2 November 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 Name and address should be supplied for verification, but these will not be published if we are so requested.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 Policing
As we enter into a very challenging period for republicanism, I would like to appeal to republicans to have a bit of perspective. The possibility of joining the Policing Board is something that republicans will find very problematic. What is important in the forthcoming debate is that we realise that not only is this unease natural, but healthy. The media will, as they have for so long, make republicans out to be the bad guys. If we reject policing, we are 'against peace'; if we accept it, it will be a case of 'what took you so long'? This is why I would warn against SF members buying into policing prematurely on the ground that 'it has to be done'. It doesn't. The sky will not collapse if SF do not sit on the policing boards; the armed struggle will not suddenly recommence.
Amid all this hysteria in the media, the question of what is right for the republican project is continuously ignored. Sinn Féin is not about getting a few votes and becoming part of a Six County establishment; it is about the struggle to achieve a Socialist Republic along the lines of the Proclamation. The issue of policing could potentially tear this party apart and that cannot be underestimated. If we are weakened and divided on this issue, how can we implement effective change on this island? The tyrants, hypocrites and liars of the media establishment, both here and in Britain, will not come to our aid if our acceptance of policing results in a haemorrhaging of large numbers of dedicated activists. I would ask members to take a very hard look at the potential damage this could do to the party. Don't buy into the media hype; the world will not come to an end if we decide to stand our ground on this issue.
In the H-Blocks of Long Kesh and Armagh Gaol the prisoners refused to wear the prison uniform because they knew that by doing so they would be accepting criminality and criminalisation of the entire republican struggle.
If our generation now endorses the wearing of the RUC/PSNI uniform under the Saint Andrews agreement, we will be endorsing and accepting the British occupation of Ireland.
Under the proposed deal we will be asking nationalists and republicans to not only work in a proactive way with the police but to work hand in hand with MI5, as MI5 prepare to take over in the North, in what BBC news has described as "the lead role in intelligence involving national security" by the end of 2007 in their new headquarters near Holywood.
As a republican I view my role to be one of challenging the status quo, while the police role is one of upholding it.
In the current climate, where MI5 are getting their claws deeper imbedded in Ireland and where devolution of policing powers seems a long way off - "spring 2008" - my view on the two governments' agreement is Never Never Never.
Ógra Shinn Féin,
Á éiliú ar an gceart Gaeilge a labhairt
Ós na moltaí is déanaí a tháinig ón dá rialtas ag na cainteanna ag Naomh Andrew tá moladh ar leith ann do Acht Gaeilge. In ainneoin go bhfuil fáilte is fiche roimh an sprioc seo chun seans a thabhairt don Gaeilge fás is forbairt, tá sé i bhfad Éireann thar ama.
Is amaideach é gabhadh agus trialach Máire Nic an Bháird a tharla le déanaí. N'fheadar an bhfeicfimid an t-Acht Gaeilge nua á chur i bhfeidhm ar chomhcéim le teanga an Bhéarla agus deimhin á dhéanamh nach mbeidh a thuilleadh den geaitsíocht ann, cosúil le gabhadh Mháire.
Is saineolaithe iad na Breatnaigh ar iarracht a dhéanamh a dtoil as chur i bhfeidhm ar phobal na hÉireann. Tá teipthe leo cheana agus teipfidh leo arís.
Tá sé thar am don dá rialtas deighleáil leis an teanga Gaelach mar teanga beo in ionad peil polaitíochta. Níl sé de cheart acu ár dteanga a úsáid mar ábhar éilithe ins na cainteanna.
Is ár dteanga í agus tá sé de cheart againn í a labhairt.
Peadar de Bluit,
Ógra Shinn Féin.