Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Finalised Clár for Congress

The below is the finalised clár for the Ógra Shinn Féin National Congress which is happening this weekend (28th-30th January) in the Gasyard Centre in Derry. There are still some spaces for late bookings, email or ring (00353)868819653 to enquire. The three postered (below) events are open to the public, and all republican youth activists are encouraged to attend what will be a great weekends events.

The Gasyard, Derry.
Friday 28th

4.30-5.30 Registration
5.30 to 6.30pm - Food
6.30pm - Code of Conduct/Ground Rules, followed by Opening address le Martina Anderson MLA
7.00pm - Presentation on Sinn Féin National Youth Strategy 2011-13 with Chair of National Youth Committee, Darren O'Rourke
8.00pm Motions 1
8.30pm – close for night, function at 9pm.

Saturday 29th
9.00 am - Fáilte, re-reading of ground rules etc.
9.15 -11.30am - Motions 2
11.30 -1pm - Public talk 1 – The road from Bloody Sunday to Ballymurphy – Search for the truth (Ballymurphy families, Bloody Sunday Families, RFJ)
1.00 lunch
2pm Address le Martin McGuinness MP MLA

2.30pm - Public talk 2 – The crisis, cutbacks and communities under attack – The case for a new politics in Ireland (Pol O Callaghan MLA SDLP, Mitchell McLaughlin MLA, Roy Garland, Irish News, Michael Gallagher, ILEX regeneration, Naomi Long MP, and Eamonn McCann, people before profit
4.40 – Motions pt3, International guests, and organisers reports
6pm – Dinner
7pm - EMA day of action
8.30/9 - Entertainment/function Culturlann

Sunday 30th
10am – Rise
11am – Hunger Strike themed tour of Derry, with address by Raymond McCartney MLA
2pm/3pm - Bloody Sunday march

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Ógra Shinn Féin O'Neills Range

New Ógra O'Neills Range

Full payment and order must be in by Monday 28th February.

All garments come in children's sizes 5/6 - 13/14 and Adult sizes S - XXL

Rain Jacket - £40/45E

Hoodie - £40/45E

Poloshirt - £35/40E

Tracksuit top - £40/45E

Tracksuit bottoms - £35/40E

Super Savings

Buy Tracksuit (Top and Bottom) together - £65/75E (Save £10/10E)

Buy Full Tracksuit (Top and Bottom) and Polo - £90/100E (Save £20/25E)

Special rates for Cumanns who buy in bulk.

To place order contact Barry on 07885569940 or

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Shankill Road residents vote for Sinn Fein. Sure why wouldn't they?

Barry McColgan
Ógra Shinn Féin
West Tyrone

The recent comments from the UPRG (Ulster Political Research Group) that people from unionist areas, even from the 'hard-line' Shankill are beginning to vote for Sinn Féin, has shocked and surprised many.

The report carried in the Belfast Newsletter that covered interviews with leading UPRG figures, Colin Halliday and Jackie McDonald had a sensationalist, almost exclusive air about it, as if it was an earth shattering revelation.

Former UDA prisoner Colin Halliday said,

“It wasn’t big numbers but there were votes from loyalist areas went into the box for Sinn Féin. What we’re taking from that is that voters believe, ‘These people are doing the work for us. We’re being neglected by our own politicians.’

(Colin Halliday UPRG speaking at the Ógra Youth Camp, June 2010)

The truth is we have been steadily picking up votes in unionist areas in the past number of years, anybody who has tallied the ballot boxes from unionist areas across the north in the past number of elections will tell you that.

And the increasing number of Shankill road residents contacting Gerry Adams office looking assistance and advice in constituency work is further proof and has been pointed to in the past.

That is also reflective throughout the north where an increasing number of people from the unionist community have been using Sinn Féin offices, availing of the first class constituency and community service we provide. I have seen it hundreds of times myself in Omagh.

I suppose the difference here is, what we have been saying for years, has now been confirmed by two of the UPRG’s main figures, people who have no reason to be supporting Sinn Féin assertions.

The reality is that the peace process has opened up politics in the north, communities and the electorate want real solutions for the problems facing our society today. And they are no longer willing to tolerate rhetoric or platitudes; they want positions and statements backed up by action on the ground.

