31 January 2008 Edition

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Mála Poist

Cuireann An Phoblacht fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla, 200 focal ar a méid. Déantar giorrú ar litreachta más gá. Cuir do litir chuig [email protected]
An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please

Confronting Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Modern Ireland

LAST STAURDAY (19 January), Gerry Adams assisted Ógra Shinn Féin in launching a major national campaign on drug and alcohol abuse. The campaign is called NARC, an acronym for ‘not another ravaged community’, and will be rolled out in cities, towns, universities and communities throughout Ireland over the next six months.
We are undertaking action on this massive issue because we are concerned at the hugely negative impact drugs and alcohol, are having on our communities and our young people.
It is an attempt to spark a proper debate on the whole issue of drugs, and collectively develop and implement a community based action plan that will have an impact.
In the months ahead we aim to distribute thousands of leaflets and posters, engage with the broadest section of Irish youth, work closely with drug and alcohol awareness groups, host drug awareness workshops, organise a national youth forum in Dublin, and press for a more concerted effort from government to tackle this scourge head on, especially those parasites who grow rich from their drug empires which inflict so much destruction and death.
The NARC campaign has been launched in a true community spirit. It is about turning the tide on the growing level of alcohol and drug abuse and empowering the people and communities in which we live. We all have a duty to ensure a bright future for new generations. A strong, empowered community will help ensure that.
We would urge everyone to support Ógra Shinn Féin in this broad campaign and together let us commit ourselves to the task of, “Not Another Ravaged Community!”
Barry McColgan,
National Organiser,
Ógra Shinn Féin

Move over, Sherlock Holmes

I SEE that the Evening Herald’s ‘police expert’ columnist, retired Garda Detective Inspector Gerry ‘Laying Down the Law’ O’Carroll, was given headline billing this week with his claim that he’s told Dublin criminal Martin ‘The Viper’ Foley, riddled with bullets, that he would “die a violent death”.
Foley has been the target of four previous gun attacks.
Maybe it’s those amazing powers of deduction that meant O’Carroll was destined to be a detective.
JIM MURRAY,
Stoneybatter,
Dublin 7

In defence of Dubs

I AM CURIOUS to know how your correspondent Caolan MacGadfraidh of An Iur Cinn Trá arrived at the view that the Citizens of Dublin have become “detached from any republican ideals.”
It would appear in fact that he is basing his belief on extensive research carried out in “bars around Trinity College.” Truly not since Margaret Mead ventured among the elusive tribes of Samoa has such extensive anthropological research being conducted into the customs of exotic peoples.
One might suggest, however, that the next time he pays an all too brief visit to the City of Easter 1916, that he might perhaps venture further afield where he might meet some real Dubs who might disabuse him of his misconceptions.
Otherwise he might be left with the same erroneous conception of us that some Dublin hurling supporters formed in Newry during the summer when refused taxis because they were wearing the illustrious sky blue. Perhaps they thought Coventry City had come to town?
JOE BRADY,
Dublin 11

TDs’ holidays

DID I hear right on the radio that TDs are returning to the Dáil after a three-week break for just 16 days before they’re off again?
Could any Sinn Féin TD explain what has happened to all the talk we heard about Dáil reform?
I know you don’t have to be in the Dáil to work but it doesn’t look good to us ‘ordinary voters’.
GERALDINE MURPHY,
Dublin 17



Job losses — action not soundbites needed

THE CLOSURE of the Allergan plant in Arklow, with the loss of 360 jobs, is only the latest in a series of large scale redundancies in the manufacturing sector but the government is still failing to appreciate the need for retraining and for focussed investment plans in those areas hard hit by redundancies.
Cork and Donegal in particular have suffered from the downturn in manufacturing jobs because of our over-dependence on foreign direct investment for employment.
The closure of Jacobs in Tallaght with the loss of 220 jobs has the potential to bring unemployment in that area close to 4,000 and one of the fastest levels of unemployment growth.
We need an economic policy that recognises the need for specific, localised strategies to be developed for local areas that have been hit by large manufacturing closures and not soundbites of remorse from business and the government. We need an economic policy that is not so dependent on the whims of transnational capital but encourages the growth of indigenous Irish industry in the technology sector. Most of all, we need a government prepared to back such policies because it’s crystal clear that this government is failing Irish workers.
JASON MOLONEY,
Kildare.


An Phoblacht
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