9 August 2007 Edition
Ógra Shinn Féin : Successful demilitarisation weekend
Local victory claimed in demilitarisation campaign
Ógra Shinn Féin concluded their demilitarisation weekend in Omagh by claiming victory on the issue of British demilitarisation in the Tyrone town last weekend.
Over 40 Ógra activists from throughout Ireland were joined by three representatives from the Basque country as Ógra kicked off their weekend on Friday 3 August. First on the agenda was a Night of Remembrance for the Drumnakilly martyrs. Brian Mullin alongside his brother Gerard and Martin Harte were shot dead by the SAS in Drumnakilly in 1988.
Activists heard three accounts of the ambush from a person who knew the men, a local person who was a youth at the time and an Ógra Shinn Activist on how Ógra look upon the men today. A DVD was also screened, West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin made the DVD in memory of the three IRA members who died at Drumnakilly in 1988.
Early Saturday morning seen locals Jim Falconer and Martin McColgan speak about the history of the British army camp in Omagh. The raid by the IRA in the 1950s was recalled as was the campaign for the demilitarisation of the camp.
Activists then converged on Omagh’s high street for a leaflet drop and protest highlighting the issue of road deaths. Activists lined the streets with posters reading ‘Moilligh Síos – meaning slow down. Ógra Shinn Féin will be running with the issue as a national campaign over the next 6 months.
Following the protest in Omagh town centre representatives from the Basque country took centre stage at the weekend. They gave Ógra activists an update to the current situation in the Basque country and the continuing oppression by both the French and Spanish establishments.
Before leaving Omagh Town Ógra activists descended on the entrance to the former British army camp on the Gortin road and erected a banner reading ‘Slán Abhaile’.
Activists then visited the grave of Gerard and Martin Harte in Loughmacrory. Other graves of republican activists who are buried on the same graveyard were visited by the Ógra activists present.
On Sunday Ógra held a Gaelic football match before formally ending the demilitarisation weekend.
Speaking following the weekend West Tyrone Ógra Shinn Féin chairperson, Barry McNally said
“We claimed victory in our demilitarisation campaign in Omagh at this weekend. However the job does not end here indeed in many ways it is only beginning. Until complete separation from Britain is achieved, we as Irish republicans won’t be satisfied. In claiming this local victory we are rejuvenated to carry on with our programme of work of building a 32 county democratic socialist republic in Ireland.