7 December 2006 Edition

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Mála Poist

An open letter to Hugh Orde

A chara,

We are somewhat puzzled as to why C2 of the PSNI, and not the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), recently arrested Peter Keeley, aka Kevin Fulton, from his London home detaining him for several days at Antrim.

Why would you as Chief Constable, especially after going to great lengths in setting up the HET, resourcing and promoting it, have need to use C2 to arrest Fulton for matters that are considered to be the remit of the HET.

Is it that the intelligence services requested this arrest?

Was it to lean on Fulton in a bid to prevent him from further disclosing information about his activities as a state agent?

Is it about ensuring that he does not give evidence in the Hoey trial, which is already proving to be embarrassing for the PSNI and MI5?

Do you believe that the arrest seriously compromises your integrity as Chief Constable and that of the HET?

Are some cases of more political significance and therefore victims can be somehow used to advance a particular political cause or aspiration, in this instance the interests of the crown?

Are we to see more political policing like this in the future?

The public, and vicitms, need to know.

Is mise,

Mark Thompson,


Relatives for Justice.

Re-Gaelicising Surnames

A chara,

It was interesting to read Mícheál Mac Donncha's letter (An Phoblacht, 21 September) on Sinn Féin's 'Attitudes to Irish', specifically in reference to the misspelling of his surname.

Ireland was one of the earliest countries to develop the hereditary system of surnames, by affixing both Mac [son] and Uí/Ó [grandson], before the names of common ancestors of clans and tribal progeny. There was roughly about 11,500 very distinctive Gaelic surnames that evolved [only 4,000 surviving due to ethnic cleansing and enforced famines], each defining the rich cultural lineage of individual families and unique spellings in various dialects for personal names.

Most spellings of Gaelic names in modern Ireland have been anglicised through various Penal laws. The anglicised versions were devised to belittle and degrade our culture and the custom of tracing our paternal origins mostly to heroic warriors.

For any Irish person who still uses the anglicised version of their Gaelic surnames today, it might be well to remember that they are subconsciously doing the work of England. Humiliating their ancestors by using sarcastic and slanderous spellings of our ancient nobles was central to the psychological suppression of our island.

Part of the Gaelic revival that was central to the build-up to the 1916 Rising was to re-Gaelicise surnames, and this was diligently promoted by great patriots such as Mac Piarais, Mac Suibhne, Mac Curtáin, Ceannt, Ó Rathaile and Ó Ághes.

Ninety years on from the 1916 Rising, I would encourage members of Sinn Féin to take the lead from people like Mícheál Mac Donncha, and not just be passive in the Gaelic revival, but to re-Gaelicise their surnames to help de-anglicise the negativity inflicted upon our culture by our ancient enemy. Go n-éirí leat.

Is mise,

Tomás Mac Cormaic.

Celebration of Remembrance - Buíochas

A chara,

On behalf of the Dublin '81 Committee I wish to extend our gratitude to the families of the Hungerstrikers for attending the Celebration of Remembrance Concert in the Ambassador Theatre on Saturday 2nd December. To Seándo Moore for all his assistance.

We also want to extend our thanks to Laurence McKeown who opened the event. To the artists on the evening; Willie Byrne, Karen Casey, Niall Valely, Cormac Breatnach, Rónán Ó' Snodaigh and Frances Black, who gave their services voluntary and who gave outstanding performances.

The evening could not have been a success without Gerry Keenan our production director and Bobby Ballagh for doing MC on the evening. We wish to thank Mitchel McLaughlin, Lucilita Bhreatnach, Corine Bierney and his Excellency Noel Carillo (Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba). To the republican prisoners in Portlaoise for making the bodhrán for the presentation.

To Michael 'Dixie' Dickson for all the hard work he put in and to Ann O'Sullivan for all her help. To Mark Joyce for designing all the publicity material.

A special word of thanks to Brian Whitehead and his team in MCD for their advice and patience. To Dermot Finucane for all his help, To Jason, Peter and all the security team in the Ambassador Theatre who looked after us on the evening. Last but not least to all the Republicans who came to the concert to support the families.

Go raibh maith agaibh go léir,

Is Mise,

Olive Sloan,

Dublin '81 Committee.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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