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!!

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

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

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.