Friday, August 03, 2012

Republican manifesto delivered at Abbey production

Seán Ó Sé, of Dublin Republican Youth, took part in ‘The Young Coveys’ talk which was an educational programme run in conjunction with Abbey Theatre’s production of The Plough and the Stars. Along with representatives from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour, Seán delivered a manifesto for a new Ireland. Here is the content of Seán’s speech:

The new Irish Republic shall be a republic for the people of Ireland and controlled by the people of Ireland. The Republic shall be blind to the artificial divisions that have kept her from blossoming from colony to nation. This will be a republic that places no heed on divisions fostered, both foreign and domestically, which seek to prevent the republic from achieving her potential. The Irish Republic shall encompass all of its land and its entire people. All the people of Ireland shall bear the name of citizen, and none shall be excluded. The will of its citizens shall be the only power over the republic and it shall recognise no other.

The citizens of the new republic shall be the sole heir of her possessions. All of her wealth and all her means of wealth production shall be subject to the will of her people. The resources of the republic can only be for the benefit of the people. The land will produce food, the wind will produce energy, the sea will produce fish, and minerals will be extracted from the deepest crevices, all for benefit of the republic’s citizens. The new republic will recognise the wealth of natural resources that the nation has to offer and will utilise them to the best of its ability. Control over these natural resources will be reclaimed by the republic for the benefit of the people, not for the wealth of private individuals or multinational corporations. The republic will develop the nations agriculture and understand the importance of creating an environment that is conducive the wellbeing of all its citizens, while producing food that will enjoyed the world over. A new republic will take control of the vasts seas that surround our island and realise the potential that it has to create sustainable communities in areas that have for so long been neglected.

It will be the duty of the republic to provide for all of its citizens as subject to their needs. The new republic must ensure that there no one without home or without comfort. The republic will ensure that all its citizens are adequately cared for. The republic must demand that there will be none so rich that they can buy the life of another, and none so poor that they must offer it up. Each citizen shall inherit the wealth of the nation to ensure that none must toil and sweat to attain a happy existence. No longer will the people of Ireland be slaves to foreign powers or foreign markets, and the people themselves shall shake off the yoke of their oppression.

The new republic will strive to provide for all its citizens. The people of Ireland have the right to work in Ireland and raise their children in the republic. The republic will fight to rid the scourge of emigration from Ireland and finally end the lines of young men and women forced to leave to seek a future abroad.

The republic will ensure that there is a fair system of taxation that is for the benefit of the weakest in society. The wealth of Ireland will be spread so that no citizen is left behind. No one person will be allowed to use the resources of the republic without contributing to the betterment of all the citizens. A third level of tax shall be introduced to ensure that the weakest and those in the middle do not have the carry the burden of financing the state. A new republic will demand that all citizens pay their fair share of taxes, and the republic will not allow the elite to hide from carrying out their responsibilities to the nation by avoiding to pay their fair share.

The republic will ensure the health and wellbeing of all its people shall be maintained and nurtured. Each citizen shall enjoy the right to healthcare without prejudice of class, gender or geography. The republic must strive to create an Ireland where the wellbeing of the people is cared for from the cradle to the grave.

Every citizen shall have access to an education that is befitting of a true republic. The republic will smash the bonds of ignorance that prevent the nation and its people from blossoming. All will have access to education and none will be prevented from achieving their potential.

It will be the duty of the republic to ensure that no child be prisoner of church or state. No longer shall the children of the republic know the inside of the walls of the institutions that have scarred Ireland for so long.

No longer shall the women of Ireland be the victims of the failings of the state or horrors of religious conduct. The republic can only reach its full potential if it ensures that women impact upon its destiny.

The republic will be blind to class, gender, race, sexuality, religion and age. Each citizen shall enjoy the same rights to pursue a happy existence. The republic will not prejudice against any marriage, family or home. All will be equal under the eyes of the republic and all cultures and traditions of the republic and of its citizens will be respected and celebrated. No citizen will fear discrimination or persecution from either state or private body.

Justice shall be a cornerstone of a new republic. All will be equal under the eyes of the law and no longer will money or influence be used to upset the course of justice. The courts of a new republic can only function if they have the confidence of all the citizens and the republic shall ensure that fairness and balance is upheld with the legal system. The Special Criminal Courts will be done away with, as the republic will realise the importance of a jury in the pursuit of justice. There will be no more internment imposed on the citizens of the republic, so long used as a weapon to silence dissenting voices. It will be imperative that the people will have faith in those who enforce the law. It will be the duty of the republic to guarantee that those who wear the uniform of the state do not sully it with cowardice or corruption. Those who enforce the law are themselves not above the law and a republic can only function if there is confidence in this system.

The republic will recognise the importance of community in Ireland. The bonds that will hold the nation together as a community shall be the friendship amongst neighbours and friends. The republic will work to see that Ireland will be a nation of collective action rather than private opportunisms.

The republic will recongnise the importance of empowering local communities to make decisions over their own lives. Strong local government will be a cornerstone in the foundation of a new republic. This activity must begin with the grassroots. The republic will create space for the local communities to act together to make decisions regarding their future. This must start with community councils and local organisations. Building on the strength that already exists in communities across the island of Ireland, the republic will facilitate these communities to practice self governance. County and city councils will also play a vital role in creating a republic of direct democracy. Power will no longer be controlled by a few elites but will come from the bottom up. Every citizen will participate in deciding over the destiny of the republic and this must start with giving power back to the people.

The new republic will recognise the importance of Ireland’s place internationally. With the knowledge of the strife that the people of Ireland have witnessed through its generations, we will strike a pact of solidarity with nations throughout the world. The republic will be the bearers of hope and freedom on the international stage while wilfully respecting the wishes of people of other nations. The Irish republic will voice its opposition to oppression wherever in the world it occurs and whoever the perpetrator. The republic will be a voice of independence for all other nations to see. The republic shall assert its independence in the international bodies where it represents itself. Whether within the United Nations or the European Union, Ireland shall make its decisions based upon the best interests of the citizens, and shall not be bullied or coerced into conditions that neglect the will of the people. Similarly, the republic shall support the cause of freedom and justice without fear or favour.

The republic shall encourage and foster the cultures, languages and arts of it citizens. Recognising the rich heritage of the culture in Ireland, the republic will foster that heritage and give life to new expressions of identity. A new republic will be welcoming to all races from throughout the world. It will recognise the important role that these new cultures have on the future of the republic. The republic will recognise the arts and the importance of its role in the development of the nation. The Irish language will play an important role in developing the republic, not a language of the state, but as a language of the people.

