct action of this nature, instead remaining silent on the bigger pictures prevalent in Irish society.


Maynooth students union have clearly showed leadership and courage on this issue. I hope that other Students Unions around the 26 counties follow suit and prove to the students they represent that they are fighting to save the grant and to prevent further education cuts rather than simply relying on lollypops to garner student votes in the future.




For too long the reputation of mainstream student politics has been trailed through the mud, now is the time for Irish students to play an active role in resisting the failed austerity measures of Labour and Fine Gael. While the USI seem intent on carrying out token, ineffectual actions even to the point of criticizing students attempts at direct action, it’s great to see an individual SU leading from the front on this issue. It’s about time a Student’s Union acted like a Student’s Union!”

Prisoners' Month

Prisoners' Month
Dave Barry,
Ógra Shinn Féin, Chorcaí

A chairde,

As many of you are aware the month of December has always traditionally been Prisoners' month, and this December in the year 2011 is no different from the other years gone by. As many of you are probably aware, we still have one prisoner aligned to our movement on the E2 Landing in Portlaoise Gaol. Tom Hanlon from Cork is currently serving a three year and three month sentence for IRA membership on trumped up evidence and on the word of a detective chief superintendent.

Tom is a former Sinn Féin Councillor for Passage West in Cork and also stood in the 2002 General Election. He is the only POW aligned to us in Portlaoise Gaol, so it is upto us to support him on the outside.

Write a letter of support or send christmas cards to Tom and let him know he is not forgotten by ÓSF during the festive season! It only takes a few minutes to write a letter or card and it will be greatly appreciated and will boost morale for Tom knowing that you have taken the time to think about him.



This is the address to send letters or cards to,


TOM HANLON,

REPUBLICAN POW,

E2 LANDING,

PORTLAOISE GAOL,

PORTLAOISE,

CO.LAOIS.


An Cumann Cabhrach - The Republican Prisoner's dependants fund, will be holding a christmas fundraiser for Tom and his family on Saturday 17th of December in St.Vincent's GAA club in Cork city. Music will be provided on the night by Cork's No.1 Rebel band 'Clann Eireann' and the spectacular balladeer Roger Good. Tickets will cost 10 euro and are available from the Cork Sinn Féin Síopa, 136 Barrack St. Cork city. I would urge anyone who cannot attend the fundraiser to purchase a ticket regardless, or else make a donation to An Cumann Cabhrach if possible. It is all for a good cause.

If anybody has any questions or queries they can contact myself on 00353 85 817 12 37 or alternatively email me at daveb_5289@hotmail.com

Monday, November 14, 2011

'Government taking shirts off our backs!' Sinn Féin NUIG

On November 4th, Cumann D’Arcy/Mellows NUIG held a ‘Shirt off my back’ protest at Fine Gael’s Galway West constituency office to highlight the issues effecting students due to the austerity measures taken by the Fine Gael/Labour coalition, this included their refusal to reverse the hike in the registration fee and grant cuts in the last budget implemented by Fianna Fáil and the lack of opportunity for Ireland’s youth in which we face the prospect of the dole or emigration and little else.


In doing so, members of Ógra Shinn Féin went to the office in which we presented Brian Walsh TD’s parliamentary assistant with the shirt off our backs to signify what the current government is doing and what they will proceed to do in the upcoming budget. In doing so, we were handed with an article stating that Brian Walsh TD (FG) and Derek Nolan TD (Lab) are against the reintroduction of third level fees. When ÓSF members asked them about these statements both reiterated this, said they’d try to influence their respective parties to not bring in third level fees yet said they were lowly backbenchers, cannot influence much and will vote for the upcoming budget regardless of what it will do to students.

Also, Derek Nolan TD admitted the Labour party had broken promises made pre-election pledging to reverse the registration fee hike and grant cuts made in the last budget.

We believe they, as public representatives, need to put their constituents before their party and protect those that at the brunt of their vicious austerity measures and not mindlessly vote for what their parties put forward but vote for what is right for society. We also believe that the Government TDs should be held accountable for promises they made pre-election, and to directly promise something the refuse to deliver is an insult to democracy and the Irish people.

Ógra Shinn Féin PRO Sean MacDonnacha said “If the Government feels the need to further deny students access to education and promote the economic brain drain that was left by the previous Government, they will in effect break the back of Irish society by leaving us without an educated workforce through copper-fastening the lack of opportunity which will see Irish youth emigrate and/or not be able to further their education to be qualified for many jobs”

“Sinn Féin believes education is a right and not a privilege and before the budget, Sinn Féin will submit a pre-budget submission is which we will outline our proposals and we hope that the Government take our proposals on board that will show there is a fairer and more equal way of doing things.”



Outgoing chairperson of the cumann, Conor Stitt is calling on Ógra Shinn Féin activists and Irish youth to join them in the USI march in Dublin on the 16th of November

Monday, November 07, 2011

Republican Youth Weekend Clár

Coalisland Clonoe Republican Youth Weekend Clár

£25/ 30 euro  Limited places remain!!

Venue: Clonoe Community Centre    Must Bring Sleeping Bags!!

Friday
5-6  Welcome
6.30 Dinner
7.30 Political Update
9.00 Rebel Night

Saturday
9.00 Breakfast
10.00 DVD intro to tour "We didnt sit in silence"
11.00 Republican tour of Coalisland/ Clonoe finishing in Republican Museum
1.00   Lunch
2.00   Talk From Ballymurphy Families
4.00   DVD and update from Freinds of Palestine
6.00   Dinner
7.00   Talk On 1981 Hungerstrike
9.00   Rebel Night

Sunday
10.00 Breakfast
11.30 Poc Fada, Prizes to top three
12.00 Mural Unveiling

Those traveling by bus can be collected from Dungannon bus station.





Sunday, November 06, 2011

Derry Ógra protest Israeli piracy

Members of Ógra Shinn Féin, Sinn Féin and Derry Friends of Palestine took to the streets of Derry on Friday, November 4th to attend an Emergency demo held in the Guildhall square in support of the MV Saoirse freedom flotilla travelling to Gaza, on which Irish and other activists were onboard.



