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25 June 2009 Edition

Bodenstown 2009: ADDRESS BY JOINT FIRST MINISTER MARTIN McGUINNESS MP

25 June 2009

FROM the four corners of Ireland republicans made their way last Sunday to the village of Sallins, County Kildare, on Sunday for the annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration. Warm weather greeted the marching bands and the parade to Bodenstown Churchyard as onlookers applauded an array of colourful Sinn Féin cumainn banners and historical re-enactments from Ireland's ongoing struggle to achieve Tone's vision: "to unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissentions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in the place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter". Free article

Hunger Strikers' families challenge false claims over deaths

25 June 2009

HE families of the majority of the men who died during the 1981 Hunger Strike have rejected as "false" the claims being made about the fast and the deaths of six of the H-Block prisoners. The families are particularly incensed at the claims - raised by former H-Block prisoner Richard O'Rawe and repeated by the British media - that Margaret Thatcher's government offered the protesting prisoners a deal and that this was rejected by the leadership of the Republican Movement out of political expediency. Free article

LISBON 2: Brian Cowen and that 'Decision of the Heads of State'

25 June 2009

THE most important thing to note from last week's Council of Ministers discussions in Brussels on the Lisbon Treaty is that nothing of substance took place. Yes, we have an 'international agreement' on neutrality, taxation and ethical issues to be lodged at the United Nations. Yes, we have the 'promise' of a protocol on these same issues to be attached to a future accession treaty (for a country and on a date yet to be decided). And, yes, we have a 'solemn declaration' on workers' rights. Free article

THE MIDDLE EAST: Gerry Adams publishes report on Sinn Féin visit to Gaza, West Bank and Israel

25 June 2009

SINN FÉIN President Gerry Adams has published a report on his recent visit to the Middle East , Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, April 2009 - A Report. Speaking at the launch event for the report, Gerry Adams said: "The depth of the conflict and of the divisions in the Middle East, the scale of the devastation in Gaza, the impact of the Separation Wall and of the Israeli occupation, and the settlements in the West Bank, along with the trauma caused to the residents of Sderot and other Israeli towns by rocket attacks are all evidence of the enormity of the problems facing those who live in Israel and the Palestinian Territories." Free article

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Roma refugees to leave North

25 June 2009

ONE hundred members of Belfast's Roma community have decided to return to Romania following racist attacks that forced them to flee their south Belfast homes over the weekend of 13-15 June. Of 115 Roma refugees who sought shelter in the City Centre Church last Tuesday, and were then moved to temporary accommodation in secret locations, only 14 have decided to remain in the North. Twenty-five have already left. Free article

Ardoyne praised in face of march provocations

25 June 2009

THE dignity and restraint with which the people of Ardoyne in north Belfast greeted last Friday's Orange Tour of the North parade through the area has been praised by Sinn Féin minister and local MLA Gerry Kelly. Tension was high in the area after a Parades Commission determination gave permission to loyalist supporters to accompany a UVF band and two Orange lodges as they marched along the nationalist part of Crumlin Road at Ardoyne. Free article

Stoneyford loyalists' convictions for attack during BBC TV filming

25 June 2009

THREE loyalists from Stoneyford village in Antrim were convicted at the start of this month (2 June) for their part in an attack on Sinn Féin Assembly member Paul Butler, party adviser Jim Gibney and members of a BBC TV camera crew as they filmed an interview in the village in March last year. Butler was, ironically, being interviewed about the ongoing campaign of sectarian intimidation being waged by loyalists against the small Catholic population in the area when the loyalists carried out their brazen assault. Butler and Gibney made statements to the PSNI and persisted with the case, ensuring that loyalists Alan Scott, David Campbell and Colin Smyth were brought before the courts and, for the first time in the 15-year campaign of intimidation, were found guilty. JIM GIBNEY describes what life is like for Catholics in the predominantly-unionist village eight miles outside Belfast where, for years, Orange thuggery has ruled and the forces of the state left nationalists to their fate. Free article


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