A new republic shall be a true republic of liberty, equality and fraternity, where all citizens will enjoy a free, happy and equal existence.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Republican Youth confronts British Secretary of State over prisoners

Members of Sinn Féin and SF Republican Youth confronted British Secretary of State Owen Paterson as he left the Institute of International and European Affairs. Protesters called for the release of Marian Price and Martin Corey, both of whom have been imprisoned without trial on the word of Paterson.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Armagh SFRY campaign on youth unemployment and emigration

Members of Sinn Féin Republican Youth (SFRY) in Armagh recently held a leaflet drop in Armagh City to highlight the lack of opportunity for young people in the area. Their activism is part of Sinn Féin Republican Youth’s new national campaign entitled "No Jobs, No Future, No Way!"

Members of Armagh SFRY
Urging young republicans to make their voices heard and to join in with the campaign chair of SFRY in Armagh, Blaine McCartney, said:Armagh, like other places across Ireland, has been badly affected by rising youth unemployment and also by high levels of emigration of young people to countries such as Australia and Canada.

The next few weeks will see many people graduating from Irish Universities and it is a sad prospect that many of these highly skilled and educated young people will have no option but to go abroad to look for work.

Armagh has suffered economically recently with the closure of HCL Technologies Call Centre which employed hundreds of people from across Armagh city and district. This major blow, coupled with the closure of three retail shops within recent weeks has led me to call on all young people to get involved with this campaign to help beat rising youth unemployed and emigration and have your voice heard!”

SFRY across the country and in Armagh want to raise the profile of youth issues such as emigration and to create new job opportunities and to put an end to the possibility of losing a generation of talented young people.

For more information on Sinn Féin Republican Youth or the “No Jobs, No Future, No Way Campaign go to or contact Armagh Sinn Féin on 028 37511797

Saturday, July 14, 2012

East and South Tyrone launch National Youth Campaign - "No Jobs, No Future, NO WAY!"

East and South Tyrone members of Sinn Féin Óige Phoblachtach launched the National Campaign “No Jobs, No Future, NO WAY!” recently. The youth wing of Sinn Féin have been campaigning and raising awareness of the very important issue of youth unemployment and emigration and launched their campaign in Stormont last week. This campaign will continue to be rolled out amongst the 32 counties in the following weeks and will involve online engagement, public surveys, leaflet handouts and lobbying of local councillors and MLA’s.

Members of Sinn Féin Óige Phoblachtach with Michelle O'Neill MLA, Bronwyn McGahan MLA, and local councillors Mickey Gillespie and Pádraig Quinn.

Sinn Féin National Youth Committee member, Álanna Campbell said, “Youth unemployment is a major concern at the moment and it can affect any person, regardless of religion, ethnicity, gender and so on. It is widespread throughout our 32 counties and we have to do something about it. Sinn Féin Óige Phoblachtach recognises this as a problem which is especially relevant to young people and we feel that it is important to not only raise awareness of this issue, but to actively campaign for changes and to make a difference. In East and South Tyrone, Sinn Féin Óige Phoblachtach will be working alongside our local public representatives in order to make that difference. Launching the campaign is not the end of our work, Sinn Féin and Sinn Féin Óige Phoblachtach will be tirelessly working to achieve job creation and changes in policy which will help this. Sinn Féin is a party for the people, and now, the people need jobs, so this is exactly what we will strive to achive! A whole generation should not have to suffer and youth issues and job creation should be at the forefront of the clár in both the Dáil and Stormont.”

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Remembering Joe McDonnell

This coming Sunday (July 8th) will mark the 31st anniversary of IRA volunteer Joe McDonnell. A series of commemorative events have been organised by the Lenadoon Commemoration Committee to take place this weekend.

Urging young republicans to attend, chair of the Máiread Farrell youth committee Eoin McShane Said;

“The story of Joe McDonnell is one of a highly-politicised republican revolutionary soldier who valued his commitment to oppose the occupying armed forces of Britain more than his own life. On May 9th 1981 Joe became the fourth IRA volunteer to join the hunger-strike for political status – replacing his close friend and comrade Bobby Sands. Like myself Joe was born and reared in the Falls Road area of West Belfast before moving to Andersonstown with his wife Goretti where they lived in a house in the lower Lenadoon area.
As an active republican prior to his arrest in October 1976, Joe was a very popular & respected man who was considered to be a deep-thinking individual with a gentle, happy go-lucky personality. He was regarded as a highly capable Volunteer who did what he had to and never talked about it afterwards.

His sheer determination and commitment to the struggle never altered. This was best demonstrated when he was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment, along with 3 other IRA volunteers, for possession of a single revolver. He joined the blanket protest without question and refused to be criminalised by the prison authorities, seeing his family only after he commenced his hunger strike.

In June 1981, Joe narrowly missed out on election to the Free State government for the Sligo/Leitrim consitiuency, being only 315 votes short of the quota. Despite the disappointment, the impact of the election both inside and outside the H-Blocks was huge.

In the early hours of July 8th 1981, Óglach Joe McDonnell, after 61 agonising days without food, died rather than be criminalised by the british establishment.

31 years on and in the same streets of Belfast where Joe grew up republicanism is as strong as ever. Like myself, hundreds of other young republican activists across Ireland, draw a great deal of inspiration and motivation from great republican revolutionaries like Joe McDonnell”.

Lenadoon Commemoration Committee – Joe McDonnell Weekend of Events

Football & Hurling Juvenile Tournament, Saturday 7th July, 11am – 2pm, Lamb Dhearg GAA Club

8-a-Side Soccer Tournament, 2pm – 5pm, Lenadoon Pitches

Wreath lying ceremony, 7pm @ Roddys. Main Speaker – Raymond McCartney MLA. Followed by a function featuring ‘Killashandra’

White line picket, 1pm @ Connolly House

The Mairéad Farrell Youth Committee would encourage all young republicans to support these events.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Republican Youth calls for immediate release of Marian Price

Members of Republican Youth with Dublin Sinn Féin councillors Anthony Connaghan and Larry O'Toole

Members of Dublin Republican Youth along with Sinn Féin and elected councillors held a picket outside Dublin City Hall earlier today. The picket called on Dublin City Council to support a motion calling for the immediate and unconditional release of seriously ill prisoner Marian Price.

Speaking outside City Hall earlier, Dublin Republican Youth activist Mick Farrell said:

“The continued imprisonment of Marian price is a disgrace. The charges brought against her in May 2011 when she was arrested have been dismissed. She poses no danger to anybody and is in serious ill health.

“It's time Justice Minister David Ford and British Secretary of State Owen Patterson began moves to have her released immediately and unconditionally.”

Marian Price was arrested in May 2011 but all charges were dismissed. She has been granted bail on subsequent charges but British Secretary of State Owen Patterson revoked her license and because of this she remains imprisoned. On 22 May, following pressure from Sinn Féin, she was moved from Hydebank Prison to a Belfast hospital due to deteriorating health.

Members of Dublin Republican Youth at the picket outside City Hall this afternoon

"No Jobs, No Future. No Way!"

MLA’s have given a warm welcome to the launch of Sinn Féin Republican Youth’s "No Jobs, No Future, No Way!" campaign. The campaign was launched today at Stormont and will be rolled out over the 32 Counties in the coming weeks. 