The MV Saoirse, had on board two Sinn Féin activists from Belfast, John Mallon and Phil McCullough the emergency demo was called as Israeli forces were approaching the Irish and Canadian ship, the Tahrir. Banners and posters were present from both Derry Friends of Palestine and Ógra Sinn Féin Doire. The crowd was addressed, by speeches from chairperson of Derry Friends of Palestine Sinead MacLochlainn. Also Charlie McMenamin and Sinn Féin councillor Gerry MacLochlainn, who both were onboard the MV Saoirse on the Freedom Flotilla 2 when it was sabotaged in June of this year.


Ógra Shinn Féin spokesperson, Criona O’Hara-vice chair said: “The emergency demo organised by Derry Friends of Palestine came in light of Israeli forces approaching the MV Saoirse, the Irish ship to Gaza. Young Republicans from this city came out and showed their support for people of the people onboard the Irish and Canadian ships, leaflets were handed out to passersby. Those onboard the ships were taken into the custody of Israeli authorities for entering Israel illegally, although they never entered Israeli waters, but were in fact arrested on international waters. We demand that they are released without charge. “

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Large Attendance at Hunger Strike Parade

The rebel city of Cork turned out in large numbers on Sunday to remember and pay tribute to Irelands Hunger strikers. This included Cork native Terence McSwiney who died whilst imprisoned in and English gaol in 1920. The parade was timed to coincide with the 30th Anniversary of the 10 H-Block martyrs who died in 1981.
Amongst those in attendance was a delegation from Ogra Shinn Fein in Tyrone. Demonstrating the strong link between Cork and Tyrone was a banner from West Tyrone Ogra bearing the name of Cork native Dermot Crowley, who the cumann was named after, alongside deceased Tyrone Ogra activist Paula Murphy.

The march formed up at Connolly Hall and proceeded to the United Irishmen monument at grand parade.The MacCurtain/McSwiney and Carrick on Suir Republican Flute Bands provided the music. A large number of Republican banners were also evident. As the parade made its way through the bustling streets of Cork it attracted huge interest from passers by.

At the United Irishmen monument local Sinn Fein Councillor Mick Nugent chaired proceedings. This began with the reading of the Hunger Strike Roll of Honour as well as a rendition of the Rhythm of Time by Bobby Sands.

Malachy McCreesh, brother of Armagh Hunger Striker Raymond then took to the podium. He spoke passionately about the lead up to and on the 1981 Hunger Strike. His vivid and raw recollections of the time drew a large crowd of passers by to stop and listen to the proceedings.
Seanna Walsh, who was the main speaker spoke of the unfinished work for Irish Republicans in 2011 to ensure the vision of the 1981 Hungerstrikers becomes a reality.

To conclude proceedings former blanketman and 1983 escapee Tony Kelly alongside Tony McNally, both from the Spirit of Freedom band gave a powerful rendition of 'The Peoples Own MP'.

Speaking following the commemoration Stevie McGahan, from the Dermot Crowley/Paula Murphy Ogra Cumann in West Tyrone said:

'We were proud to be in the Rebel City today for this commemoration. The strong bond between Cork and Tyrone was particularly evident today. Our own local Ogra cumann is named after Cork native IRA Volunteer Dermot Crowley who died far from his own home in 1973 in Omagh. We are proud to march with Dermot on our banner when we travel to various events throughout Ireland.

'Todays commemoration remembered Irelands Hunger Strikers and I was particularly honoured to listen to Malachy McCreesh and Seanna Walsh who spoke of their own personal memories of the time and the task that we face into. That is ensuring the Republic for which the Hunger strikers gave their lives is achieved in our time. Certainly Young Republicans in Ogra Shinn Fein are determined to play our part in this mammoth task.

'It is furthermore clear that we have support throughout the island in our endeavours whether that be Tyrone, Cork, Antrim, Galway or Kilkenny. And it is with such support that we can achieve the 32 County Socialist Republic for which our Hunger Strikers died for.

Monday, October 31, 2011

National Youth Strategy

A chairde,

please note the National Youth Strategy, as endorsed by the Congress in January, by the Ard Chomhairle, and as officially launched at the recent Ard Fheis. Please take the time to read it, it provides a useful explanation of the blueprint for future activity.

Foreword

Sinn Féin’s National Youth Strategy is the product of an extensive period of reflection, discussion, consultation and debate within the party.
It marks a step-change in our approach to youth engagement and development and puts youth very firmly at the heart of the Republican struggle.



It is intended to provide a clear framework for youth activism, to facilitate the growth and popularisation of republican politics amongst young people in Ireland today.
This will mean relating the republican vision of a united Ireland that provides equality of opportunity and equality of welfare to the everyday lives of young people, and communicating it to them in a language they can understand.

It will mean providing solutions, and providing hope, whether that’s to the young person leaving school without basic literacy and numeracy skills or to those completing third level education; to those faced with unemployment or to those looking to start a business.

The National Youth Strategy provides the template for a structured and focussed approach. It envisages a youth structure which is organised, well informed and active in its community.
One that is professional and flexible, creative and dynamic, resolute and determined. Above all, it provides young republicans with the opportunity to shape the next phase of struggle.

Darren O’Rourke
Cathaoirleach
National Youth Committee



A Chara,
In every generation people have been called upon to advance the cause of Irish freedom. Today is no different. In the hard times that Ireland is currentl experiencing young people with a sense of purpose need to step forward.

This means standing with communities in the fight against cuts, bringing forward radical alternatives, building support for Irish re-unification and mobilising other young people into political action.

That is what Ireland needs today.
As young republican activists you have a big responsibility on your shoulders. This is your time.
Republicanism today, and our vision of the future, reflects our historical experience and our political objectives for this time.
We draw inspiration from the heroes of this phase of struggle and from our friends and comrades internationally.

Sinn Féin has demonstrated time and time again a preparedness to go on the political offensive, to take initiatives and go toe-to-toe with our political opponents in the battle of ideas, as well as in the hard job of delivering radical change.
It is never enough to sloganise.

