24 January 2008 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

When is a war not a war?

IF IT WASN’T so serious, the unionist parties’ outrage at the idea that the British Government might be asked to officially declare the conflict with the IRA a war would make you laugh.
When did the British Government ever put tens of thousands of troops into the field with the back-up of MI5 and the SAS and bring in special powers and acts of parliament and it wasn’t a war?
Wasn’t there truces and ceasefires as well?
And weren’t the unionists -–Reg Empey’s Ulster Unionists included – the ones who were always arguing that they wouldn’t move politically until the IRA said “the war is over”?
It’s the same old story with the ‘Big House Unionists’ – you just can’t win.
Derry City

Republicans must put Equality above Neutrality

FOLLOWING on from the welcome initiative by Limavady Council to address the stark imbalance between flags, symbols and items representing the British identity and that of Irish nationalism/republicanism within council premises, I think it provides a welcome opportunity for republicans to take the lead in progressing our agenda of equality across local government chambers throughout the Six Counties.
Sinn Féin has been committed for many years now to the policy of ‘equality or Neutrality’ regarding the presence of flags and emblems associated with either the British or Irish nationalist/republican identity from civic-owned premises in the Six Counties, a generous policy by republicans which has yet to be accepted and reciprocated by any branch of unionism.
To date, most nationalist-controlled councils in the North of Ireland have voted through proposals creating a neutral working environment by removing any such items representing either the Irish or British identity exclusively, whilst unionist-controlled councils continue the policy of ensuring council offices (and other council-owned premises across their respective boroughs, from amenity sites to leisure centres) are bedecked with flags and awash with items identified exclusively with the unionist tradition.
Yet our preference for the ‘neutral’ option has meant that unionists have yet to be presented with the challenge of accepting the equal status of the Irish republican/nationalist identity within the Six Counties. The net result of our failure to assert the right of the Irish republican identity to be treated equally with that of unionism is that, in spite of the fact that Sinn Féin remains the largest political party on nine of the eleven nationalist-controlled councils, there is still nowhere in the North where the Irish national flag flies from any civic premises. And yet it is in our hands to deliver such a profound blow to those who prefer to suppress the Irish republican identity in the Six Counties.
Co. Antrim


British Labour Councillor’s pro-UVF website

Labour activists, Irish people and just plain decent members of the public are up in arms in greater Manchester over a Labour Councillor’s pro-UVF website.
John Taylor of Tameside Council has praised a UVF mob who carried out vigilante action on the Shankhill against an alleged thief. Not only that but he has decorated his site with Red Hand emblems in response to protests!
Please write to Tameside council or the Councillor in question to express your disgust.

Ridiculous accents

REGARDING Seosaimh Ó Tuathail’s letter on ‘synthetic accents’ (An Phoblacht, 17 January), he is not alone in his sentiments.
I too have noticed the spread of this ridiculous accent. On a recent visit to Dublin I was sickened by a pretentious middle class attitude that seems to be rife among young people today. As a young person myself this particularly annoys me. We should be proud of being Irish, instead there seems to be this belief that we all need to anglicise our accents.
This is not only a matter of accents however. Citizens of Dublin and indeed many from the South have become detached from any republican ideals.
Listening to conversations in any of the bars around Trinity College one could easily be mistaken for thinking they were somewhere in the south east of England. It’s time to cast aside this neo-colonial mindset that Seosaimh Ó Tuathail alludes to.
Iur Cinn Trá.


An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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