Newly appointed MLA for South Armagh, Megan Fearon, who is also the youngest MLA in the assembly said:

"I applaud Republican Youth for launching this campaign. This is an incredibly difficult time to be young in Ireland. It is the touchstone issue for young people, and it’s unfortunately nearly a daily occurrence to hear of someone either losing a job, or heading abroad to look for a job. This is an intolerable situation and Republican Youth are organising a campaign to effect change in national policy, north and south, to put the priorities of young people on the political agenda. As a young person who has seen many of my friends forced to leave their families, their friends and their home country in search of work, I know all too well what a lack of action on youth unemployment can do. Without a serious youth jobs plan we are in danger of losing a generation of talented young people to emigration. We need to make youth unemployment a priority and we need to beat emigration. Sinn Féin has the proposals and the political will to make this a reality.

Members of SFRY outside Stormont with Sinn Féin MLAs

"The campaign will involve on the street demonstrations, online engagement and campaigning and solid concrete proposals from Sinn Fein for a change in policy to address youth unemployment and emigration. I wish Republican Youth every success with the campaign and call on all young people to get involved and play their part."

See also:
New youth campaign against unemployment and emigration - An Phoblacht

Saturday, June 30, 2012

'Marriage equality for LGBT couples is a civil right' - Dublin Republican Youth

A Sinn Féin banner at the Dublin Pride Parade

 Republican Youth activists were proud to support the Pride Parade in Dublin earlier today.

An estimated 30,000 people took part in today's Pride Parade with more than 100,000 spectators lining the streets to observe the colourful display.

Speaking at the event, Dublin Republican Youth chariperson Jonathan Graham said:

"It's great to see so many people turn out to show support for the LGBT community. A major theme of today's events was the demand for marriage equality for gay couples. The Civil Partnership Act 2011 does not go far enough on the issue and creates a two-tier system where those in straight and gay relationships are treated differently. Civil partnerships do not give those in LGBT relationships the same rights as a married couple.

"We in Sinn Féin Republican Youth believe in civil rights, and the right of LGBT couples to a civil marriage is just one of those rights."

On Monday Sinn Féin will bring a Bill on Marriage Equality before Belfast City Council.

A piece on the issue of Marriage Equality entitled A civil right, not a religious act by Republican Youth activist Sorcha Berry is available in this month's edition of An Phoblacht newspaper

Republican Youth members, Diolúin Ó hUigín, Oisín Kelly, Jonathan Graham and Mick Farrell at the Sinn Féin Bookshop ahead of the parade

Friday, June 29, 2012

Senator Reilly welcomes Republican Youth campaign against youth unemployment and emigration

Senator Kathryn Reilly

Sinn Fein spokesperson on youth affairs Senator Kathryn Reilly has welcomed the launch of Sinn Féin Republican Youth’s “No Jobs, No Future, No Way!” campaign.

The campaign will be rolled out across the 32 Counties in the coming weeks.
Senator Reilly said:

“I commend Sinn Féin Republican Youth for launching this campaign. This is an incredibly difficult time to be young in Ireland. It has been said that for the first time since World War II this generation of Europeans will be worse off than their parents. This is an intolerable situation and Republican Youth are organising a campaign to effect change in national policy, north and south, to put the priorities of young people on the political agenda.

“30% of Irish young people are unemployed and we all know that figure is artificially low when we consider how many of our young people have left our shores for Australia and Canada. Approximately 70,000 young people have just completed their Leaving Cert. The same number of people will emigrate this year.

“This campaign will involve street demonstrations, online engagement and campaigning and concrete alternative proposals to tackle youth unemployment and emigration. I wish Republican Youth every success with the campaign and call on all young people to get involved and play their part.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dublin Republican Youth condemns Labour backing for Household Charge

Members of Dublin Republican Youth outside Leinster House last night
Sinn Féin Republican Youth has condemned the decision by the Labour Party to vote against a Sinn Féin Bill which would have repealed the unfair Household Charge and reimbursed those who had already paid. 

Speaking at a rally outside Leinster House, Dublin Republican Youth spokesperson Santana Hernandez Power asked: "How can Labour stand over a tax which sees a millionaire living in a mansion pay the same as a person on minimum wage who is struggling to put food on the table?"

"They have proven themselves unwilling to stand up for the people who elected them. People didn't vote for them to act as a mudgaurd for Fine Gael." she said.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Álanna Campbell Speech - Youth jobs - Ard Fheis 2012

Álanna Campbell
Coiste Náisiúnta - Óige Phoblachtach

A very relevant and current issue affecting our young people is the state of unemployment which is constant and unrelenting throughout our 32 county island. This is a serious issue which is affecting both Ireland and its young people.

Young people attend university, spending thousands of pounds on degrees and education in the hopes of increasing their potential job opportunities. The sad fact is that they are not able to achieve these hopes, dreams, aspirations and jobs in their own land and are forced to emigrate, moving to other countries such as Australia, America, Canada and bringing with them their skills, knowledge and energy.

Young people believe they have a better chance of employment and a better chance of a good quality of life if they leave Ireland, and it is out of necessity that they emigrate, many sad at the thought of leaving friends, family and their home, but knowing they have no other choice. It is the last option, but for many it is the only option.

When looking at unemployment figures we need to realise that this does not give us a clear and full picture. Rather, these figures are manipulated in an attempt to minimize awareness of the problem and do not take into consideration the many young people who have emigrated in the search for work.

People need only look at their own communities and towns to see the lack of jobs and everyone knows of a young person who has had to leave Ireland in the search of employment. We are losing some of our best skilled and trained professionals to other countries who are benefiting from them.

We need to see a change. We need to see an increase in job creation. And we need it now. This must be at the forefront of the agenda in both the 6 counties and 26 counties. We cannot afford to lose any more of our young people and they should not be forced to leave our country. We need to make Ireland attractive, prosperous and successful. Young people are not work-shy, they are not lazy, they want and need jobs and it is up to Ireland to provide for them.

Simon Gillespie Speech – Third level education - Ard Fheis 2012

Simon Gillespie
Coiste Náisiúnta Óige Phoblachtach

Nelson Mandela once said that ‘education is the most powerful instrument you can use to change the world. It is that great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of the peasant can become a doctor, that the son of the mineworker can become the head of the mine and that the child of farm workers can become president’.

Is fíor an raiteas é seo.

Sinn Féin has always believed that education, and in particular third level education, must be an essential instrument in building an Ireland of Equals.

Equality of opportunity, access and provision is a basic entitlement.

But the impact of cuts to maintenance grants, coupled with an increase in the student contribution fee and the looming possibility of the re-introduction of fee’s in their entirety is not only a restriction on a fundamental and basic right but such measures will have a detrimental impact on recovery and leave young people facing a difficult choice between the gates of a College or University and the gates of airport and ferry terminals across the island.