We are not rhetorical revolutionaries. We are serious about turning the vision of 1798 and 1916 into a reality. I believe this generation of Irish republicans will do just that. You can deliver Irish re-unification in our time.
Is mise,
Gerry Adams TD

A Chara,
I ngach glúin dá dtáinig, glaodh ar dhaoine chun cás saoirse na hÉireann a bhrú ar aghaidh.

Tá sé mar an gcéanna inniu. San am crua seo atá againn in Éirinn faoi láthair is gá go dtiocfaidh daoine óga fadcheannacha chun tosaigh. Ciallaíonn seo seasamh le pobail sa troid in éadan ciorruithe, roghanna radacach a thabhairt chun tosaigh, tacaíocht a spreagadh do ath-aontú nahÉireann agus daoine óga eile a ghríosadh chun gníomhaíocht pholaitiúil. Sin an rud atá de dhíth ar Éirinn inniu.

Sibhse uilig atá i bhur ngníomhaithe poblachtacha óga, tá freagracht throm ar bhur nguaillí. Seo é bhur ré. I bpoblachtachas inniu agus san fhís atá againn don todhchaí, tá scáil ár staire le cois ár n-aidhmeanna polaitiúla le feiceáil. Faigheann muid ionspiorad óna laochra sa chéim seo den streachailt agus ón ár gcomrádaithe idirnáisiúnta.

Tá sé léirithe ag Sinn Féin arís agus arís eile go bhfuil muid ullamh chun polaitíocht ionsaitheach, go bhfuil muid tionscantach agus go bhfuil muid réidh le dhul buile ar bhuile lenar n-iomaitheoirí polaitiúla sa chath chun theacht ar idéanna agus san obair chrua chun athrú radacach a bhaint amach.
Ní leor briathar gan beart. Ní reabhlóidithe reitriciúla muid.
Tá rún daingean againn fís 1798 agus 1916 a fhíorú.
Creidimse go mbainfidh an ghlúin seo de phoblachtaigh Éireannacha fíorú na físe sin amach.
Is féidir libh athaontú na hÉireann a bhaint amach lenar linn

Is mise,
Gearóid MAc Ádhaimh TD

1.

1) Introduction

Young people have always played an indispensible part in the Republican struggle.

Every generation of Irish men and women have played their role in shaping the Ireland they live in from the United Irishmen to Na Fianna Éireann and from the hunger strikers to our young political activists of today.

The present time presents us with new challenges and new opportunities. The absence of conflict, and the evolving nature of political struggle has led to a feeling that there is a less of an urgent need for revolutionary political activism among the public.

On the other hand, it is many generations since Irish Republicanism enjoyed as much popular support as it does now. This creates new opportunities for us and opens new doors for us.

To take full advantage of these opportunities, to develop our project in to the future and to combat apathy towards political activism, one ingredient is key; Youth.

If we are to build and sustain SF as we enter a new decade of struggle we need to develop a coherent, holistic and inclusive youth strategy that captures the revolutionary zeal of Irish youth, harnessing their passion and vibrancy to progressive republican activity, and enhancing our political project in the process.



We want young people to be able to look back on this period in years to come, and to be able to identify their part in the key political developments of this generation, and to be able to recall that a vibrant republican youth movement was central to creating the political spectaculars which defined the era.

This strategy is the culmination of a number of month’s intensive discussion debate and planning. It is a strategy developed by young people for young people.

This is intended to be the beginning of a new era in youth engagement among republicans, and to make Sinn Féin the key party as far as young people are concerned. But this document alone will not do that. For this document to have any effect, it will require that all republicans, and particularly young republicans, take on the youth project as a key priority for the party nationally and locally, to take ownership of this strategy, and to bring this project to young people in every corner of this island.



2) Process

The National Youth Committee (NYC) was established in 2010 under the national chairpersons department. The purpose of the NYC as detailed in its terms of reference:

‘To review and assess all existing republican youth development structures and initiatives, including Ógra and college cumainn; and identify how these can be changed, and or, improved upon.’

The National Youth Committee, took it upon themselves to fulfil the objectives set out in the terms of reference. Following discussion and consultation with a broad range of activists of all ages a series of reports were presented to a national youth conference on the future of Republican Youth in Ballybough Community Centre.

The conference commissioned a subgroup to develop on the debates and engagement up to that point, and to develop it into a cohesive, far sighted strategy, which would bring Sinn Féins engagement with young people to a new stage.

This document represents the fruit of that process, and comes with the endorsement of the Ard Chomhairle and of Ógra, and with a clear commitment from the leadership fo the party to provide whatever support they can to ensure that this vision outlined in this document in this strategy becomes a reality.



3) Strategic Framework

At the outset of this process, a vision, and a set of objectives were agreed upon to provide a strategic framework for the work of the National Youth Committee and to provide definition to the development of a youth strategy and to guide how Sinn Féin engages and works with young people.

Vision

‘’To mainstream and popularise republican ideals among all young Irish citizens.

To position Sinn Féin as a radical, progressive and relevant political alternative for Irish young people. To maximise the relevance of Sinn Féin by listening to, engaging and building alliances with young people.

To promote a progressive vision for the future which cherishes and guarantees the hopes, rights and aspirations of our young people. ‘’

Objectives

* To popularise republicanism and the Party’s national strategic objectives.

* To encourage, engage and mobilise ever increasing numbers of young Irish citizens in support of national and democratic objectives.

* To develop political strategies and campaign programmes which reflect the needs and realities facing young people today.

* To put in place appropriate and cohesive organisational modes which are integrated with the wider national Party structures.

* To bring renewed innovation, imagination and energy to the Sinn Féin project.

* To promote the credibility of youth affairs within Sinn Féin and the overall republican struggle.

* To empower young people in a changing Ireland.

These objectives will bring definition to a single youth strategy which guides SF’s communication, engagement with and outreach towards youth in modern Ireland.

This framework represents a new strategic development in the party’s national work programme.



4) Structure

The development of a National Youth Strategy involved a number of discussions related to how youth activity was structured, and it related to the work of the party at large. In acknowledging the significant amount of work that had been carried out by various youth structures over many years, it was agreed that there was a need for a re-evaluation of how to structure youth development within the party, to ensure that party development was a central part of the work of the party, and to ensure the most effective possible delivery of the strategy.

