2 August 2007 Edition

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Mála Poist

Cuireann An Phoblacht fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla, 200 focal ar a méid. Déantar giorrú ar litreachta más gá. Cuir do litir chuig [email protected]
An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please

Good riddance to the British army

A chara,
After 38 years we are finally saying good riddance to the majority of the British army in Ireland.
In Omagh they have left their mark. Through collusion with unionist paramilitaries, their shoot to kill policy and the deployment of the SAS in this area, many homes in the district have been affected by their actions.
This weekend we in Ógra Shinn Féin will be hosting a Slán Abhaile weekend in Omagh to conclude our successful demilitarisation campaign in Omagh. However we must not get complacent. There will still be 5,000 members of the British army based in the north. Until complete separation from Britain is achieved Irish republicans will not be complacent.
After 38 years we will be glad to see the back of the British army. Quoting the words of James Connolly speaking about the British interference in Ireland “The British government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland and never can have any right in Ireland”. For Republicans this still remains the premise.
Is mise,
Stephen McGahan,
Ógra Shinn Féin,
West Tyrone

Revisionists — they haven’t gone away you know

A chara,
This year’s Patrick McGill Summer School was told this by an economic advisor to the Northern Assembly that the North, which he said was one of the 12 regions of the United Kingdom, had 45% of its population working directly or indirectly for the British Government. With the figures for unemployment, pensions and the like thrown in, this meant that 65% of the North’s population is dependent on British handouts. Such a culture of dependency would have to change he told us ,because Gordon Brown will insist on the North of Ireland being a viable unit. An entrepreneurial and private enterprise spirit would therefore have to be generated.
It was welcoming to hear both Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley Jnr. defend state sector employees by pointing out that they do actually work and therefore do not live on handouts. It was also interesting to hear Paisley defend the trade unions from accusations of sectarianism in reply to a question from the floor. If it hadn’t been for shop stewards, he argued, there would have been a greater degree of sectarianism in the workplace, over the years.
The summer school’s last event was an entertainment by the Four Tenors, a troupe of  well-heeled singing Donegal businessmen. At the end of the night they solemnly introduced what they called their “most favourite song of all” – Ireland’s Call  and invited us all to stand for it.
It is of major concern that this song is being put forward as a substitute to Amhrán na bhFiann. At home at rugby matches our national anthem is being reduced to second place – sung and then followed by Ireland’s Call.  At away matches Ireland’s call is the only song that is sung and Amhrán Na bhFiann is not sung at all.
The forces of reaction are still at play in Ireland today. It won’t be long until we see the start of a campaign to replace our national anthem because of its anti-imperialist and republican sentiments. Section 31 may be part of history now, but the reactionaries and revisionists are still at play, have not gone away you know.
Is mise,
Bill O’Brien,
Sinn Féin,
Gleann Cholm Cille.

Gaelscoil letdown in Cork

A chara,
A recent proposal by councillors in Cork City to rezone land for the development of proper facilities for Gaelscoil An Ghoirt Álainn, has been voted down. This means that the 300 expectant students of Cork’s first multi-denominational Gaelscoil will continue to be taught in ramshackle conditions.
Thirteen councillors (5 Fianna Fáil, 4 Fine Gael, 3 Labour, 1 Green and 1 Independent) voted against rezoning the land. Our local Sinn Féin councillors, Annette Spillane and Jonathan O’Brien, voted for it but it was all in vain. This is not just a bitter blow to the parents but also a wider blow to the regeneration of our language. The current school is housed in a substandard prefabricated construction with inadequate facilities. Its existing classrooms are leaking, freezing in winter and poorly ventilated.
Multi-denominational Gaelscoils provide a platform for children from all cultures and religions within Ireland to learn Irish. This vote will have an adverse affect on this. How can we promote and keep alive our language when we can’t even give these children the opportunity of developing their education in decent facilities?
Is mise,
Colum Radford,
Cork City

Sinn Féin looking ahead

A chara,
I commend the excellent speech by Pearse Doherty at the Commemoration to Volunteer Patrick Cannon in Dublin at the weekend.
It was an inspiration to us all. The general election is done and dusted and we made our feelings known. Now let’s put our backs to the wheel and get involved in everything going to ensure that the people know who can represent them best.
We won’t get free press from the media in this state so create our own press and get out there.
Is mise,
Paul Doran,
Dublin 22.

An Phoblacht
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