7 April 2005 Edition

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Mála Poist

Rally for former political prisoners

A Chairde,

We wish to inform you that Coiste has organised a rally for all former political prisoners in order to protest against the attempts to criminalise us and our families.

The rally will be held in the Europa Hotel, Belfast on Monday 11 April. It will start at 7.30pm and is scheduled to finished at 9.30pm.

We are encouraging all political ex-prisoners, their family members and supporters to attend. The original and current attempts to criminalise us affects not only ourselves, former political activists, but is designed, to affect our families, communities and the thousands of people who took to the streets to support us.

We call on you all to pro-actively encourage all you know to attend this rally and demand an end to this policy.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact Coiste at 028 90 200770.

Laurence McKeown,

Coiste na nIarchimí, Béal Feirste.

Durkan's publicity stunt

A Chairde,

It doesn't surprise me one bit that Mark Durkan wants money seized from the assets of loyalist drug dealers distributed to the victims of the conflict here in Ireland. It shows how insensitive the SDLP are when it comes to the needs of people traumatised by years of war.

You'd think listening to SDLP spokespersons it all comes down to money. I suppose any free publicity they can get is done without thought for the hurt their statements send out to the families of all of the victims.

Any money seized from drug dealing and crime should go to where it is most needed - to communities that are plagued by drugs and the crimes that they bring with them; back to voluntary organisations working with addicts that are underfunded as a result of government cutbacks; to schools that cannot have drug awareness programmes because of government cutbacks; to hospitals that are overworked because of the drugs culture and government cutbacks.

The list is endless and all the SDLP can see is an election coming and their selective choice of victims, a hierarchy that criminalises one section of our community and lets the other off the hook. The British State will pay compensation for occupation, Mark, not for your selective watered down version of events.

Cathal Beag,


Out with the new, in with the old

A Chairde,

As a Tralee Town Councillor, I tabled a motion bemoaning the fact that it seemed that An Post were doing their utmost to remove any trace of the national tongue from their literature and signage. The first step was the changing of the name from An Post to The Post Office. This was compounded by their decision to have only the English language version of place names on signage in areas outside the Gaeltacht.

Recently, the company have stated that they now realise that it was a mistake to change the name from An Post to The Post Office. They believe that An Post is a more readily identifiable name. However, when I made the exact same point just over a year ago, my call fell on deaf ears.

Wait, it gets better. An Post have admitted that new signage with An Post therein will have to be ordered as the original An Post signage was dumped. Perhaps the €300,000 that the purchase of new signage will cost should be docked from the fat salaries of management who decided on the name change.

Risteárd Ó Fuaráin,

Baile Uí Thaidhg, Co Chiarraí.

Flag initiative in Killyclogher

A Chairde,

During the past number of weeks, residents from the Mullaghmore and Castleview Estates in Killyclogher, County Tyrone, have come together with members of Sinn Féin to look at ways to foster greater respect for An Bhratach Náisiúnta (the National Flag) and other symbols of identity.

Since the mid-19th Century, the Irish Tricolour has been an important, popular and continuous symbol of the struggle to achieve equality, justice and national rights.

As the people of Ireland progress towards Irish unity with growing confidence, we no longer feel that it is appropriate for the flag of our nation to be erected and left to deteriorate into rags. It is neither environmentally friendly, nor a dignified means of expressing national identity.

It is the view that communities and groups who wish to hoist the national flag should take the time and do a befitting job by erecting proper flagpoles.

To facilitate this, the local Sinn Féin cumann, as part of the party's 100th anniversary initiatives, have erected a new flagpole at the entrance to Mullaghmore Estate. Alongside this, a plaque will be unveiled which outlines the history and background of the flag and how it should be respected.

The dedication and unveiling ceremony will get under way at 4.30pm on Saturday in the Mullaghmore estate. The unveiling will be carried out by veteran Killyclogher republican, Charlie Ferris, who has been an activist from the 1920s right up until the present day. A republican flute band will be in attendance to provide colour and music for the crowd.

The local branch of Sinn Féin in the area welcomes everyone, young and old, to the event which is sure to be one of the highlights of the Sinn Féin Céad Bliain calendar.

Killyclogher Sinn Féin

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1