Shinigh an t-Áire Oideachas Ruairí Ó Cionn, cupla lá roimhe an tóghchan deirneach, conradh de chuid na Aontais Mac Léinne ag gealladh nach mbeadh ardú nó taillí triú leibheal d’aon sort ann. Anois agus é i gcumhacht, bhris sé an geallúint sin agus thacaigh sé leis an déine ina áit. Níl seo ceart nó coir!

Nach bhfeiceann an tAire an dochar atá a dhéanamh aige agus é ag cur tuilleadh brú ar dhaoine óga na tire seo? Daoine óga atá ag fulaingt cheanna féin. Ní mic léinn na tire seo a mhill an gheilléagar. Le bheith hionraice, is é an malairt atá idir lámha acú agus iad ag streachailt chun cuidiú linn ár gcuid fadhbanna a reitiú, ach, cosúil le cuid mhór dreamanna eile, is iad na mic léinn atá ag íoc as neamart lucht an gcumhacht.

Sinn Féin stands firm with the students of Ireland because we recognise the importance of Third Level education in developing our economy and society and achieving The New Republic.

In the words of Salvadore Allende ‘To be a student and not a revolutionary is a contradiction’. However, to be a revolutionary student today is a necessity in preserving equality of access to Third Level education.

Gan iad, bheadh ár gcuid colaistí agus ollscoileanna ina clós súgartha dóibh siúd le airgead agus tionchar i sochaí na hÉireann.
Seasann Shinn Féin le mic léinn na tire seo agus a cearta chun oideachas triú leibhéal fiúntach, saor in aisce a bhaint amach.

Mairéad Farrell Speech – Our generation can deliver Irish unity - Ard Fheis 2012

Mairéad Farrell
Coiste Náisiúnta - Óige Phoblachtach

Is maith a thuig James Connolly an toradh a bheadh ar Chríochdheighilt na hÉireann. "A carnival of reaction North and South" a thiocfadh dá bharr, a dúirt sé. Céad bliain i ndiaidh na cainte sin tá muid ag strachailt fós in aghaidh an dochar mór a thainig as an roinnt mí-nadúrtha a rinneadh ar an oileán.

But, comrades, progress has been made and is being made!

Sna Sé Chontae níl an pobal Náisiúnach faoi chois níos faide, ní saoránaigh den dara grád iad níos faide. Bíodh muid buíoch de chomrádaithe atá níos sine ná muid a sheas an fód in aghaidh an stáit Oráistigh a raibh tacaíocht na Breataine aige. Nuair a hionsaíodh léirseoirí a bhí ag máirseáíl go síochánta ar son cearta sibhailta agus nuair a maraíodh cuid mhaith acu ina dhiaidh sin ní raibh aon dul as ach réabhlóid armtha a thosú. Chaith cuid mhór acu tréimhsí fada i bpríosúin sa mBreatain agus in Éirinn. Maraíodh cuid eile acu. Is de bharr a gcuid íobairtí siúd gur féidir liomsa seasamh anseo inniu agus a rá "My gereration will create a United Ireland"

Our struggle in the Six Counties has reached an important new stage: as equals we approach our Protestant sisters and brothers and seek to overcome the centuries-long sectarian divide. We seek to show that our destinies are one, that our destinies can truly bear fruit in a United Ireland.
Ach ba mhaith linn a rá go soiléir lenár gcomharsana Protastúnacha agus Caitliceacha sna Se Chontae agus le muintir na Poblachta nach mbeidh aon chosúlacht ag an Éire Aontaithe atá ar intinn againn leis an stát frithghníomhach-- an banana republic- atá sa Deisceart inniu. Tá staidéar déanta ag Sinn Féin ar laigeachtaí na nua-choilíneachta atá sna Sé Chontae Fichead agus tá polasaithe soiléir curtha chun cinn againn leis an deisceart a athrú ar mhaithe leis an bpobal. Pobal comhionannais atá uainn ----Éire Aontaithe a bheas sásúil do mhuintir an oileáín ar fad ---"Protestant, Catholic or Dissenter".

Thanks to our older comrades, Sinn Féin is now the real opposition in the Twenty-six Counties. We are the party of real change on this island. Unlike the corrupt elite, we will not pay lip service to the goal of a United Ireland. Our day will come and it will be coming very soon!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Republican Youth show solidarity with Palestinian Hungerstrikers

Picture by Carlos latuff

Members of the Coney Kilpatrick East Tyrone Republican Youth Committee recently organised a demonstration outside the police barracks in Coalisland to show their solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners who are currently on hunger strike. The conditions inflicted upon the prisoners are so severe and unjust that over 1500 Palestinian prisoners are on hunger strike. Most began their hunger strike on April 17th but two prisoners, Bilal Diab and Tha’er Halahlah, are in severe medical danger having both been without food for over 70 days. 

The prisoners are planning to continue their hunger strike until the Israeli Government recognise and act on their demands, which are as follow:

1) That International Law and its provisions with regard to administrative detention are respected.

2) That Israel ends its policy of administrative detention.

3) That Israel ends its policy of keeping prisoners in solitary confinement.

4) That prisoners are allowed to see their families.

SFRY activist and member of the National Youth Council, Álanna Campbell commented:

“Myself and three of my comrades, Cathal Óg Donnelly, Ruairi McLaughlin and Mickey McCrossan have just returned from Gaza as part of a republican delegation. Whilst there we were honoured to meet Hana Al Shalabi shortly after she ended her 43 day long hunger strike and I was able to present her with an Easter Lily. Having met the prisoner’s and their families and having read about the conditions inflicted upon the Palestinians in Israeli jails, I am filled with anger. Hunger strike is always the last resort of an oppressed people, and the fact that Palestinians have to turn to this as a method of protest is disgraceful in this day and age. 

In 1981 Ireland lost 10 brave volunteers who went on hunger strike to achieve their demands, and it is a sad reality that in Israeli prisons we have a similar situation. The policy of administrative detention is exactly that of internment in Ireland, and it means Palestinians are detained indefinitely without charge or trial and without any evidence against them. Many are held in solitary confinement in a tiny cell, they are permitted to only one hour of fresh air and sunlight a day, and at this time their hands and feet are bound in cuffs. The whole world needs to be aware of the situation in Palestine and the suffering and horrendous conditions inflicted and imposed on the prisoners and the Palestinians in general. It is the responsibility of young Irish Republicans to spread the message of the prisoners of Palestine and not to let them sit in a prison, while the world idly sit by, either not knowing what is going on, or worse, not caring.

Our demonstration in Coalisland today was to show our solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners and hunger strikers, it was also a means of raising awareness of the situation within our community. We placed a banner on the barracks with the words “Victory to the Palestinian Hunger Strikers” for all to see and this is just one step that we have taken to ensure that the plight of Palestine is known to our community and town. I would urge all young republicans to take similar measures and steps to show your solidarity with the Palestinian Hunger Strikers and to raise awareness in your local areas.”