Central to this was the idea that youth development work had to be led by, and driven by, young people, and needed to have the full support of the party, as well as good communication with the party.

On that basis, it was agreed that the National Youth Committee had to be the key body within the party as regards youth development and engagement. It has to act as a strategic reference point for activists, and it will have responsibility for setting the strategic and political objectives of the youth development project, and co-ordinating all youth activity

Naturally the makeup of the National Youth Committee allows for young people to choose their own leadership, as well as attempting to be representative of the party as a whole.

A third of the National Youth Committee will be elected by activists at an annual conference, and a third will be appointed on behalf of the party leadership by the party chair, under whose department the committee falls. An additional third will be selected by the two thirds already in place. The chair of the National Youth Committee will be an activist with a keen insight into youth affairs both within the party and in general, and will be appointed by the party chair.

It is naturally essential that the voice of young people within the party is heard at the highest levels within the party, and therefore the National Youth Committee will have representation on the Ard Chomhairle.

However, while the NYC is tasked with setting the political and strategic objectives for the youth project, there is clearly a need for particular bodies to deliver the functional, mechanical aspects of the strategy, and to bring it in to effect.

The strategy recognises the very different nature of organising among young people within, on the one hand, colleges and third level institutions, and on the other, within the community at large. This was based on a general consensus among youth activists expressed throughout the process.

Therefore it was agreed to develop different work plans for both the colleges and for the general community. These are entitled the ‘Coláistí’ programme, and the ‘Ógra’ programme.

With a view to the effective delivery of the workplans, and of the strategy generally, it was agreed that there should be a co-ordinating group for each of these workplans. Crucially, however, it was felt essential to guard against the development of two entirely separate youth wings, and that the entire youth project had to be tightly bound together, whilst taking consideration of the different nature of the struggle in the colleges and in the community. It was agreed therefore that the work of these two workplans would come converge under the central project identity and objectives of Sinn Féin-Republican Youth.

Core to this intention is the desire to push the project forward with significant, exciting flagship projects, to which all youth activists should contribute.

5) Ógra

Ógra Shinn Féin has played a central role within the republican project since it was established. That only fourteen years after its foundation, we have seen many leadership figures emerge from its ranks, such as Pearse Doherty, Daithi McKay and Toiréasa Ferris, is testament to its contribution.

The need for effective leadership and engagement with young people in working class and rural communities is more crucial than ever. This work, which will be undertaken hand in hand with local party structures and the ODU, will be the central focus of the Ógra workplan.

There is a co-ordinating group established to deliver this workplan. The co-ordinating group will have as its focus the roll out of the strategic vision and framework of the NYC. It comprises organisers selected on a regional basis to cover all of Ireland, who will each have responsibility for working closely with local areas in the furtherance of the youth strategy. It ought to be the body which can establish best practice for local areas to engage with, to organise, and to campaign with young people. The best practice and the criteria for it must however be constantly reviewed, re-evaluated, and renewed.

It will assist local areas in formulating and implementing youth strategies, which follow the patterns of best practice which have been agreed at the level of co-ordinating group. It further ought to keep the success of those local strategies under review.

It will the key support structure for those with key responsibilities for youth in local areas, and should provide those activists with training and education in order to equip them to take on crucial roles in the implementation of local youth strategies, as well as providing them with advice support and resources where possible and suitable.

Its work will be heavily co-ordinated with the work of local areas and of the ODU, in developing youth strategies on a local basis, that are integral to the workplans of the party in that area, and working to the same objectives, while nonetheless providing a clear focus on the urgency of encouraging young people in to the party.



6) SF Coláistí

The colleges create a unique set of circumstances for political activism. It is the largest concentration of young people available for any serious length of time. Where young people travel to attend university, they often don’t return home very often and summer aside will struggle to tie in with their own local SF structure. On the other hand, they are well placed to get very involved in the campus and the locality of their college.

Sinn Féin is active within most of Ireland’s main universities. Over recent years SF has learned a great deal from our dealings with colleges, and over time, are building up knowledge of the best practice models for organising in colleges, however there is still much work to be done.

There is also a co-ordinating group which has been established with a view to ensuring the delivery of the colleges workplan. This co-ordinating group shall have the responsibility to co-ordinating the work of the various colleges, and to encourage the implementation of best practice nationally, to set up and maintain College Cumainn in co-operation with local members, directing the fresher’s project, developing capacity within colleges and professionalising our project in the colleges.

The colleges in Uladh shall be the responsibility of the Colleges Chomhairle Ceantair which has developed in recent years, and a similar model will be applied in Dublin which has a high concentration of colleges. In other areas the co-ordinating group shall work closely with the directorates, and the ODU to ensure that college cumainn are operating in line with the workplans, and are active.

A College forum meeting twice a year will be convened to bring together a wider group of college activists before the fresher’s events and later in the academic year to collaborate on developing joint college events with national participation.




7) Flagship projects

The idea of a flagship project is to bring something new and different to the workings of the NYC. It’s essential purpose is to challenge young people’s thinking as regards the struggle and politics generally, be they young people within the party or young people generally.

These projects are intended to be the catalyst for the step change within SF by creating a focal point for all young people, across both work plans, and thereby maximising comradeship, cohesion and relationship building among and between young activists whilst projecting an attractive image to other young people outside organised republican activity.

A number of these flagship, signature type projects have been identified, and work has begun in some of these areas, however, the development of these flagship projects are central to the development of this strategy, and will be an on-going project

These are intended to include events such as the below, and many more besides.

* Large scale mobilisations of young people to Ard Fheiseanna

* Mass protests and mobilisations

* An annual youth congress event

* Training and capacity building events

* International events and delegations

* A regular series of weekend residentials.

* Outdoor/ large scale concerts

* The development of a social scene to cater for young republicans in large urban centres.

Flagship projects will be complementary to all the work plans and projects. They will require the full support of the aprty at large, and should not be left to the young people of the party alone; these are to be taken on as significant projects for the party.

