24 August 2006 Edition
Brookeborough Raid 50th anniversary
A committee has been formed by republicans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the deaths on active service of Seán South and Fergal O'Hanlon, which occurs next January 1st , 2007.
Seán South and Fergal O'Hanlon are two brave young Irishmen who were killed in Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, while serving in the Pearse Column of the Irish Republican Army. This was one of four flying columns deployed in the Six Counties as part of the campaign of resistance known as Operation Harvest.
We ask anyone out there with contributions, ideas or suggestions on how we can make this event as successful and memorable as possible to contact us.
They can phone 028 67723986 or call at the Sinn Féin Office, 82 Main Street, Lisnaskea.
We welcome the participation of everyone in this commemoration and look forward to paying a fitting tribute to our fallen heroes in what we hope will be a notable national event.
The Seán South & Fergal O'Hanlon
50th Anniversary Committee.
Alex Atwood and 'minorities'
The SDLP's Alex Attwood made a comment last week that the 30,000 people who attended the Hunger Strike Commemoration in Casement Park were a 'minority'.
Alex is one to speak of minorities - when Alex stood in west Belfast on behalf of the SDLP in the 2005 Westminster elections they only managed a mere 5,033 votes. If Alex classes 30,000 people a minority I wonder how he would rate his performance in the constituency which hosted the Hunger Strike Commemoration. It is clear Alex and his Party are out of touch with the people.
I think that Alex should stick by the old saying "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."
I recently received an e-mail informing me of an Ireland Aussie Rules Jersey which is available via the Sinn Féin Ebay site. The Jersey is signed by a number of senior Sinn Féin figures. While this may seem harmless enough, it caused me concern for one major reason. The Irish Compromise Rules team is sponsored by Coca Cola, a company which is at the centre of very serious allegations concerning the execution of trade union activists at its plants in Colombia. In order to avoid any complications with regards to libel, it should be noted that the Coca-Cola Corporation has not been found guilty of such killings and as such these are just allegations.
However, republicans of all people should know that pronouncements of Colombian courts are to be taken with quite a substantial pinch of salt. Until such time as Coca-Cola have made themselves totally accountable for actions undertaken at plants in Colombia, Sinn Féin (which is a supporter of the Coca-Cola boycott) should not be advertising this company, even on seemingly harmless jerseys.
Is Mise Le Meas,
Donal O' Driscoll,
Tommy Sheridan & the SSP
Whilst you always read 'Fifth Column' with tongue in cheek, it undoubtedly has a serious underlying message. Therefore, it is unfortunate that the piece, entitled 'Sex, Scrabble and Socialism' (An Phoblacht, 10 August), on Tommy Sheridan's court victory over the News of the World, failed to appreciate its real significance. If it was just about Tommy versus NotW, then virtually everybody would be celebrating his victory and £200,000 award.
Unfortunately, there was another battle going on - Tommy versus the Scottish Socialist Party. Tommy's initiation of legal action against NotW, against the unanimous advice of the party's executive led to the dragging of eleven SSP Executive members (including 2 MSPs) and office bearers to court against their will. They were not prepared to perjure themselves under oath; to say that the party's official minute was a lie; and that they were part of an anti-Tommy conspiracy. This is what Tommy demanded in order to maintain the fiction of his chosen public image - Tommy and Gail, the squeaky clean, President and (unelected) First Lady of Socialism in Scotland.
Tommy has since reportedly been paid £30,000 by another scabby paper, the 'Daily Record', which supports New Labour in Scotland to conduct an appalling campaign of bile and spite, directed against his former comrades and colleagues. Tommy has called for the splitting of the SSP in order to set up, what would in effect be, the Tommy Sheridan Party. This plays right into the hands of the warmongering Blair and his poodle, Jack McConnell, Scottish First Minister.
It is especially difficult when somebody who has done great service for the cause goes off the rails. Many Irish Republicans would have been bitterly disappointed when Michael Collins signed the Treaty. However, republicanism demands that everybody is treated as an equal, that even the most talented are subject to criticism, and that personality cults are never allowed to develop.
11, Viewforth Terrace, Edinburgh, EH10 4LH
The future of Irish
I recently overheard two teenage boys discussing the need for the Irish language in a modern Éire. I was disgusted to hear them say how the mother tongue should be abolished from the school curriculum completely. Although I myself am not fluent in Gaeilge, I would hate to see it become a dead language.
Should the school system be re-vamped so that the children can learn to take pride in our mother tongue as well as learn to speak it?
I personally would feel better to know following generations speak even some Irish in their everyday conversations.
Liam Ó Duill
Baile Átha Cliath