Monday, May 07, 2012

Why I joined Sinn Féin

My name is Thomas O’Mahony. I’m a native of East Cork and it has been just over a year since I became a member of Sinn Féin. Unlike many reading this article, I was a late comer to Politics, having only become politically active in College and I Don’t hail from a Republican background. In fact, I come from a staunch Fine Gael family on my father’s side. My great grandfather was a Cumann na ngaedheal TD for East Cork between 1923 and 1924. My grandfather was a proud member of FG for much of his life and would often be seen canvassing for the local candidate(s) come election time. And my father while not an active member of the Party continues to be a supporter of Fine Gael to this day. The only Republican background I can lay claim too is my great granduncle on my Mother’s side, who died while on Hunger Strike in Cork jail during the War of Independence.

With this in mind, Comrades will not be surprised to hear that I only really became interested in Republicanism when I was in Secondary School. Specifically during the Leaving Cert cycle. My History teacher at the time, a Laois woman, made a point of ignoring events such as 1798 and 1916 and concentrating nearly exclusively on the Home Rule Movement whenever we covered Irish History. Being the curious sort that I was, and annoyed that my teacher would consciously ignore certain events to suit her own agenda, I started to do my own research in my spare time. It also helped that I became quite friendly (and still am) with a number of Republicans around this time, one of whom comes from a staunch Sinn Féin background. I would like to say that it kind of snowballed from there, that I went on and joined Sinn Féin at the earliest opportunity. But, as Comrades will see, the development of my Socialist Republican Politics was anything but straight forward.

Upon entering College, I initially joined Young Fine Gael and not Sinn Féin. Comrades may be asking, quite rightly too, what prompted me to join them rather than the Sinn Féin Cumann on campus. As I’ve already highlighted, I come from a Fine Gael background rather than a Republican one, so it seemed natural at the time to join them rather than Sinn Féin. I must also stress, that while I was introduced to Republicanism prior to my arrival at UCC, I still had no real defined Politics of my own. I just knew that Fianna Fáil and the Greens were slowly bringing the State to the brink of Oblivion and in my naivety I believed the rhetoric of Fine Gael that they were indeed an alternative to this. I was with them for 6 months in all, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t initially enjoy it. It felt good to be getting politically involved in the shaping of my Country’s future. I also made some good friends, many of whom I am still on good terms with despite my departure.

So, what prompted me to leave? Put simply, I soon realised that Fine Gael were far from the alternative they were making themselves out to be. It became quite apparent that you could not advance if you did not know the right people. It wasn’t about what you brought to the table in terms of ideas and ability, it was about Cronyism. On top of this, during the 6 months I was with them, my Politics continued to develop. As the Country was brought to its knees as a result of the failure of Capitalism and the rampant corruption and incompetence of Fianna Fáil, I gradually moved further to the Left. Concurrent to this, I developed my Republicanism as my research into the Movement gained pace. All of these factors converged 6 months after my initial meeting with Young Fine Gael in UCC and I left.

Comrades can be forgiven for thinking that my tale would conclude at that point. But as you will see, there were a few more twists to come. I will count it as one of the great regrets in my life that following my departure from Young Fine Gael, I did not join with Sinn Féin. While it is true that for a time I helped out with the College Cumann and went to the odd meeting and Protest with them, I would not join the Party for over a year later. I would instead, as some Comrades know, join the Socialist Party in Cork City.

To this day, I cannot explain why I didn’t join with Sinn Féin. I sometimes think that it was because of my family background, that I was simply too scared to join a Party which my father and mother simply hated with a passion. I spend all day thinking about possible reasons for why I did what I did, but I would not be able to come up with an acceptable reason. My stint with the Socialists was much longer than with Young Fine Gael, lasting just over a year. As with Young Fine Gael, I would be doing a dis-service to Comrades if I were to say that I didn’t enjoy my time with the Socialists. They, more than any other Group, have played the greatest role in how my Politics ultimately developed along the Socialist path that they have. Unfortunately for me as it would turn out, they weren’t just Socialist, but they were also Republican.

As some Comrades may or may not know, the Socialist Party has never been a friend of the Republican Movement. To be blunt about it, they hate us. It was made clear to me in no uncertain terms that you cannot be a Socialist and a Republican. Republicans, as one member told me, were little better than ‘genocidal murderers’ who were only interested in Sectarian warfare. Such an analysis was not just shocking to me at the time, but annoyed me greatly as it was blatantly inaccurate. I also learned as time passed that the Socialist Party was not interested in building the Mass Workers Movement they often talked about. Time after time, suggestions to expand into the South side of the City fell on deaf ears. I was told that it would take away from the work of their Candidate. That was not why I got involved with them when I did. To me, Politics should be about empowering local communities to better their lives. It should be about creating a more equal society in every part of this island. I didn’t join up to help certain people get elected into positions of power.

While such a lack of ambition and drive was annoying, it wasn’t the main reason that I would eventually leave yet another Party. From the beginning I felt that many within the Socialist Party simply did not trust me. Not just because of my past association with Young Fine Gael, but also because of my Republicanism. In the end I was left feeling isolated because of my refusal to accept that my Republicanism was wrong. I was left with no real option but to leave.

As Comrades can no doubt tell, I joined Sinn Féin a few short months after this. Since joining Sinn Féin, I have taken an active role in building the Republican Movement in my native East Cork. Of all the projects I have been involved with since joining, I am most proud of setting up the East Cork Cumann of Republican Youth. Several Comrades and I from across the Region came together late last year to form the Clonmult Martyrs Cumann to give Young Republicans a vehicle to become more politically involved in shaping and creating the All-Ireland Republic we strive for. The Cumann has since gone on to play a leading role in several campaigns since its foundation, including; the fight to retain ambulance services in East Cork, the fight to retain services in Mallow hospital, the presidential election and we are currently playing an active role in campaigning for a No vote in the upcoming referendum on the EU Austerity Treaty. This is on top of taking an active role in both planning and executing several regional Commemorations to honour East Cork’s Patriot dead. For me, joining Sinn Féin felt like coming home. I had finally found the courage to join the Party which not only best represents my Socialist Republican Politics, but which is also committed to empowering local communities through Community activism. While I will regret to my dying day that I did not join with Sinn Féin a lot sooner than I did, I will never regret taking that final step to join when I did.

