11 August 2005 Edition

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Notes for Revolutionaries re-launched

The launch on Friday 5 August of the republished booklet Notes for Revolutionaries saw a large crowd enjoy an occasion marked with revolutionary songs, poetry and political readings.

Notes for Revolutionaries was first published in August 1982. More than 20 years later An Glór Gafa have decided to carry on the idea envisaged by the original authors.

Stamping their revolutionary mark on proceedings at the Whitefort Inn, were some of Belfast's best known folk singers whose performed a range of political songs, both Irish and international.

Fergus O'Hare chaired the event and introduced the various singers and readers who recited from the booklet or sang songs they composed themselves. Well known West Belfast Gaelgeoir, Eamon O Faogáin sang a number of songs in Irish — one a beautiful lament honouring the memory and sacrifice of Bobby Sands and his fellow Hunger Strikers.

Bríd Ní Chianáin, Cormac O'Moore, and Deirdre McAliskey all sang brilliantly while Pól Brennan, Madeline Brennan and Conor O'Neill recited, with some vigour, poems and verses from the publication.

Notes for Revolutionaries has a strong international dimension to it and the colourful new edition has some wonderful images depicting international revolutionary figures from Ireland and across the world. The updated version includes quotes from IRA Volunteer Mairéad Farrell who was shot dead by British crown forces in 1988.

An Glór Gafa has said that Notes for Revolutionaries is "a way to enhance our struggle, to provoke thought and to inspire. We have borrowed images, quotes and slogans from around the world and from a variety of sources. One does not have to agree with, or endorse, all the beliefs or ideologies of all those quoted here. However, when applied to our struggle in Ireland they have a relevance which should not be overlooked."

If the songs and readings that heralded the re-launch are anything to go by then the book will make a positive impact on debates about the direction of the republican struggle. It should raise many questions and provoke debate about the development of the struggle to establish the republic envisaged in the Proclamation and set out in the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil, both of which are printed in full in the booklet.

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