They should foster a collective political identity among young republicans within the framework of Sinn Féin Republican Youth and seek to excite the imagination of other youth not yet involved in our struggle.

8) Setting priorities and delivering the workplans

Given the crucial nature of this work it is important that we set realisable, realistic and tangible targets. It is incumbent upon us to be ambitious.

The key priority of this strategy should be to ensure that Sinn Féin would become the most attractive party for young people to join.

Secondly we must aim for all young people involved in the party to identify with the youth project and to work to implement it.

Externally we must seek to create a wider pool of republican minded young people who will identify with Sinn Féin as their voice, and see it as interested in youth.

Finally , it is imperative that all areas will have in place, and are promoting effective local youth engagement strategies, and that there are youth engagements strategies in place for all third level institutions. This work then needs to be overseen by the delivery bodies of the National Youth Committee, the co-ordinating groups.

The proposed strategy needs to convert increased youth activism and youth work into increased membership of Sinn Féin among young people - and by so doing increase interaction between young people and Sinn Féin.

It is essential that we produce a generation of activists who are articulate considered and revolutionary young leaders, capable of promoting our message among young people with the benefit of comprehensive political education and training, as well as proper mentoring and support.



As noted above, both the Coláistí co-ordinating group and the Ógra co-ordinating group have developed detailed workplans intended to give effect to the strategic framework and strategy set out by the National Youth Committee, and delivering the youth project to more and more people.

This involves many different projects and initiatives which will vary in scale and in nature, but will all contribute to the development of the youth strategy, and contribute to its integration in to the party’s work generally.

These work plans will include, among other initiatives, projects such as

* The beginning of the development of a comprehensive youth focused policy platform, headed up by 26 county spokesperson on Youth Affairs, and member of the National Youth Committee, Senator Kathryn Reilly. This will be a policy platform developed by young people and for young people, and will provide us with an excellent tool in engaging with young people all over the country.

* Beginning of set of regular monthly evening events in major urban centres, with a political talk discussion debate followed by a well-advertised and prepared musical/social event.

* creative campaigning essential, stunts, and use of new Media.

* Comprehensive engagement with local areas, to promote the youth strategy, and to begin the process of local areas developing their own youth strategies.

* Initial steps towards the planning of a concert/festival type event.

* A National Youth Conference

* The development of a joined-up and sophisticated approach to new media. This will be an essential area for youth activists in the time to come, and could prove an invaluable tool in advancing our struggle.

* A greater emphasis on youth at the Ard Fheis, using it to promote SF as a youthful party, with a youthful membership. This is to be achieved by large mobilisations, entertainment events, talks and fringe events, and the creation of a social focal point for young people within the Ard Fheis.

* International Delegation/projects with the purpose of forging strong links of comradeship both with fellow Sinn Féin activists, and with International activists, and to educate activists as to the international nature of struggle.

* Events to support the ongoing work of the United Ireland taskforce, including college focused surveys and public talks, campaigning for all Ireland voting rights, and developing the discussion on Irish Unity among young people through a series of engagements and conferences.

* Events to mark International Womens day and the role of women in our struggle.



Conclusion

The Irish Republican vision as set out in the 1916 Proclamation and the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil is as relevant today as it ever was.
The role of this generation of young republicans must be to translate that vision into the 21st century context, to see it realised, and in doing so to complete the work that so many sacrificed so much for.
To do this we will need to be active and energetic, and plan our way forward in a strategic and measured way.
The National Youth Strategy has the potential to deliver this. It provides a framework to build youth structures right across the island, to increase our capacity, and through flagship projects, to redefine youth politics in Ireland.
Through the work of young activists in their local communities or institutes of education, right across Ireland, we can place the ideals of the Irish Republic at the heart of youth politics.

There will undoubtedly be challenges ahead, but the opportunity we have to make progess is unprecedented. Sinn Féin has made political, organisational and electoral gains North and South.
The commitment, enthusiasm and drive of young peopleto build on those gains will be key to our ultimate success.

Activity is the currency.
This National Youth Strategy provides the template.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ógra welcomes ETA annoucement

Ógra Shinn Féin has welcomed the announcement from ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna) that it is to end its armed activity.




In its statement, ETA declared its intention of embracing the resolution reached by delegates at the recent conference in San Sebastian, which Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams attended. Ógra Shinn Féin's International Officer, Daithi Byrne said;

"This is a truly historical declaration and a brave move by ETA. The Spanish and French governments should take this opportunity to engage with ETA and the Basque people. This statement is very clear. There is a desire for a peaceful and democratic solution to the long-running conflict. Both the French and Spanish governments need to embrace this monumental step and set about a process of dialogue and peacemaking. We hope that the Basque people will have a right to vote for candidates from any political party they decide, free from Spanish interference and repression. We are closely watching the developments in the Basque country and we wish our Comrades there the very best."

Full text of ETA declaration;

With this declaration, Euskadi ta Askatasuna, the Basque socialist revolutionary organisation for national liberation, wishes to give news of its decision:

Eta considers that the international conference that has recently taken place in the Basque country is an initiative of enormous significance.

The agreed resolution includes all the elements for an integral solution of the conflict, and it has attained the support of a wide spectrum of the Basque society and the international community.

A new political time is emerging in the Basque country. We have an historical opportunity to find a just and democratic solution for the centuries old political conflict. Dialogue and agreement should outline the new cycle, over violence and repression. The recognition of the Basque country and the respect for the will of the people should prevail over imposition.

This has not been an easy road. The cruelty of the fight has taken away the lives of many comrades. Many others are still suffering in prison and in exile. Our recognition and deepest tribute goes out to them.

From here on the road will not be easy either. Facing the imposition that still exists, every step, every achievement, will be the result of the effort and fight of Basque citizens.

During these years the Basque country has accumulated the necessary experience and strength to address this path and it also has the determination for doing it. It is time to look at the future with hope. It is also time to act with responsibility and courage.

Therefore, Eta has decided the definitive cessation of its armed activity. Eta calls upon the Spanish and French governments to open a process of direct dialogue with the aim of addressing the resolution of the consequences of the conflict and, thus, to overcome the armed confrontation.