Comrades may be thinking why I took the time to write this Article and share it with them. I wrote this Article as I firmly believe that it is the priority of every member of this Party, at both youth and senior levels, to build it from the ground up so that we can reach our ultimate objective of an All-Ireland Republic worthy of that name. In essence, that means getting new Members involved within the Republican Movement. One of the ways we can do this is by relating our own experiences and highlighting what it was which inspired us to take that first step which ultimately got us politically active.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sinn Féin Republican Youth Express Solidarity with Palestinian Hunger Strikers

Sinn Féin Republican Youth wish to express solidarity with our comrades in Palestine who hunger for justice. Around 2,800 Palestinians Political Prisoners are on Hunger strike in Israeli jails in protest against the use of administrative detention (internment) and the conditions and treatment of Palestinians inside the jails. The strike began on April 17th and many more prisoners are joining the strike with each passing day. At the moment there are four prisoners who are viewed to be in danger they are administrative detainees Bilal Diyab, Tha'ir Halale, Omar Abu Shlal and Muhammad Siksak. Bilal and Tah'ir are currently entering their 69th day on hunger strike. The Israeli’s have begun to punish the Prisoners who are on the strike with routine beatings, strip searches, confiscation of belongings and periods of isolation.

SFRY activist from Coalisland, Cathal Óg Donnelly who has recently returned from a Republican delegation to Gaza along with 3 other youth activists Ruairi McLaughlin, Mickey McCrossan and Álanna Campbell commented:

“Khader Adnan had ended his 66 day hunger strike shortly before we arrived in Gaza and Hana Al Shalabi ended her 43 day strike while we were there, we had the honour of meeting her in her hospital bed and Álanna presented her with an Easter lily. She told us that during her strike she often thought of Bobby Sands and the Irish martyrs. These Palestinians refused to bend the knee to Israeli violence and injustice just as the many Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike now are striking a blow against injustice for their country and people. Bilal and Tha’ir are close to death while 10 prisoners have been hospitalised and over 1300 have entered their 3rd week on hunger strike, the western media as ever are silent, now is the time for action! While our comrades where dying in the H Blocks of Long Kesh the Palestinians stood by us, now it is our turn to stand by them. One people, one cause! Victory to the Hunger Strikers!”  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Suicide Prevention Course takes place in Armagh

The Armagh Sinn Féin Republican Youth committee are the latest area to take part in the ’Mind your Mate’ training program.

Ógra Shinn Féin, now Sinn Féin Republican Youth, have been extremely proactive on the issue of suicide prevention over the past number of years, organising public meetings, vigils, leaflet drops, meeting with ministers responsible for funding and also attempting to empower people to work on suicide prevention by hosting ASIST and similar programme's in different venues across Ireland

Speaking on the issue, Sinn Féin activists Blaine McCartney said;

“It is important to remember 527 people in took their own lives in Ireland last year. The Mind your Mate training programme is aimed at young people aged between 16 and 24. It gives young people the skills to look out for each other and to look after their own mental health. It’s important that we always remember the hundreds of people affected by this every day. It’s time to raise awareness and loose the stigma attached to depression and other mental illnesses!

Sinn Féin Republican Youth in Armagh and throughout Ireland will continue to play our part in addressing this issue, as suicide does not simply affect a certain portion of our society. It is not a problem for a particularly demographic, but a problem for all.” 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Derry Ógra Shinn Féin to hold Suicide Prevention Event

Ógra Shinn Féin in Derry will be hosting the ‘Mind Your Mate’ programme; this is in conjunction with PIPs (Public Initiative for the Prevention of Suicide). 

Mind your Mate is a training programme aimed at young people aged 16 – 24. It gives young people the skills to look out for each other and to look after their own mental health.

The mind your mate programme aims to:

Help young people understand why someone may become suicidal, Allow young people to identify the signs that a friend may be at risk, Help young people communicate with a friend who may be at risk, Enable a young person to link someone at risk to appropriate support.

The course will take place on the 21st April in Rath Mór, Sinn Féin office at 11am and will run on to 2.30pm.

The courses are free and give those participating a chance of getting a Level 1 OCN, tea/coffee and light refreshments will be available on the day.

Some of the participants at the recent Mind Your Mate course in Omagh

Caolán McGinley, PRO said: 

“I’m happy to announce that all our places for this course have been taken, as well as members of Ógra, we have created interest amongst the wider community. Suicide is the biggest killer amongst young people, and has been an issue in our city and across the North of Ireland. We all have a role to play in Suicide prevention; we believe the ‘Mind your Mate’ programme will provide education and confidence for members of the community and young people in order to look out for themselves, their friends and the people around them. To follow the course on the 2nd June, myself and other members of Derry Ógra will be climbing Mount Errigal to raise money for PIPs and to help them continue the great work they do in communities promoting Suicide awareness. I believe it is our duty to work together as a community and make suicide history” 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Women of Gaza

Álanna Campbell
National Youth Committee
Óige Phoblachtach East Tyrone

I was lucky enough to be part of a recent Irish Delegation to Gaza organised by Derry Friends of Palestine. Myself and my fellow Ógra comrades, Cathal Óg Donnelly, Ruairi McLaughlin and Mickey McCrossan have many special memories of the trip and have returned home to Ireland dedicated and committed to working alongside the people of Gaza until they achieve their freedom.

There are many different aspects to the siege and overall struggle in Gaza, and one that must be considered is the important role played by the women of Gaza. Similar to the role of women in Ireland, their bravery and courage struck me immediately. I felt proud to be in the company of so many strong, independent and loyal women; loyal to their country, loyal to their families and loyal to their basic internal qualities and beliefs of equality, freedom and justice.

We visited several universities in Gaza, and the amount of women in attendance was striking. Women outweighed the men in many universities and several continue their study and do masters and postgrads as a means of progressing themselves and their potential opportunities in the future. In the Islamic University inGaza, there was a majority of 68% female students to the 32% male students and these figures are similar in the various other universities. These statistics show the drive, determination and hope for the future that these young women have, and these women have undertaken the message behind the famous words ofThomas Davies, “Educate, that you may be free.” The education and progression of women's skills is of the utmost important to the people of Gaza and is reflected by groups which have been set up by women for women. One women’s groups that we met with was ‘Ethar Voluntary Initiative’ and it is run under support and supervision of Jana Society for Community Development, aiming at empowering women, improving living conditions and creating opportunities for young people and marginalised groups. We presented them with a quilt, a gift from the women of Ireland to the women of Palestine, expressing our solidarity and recognising the special relationship that the women of Ireland and Gaza share.

One woman who stands out in particular and is now an international figure is Hana Shalabi; her story and her name have been a hot topic for all Palestinian activists around the world. One woman’s relentless courage and strong, un-surrendering beliefs in her rights and her desire for freedom led to a 43 day long Hunger Strike in which the rest of the world looked on, unable to believe that the Israeli authorities were refusing to step in! Four days after she ended her hunger strike, the Irish delegation were lucky and privileged enough to actually meet Hana in her hospital room. I can honestly say that one of the greatest honours in my life was presenting Hana with an Easter Lily, a symbol of remembrance and honour for all the great men and women who died in the pursuit of Irish freedom and re-unification.

