8 January 2009 Edition
Seán Sabhat Commemoration
After the Celtic Tiger phenomenon, she said, “It is almost unbelievable to see that we are now back to a scenario where we face mass emigration again.”
The march assembled in Bedford Row, and led by a republican colour party and the Carrick-On-Suir Republican Flute Band proceeded to Sabhat’s grave in Mount St Laurence Cemetery.
The ceremonies were chaired by Tom Collopy, Limerick City Sinn Féin East Ward representative.
A wreath on behalf of the Republican Movement was laid by local republican Marie Quinlivan. A minute’s silence was observed in memory of all those who died in the cause of Irish freedom.
A poem about Seán Sabhat was read by Jenny Loughman and Kevin Maguire.
The main speaker was Kerry County Councillor Toireasa Ferris, the Sinn Féin EU candidate for Ireland South.
“Seán Sabhat was a true patriot who died that we might have had a free and united Ireland. Along with Fergal O’Hanlon they both died 52 years ago in the age-old struggle for Irish freedom. The lives and deaths of these two men from almost opposite ends of the country also demonstrates clearly that the republican struggle for a united, free and independent Ireland is very clearly an all-Ireland struggle. It is not, as some would have us believe, just something that only concerns the Six Counties.”
Toireasa Ferris condemned the Fianna Fáil-led government for its cuts in health and education and presiding over rising unemployment.
“The Government, through its savage cuts, are targeting the poor and those less-well-off. Other cuts have targeted the most vulnerable in our society: those with intellectual and physical disabilities.
“In the 1950s, when Seán Sabhat died, many people had two choices, London or the USA, as thousands emigrated to find work. It is almost unbelievable to see that we are now back to a scenario where we face mass emigration again.
“Limerick, even with its two Government ministers, is particularly exposed to the economic downturn as the Government has squandered the economic boom and failed to invest in Ireland’s future. There are already 13,000 people on the live register in Limerick and many more Limerick people await with trepidation the expected imminent announcement from Dell that will spell the end of thousands of jobs in the region and misery for many.
“This government is inept and out of touch with the people and their concerns.”
FIANNA FÁIL FAILURE
Toireasa Ferris concluded:
“The present economic and financial crisis has illustrated all too clearly the abject failure of the politics of the free marketers and the politics of greed. Unfortunately, the present Irish Government is still wedded to the old ways, to that failed politics illustrated by the late, unlamented Progressive Democrats.
“Caught in the headlights of the present crisis, they decided to attack the vulnerable, the old and the young.
“This government sees education as a means of cutting expenditure rather than a tool to help us out of this mess. This, in a sector which, even in the good times, was not delivering educational opportunities to all of the people equally.”
The local and European elections, now only weeks away, she said, will give people an opportunity to send a clear message to the Government that they want change by voting Sinn Féin.”