12 July 2007 Edition

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Mála Poist

Unite to save Tara

A chara,
I have been following the controversial Tara Vs M3 issue from a distance, over here in Queensland, Australia.
There are only around 5.9 million Irish people living in the whole of Ireland, but there are over 80 million in the wider Irish diaspora. The people who are fortunate to remain living in our homeland are the custodians of our country and have the responsibility of looking after our land on behalf of the rest of us. Being born outside Ireland, I returned to my family’s land to find out why I had the deep nagging attraction to the country. On arrival, as I travelled the country, I was overwhelmed by the feeling deep within me, that I was finally home.
Australian Indigenous peoples speak of a spiritual connection with the land, this was an abstract concept to me until I returned to my homeland.
We diaspora live in other foreign lands and our bodies will be buried in the earth that is not ours, but our souls will soar to our homeland. This is a comfort that we have.
I visited the Hill of Tara, it is a sacred place and it was very moving for me, so much so that it is the name we gave our daughter.  It contains significance for both forms of our religions – Christianity and our ancient Druidic and Grooved Ware People cultures. It contains relics and symbols of our existence dating back over 12,000 years.
How can anyone even begin to contemplate destroying this, let alone our own people? Would the Indigenous people of Australia blow up Uluru (previously known as Ayer’s Rock), or the Egyptians wreck the pyramids to build a road? The idea is ludicrous!
Does the government want to save a few miles and euro by taking the shortest route? Going around the area would only mean an extra 10-20 miles. There are many alternatives to meeting the needs motorists which avoid Tara and are more cost effective.
Please, people of Ireland, custodians of our/your spiritual homeland, stop the government and the construction companies from this desecration. Act and do something now! Do nothing and they will win and a very crucial part of our heritage will be gone forever, for all of our descendants.
Please unite together for this one cause. Know that we diaspora are watching and are with you. We are your relatives, the children of your grandparent’s brothers and sisters.
Is mise,
Steve Coleman,


Does Ógra have a future?

A chara,
I think it is time for a debate on the role and future – if any – of Ógra Shinn Féin. We have to ask if we need a youth section of Sinn Féin at all and if we do is Ógra Shinn Féin going the right way about it? I for one don’t think it is. Ógra as it is now is too separated from the rest of the party.
It is not a good thing for the young people joining Sinn Féin to be organised separately from other age groups. I believe people are missing out on the experience of older comrades. At the same time older comrades are not hearing the views of youth. This has to be a two-way process because Sinn Féin has to be more welcoming to young people, especially women.
I do not see Ógra Shinn Féin campaigning on issues that effect young people such as education and the need for youth facilities. Just talking about the Six Counties and international issues is not enough. We need to be relevant on social and economic issues that effect young people, especially in the 26 Counties.
So it is time for a few hard questions. Is there a better way to attract young people to Sinn Féin? It is not working at the moment and we will have to find a better way forward.
Is mise,
Claire Fitzgerald,


Sinn Féin and the Seanad

A chara,
It is disappointing to see that we have stooped so low to enter ourselves into the undemocratic nature of the Senead Elections all for the price of extra funding for the Party.
Sinn Féin should have kept some sense of radicalism and stayed well clear of this quango.
What next, Westminster?
Is mise,
Paul Doran,
Dublin 22

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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