Through this historical declaration, Eta shows its clear, solid and definitive commitment.

Lastly, Eta calls upon the Basque society to commit to this process until freedom and peace are achieved.
Long live the free Euskal Herria! Long live Basque socialism! No rest until independence and socialism!
Basque country, 20 October 2011
Euskadi ta Askatasuna
Eta

Monday, October 03, 2011

Coalisland Clonoe Republican Youth Weekend


I dtreo Poblacht Nua; Chomhdháil ar Aontú Éireann i nGaillimh ; Conference on Irish Unity in Galway

This Friday will see a Major Conference on Irish Unity in Galway, at 7.30 pm in the Galway Bay Hotel.

Following on from successful conferences in Dublin, Cork, Monaghan, as well as the US and England, this promises to be a further opportunity to develop the conversation on Irish Unity and to popularise our message of Irish Unity, not as a mere addition of 6 counties to the 26 but as the creation of a New Republic.

Speakers on the night will include Uachtarán Shinn Féin, Gerry Adams TD
Stein Bredal, and expert on Norwegian Oil Industry, who will be speaking on the issue of Natural Resources
Prof. Terrence mcDonough, Dept of Economics NUIG
Dr Lionel Pilkington NUIG

This promises to be an interesting and significant occassion, and will also serve to bolster the campaign for All Ireland voting rights which is being promoted by Sinn Féin, Ógra, and presidential Candidate Martin McGuinness.

We are looking for a youthful presence, so please, make an effort to attend.

TOWARDS A NEW REPUBLICGALWAY BAY HOTEL
Friday, October 7, 2011,
7.30 – 9.30 pm 7.30

Chair : Toireasa Ferris 7.35
Opening Remarks : Senator Trevor ó Clochartaigh 7.40

Gerry Adams, T.D. – Uniting Ireland 7.50

Professor Terence McDonough – Economic Sovereignty 8.00

Mairéad Mac Con Iomaire – 8.10

Dr. Áine Macken Walsh – Land & Fisheries-Our Natural Resources 8.20

Discussion, Questions & Answers 8.30 Stein Bredal –
What can we learn from the Norwegian experience 8.40

Lionel Pilkington – Critical Protestanism 8.50

Peter Canavan – Sport & Culture 9.00

Discussion & Qs & As 9.20

Seán Tyrrell – Singer 9.40 Amhrán na bhFiann

I dTreo Poblacht Nua Óstán Galway Bay
Aoine, 7 Deireadh Fómhair, 2011,
7.30 – 9.30i.n.
7.30 Cathaoirleach: Toireasa Ferris
7.35 Fáilte agus Ráiteas Tosaigh: An Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh

7.40 Gerry Adams, TD – Téama: ‘Ag Aontú Éireann’

7.50 An tOllamh Terrence McDonough – ‘Ardcheannas Eacnamaíoch’

8.00 Mairéad Mac Con Iomaire

8.10 An Dr. Áine Macken – ‘Acmhainní Nádúrtha Talúnagus Iascaigh’ 8.20 Plé, Ceisteanna agus Freagraí

8.30 Stein Bredal – ‘Céard is féidir foghlaim ó eispéireas na hIorua?’

8.40 Lionel Pilkington – ‘An Protastúnachas Criticiúil’

8.50 Peter Canavan – ‘Spóirt agus Cultúr’

9.00 Plé, Ceisteanna agus Freagraí 9.20 Seán Tyrrell – Amhránaí

9.40 Amhrán na bhFiann

Clabhsúr

Thursday, September 29, 2011

National Launch of Campaign to Elect Martin McGuinness

The campaign to elect Martin mcGuinness as President will begin in earnest this weekend with the official launch of the campaign. There will be a rally in Dublin at 7pm this Saturday, in the Pillar Room of the Rotunda, in Parnell Square.


A large youth presence is essential, to promote mcGuinness as a candidate with the support of the youth of Ireland, and its important that there is a presence there from all parts of the country. Bí ann and pass on the message.

Beidh an feachtas chun Martin McGuinness a thoghadh ag tosnú go dáiríre an deireadh seachtain seo le seoladh oifigiúil an feachtas. Beidh rally ann dé Satharn ag a 7in ins an seomra Pillar sa Rotunda i cearnóg Pearnall.

Tá séan-thabhachtach go mbeidh go leor daoine óga ann chun a léiriú go bhfuil daoine óga ag tacaíocht le Martin, agus tá sé tabhachtach go mbeadh daoine ann ó gach cuid den tír. Bí ann agus scaip an teachtaireacht.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bilbao Kukutza Demolished

Barra Mac An Fhaili
Dermot Crowley/Paula Murphy Ógra Cumann


Anyone who was on the Ógra mobilisations to the Basque country in the past number of years will be familiar with the Kukutza or Gaztetxea in Bilbao . The Kukutza was demolished last week in a move which was undertaken against the wishes of the local population and in favor of local property developer. The huge military operation needed to undertake the demolition was just a small measure of how unpopular the move was amongst the majority of the local population.


A number of people had been arrested in the Kukutza last Wednesday as a forced eviction was undertaken by heavily armed members of the Basque regional police. Plastic Batons rounds were also fired on this occasion, injuring several people. In the days following the demolition over 30 people were arrested and many more injured in demonstrations.


The cultural and social centre was equipped with a public bar, climbing wall, clothes shop, Gym, computer suite, conference facilities as well as accommodation facilities and cooking and restaurant facility. The building was used by the local community for various classes and activities. The Kukutza was also a hive of activity no matter what time of the day it was.


Ógra members will be familiar with the building because it served as a vocal point for a number of delegations. It also provided accommodation for two Ógra delegations for two years; in 2007 and 2008. In this time over 40 members of Ógra passed through and stayed in the building. We were astounded at the diversity of activities going on in the building and the amount of development being undertaken in the building. Throughout our stay we were afforded the greatest hospitality and were made very welcome throughout.


