14 August 2008 Edition
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
CR gas campaign
On 15-16 October 1974 the British government issued an order to drop CR Gas on political prisoners in Long Kesh prison camp. They have since denied that the gas was used. There has been a high rate of cancer-related illnesses among those former prisoners who were incarcerated there at that time.
CEARTAIS is a newly formed republican ex-prisoners group who have come together to lobby on the issue. We will be holding a comprehensive seminar at 11.30am Tuesday, 26 August in the Felon’s Club on the Andersontown Road, Belfast. The purpose of the Seminar is to update the wider community on the progress of our Campaign thus far. We will also be putting on display newly discovered photos of the battle and brutality that took place on 16 October, 1974. CEARTAIS also urge readers to sign our online petition to Brian Cowen T.D. asking the Irish government to investigate the above issue. The petition can be accessed @ http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Ceartais/. For further information contact Joe Doherty on Belfast, 02890 200770 or [email protected]
Máirtín Óg Meehan
Irishmen in the British Army
Patrick D Coggin (Capt, rtd), (Irish Times, 11 May) subscribed to the idea that ethnicity matters more than character. Any Irishman that carries a gun, wears a uniform, and gets paid by a Government, any Government, should be honoured by his compatriots. By contrast any Irishman who carries or recently carried a gun, not paid by a government, and strives/strove to make good the promise of 1916 should be despised.
Captain Coggin makes great play of honouring those who followed Tom Kettle, Pied Piper of Irish Nationalism to death in British uniforms.
But he does not share Kettle’s generous sentiment or breadth of sympathy.
According to Robert Lynd, Kettle’s friend, the poem REASON IN RHYME, written in answer to an English plea for Irishmen to forget the past, expressed Kettle’s dying sentiments. I make bold to quote some lines, for no revisionist will –
This mate and mother of valiant “rebels” dead
Must come with all her history on her head.
We keep the past for pride:
No deepest peace shall strike our poets dumb:
No rawest squad of all Death’s volunteers,
No rudest man who died
To tear your flag down in the bitter years,
But shall have praise, and three times thrice again,
When at the table men shall drink with men.
Hypocrisy of Bush
I find the comments from President Bush re China’s human rights record a mere public relations exercise. I for one do not doubt and have written about China’s disgusting human rights violations, but for Mr Bush to give lectures on human rights is like the pot calling the kettle black. Consider the record of the US Government in many parts of the globe over the years and that over 40 million people in the US are denied their basic human right of Medicare.