8 June 2006 Edition
Organise now for Bodenstown
I read Micheál Mac Donncha's article in last weeks An Phoblacht entitled Wolfe Tone Commemoration: Organise now for major republican gathering .
I agree with what Micheál says, particularly "It is fair to say that in recent years attendances have not properly reflected the growing national strength of Sinn Féin, with the crowds mainly drawn from Leinster. 2006 is the year to put that right and all areas are encouraged to organise now for Sunday 18 June."
Maybe this year, we could have a show of strength from our elected representatives and our Árd Chomhairle members, who are noticeably thin on the ground when it comes to Bodenstown.
Maybe this year, people could put aside their loyalties to Gaelic football and soccer matches and come to Bodenstown to re-dedicate themselves to the ideals of Pádraig Pearse, James Connolly, Bobby Sands and Mairéad Farrell.
Let us remember with pride, the sacrifice of the Hunger Strikers and the sacrifice of the many men and women Volunteers of Óglaigh na hÉireann. Organise Now for Bodenstown!
An invitation to all republicans
Last year the newly formed Marie Wright/Joe Cahill Sinn Fein Cumann held a gathering of republicans following the annual Wolf Tone Commemoration in Kildare. Central to the Cumann's formation and on whose initiative the function came about was the then Leinster Organiser Daithí Forde. Tragically Daithí lost his life to cancer just four months later.
Daithí's organisational skills ensured the events success with a strong attendance of republicans from his much loved home county of Wexford and further afield. A great day was had by all. By way of humble tribute to our friend and comrade we invite republicans to join us in the Town House Hotel, Naas after the Wolf Tone Commemoration on 18 June. Our intentions are to make this an annual event in memory of a truly sound, admirable Irish Republican- Daithí Forde.
For further information contact the Marie Wright/Joe Cahill SF Cumann Kildare on 087-6694206.
Cristín Mc Cauley,
Sinn Féin and socialism
At this time of immense political change, our party faces a number of key challenges. Policing and coalition are two of the major issues, but I think in dealing specifically with individual issues as they arise, we are being too short sighted.
Rather, we need to look at our ideological challenges in a broader context; establish the fundamentals clearly and the rest will follow. To this end, I would like to take this opportunity to urge the party to begin an internal debate on the merits of socialism and more importantly; whether we wish to be a socialist party or not.
Simply adopting a party constitution containing a profession of socialism, is not enough to be an unequivocably socialist party. Undoubtedly, if socialism is treated in isolation, many party members will reject it and they should have that right.
Our party cannot remain an organ of change without a definitively socialist approach. The nature of armed struggle, meant that in the past, our movement has tolerated a certain amount of ideological ambiguity. However, in this new era, we cannot afford to be so complacent. If we have a firm and frank debate on the merits of socialism, we will be in a stronger position to deal with individual conundra such as coalition. If we are clear about where we stand, such problems will be much easier to solve. We cannot hope to hold this movement together if we push fundamental ideological questions under the carpet. We owe it to ourselves and to all who seek change in Ireland, to have this debate.
Remember republican prisoners
It has certainly been a year of republican revolutionary commemorations. At Easter republicans throughout our island remembered those executed 90 years ago in the aftermath of 1916's seminal rebellion where Connolly, Pearse and company bravely attempted to smash British imperialism in Ireland.
This year is also the 25th anniversary of the death on hunger strike of ten selfless and courageous republican men who gave their lives in order to resist attempts to criminalise our legitimate struggle.
However, a quarter of a century after the passing of Sands and his comrades, republican prisoners still languish in jails. In a year of remembrance, let us not forget our comrades still incarcerated today. Until all are free, we are all imprisoned.
Law is an ass
In the last week we have seen another example of the law failing some of the most vulnerable in society. The debate has centred around the age of consent and what is the age at which a person reaches sexual maturity. However, this is a smokescreen with regard to the so-called 'Mr. A Case'. This case has damn all to do with consent or unlawful carnal knowledge. Rather, a young girl was plied with alcohol and then raped. A plea of unlawful carnal knowledge should never be entertained in such a case when it is clear that the heinous crime of rape in all its brutality has been perpetrated. This man walking free from court made a laughing stock of the law that is supposed to protect society from sexual predators.
Risteárd Ó Fuaráin,
9, Pairc Mhuire,
Baile Uí Thaidhg