The network of Youth Houses or Gaztetxea in the Basque country was an impressive aspect of the Basque struggle. It provided many young people with a facility they could call their own. It was an outlet to channel their energies and time and provided an unrivalled service to the local communities. The Kukutza in Bilbao was recognised as one of the most successful in the network of Youth Houses.

I stayed in the facility on a number of visits to the Basque country. The last time was during Easter 2009. After completing the grueling mendi martxa -or mountain march- I stayed on the building for two nights along with other international representatives from Sweden and Norway . Like me they were amazed at the ever continuing development of the Kukutza.



It was with sadness that I learned from a great friend from the Basque country some two months ago that the building was ear marked for closure and demolition. The groups based in the building were served with eviction notices. Just last Thursday over 5,000 people came onto the streets of Bilbao in protest at the demolition. Over the weekend as protests continued many protestors were arrested and injured as the Basque police opened fire on protestors.

I think I can speak for the Ógra representatives who visited the building when I say that we were saddened at the news of its demolition. It was truly a unique building.

No matter what is put in its place it will go no way to replacing what the Kukutza meant to local people. It will also be no substitute for the good work that was undertaken in the building for a wide cross section of the local population. Once again big business and wealthy property developers, supported by the ruling elite have trampled upon the ordinary working class people.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A President for All; Contact the Candidates!!!

As the Presidential Election race begins to pick up the momentum, the work of Sinn Féin and Ógra Shinn Féin has put the issue of voting rights for those in the North on the political landscape, and it is being discussed, on National newspapers, on websites and on local radios stations.

You can help the campaign, and it will only take a few minutes.

Now is the time to escalate the campaign and to push this campaign further. We need to put the election candidates, and elected representatives under pressure. Please write to the various candidates highlighting why the need for this to happen. Particularly write if you are a northern citizen, and indicate that you would like to vote, yet are denied the opportunity.

The election candidates email addresses are;
michaeld@michaeldhiggins.ie
mary@marydavis.ie
together@seangallagher.com
gay.mitchell@europarl.europa.eu

The below is a sample letter

Dear .......

The subject of Irish citizens voting rights is on the agenda and some candidates have proclaimed their support for the idea for full voting rights for recent emigrants.
I believe many of those who have emigrated have left due to the economic factors on the island of Ireland and should definitely have a say in their native country’s future and who controls their fiscal policy in order to make Ireland a place in which they can have the opportunities they did not have on their emigration should they wish to return.
I feel compelled to ask, as an Irish citizen who was born in Belfast, what about the voting rights of Irish citizens in the North? The fact that the title of the office, the ‘President of Ireland’ does not allow for all citizens of this island to have their say on who that president should be is undemocratic and a complete contradiction.
The current situation on voting rights means that the president in office at this moment, Mary McAleese could not vote for herself were she living in her hometown.
Since the partition of this island, the government in Dublin is seen by many in the North as an institution that is and was supposed to protect Irish citizens in the times of political turmoil. In reality, there was little to no protection or intervention politically, diplomatically or otherwise in the grand scheme of things. In the aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement and the increasingly good community relations, now is the time more than ever for the political institutions to reach out to northern citizens, who expect, and are entitled to expect legal protection, and yet they have no representation. It is essential in the interests of peace and reconciliation to make this happen.
This is not a controversial idea, and it received broad support from the Oireachtas Good Friday Implementation ctte, and has received support from spokespersons from most major parties, including Fine Gael, the SDLP, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil.
As long as the franchise of the Irish state extends only as far as Dundalk, the office holder cannot be properly called ' A President of Ireland'

I would love to hear your views on this…

Kind regards........

Contact your local TD and ask him or her to raise it

The address of TDs can be found here;

http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/Members_emails/document2.doc

The list of TDs and Senators by Constituency is below.

http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=1&HouseNum=24&disp=mem
http://www.oireachtas.ie/members-hist/default.asp?housetype=0&HouseNum=31&disp=mem

(Senators and TDs email address follow the pattern firstname.lastname@oireachtas.ie)

The below is a sample letter/email to a TD

Dear....
I am writing to ask you to use your position to raise the issue of the
lack of presidential voting rights for Irish citizens in the north. There are hundrers of thousands of Irish Citizens, who are entitled to expect legal protection from the state, yet they have no ability to vote for the President of Ireland. If we can truly call the office the president of Ireland, then surely Irish people living just a few kilometres up the road should have the right to vote for their president.

Mary McAleese grew up in Belfast, if she had remained there she would
have never even got the chance to vote in the election of her
president never mind become one herself. In mnay countries like the
USA where the presidential role is much more powerful anyone with a US
passport can vote no matter where in the world they are but my Irish
neighbour, my cousins, my friends who live just a short trip away on
this very island have no right at all. Please give your support to
this call and raise this issue in the Dáil and elsewhere.

Kind Regards.....

Write in to your newspapers and radios, either as an Ógra activists or as an ordinary citizen and voter. We will be asking all areas to be active on this campaign over the coming time and asking them to conduct actions. This is a small action that any activist can take to highlight this issue and to lobby your Elected reps and the candidates.

Send us back any interesting responses you get, ograsf@hotmail.com

Monday, September 12, 2011

Youth Strategy launched at Ard Fheis

Ógra Shinn Fein activists, college activists and an array of young republicans from across Ireland recently gathered at this year’s historic Ard Fheis in Belfast to see the official launch of the new national youth policy. The document, which was presented by Senator Kathryn Reilly, Martin McGuinness MLA, mayor of Belfast Niall Ó Donnghaile and former hungerstriker Leo Green, aims at increasing the capacity of Ógra and college cumainn throughout Ireland, and improving the appeal of Sinn Féin among young people generally.




The event, which was chaired by Kathryn Reilly, kicked off with a few words from Martin McGuiness on the importance of young people to our struggle, and ended with a very emotive and inspiring speech from Leo Green on the hunger strike.



Later on that night the activists attended a reception hosted by Belfast city mayor, Niall Ó Donnghaile in the emerald road house, with special guest, republican and Irish language enthusiast heavy weight boxer Martin Rogan.


