30 March 2006 Edition
Mála Poist / Letters
Aer Lingus privatisation
In the article 'Preparing for a fight at Aer Lingus' (An Phoblacht 16 March) you rightly state that 'many commentators have inaccurately reported that EU rules forbid the state investing in publically-owned companies'. What you did not say is that the Labour councillors in Fingal County Council inaccurately used this same argument to vote against a Sinn Féin motion opposing the privatisation of Aer Lingus. Thankfully the motion was carried, but it seems that the Mullingar Accord has a chance with Labour councillors in Fingal drifting further to the right.
Cllr Felix Gallagher,
Fingal County Council.
Sinn Féin and George Bush
It was with a sense of mounting depression that I read last week's coverage in the paper of the visit to the United States by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams. But while the photograph of Gerry standing next to a war criminal and right wing extremist like George W Bush was disturbing in itself, some of the commentary in Richard McAuley's piece was even worse.
Recounting how the Sinn Féin delegation was stopped by airport security staff he goes on to say, "Of course, in this new world post September 11 and the war in Iraq, vigilance by the US authorities is understandable. But against Irish republicans? Against a Sinn Féin leadership which is the principle architect of the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process?"
Two big mistakes here. Firstly, US security measures since September 11 have been frequently condemned by civil liberties groups in the US and Europe and by Sinn Féin. Fingerprinting, biometric passports and the like are being used by the US administration to expand its military-security intelligence gathering capability under the threat of terrorism. Secondly, inherent in Mr McAuley's piece is that people should be treated unequally with the Sinn Féin leadership being accorded special treatment from the US administration compared to others.
I understand the flights to the US are very long these days. Perhaps on his next trip Mr McAuley might usefully bring copies of Orwell's 1984 to remind him of the threat to civil liberties from big brother states and Animal Farm to remind him of the obscenity of the notion that 'All are equal, but some are more equal than others.'
Is Mise le meas,
Under the heading 'A successful week in the US' (An Phoblacht, 23 March) I was bewildered to see a picture of our Party President Gerry Adams standing shoulder to shoulder with one of the world's biggest war-mongers George W. Bush and then further into the paper to see a picture of Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh standing behind a banner which read 'US army out of Shannon' which finally brings me to my question. Am I the only republican who has picked up on these obviously confusing articles alongside each other re our opposition to the illegal war in Iraq which, as stated in the letters page (An Phoblacht 23 March), was carried out purely for Iraqi oil by both the British and American Governments? Which brings me to my point, that republicans cannot be seen on the one hand to vigorously oppose this illegal war in Iraq and then on the other hand stand shoulder to shoulder with one of its main arcitects and beneficiaries.
The DUP and paramilitaries
On Wednesday 22 after meeting with the IMC in Belfast Peter Robinson indicated that he was preparing to talk directly to unionist paramilitaries. Is he seriously trying to convince people that a relationship does not already exist. There has been and still is a relationship between the DUP and loyalist paramilitary gangs, going back years.
In the 1970s Ian Paisley formed the Third Force, In the 1980s the DUP formed Ulster Resistance which went on to import tons of weapons from South Africa to kill Catholics. The DUP currently sit on the North and West parades forum with the UVF and UDA. The man convicted of killing Sinn Féin member Malachy Carey, was released from prison under the Good Friday Agreement and currently holds a senior position within the DUP organisation in North Antrim
It is time the DUP faced up to reality. People know and accept that they have a relationship with unionist paramilitaries. What needs to happen now is for the DUP to accept their political responsibilities and stop time wasting. They have no excuse for not sitting down with Sinn Féin in the power sharing executive as laid out in the Good Friday Agreement. It is time for the hypocrisy and rhetoric to stop, and for the politics and future building of the north to begin.
Clonakilty 1916 Commemoration
The Clonakilty Easter Commemoration Committee has issued an invitation to young people between 12 and 18 years to get involved in the upcoming commemoration of the Easter Rising to be held in the town on Easter Sunday, 15 April. The committee is making an extra special effort on this, the 90th Anniversary of the Rising. Any young people in the area interested in getting involved should contact 086-2202029 by Friday, 24 March.
The committee will announce full details of the commemorative programme nearer to Easter itself.
Cllr. Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin,
An Gallán, Cloich na Coillte, Contae Chorcaí.