That is why Sinn Féin are having the steady success in winning hearts and minds in working class unionist areas, because we are committed to building a new Ireland, an Ireland that prioritises the needs of deprived areas like the Shankill.

Our policies are aimed at demolishing the system which has built the inequality that plagues working class unionist and republican areas, the very system which the main unionist parties are doing their utmost to retain.

(Ógra activists involved in Community work in Omagh during the December Cold Snap)

Sinn Féin are based in and sustained in working class communities the length and breadth of Ireland, we understand the issues facing the working families, the single parents and the long term unemployed, because they are our activists. Their plight is our plight and we have a vested interest in creating a new and equal society, we make no bones about that.

The absolute failing of working class unionism, and perhaps that in itself is an oxymoron, to build a credible political movement, has also ensured that people struggling within working class unionist areas are looking to Sinn Féin as the short term constituency provider they need and the long term alternative they want.

Does this mean they all support a United Ireland? Of course not and we would be foolish to assume so.

At this point, some will, most probably won't.

But a first step is very important, and if someone is initially voting for Sinn Féin based on their constituency service, they are a lot more likely to listen to and be convinced of the arguments for a united Ireland, not based on old romantic notions, but on tangible and real reasons for today, economic reasons that makes sense to them, their families and their communities. The first step in creating an ally is to pacify resistance and in winning anyone as a voter you have definitely achieved that.

I believe that working class people from unionist areas have a lot to gain from a new united Ireland, and that if we continue the essential outreach to their community and build on the excellent constituency work and present the polices that will dramatically enhance the lives of people within their area, then we can be the alternative they need.

It won't happen overnight, but then all great rivers started somewhere with a little trickle.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ógra National Development Draw 2011

Ógra Shinn Féin National Development Draw 2011

1st Prize; Óglaigh na hÉireann Flying Column Bronze Statue
2nd Prize; Framed Easter 1916 Proclamation
3rd Prize; Easter 1916 Jersey

Tickets; £5/E5

Draw limited to 500 Tickets

Draw will take place on 30th January in Derry

If you would like to buy any tickets please contact

Mayo Ógra Shinn Féin engage hundreds in Castlebar

Mayo Ógra Shinn Féin braved the icy conditions and brought their recruitment campaign to the bustling shopping centres, of Castlebar, in the days before Christmas. The locally focused leaflets concentrated on issues specific to the Mayo region, something which drew a positive reaction from the shoppers. The crowded shopping centres meant that hundreds of leaflets were handed out in record time.

Le 2010 ag druidim chun críoch shocraigh cumann Maigh Eo derieadh a chuir lena fheachtas earcaíochta agus aghaidh a thabhairt ar an bhliain úr nua le feachtas eile. Ba bhliain lán le hearcaíocht a bhí acu i 2010 rud a chabhraigh leis an gcumann nua roinnt baill nua a fháil.

Mayo Ógra activist Éadaoin de Faoite, speaking after the leaflet drop said,

“The Christmas spirit was alive and well in the shopping centres and so it was an ideal time to approach young people with our leaflets. We received no negative reactions and people listened to what we had to say. Hopefully this positivity will not be solely confined to the pre-Christmas period but will continue on into the New Year reflecting the increase in support Sinn Féin has seen over the last number of weeks and months.”

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Michaela McAreavey - Ar deis Dé go raibh a hanam

Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin have extended their 'sincerest condolences and heartfelt sympathies' to the Harte and McAreavey families on the shocking and tragic loss of their beloved Michaela.

Michaela, who was 27, was a popular Irish Teacher in Dungannon and as the only daughter of Tyrone's legendary manager Mickey Harte was a constant mascot for Tyrone throughout their 3 All Ireland successes in the past 8 years.

The Ballygawley woman, who also represented Tyrone in the Rose of Tralee was only married on the 30th December to Down GAA star John McAreavey and was enjoying her honeymoon in Mauritius when the horrible tragedy struck.

Tyrone Ógra spokesperson Kerry McColgan said,

"Ógra Shinn Féin members from across Tyrone and Ireland are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic death of Michaela. The awful news left us feeling numb and like everyone else the raw and emotional interview with Mickey overwhelmed us and brought tears to our eyes."

