29 April 2004 Edition

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Mála Poist

An Lá Mór

A Chairde,

Ba mhaith liom mo áthas a léiriú do Shinn Féin i nGaillimh, Ógra Shinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald, agus Piaras Ó Dochartaigh (a thug óráid den scoith), mar aon leis an duine nó beirt eile ó Shinn Féin Bhaile Átha Cliath, a ghlac páirt sa mhórshiúl don Ghaeilge ar an Sathairn an 24 Aibreán.

Is oth liom a rá go raibh breis gnáth bhaill de Shinn Féin (gan ag tógáil baill d?Ógra san áireamh) ó Shinn Féin i nGaillimh ná baill ó Shinn Féin Bhaile Átha Cliath i láthair. Is cinnte gur an freagra a thabharfaidh iad siúd nach raibh ann go rabhadar ag canbhásáil, nó a leithead. Níl mé ag rá nach obair tábhachtach í seo, ach i súile pobail na Gaeilge sna 26, agus tá sí ag fás anseo i mBaile Átha Cliath, nach bhfuil gnáth bhallraíocht Shinn Féin dáiríre faoin teanga.

Caithfidh mé a rá go n-aontaím leo. Tá scoith obair déanta ag daoine áirithe sa Pháirtí maidir le cearta an Ghaeilge, agus ár dtacaíocht do ghaelscoileanna mar shampla, nuair a bhí san fheidhmeannas ach mionlach iad na daoine seo sa Pháirtí.

Tá cúpla ceist agam ar bhaill Shinn Féin.

An raibh aon Ghaeilge le feiceáil i nuachtlitir do Chumann áitiúil i. Alt nó fiú cúpla líne?

An bhfuil Gaeilge agat, fiú Gaeilge briste? Má tá cén uair a bhí an uair deireanach ar úsáid tú í?

Cén uair a bhí an uair deireanach a ndearna tú iarracht cás na Gaeilge a chur chun cinn?

An bhfuil cúnamh curtha ar fáil do chumainn atá toilteanach altanna, srl a scríobh as Gaeilge, arís fiú muna bhfuil ach Gaeilge briste acu?

Sílim gur céim mhór chun tosaigh a bhí sa dianchúrsa a d'eagraigh Roinn an Chultúir i dTír Eoghain, do bhaill tofa an Fheidhmeannas an mhí seo caite (Márta). Tá súil agam go mbeidh dianchúrsaí eile a eagrú ar leibhéal an ghnáth chumainn.

Tá tábhacht le Stádas agus Cearta an Ghaeilge, ach cad is fiú í muna bhfuil muid toilteanach an teanga a úsáid.

Seán Ó hAdhmaill,

An Gaillimh.

Community empowerment providing inspiration

A Chairde,

I felt compelled to write to you regarding recent UTV coverage of the Colin project in West Belfast. Firstly, the obvious social concerns that even an acceptable police force will not be an absolute answer to this issue. The whole idea of the PSNI exploiting these kids as £10 touts in total contrast to the efforts of concerned residents demonstrates the necessity to get the institutions up and running. I was very impressed by the representations of the ethos and workings of the project by both the individuals interviewed and indeed of those who obviously had decided to report the story ie UTV News. It is the type of Community empowerment that we envisaged as part the GFA. How unbelievably frustrating is the current impasse in its implementation when the IMC will focus on not what was a blatant sabotage by Military Intelligence (probably FRU or its successor) on intelligence files at Castlereagh to thwart any future investigations into state-directed terror nor the work of community groups such as the Colin project but a convenient criminalisation of Sinn Féin in the run-up the Euro elections.

Blaming Sinn Féin because Tony Blair tried to maintain a conflict management position. Unlike some, I have no problems whatsoever in who the unionists or nationalists have chosen to represent them. The outworkings of the reactionary nature of unionism mean that it was inevitable that at some point the unionists would turn to Paisley for their best possible deal (Ulster's last stand). I'm confident that Sinn Féin are going to do extremely well in the Euro elections. The people aren't voting to have their mandate recognised simply as equals — they want empowerment.

Cathal Ó Donnaile,


Flawed US policing model

A Chairde,

I write to express my dismay at the article on page 13 of last week's AP/RN by Mark Guilfoyle, entitled "One Year Ago..." When reading the piece my eyes almost popped out of my head and I had to ask a fellow Sinn Féin councillor who was with me if I had read it properly. He initially thought the piece was tongue-in-cheek but on further inspection we found the article to be a serious piece of news/commentary.

The article is so fundamentally flawed it is hard to know where to start. The tone of the piece was that if only we in the Six Counties had the same type of police as they do in the USA, then the policing issue would be solved. What utter nonsense. Ask the African-American community in the US what they think of the police there and they will tell you about a bigoted, corrupt, racial institution (sound familiar?). In many southern states, the local police have been involved in the murders of African Americans, Jews, Muslims, Civil Rights workers. The police involvement with the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists is well documented.

Basically anyone who did not fit in with his or her view of a white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant dominated society was a target. Much of this collusion was never exposed by the US justice system, which this article has put so much faith in.

These problems are not confined to the 1960s. Ask African American communities today — racist treatment by police is still a major problem. Los Angeles found its police force to be "inherently and fundamentally racist" in the inquiry following the Rodney King incident. There was no root and branch reform (the article assures us this would happen) in LA, or in the states where collusion with white supremacists still goes on.

The justice system lauded by the article jails one in three African American males in their lifetime. This same system allows for the death penalty, which is questionable in its administration. African Americans are almost three times more likely to be sentenced to death as white Americans convicted of the same offences.

The US policing and justice systems are institutions of the state and by their very nature, designed to maintain the status quo. This is true of police and judiciaries across the world.

This is shown when people begin to try to radically change oppressive regimes and the police and judiciary reacts against them (Ireland, East Timor, South Africa, US, Basque Country, the list is endless).

An Phoblacht has always highlighted these injustices across the world and republicans stood shoulder to shoulder with the civil rights campaign in the US. It is a very sad day indeed that now we have an article praising a racist and corrupt system as a solution to our difficulties. Come on An Phoblacht, we expect and deserve better.

Cllr Barry Monteith,


Help needed in Dublin West

A Chairde,

I am writing on behalf of our Sinn Féin candidate, Feilim Mac Criosta, running in the Palmerstown/Lucan/ Quarryvale area of Dublin.

We would welcome any form of assistance from local people with our campaign for the local elections. We are also looking to set up a new party cumann in the area and would welcome ideas or suggestions from republicans as to what the name of that cumann should be. We have already decided that the cumann should be named after a fallen Volunteer and that the name should preferably not have been used before.

Also, if anyone has a story to share about the area's republican history we would be delighted to be informed.

Derek Butler PRO,


An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1