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24 April 2003 Edition

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Asgard anniversary marked in Howth

On Saturday, Sinn Féin held its first ever commemoration of the Asgard in Howth. Around 200 people gathered on Howth Pier, and led by a colour party and Mick Foy on the pipes, marched to the site of the Asgard's landing in 1914.

Killian Forde, the local election candidate for Donaghmede, chaired the proceedings. After a lament on the pipes from Leo Rickard, wreaths were laid and the Proclamation was read. Mícheál MacDonncha gave a brief history of the Asgard and Erskine Childers before Sinn Féin TD Sean Crowe delivered the main speech. Sean paid particular attention to the Colombia Three, whom he has visited on several occasions.

"The Dublin government has a responsibility to ensure the safe return home of the three Irishmen currently being held by the Colombian authorities. Following the latest court proceedings in Colombia, it has become blatantly clear that there is no evidence against Jim Monaghan, Martin McCauley and Niall Connolly.

"The government has a duty to offer protection to Irish citizens wherever they are. Again, we are calling on Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen to intervene directly with the Colombian government to bring an end to the farce that is called a trial and to guarantee the safe return of the three men to Ireland."
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