We also met with the mothers, wives, sisters and children of many political prisoners. We heard their individual, heart-wrenching and emotional stories and their pleas for the release of the political prisoners. Many of the women had accepted that they might not see their beloved sons, husbands, brothers and fathers again, they had accepted the sad reality that they could die in prison. Mothers may never see their pride and joys again, wives are continuing to bring up their families, singlehandedly, struggling to make ends meet, and children, innocent, beautiful children, shaken with the harrowing realisation that they might never see their father again, and some who will never see their father even for the first time. These women are the strength behind the movement, the drive behind the fight for freedom, their unrelenting and unquenching thirst for justice left us all very emotional, and able to see the many similarities between the women of Ireland and the women of Palestine. We met with mothers who had sacrificed their sons for the freedom of their country, the love of their country and the future of their country. Imagine the feeling of sending your son out to fight, knowing full well that he will not be returning, that he will become a martyr and that his death is solely because of the occupation of his own country by a foreign people who should not be there and have no right to be there!

Ireland and Palestine have always had links throughout their struggles and history, the women of Gaza held posters of our ten brave comrades who died on Hunger Strike in 1981 to show their solidarity to our cause and movement. The people of Ireland have not forgotten that and will stand in solidarity with the men, women and children of Gaza until they are free from Israeli state terrorism!

Free Gaza, Saor Gaza, الحرية لغزة

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Children of Gaza

Cathal Óg Donnelly
National Youth Committee
Óige Phoblachtach East Tyrone

From the moment you cross the border at Rafah you realise that there is something particularly striking about Gaza. It isn’t the bombed out shells of what used to be peoples homes and places of work that struck you the hardest. It isn’t even the sounds of the fighter jets flying overhead, or the Israeli gunfire in the bay preventing Palestinian fishermen from making a living in their own waters. It isn’t the bullet holes that riddled the cities or the mad made poverty and squalor that people were forced to live in. It isn’t the hum of the spy drones overhead. It is the beauty of Gaza and the children of Palestine.

Gaza has a very young population. Over 44 percent of the population are under the age of 14. As you take a look around you would be hard pressed to find a street that wasn’t thronged with small children playing. The first thought that hits you is that Israel air strikes and bombs these streets and residential areas regularly. How many of these children die as a result of Israeli aggression? During the three week Israeli offensive in 2008, Operation Cast Lead, the Palestinian Ministry of health estimates that 431 children were killed as a result of the violence. That’s roughly 20 children per day of the attacks.

We visited a small primary school that was situated next to a three story residential building that was destroyed by an Israeli rocket two weeks before we arrived. The children’s smiles offered the warmest greeting one could receive. They were so happy to see us and jumped at the rare opportunity to practice their English with Europeans. Needless to say 60 children shouting their names at you all at once can be a lot to get your head around and if you’re not good with names you have to shape up or ship out. The side of the school was riddled with shrapnel holes and the image of the children smiling out at you from a balcony surrounded by bullet holes is as eye opening an experience as one could possibly have. On leaving the school a smiling young boy was presented to us. Two weeks before our arrival he and his little brother were walking to school when an Israeli rocket struck killing the boy’s small brother. The boy met us with a smile. He had skipped out ahead of his younger brother before the rocket hit, saving his life.

In Gaza the power cuts because of the siege affect everyone and everywhere from the streets of the refugee camps to the houses of government ministers forcing people to use candles or other primitive forms of lighting. A couple of days before we left three small children were burned to death in their bedroom, they were using the candle to do their homework, after they fell asleep the candle fell over starting the fire. We met the family of the children in their home. We stood in the burned out room in which they had died only two day before. As I looked at the ground where the charred remains of their homework lay I was struck with a great sense of grief and anger. The siege killed those beautiful little children, the Israelis might as well have put a gun to their heads and pulled the trigger. This event is not unique; the siege actively kills, injures and deprives people and children in particular of their dignity.

 The children in Gaza endure immense suffering every day, being back in Ireland and seeing the kids play and laugh here, Gaza and the problems facing its people seem worlds away. Normality toys with you as if it was all a bad dream, but it’s one the Palestinians cannot awaken from. The resilience of these children in the face of the hardships they live under is a beacon of hope not only for me, but also for the Palestinian people and cause. The smiles of the children of Palestine serve as the sign that the Palestinians will ever truly be defeated. Bobby Sands said, “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children”. Hopefully one day we will hear that laughter in the streets of Al Quds in a free Palestine.        


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Sinn Féin Republican Youth interviewed by PressTV in Gaza

Members of Sinn Féin Republican Youth who travelled as part of a solidarity trip to the beseiged Palestinian territory of Gaza spoke with PressTV:

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Play Your Part!!

Joe Dunn
Sinn Fein Republican Youth Committee
Ógra Shinn Fein Doire

“Everyone, Republican or otherwise, has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small; no one is too old or too young to do something.” 31 years after his passing, the words of Republican Prisoner, Hunger striker and Member of Parliament Bobby Sands still echo as loudly and as importantly as they did in 1981. The focus of this quote for me is, “No one is too old or too young to do something”. Throughout every phase of struggle the youth of Ireland have always been at the forefront. Previous generations, from The Young Ireland movement in the 1830s, Na Fianna Eireann of the early 1900’s, Sinn Féin Youth of the 1990’s and the countless other Republican youth organisations in the years between, have always been the backbone of the struggle, they have taken a stand and filled the void.

All throughout the past those young republicans who have joined youth movements went on to become leaders, this can now be seen today with many young Republicans in crucial democratic roles, for example, Councillors Colly Kelly, Jack Murray and Elisha McLaughlin; Daithi McKay MLA and Pearse Doherty T.D. Young active Republicans are the future, not only of Sinn Féin, but they are laying the founds for the republican movement as a unified entity and are vital if we are to achieve a United Ireland in the future.

Personally I became active in republican politics in 2010. There were several reasons for my involvement; firstly, coming from a republican household and secondly, attending many republican commemorations. These experiences influenced me in taking an interest in republican politics from a young age. That interest gave me the drive and determination to learn more about Republican history, traditions and culture. The years passed and I was able to see what Ógra activists were doing, I could see from the outset their dedication and competence along with their commitment to the republican struggle. Almost instantly I had aspiration to become that type of activist. Later in 2010 I had attended a number of protests with people who I now value as my comrades. I then joined ÓSF and within weeks I had the honour to speak as a representative of Ógra at an anti-cuts demonstration. Within a number of months I had been elected to the Doire ÓSF Officer board as Campaigns Officer.

I was especially attracted to Ógra Shinn Féin due to the ideologies that underpin OSF. Ideologies including, Republicanism, Socialism, Feminism, Anti-Fascism and Internationalism. Sinn Féin Republican Youth actively stand by these ideals. Republicanism is used in our daily political actions as is socialism. On an international level we have actively campaigned for the Boycott of Israeli goods, the release of Palestinian hunger strikers Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi. As I type this article a number of Ógra activists are in Palestine as part of a delegation to build links with local communities and education services. We have also been present at demonstrations and rallies across the country on International Women’s day.

