1 April 2004 Edition

Racist referendum will restrict citizenship rights

1 April 2004

BY STEPHANIE LORD - It has recently transpired that the 26-County Government plans to hold a referendum in June, aiming to remove the automatic right to Irish citizenship from the Irish-born children of non-nationals. This is a massively contentious issue. The Irish people decided on what constituted Irish nationality during the referendum changing Article 2 of the 1937 Constitution as part of the Good Friday Agreement. Free article

Ethnic cleansing behind closed doors

1 April 2004

Belfast-based Italian journalist SILVIO CERULLI sent this, the first of two articles, to An Phoblacht last Tuesday 23 March from somewhere along the Russian border, just hours before he entered Chechnya. He has gone to the region to witness at first hand the scale of the war between the Russian Army and Chechen fighters in an area that has been devastated by war since the 1990s. Next week, Silvio writes about what he witnessed in the region. Free article

Cormac

1 April 2004

Politics by the back door in Donegal Town

1 April 2004

Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mary Coughlan, last night used the back entrance to enter the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town, to avoid a silent protest calling for reinstatement of the Social Welfare cuts affecting widows and lone parents. The picket, organised by Sinn Féin Councillor Thomas Pringle, consisted of widows, lone parents and working parents affected by these savage and universally condemned cuts. Free article

Government action is the missing link

1 April 2004

Sinn Féin held its annual slógadh last weekend in Dún Chaoin in Kerry. One of the key issues discussed at the weekend was the campaign for Irish to be given the status of Official Working Language of the EU. Speaking on Saturday, Six-County EU candidate Bairbre de Brún said the issue will be an important one in the forthcoming European election campaign. Free article

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MLAs back 'A President For All' campaign

1 April 2004

On Thursday 25 March, Ógra Shinn Féin took their national 'A President For All' campaign to the steps of Stormont. Ógra members, along with many of Sinn Féin's MLAs, donned the GAA jerseys from counties across Ireland in a colourful protest to highlight the campaign. Barry McColgan, Six-County organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, explained: "As the MLAs and Ógra activists in the 26-County jerseys cast their vote in a mock Presidential election, those in the Six-County shirts, representing citizens of the North, held up Irish passports as an expression of Irish citizenship and in protest against their lack of voting rights." Free article

Water charges protest at the Silent Valley

1 April 2004

THE Silent Valley and Ben Crom Reservoirs are located in the heart of the Mourne Mountains and supply water for most of County Down and Belfast. Last Saturday afternoon, a number of Sinn Féin activists joined with members of the local community to protest against the proposed imposition of water charges in the Six Counties. Free article

Extortionate farm tyre tax

1 April 2004

Sinn Féin's Six-County EU candidate Bairbre de Brún, agriculture spokesperson Gerry McHugh and environment spokesperson Willie Clarke have expressed anger at the imminent imposition of an EU directive that will force farmers to apply for a license, costing £700, to hold tyres on their farms. Free article

Sinn Féin backs call for gas price freeze

1 April 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly Economy spokesperson Michelle Gildernew has welcomed the call from Ofreg for a two-month freeze in the proposed 20% price increase announced earlier this month by Phoenix Natural Gas. "Across the board, from political parties to consumer groups, there is a strong consensus that Phoenix should not introduce the proposed 20% price increase in April," she said. Free article

Meet the locals

1 April 2004

It's been barely two years since Sinn Féin last pulled out all the stops for an election in the 26 Counties. The results of General Election 2002 showed that the party was beginning to reap the rewards of its hard work. The day after the five TDs were elected, a campaign began to ensure that the even more success would be had at the local and European elections in 2004. They're almost upon us now, and the party is once again miles ahead of the rest when it comes to preparation. Free article


An Phoblacht
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