"The strength of a community and a society is demonstrated best at the most desperate times, and the huge outpouring of public sympathy, messages of support and solidarity for the Harte and McAreavey family from thousands of people from across Tyrone, Ireland and the world will hopefully ease some of their suffering."

"At this time of unimaginable suffering for her family, friends and local community, we offer them our sincerest condolences and heartfelt sympathies particularly to John, Mickey, Marian, Mark, Michael, and Matthew. Ar deis Dé go raibh a hanam."

If you would like to offer your condolences to the Harte and McAreavey families you can sign the books of condolences at the following places;

Dungannon - Council offices during office hours and in the Leisure Centre in the evening.

Omagh - Public Service Centre (9am - 5pm) and Omagh Leisure Centre (all day, including evenings)

Cookstown - Burnavon Theatre

Strabane - District Council office, Alley theatre/library and Castlederg Leisure Centre

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year brings renewed focus in Connacht Cúige

D’eagraigh Ógra Shinn Féin Cúige Chonnacht cruinniú Cúige an tseachtain seo caite i dTeach Kevin Coen/ Joseph McManus, oifig Sinn Féin, i Sligeach. Ba é an chéad cruinniú cúige a bhí eagruithe acu don bhliain úr nua.

The Connacht Cúige meeting was held last Tuesday in Sligo. The meeting was well attended and had representatives from each of the five Connacht counties. It was organised to discuss and decide on motions for the upcoming National Congress and also to lay out a plan of work for the upcoming months.

Following lively debates the Cúige decided on their motions which ranged from issues which effect school students, college students and graduates and An Ghaeilge. It was decided that the promotion of the National Congress was of utmost importance and that members should seek to maximise attendance in their local areas.

Members also drew up a strategy for the upcoming year with a focus on the vast number of Ghost Estates in the Cúige, Leitrim having the highest number of Ghost Estates in the 26 counties. The ‘No Homeless Need Apply’ campaign will be centred on the issue of homelessness despite plenty of houses lying empty across the country.

Shocraíodar aghaidh a thabhairt ar na toghcháin atá ag teacht anuas freisin. Beidh na baill ag oibriú le Sinn Féin ina gceantair féin i rith an olltogchán seo. Ach chomh maith leis sin beidh Ógra ag eagrú canbhasanna i ngach contae, áit a iarrfar ar baill Ógra taisteal chuig an contae sin chun cúnamh a thabhairt.

Bhreathnaigh na baill, a fhreastal ar an gcruinniú, ar chlár fáisnéise a thug stair gairid dóibh ar stair na hÉireann. Ba slí deas é le críoch a chuir leis an cruinniú agus thug sé ionspráid dóibh chun an obair a bhí leagtha amach acu a dhéanamh.

Sligo Ógra activist Conor McManus spoke positively after the meeting;

‘The meeting was a great success; we set out a detailed strategy for the months ahead and we as a cuige are looking forward to the outworkings of it. Sinn Féin’s media presence has been increased in recent months with the election of Pearse Dohery to the Dáil and we are hoping that this will help us appeal to an increasing number of politically minded young people. We have seen a growth in our own membership across the five Connacht counties over the course of the last year and we believe that with hard work this increase will be seen again in 2011. This evening’s meeting produced some great ideas for actions which will see us work within our various communities and of course help elect Sinn Féin TDs across Connacht!’

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sign the petition, Save EMA!!

Uladh Ógra Shinn Féin organiser Pádraig Quinn is urging everyone to sign a petition calling on minister for employment and learning Danny Kennedy MLA, to make the commitment in ensuring education maintenance allowance is not withdrawn and student tuition fees are not increased.

As of yet both EMA and student fees have not been altered within the north, however, they are under review, and following the recent withdrawal of EMA in England, and the hike in university fees to £9000 a year, many students within Ireland are becoming increasing concerned that the north will soon follow.

Speaking on this important issue, Padraig said:

“Sinn Fein believes Education is a right, not a privilege!

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 months, Sinn Fein has made it clear that EMA needs to be retained to ensure that those who wish to pursue their education are able to do so.