Without the on-going support of young republicans nationwide, Sinn Féin Republican Youth would not be able to continue the dedicated work on a daily basis, to echo the words of Gerry Adams T.D, “Get involved with Ógra and make a difference to modern Irish politics.” With that in mind and referring back to Bobby Sands’ quote “No one is too old or too young” I would say now that the time has never been better for young republican minded people to become involved in politics. Sinn Féin Republican Youth is a radical, campaigning, activist based party and is the fastest growing youth wing of any political party in Ireland; we are consistently growing and have new Cumainn and Committees forming on a regular basis.

I call on all young republicans to become involved in any way you can. Be it through SFRY, your local Sinn Féín Cumann, local Republican Flute Band or through one of the many community programmes and youth programmes across the country.

You can play your part! We, the youth of Ireland, are the catalyst for change in this country. We can work together to eradicate division and build an Ireland of equals which will fulfil the aims set out in the Easter Proclamation of the Irish Republic and establish a Republic that, “guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

An Phoblacht - April 2012

The April edition of An Phoblacht is out today, this issue includes:

* Crisis at the Top: Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil in Trouble over Household Charge, Mahon and EU Treaty

* All the information about Easter Commemorations

* Symphysiotomy: A clinical scandal on par with the clerical scandals

* Belfast City Council spearheads development plan for facilites services and jobs

* Fracking: New US Tea Party darlings from Ireland backing controversial practice

* Release Marian Price

* Mary Lou McDonald on the Mahon Tribunal and 1916

*This Generation can Deliver Iris Unity - Sinn Féin Republican Youth Congress

*The Murder of Sam Marshall - UVF death squad struck while British Army looked on

*Left-wing republican elected leader of Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales

* Love Rural Ireland campaign launched

Available from Sinn Féin Bookshops and all usual outlets. Also order a single copy and get it posted to you from the Bookshop website here

Iris - The Republican Magazine (Spring/Summer 2012) out now

The Spring/Summer 2012 edition of Iris - The Republican Magazine is out now.

The latest edition includes an exclusive interview with legendary musician Christy Moore about his music, hopes and memories of the H-Blocks.

Also, Iris speaks to two female former IRA prisoners about their experiences in Maghaberry Gaol and activists report direct from Palestine about the realities of living under Israeli occupation. The controversial "fracking" gas extraction process is looked at in detail and our editor reports from Corsica, where a low-level armed campaign by Corsican separatists is still being waged against French rule. Of particular note to young activists is a piece by former Hunger Striker Laurence McKeown who speaks about the role of young republicans and how this generation can deliver Irish unity. There are also comment pieces, book and cd reviews and much more.

Iris - The Republican Magazine is €3.99/£3.20 for a 64-page full-colour magazine. It is available from your local Sinn Féin Bookshop, Constituency Office or you can order an edition online here.

If any Sinn Féin Republican Youth branches wish to purchase several copies of Iris to sell for fundraising then please contact Tommy on for a special rate.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Irish Delegation to Gaza

Four members of Sinn Féin Republican Youth have been invited to travel to Gaza as part of an Irish delegation to the region. Álanna Campbell and Cathal Óg Donnelly from Tyrone and Ruairi McLaughlin and Mickey McCrossan from Derry will be travelling along with other Palestinian activists and Sinn Fein members this coming Wednesday.

Cathal Óg Donnelly commented,“This visit to our Palestinian comrades is a chance for us to show again our dedication to the goals of Palestinian Statehood and freedom. The people of Gaza endure immeasurable suffering each day at the hands of the Israeli state from lack of water supplies, controlled by Israel to military brutality on an unimaginable scale. Only last week the Israeli air force through a series of air strikes killed 25 Palestinians including women and children in Gaza. The use of administrative detention (Internment) by the Israelis has been highlighted by the recent Hunger strike of Khader Adnan (Internee) from the West Bank. We as Irish republicans understand these concepts as well as anyone and in that vein we hope that our help and solidarity can prove beneficial to our comrades in Palestine. We must stand against injustice and torture and help in whatever way we can to deliver Palestinian freedom!”

The Irish delegation organised by Derry Friends of Palestine will be visiting a refugee camp, meeting several NGOs and the political parties of Gaza, as well as visiting Universities to build links with their Irish counterparts and meeting with the Gazan Education Minister.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Women in Struggle - Álanna Campbell

Álanna Campbell
Coney Kilpatrick Cumann
Óige Phoblachtach East Tyrone

Today is International Women’s Day, and an important day typically where we, as republicans, reflect on women’s role in our struggle, and celebrate the many strong females we have today, who are a major part of our movement and advance it every step of the way.

However, I do not feel that a token day is enough to remember the dedication and life commitment that these women gave, rather we should remember with pride the women who contributed to the cause of Irish freedom and unity every day and strive to keep their memory alive and to continue what they dedicated their lives to; a 32 county socialist republic.

Women have played numerous, important roles throughout Irish history and politics, each as important as the next, and women continue to be a driving force behind our movement. We have had strong female leaders who committed themselves to the re-unification of Ireland such as Countess Markievicz and Mairéad Farrell, women in Armagh Gaol who participated in no wash protests and the 1980 Hunger Strike, along with the male prisoners of war in Long Kesh at the time, and the famous images of women banging the ground with bin lids depicts how the women in the Falls area of Belfast courageously warned their neighbours that the Brits were coming whilst the area was on curfew in July 1970.

Women passed messages in and out of the jail between the republican prisoners and the outside world, they provided safe houses for those on the run and continued to maintain a sense of normality and carry on with everyday life within their families, often becoming single parents and juggling the many different roles such as wife, mother, daughter, sister, soldier, freedom fighter, prisoner of war and so on.

Indeed women have always been instrumental in the fight for Irish Freedom and continue to fight for that justice today. In the many different twists and turns our struggle has taken, women have been to the forefront of this; whether it was joining Cumman na mBan and bravely giving up their lives for their country up until the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998, or now fighting our struggle in the assembly in Stormont and being active in their communities promoting the necessity for a united, socialist Ireland.

Women are still not equally represented in politics and are very much a minority in the typically and traditionally patriarchal, male dominated sphere and although the role and importance of women’s contribution to our history has been overlooked in the past, I believe in this progressive age, and in the progressive nature of Sinn Féin as a party and the dedication and the enlightened and revolutionary views of our youth movement, Sinn Féin Óige Phoblachtach, that the future of women in politics and in our movement is bright. Women will continue to play an active role in politics, in the shaping of our country and their actions and contributions will be recognised, and celebrated eternally, and not just on one day a year.

In the words of Mairead Farrell:
"I'm oppressed as a woman, but I am also oppressed because I'm Irish. Everyone in this country is oppressed and we can't successfully end our oppression as women until we first end the oppression of our country. But I don't think that's the end of it. It happened before where women took the back seat. But women today have gone through too much, no way will they allow that to happen.”