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10 May 2007 Edition

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Sinn Féin - Changing Ireland North and South

This week witnessed an important chapter in the Irish peace process and in building Ireland’s future political landscape. As Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said, Tuesday was “a good day for Ireland”.
Many people deserve credit and gratitude for getting us all to this point. These include political representatives from all sides, nationalist and unionist, aswell as representatives of the British and Irish governments, the US government and friends of Ireland in South Africa and elsewhere across the world. Credit is due also to the IRA, which through groundbreaking initiatives regularly bolstered the peace process.
Aswell as celebrating the hugely important political developments, this week was also a time for remembering all of those victims of the conflict over many years. Many, many people lost their lives and many more were injured during those years, particularly in the Six Counties but also in the rest of Ireland, in Britain and further afield.
The anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands, the first of the republican Hunger Strikers to die in the epic Hunger Strike of 1981 occurred just days before the events at Stormont. Tuesday itself was also the 20th anniversary of the death of eight IRA Volunteers and one civilian in a crown forces ambush at Loughgall, County Armagh in 1987.
Tuesday’s events at Stormont were about building a political future that can ensure that events like the 1981 Hunger Strike and the Loughgall ambush and all the other tragic events of the past 35 to 40 years are never visited on another generation.
This week saw the beginning of a real process of national reconciliation and the building a new relationship between the peoples of Ireland and Britain. There are many, many political challenges ahead but all of these can be overcome.
Against the backdrop of events at Stormont, Tuesday’s comments by leading members of Fianna Fáil that they would not share power with Sinn Féin under any circumstances after the general election look increasingly hollow, unconvincing and opportunistic. It would suit these posturing politicians much better if they addressed the need to build on Tuesday’s developments and start to prepare for the coming together of all the Irish people.
The next Irish Government needs to legislate for the rights of all citizens on the island of Ireland. Political representatives from the Six Counties, nationalist and unionist, must be afforded the opportunity to participate in the political institutions of the 26 Counties as of right. The current Fianna Fáil-led Government has failed to do this.
The real question of the general election is not whether establishment political parties will share power with Sinn Féin but whether any of these parties are willing to engage with Sinn Féin’s agenda for building equality, ending poverty and delivering public services to all.
Its political detractors know that Sinn Féin is changing the political landscape in Ireland North and South, and increasingly the party will become the story of the general election.

An Phoblacht Magazine

AN PHOBLACHT MAGAZINE:

  • The first edition of this new magazine will feature a 10 page special on the life and legacy of our leader Martin McGuinness to mark the first anniversary of his untimely passing.
  • It will include a personal reminiscence by Gerry Adams and contributions from the McGuinness family.
  • There will also be an exclusive interview with our new Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald.

Buy An Phoblacht magazine here

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