26 April 2007 Edition

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Bertie and the 'Sinn Féin imports'

As the 26 County general election draws closer, it is obvious that Bertie Ahern is becoming more anxious.  Following a massive show of support from Belfast women for the Sinn Féin female candidates in Dublin two weeks ago, Bertie was reported in the Irish Independent (17 April) to have said that he was not upset by Sinn Féin imports coming into his electoral patch.
“The reference to “Sinn Féin imports” was of course to bus loads of female Sinn Féin activists from Belfast who made the journey to support Mary Lou McDonald and Joanne Spain,” claimed newly elected MLA Jennifer Mc Cann.
“I take offence to the Irish Taoiseach referring to me and others as “imports”. I am an Irish republican, I live on the island of Ireland, I possess and Irish Passport, I am a former Irish republican prisoner and for the most powerful person in Irish political life to refer to his fellow citizens as imports is most offensive.”
“Only last year Fianna Fáil were attempting to re brand themselves as “the real republicans” in the run up to the 90th Anniversary of the Easter Rising. Already Bertie seems to have slipped straight back into partitionist mode.”
“Sinn Féin are the only all Ireland party and will continue to work as a party regardless to which part of this island requires a focus. We are republicans and we are entitled to travel throughout our country for commemorative events, election campaigns and for whatever other reason we feel there is a need,” added Jennifer.
“I am calling on all Belfast Republican women to participate on another similar event. This time busloads of Belfast women will travel on the Anniversary of Bobby Sands (Saturday 05 May) to Dublin again and indeed again to Bertie’s constituency. There is a role for everybody here from the delivery of Sinn Féin literature to those who feel confident enough to canvass Ireland’s capital city on behalf of the only team who will deliver in both parts of this island.”
If you are interested in participating in this event, please contact your local Sinn Féin constituency office.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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