Speaking on the event and the importance of the time ahead, Cuige Uladh co-ordinator Cllr Pádraig Quinn said;

"The event held last Friday was the culmination of over 12 months of hard work carried out by Ógra Shinn Féin and the newly formed national youth committee. Over 100 young people were in attendance at different periods of the day, many of which left re-energized and focused for the time ahead.

It is an extremely important document, refocusing the party’s dealings with youth and placing it firmly at the fore.

'I think it is important that we begin to see a new generation of young people emerge from the ranks of Ógra and take up leadership positions. Whether it be in local council, the assembly, the Dáil , local cumainn or CC, young people need to begin to take on serious positions, all the while learning from more experienced activists and applying new skills, a fresh set of eyes and new energy to our ever-changing struggle for freedom.'

This Ard Fheis very clearly had a youthful, vibrant feeling. There were large amounts of young people present throughout the course of the weekend with many young republicans contributing greatly to the debate and discusion.

Young activists such as Mayor Cllr Niall Ó Donnghaile and Senator Kathryn Reilly played key roles chairing events and addrising the crowds, while many ogra activists where elected to sinn féins national executive.  
 
 

In the coming weeks the Ógra Shinn Féin national executive will be working upon implementing a work plan. This will be the basis of our activism and campaigns for the months ahead and will see a new beginning for the republican youth movement by initiating a intensified engagement with local party structures throughout the country".

The National Youth Strategy will be posted on the blog in the coming days.

Sinn Féin Hold Successful LGBT Fringe Event


Among the many interesting and motivating fringe events held at this years historic Ard Fheis, was the launch of a new beginning for the party and its dealings with the issue of LGBT rights. The event, a panel discussion consisting of Catriona Ruane and Eoin O’Brien, saw a wide spectrum of interested party activists and community groups come together to discuss the current Sinn Féin policy on LGBT rights which was drafted in the mid 1990s.


The panel discussion was organized by the newly formed LGBT Sinn Féin committee and signaled the launch of consultation in view of developing a innovative, dynamic and comprehensive Sinn Féin LGBT policy.  The optimism and drive of those in attendance was clear to be seen with many congratulating Sinn Féin on its new commitment.

Speaking on the event and the issue of LGBT rights committee member and Ógra Cuige Uladh organiser Cllr Pádraig Quinn said:

“The discussion was a very informative and up beat event, with both the speakers and community groups participating in active discussion around the current policy and what lies ahead.

This is an issue that Sinn Féin feels very passionate about. One of our core fundamental principles, as republicans is that of equality.We believe that the LGBT community is wrongly being discriminated against in many aspects of life and that the current legislation does not go far enough to protect their rights. It is important now that as the leading voice in republicanism, Sinn Féin takes a pro-active approach in LGBT matters.

The new committee which will very soon see its AGM is committed to establishing a program of work which will not only see way to a new policy document, but challenge the current legislation and those who deem it worthy.

I think it is now important that activists from across the 32 county’s and in all aspects of our party’s structure consider joining this committee and assisting in the development of this document”.

For more information on the committee and its AGM please contact Pádraig Quinn on
padraig-quinn@hotmail.com

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ógra Shinn Féin Doire hold President for All protest

Members of Sinn Féin and Ógra Shinn Féin organised a protest in Derry City Centre today regarding the lack of Presidential voting rights for Irish citizens living in the 6 counties. In order to maximise impact the ÓSF campaigns team in Derry made a banner, posters and around 300 booklets detailing the campaign to extend voting rights.


Ógra Shinn Féin Doire Campaigns officer Ruairí McLaughlin said "We are Irish, we are Republican and we demand the right to have say in the election of our President. A President for all? How so, if as Irish citizens in the north we are denied the right to elect this head of state? It is a ridiculous state of affairs when the friends and family of current President Mary McAleese who grew up with her and still live in Belfast weren't even allowed to vote in her elections? We need to hear from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the SDLP and all other parties who proclaim nationalist and republican ideals, where do they stand on this issue? The extension of voting rights to citizens in the north is a natural outworking of the Good Friday Agreement and an essential step in the reunification of our country".

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ógra Shinn Féin Proudly Support Derry Pride 2011

Ógra Shinn Féin were out on the streets of Derry on Saturday (27th August) supporting the second annual Foyle Pride parade. They were joined by Sinn Féin activists including Junior Minister Martina Anderson MLA, and Cllr Paul Fleming.

The thousands who marched in support of LGBT rights made their way from the Waterside Station to Guildhall Square, and were greeted along the way by cheers and rapturous applause from an enthusiastic crowd of shoppers and supporters.



Ógra Shinn Féin spokesperson Joe Dunn said,

“Young republicans were proud to come out in support of LGBT rights today and the message went out loud and clear from the pride parade that Derry will stand up for equality and diversity. Equality is a cornerstone of Irish republicanism, and we will always lead the fight and stand shoulder to shoulder with all who work to achieve and uphold this basic human right.”








Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Connacht Ógra members attend Galway Pride.

Members of Ógra from all over Connacht attended the Galway Pride Parade on Saturday along with hundreds of others marching to celebrate not only the strides made over the years by the LGBT community but promote the unity of the LGBT community in their fight for equality.


Rousing speeches were made that celebrated the recent news of New York’s recent legalisation of Gay Marriage and the achievements the LGBT community has made over the past year in Galway and worldwide but remembrance and tribute were also paid to those in Ireland who were exiled from their homes as the southern government criminalised homosexual activity.



Conor Stitt, chair of the NUIG cumann said “Sinn Féin are a party that is fully focused on building an Ireland of equals. Sinn Féin, unlike many other parties do not confess to deny citizens their equal rights because a person’s sexuality. We believe that equality is a pillar of democracy and is laid before is the 1916 Proclamation and the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil.

We chose to attend this march so we could show our solidarity to those fighting for LGBT rights but also, show that Sinn Féin is there to fight their corner in the Oireachtas, Stormont or in Local or County council. We were the only political party to attend. While the pride for many was for to be ‘gay and proud’, many Ógra members were proud to march alongside so many committed social activists on LGBT issues”
We also wish to give best wishes to all including our Sinn Féin comrades that will be marching the Foyle Pride parade on Saturday in Derry.