26 October 2006 Edition
'An Phoblacht' welcomes readers' letters. Letters in Irish or English should be kept short (no more than 200 words) and typed or handwritten clearly, double-spaced and on one side of the paper only. Name and address should be supplied for verification, but these will not be published if we are so requested.
Cuireann 'An Phoblacht' fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla. Is fearr litreacha gearra (200 focal ar a méid) clóscríofa nó lámhscríofa go soiléir ar thaobh amháin den leathanach. Cuir ainm agus seoladh leis ach ní fhoilseoimid iad seo más é do thoil.
Republicans and the St Andrews proposals
Forty years ago this year I enlisted in the IRA. A united Ireland was then and still remains my goal. Now as a member of Sinn Féin I, like others, have to weigh up my attitude to what happened at St Andrews.
The uncertainty of the IRA cessation of August 1994, the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and decommissioning were all bitter pills to swallow.
Did I wish to see the British army defeated, driven to the airports and the Union Jack dragged from its pole at Stormont? Of course I did, but I am also a realist.
With the most capable republican leadership since 1916 and the most articulate membership of any party on this island, the objective of ending partition is more achievable now than at any time in my 40 years of struggle.
Do I believe that our engagement in Stormont negates that? No. It is purely a vehicle for my goals. Increasing electoral support of Sinn Féin on the whole island of Ireland vindicates that position.
Policing will be a delicate and potentially hazardous venture but we must be bold enough to show direction to our supporters. Like many, I have suffered at the hands of the RUC/PSNI, having had limbs broken and even set up for death by them. But with fundamental changes occurring, we are in a new and positive era.
We will be criticised by some comrades and this has to be accepted without making enemies of them. But we have a duty to fulfil this struggle in whatever fashion is necessary to complete the "unfinished business".
The war is over now, but not the pain and memories of it and of the many comrades and civilians who gave their lives during the conflict. We owe it to them and ourselves to roll up our sleeves and set our eyes on the socialist republic - not to dream and talk on the sidelines about it, but to activate it.
That the Government summoned over 200 Gardaí to Bellanaboy at the behest of Shell and assaulted peaceful protestors reinforces the fact that Fianna Fáil and the PDs support multinationals over the interests and safety of Irish citizens. This Government essentially gives away our natural resources worth billions of Euro to Shell, while gas prices have increased by 34%.
Despite right-wing media spin, the vast majority of locals are opposed to the construction of this infamous pipeline. While working class communities throughout this island are terrorised by anti-social behaviour and rampant drug dealing with little or no state response, it speaks volumes of where the priorities of the 26 County Government lie in that it sends hundreds of Gardaí to 'deal with' 300 protestors. They seemingly have a lack of resources to protect citizens but have more than sufficient resources to attack them.
I would urge everyone opposed to this giveaway of our natural resources to be pro-active on this issue and support Shell garage boycott protests, and to visit the area and stand in solidarity with the besieged community in Mayo.
Baile Átha Cliath 12
Information on Nano Mullen
On 11 January 1923, republican Volunteers attacked the railway station in Sligo Town. Two days later, on 13 January, my great-aunt Annie Nano Mullen and several other republican women were arrested and imprisoned.
I am engaged in research on Nano Mullen and would be very grateful if the readers of An Phoblacht could provide any additional information on the Sligo Railway station attack and those involved in it.
Nano's comrades in Cumann na mBan at that time included Nora Malone (imprisoned with her); Brigid O'Mullane; May Glynn of Chapel Street, Sligo; 'Baby' Bohan, Ballymote; Linda Kearns and a Miss P Flannigan, High Street, Sligo.
I know that some of these women were imprisoned during the Civil War and any information on them would be appreciated.
I would be very grateful if readers of An Phoblacht would be in a position to furnish me with any information of the events or individuals mentioned. Copies of any written, printed or photographic material relevant to the period would be very welcome.
Any information can be forwarded to Mr Pól Wilson, c/o An Phoblacht, 53 Falls Road, Belfast BT12 4PD, County Antrim.