19 July 2007 Edition

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Success for Kilkenny Youth Weekend

The second annual Kilkenny Youth Weekend took place in Kilkenny City on the weekend of 14 and 15 July. The weekend saw Ógra Shinn Féin activists from all over the country descend on the South-East. The weekend saw a mixture of political discussion and healthy debate as activists were treated to a wide-ranging Clár of events. The aim of the weekend was two-fold. Firstly, to galvanise support for Ógra in the area. The second was to bring Ógra activists from all over the country and provide them with a forum for debate and discussion. It was clear as activists returned home on Sunday afternoon that both aims were successful.
The weekend began on Friday evening when General Election candidate in Carlow/Kilkenny, Kathleen Funchion shared her thoughts on the election with the group. The talk began with a quick summary of the campaign followed by a questions and answers session. A lively debate ensued in which all activists took part. The evening concluded with a function in South Kilkenny.
Saturday began with a talk from University of Limerick Professor Ruán O’Donnell on the 1957-1962 Border Campaign on which he is currently writing a book. Ruán’s talk was exceptionally comprehensive and wide-ranging. Having interviewed several people who were involved with the campaign, Ruán was more than capable of keeping the interest of the crowd. Following Ruán’s talk Pádraig Ó Ceatharnaigh from Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge addressed the crowd. Pádraig spoke about the Official Languages Act 2003, advising the group how best to use the Act to their benefit when dealing with state bodies.
The next item of business on the clár was the Ógra march through Kilkenny City. It was a massive success in 2006. That march was the first to be held in the city in more than 20 years. This year the theme of the march was the 140th anniversary of the 1867 rebellion, in which Kilkenny man James Stephens played a major part. There was an increased turnout for this year’s march which was led by a colour party and the Ed O’Brien Flute Band.
After a short break those on the weekend came together again for a talk with comrades from the Basque country, Amaia and Uriz, who were attending the weekend. The final day saw the Ógra National sponsored walk take place in the city.

An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1