12 May 2005 Edition
We wish all the recently elected councillors to Magherafelt District Council our most sincere congratulations.
Despite all the propaganda from various elements of the media, encouraged by anti-Agreement politicians, the people have placed their trust in republicans once again.
On behalf on the eight elected councillors we wish to thank the electorate — every man, woman and teenager — who turned up in their thousands to register their support. We also thank the election agents, and the many party activists who ensure our message is conveyed throughout the countryside. Finally, we thank Hugh Mullan and Séamus O'Brien, who were unsuccessful in securing their seats this time around, but have solidified the Sinn Féin base wherever they have worked through the years, and will continue to do so.
We are sure that previous councillors, especially those who gave their lives for our beliefs, will be satisfied with our continued progress onwards.
Sinn Féin now are the majority holder of seats within Magherafelt District Council. We will use our mandate responsibly to improve the lives of everyone within the council area.
We have a vision for Ireland. A vision that includes everyone. A vision of justice and equality. We intend to deliver.
Go raibh míle maith agaibhsa.
Magherafelt Sinn Féin,
Fianna Fáil has no ideology
David Cullinane's excellent article last week was probably one of the better opinion pieces printed in An Phoblacht in the recent past.
Cullinane, to use an old cliché, hits the nail on the head in all his arguments regarding the participation of Sinn Féin in coalition.
The most important point that needs to be emphasised, however, is the nature of the beast that is Fianna Fáil. I mention Fianna Fáil alone because in the short term they are probably the only 26-County party that will entertain Sinn Féin in any coalition. They also, at this stage, look the most likely party to be back in power after the next general election.
For all their bleating on about "private armies" and so-called criminality, Fianna Fáil will jump into bed with Sinn Féin at the first opportunity. Why? Their only reason to do so would be to stop the growth of Sinn Féin in the 26 Counties; in short, destroy us and the credibility within the constituency we seek to represent: the working class and the marginalised throughout the state.
The only beneficiaries of such a coalition would be those who defend the status quo and the present political set up in Leinster House. History points up the dangers of premature forays into power by small progressive parties. Clann na Poblachta in the '50s is the obvious one that springs to mind.
Fianna Fáil has no ideology, and would be as happy in coalition with far left or far right, once power was secured.
Cullinane is right; both states on the island have to be de-constructed, not merged, and a new socialist republican state created.
Ballybough, Dublin 3.
We were astounded to read Matt Treacy's piece (An Phoblacht, 30 April '05) under the heading 'Setanta Cup violence'.
The behaviour of a tiny number of Linfield fans in Longford did not warrant this exaggeration. The violence referred to in the article took place at an Irish league game between Glentoran and Linfield, so why the paragraph headline about the Setanta Cup?
We are 100% with those who are calling for an all-Ireland soccer league. The Setanta Cup is a great initiative and we hope it is successful and develops into a much bigger competition.
Another recent initiative was the 'One League 5-a-side', involving supporter clubs from Derry City, Glenavon, Cork City, Linfield and eventual winners, Bohemians. The inaugural event was held in the Astropark complex in Coolock, Dublin and was a great day for all involved.
Don't get lost Matt!
(member of Bohemian FC)
Jason McLean (member of Shamrock Rovers 400 Club)
Connolly statue defaced
We were extremely dismayed to see that the memorial to James Connolly has been covered in graffiti arising from the 'Reclaim the Streets' protest on May Day. It is not clear what political message the tags and anarchy signs is supposed to convey, but the net effect is that the memorial has been subject to a hostile attack.
This could not be more inappropriate. In all of Irish history, Connolly, along with Jim Larkin, was the greatest champion of May Day as a day of internationalism and workers' rights. He was an outspoken opponent of the Great War and gave his life in 1916 in the hope that "Ireland may yet set the torch to a European conflagration that will not burn out until the last throne and the last capitalist bond and debenture will be shrivelled on the funeral pyre of the last war lord".
The Trade Union Movement of Ireland quite rightly continues to hold James Connolly in great respect. By their ill-considered action, those 'Reclaim the Streets' activists responsible for the graffiti can only have alienated themselves from this potentially supportive constituency.
Co-authors of The Easter Rising (O'Brien Press)