We must be very clear and note that the final say in whether EMA is withdrawn and fees are increased lies within the hands of Danny Kennedy.

The simple fact that he has not yet committed to retaining EMA or the cap on tuition fess, is both astonishing and disgraceful.

Ogra are calling on all students, parents and concerned members of the public to sign our petition and demand that our young people’s rights are not abused and their future is not restricted”.

The petition can be viewed at:

Monday, January 10, 2011

'Left Government, a distinct possibility'

Barry McColgan
West Tyrone
Ógra Shinn Féin

...So says one of Ireland's largest Unions, Unite.

The leading trade union has called on Labour to reject a coalition with Fine Gael, and to look towards building a progressive left alliance with Sinn Féin.

In urging their over 60,000 members to vote for parties of the left, Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly, said,

"Recent polls put the combined strength of the Labour Party and Sinn Féin at 40 per cent. This is substantially higher than either of the right-wing parties. With the support of other left parties and progressive independents, a left government is now a distinct possibility.”

(Jimmy Kelly, Unite)

With an election looming just 3 months away, the call from the Labour affiliated union will no doubt place pressure on the party's leadership to re-think their coalition with Fine Gael.

The financial crisis was inflicted upon the people of Ireland by ideologically motivated bankers, their developer friends and corrupt politicians, driven by their own self serving interests.

Fine Gael are committed to the very same neo liberal ideology that sunk us to the desperate position we currently find ourselves.

Can Labour really jusify putting these shower into power?

That is a question I hope we can avoid being answered.

The task ahead of us is monumental.

To build on the ground breaking success of the Pearse Doherty election victory, and elect as many Sinn Féin TD's as we can.

There is a mountain of work in the next few months, and people will be pushed to their limits, but the fruits of the labour will make it all worthwhile.

It will only be the weight of our mandate, and the demands of the electorate that will ensure the first left government in the Dáil.

We need the strongest possible Sinn Féin team entering Leinster House, to make the Left Coalition Government a reality.

(Pearse Doherty TD and family at By Election Victory)

The crisis has changed everything, the people are looking left, and in need of an alternative.

We have been presented with an opportunity of a life time, it is our duty to try our utmost to achieve a government that will place people's needs at it's very core, we owe it to the very people most affected by this crisis. The people and families who are struggling everyday to make ends meet, victims of a disaster not of their making.

Sinn Féin is better placed than anyone to understand the enormity of problems facing thousands in their everyday lives because our activists live and work in the communities most affected and are experiencing the hardships like everyone else.

We have a duty to help the people. We can be and will be the alternative they need.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Óglach Seán Sabhat and Óglach Fergal O’Hanlon Remembered at Altawark

Republicans gathered at Altawark Monument, County Fermanagh on New Year’s Day to remember the IRA’s Pearse Column’s attack on Brookeborough RUC/B Specials Barracks on January 1st 1957, and to commemorate Óglach Seán Sabhat and Óglach Fergal O’Hanlon who where killed on that fateful night.

Many young republicans where also present to pay their respects to these 2 young patriots of Ireland, with many Ógra Shinn Féin activists involved in the republican colour party.

Fermanagh/South Tyrone Sinn Féin candidate for the upcoming Assembly elections, Seán Lynch delivered the main oration.

Speaking on the commemoration, Fermanagh Ógra activist Ciaran May said,

“Seán Sabhat and Fergal O’Hanlon are remembered across Ireland and the world, with the exploits of the Pearse Column, being immortalised in song with their 2 famous songs, ‘Sean Sabhat’ and ‘The Patriot Game’. Commemorations like these are vitally important because it allows us to sustain the memory and vision of these 2 fine patriots of Ireland, and to continue to stand in solidarity with the families in their ongoing loss.”

“In 2011, 54 years following the deaths of Seán and Fergal, Sinn Féin have a massive opportunity to propel forward our struggle for an Irish Republic with key elections across Ireland. Never has the political establishment in the Free State been more exposed for the gombeens they are, and never have we been better placed to become the leading party in the Assembly, building on the success of the previous European elections. It is the inspiration provided by people like Fergal and Seán that will drive us in the year ahead.”