30 July 2010
Roof-top protest at Fianna Fáil TD’s office wins public debate on youth unemployment
FIANNA FÁIL TD Noel O’Flynn has accepted a challenge to debate the Government’s attitude to youth unemployment after five Ógra Shinn Féin activists staged a two-hour roof-top protest on his constituency office in Cork.
Gardaí were called to the premises on Old Mallow Road but no arrests were made and the protests ended after Deputy O’Flynn agreed to the public debate.
Ógra Shinn Féin have staged a number of similar protests around the country in July in Dublin, Bray, Galway and Cork and have promised to continue their campaign.
Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, who took part in the protest, said:
“People, especially young people, are feeling angry at the Government’s lack of action on jobs and we are taking direct action to highlight this failure. We are encouraging people to fight back against this government and support Sinn Féin’s proposals to tackle the jobs crisis.”
Sun shines on National Youth Camp in County Down
SUNNY Newcastle in County Down was the location for the 2010 Ógra Shinn Féin National Youth Camp as republicans from all over the country travelled for a weekend of debate, discussion and good craic.
After starting the weekend with a hearty BBQ, the first talk of the weekend began shortly after with Colin Hallidy of the Ulster Political Research Group and Sinn Féin MLA Willie Clarke sparking a lot of interesting debate about community outreach and the importance of building relations between unionist and republican communities.
The events on the Saturday included a tour of the site of the Battle of Ballynahinch in 1798, a talk on Cuba with journalist Bernie Dwyer, and a debate between Ógra and the Green Party on ‘Ireland’s future: free, green and Left’. The latter touched on many issues including the new green economy, Left progressive coalitions and the potential that Irish unity would unlock for the Irish people.
Naturally, there was also ample opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather and in the evenings healthy debate gave way to ceol and craic!
The weekend ended fittingly enough with a trip to County Kildare to the grave of Wolfe Tone, the father of Irish republicanism, for the annual Bodenstown Commemoration.
Local activist and one of the organisers of the summer camp events, Fra Cochrane, said:
“We were delighted to host the youth camp this year and everything came together on the weekend, with the great weather adding to the already uplifted mood of the camp.
“We would like to thank everyone for attending. Events like these are extremely important in building camaraderie, networks, and enhancing education and confidence.”
Ógra flying column flies West
A VERITABLE flying column of Ógra activists swept through the length and breadth of Connaught recently in a one-day canvassing blitz to highlight Ógra’s national campaign to young people in the cúige.
Starting early in the Roscommon end of Athlone, the activists erected a mural before heading on to Galway City, where the team joined local youth activists in leafleting the city centre on the national campaign ‘Who Fears to Speak of a United Ireland?’, based on Irish reunification.
Mayo was the next stop for the team, where the newly-formed Mayo Ógra came out in full force to help their comrades from Roscommon and Galway (not to mention a dedicated Sligo activist) to cover the streets of Castlebar with posters.
Finally, they headed for Sligo itself, where the group was joined by the local Ógra cumann and Sinn Féin Councillor Arthur Gibbons in a demonstration highlighting the negative effects of partition on the economy, particularly in border areas.
With all five counties represented and plenty of activism fitted in, all involved considered it a job well done.
Slogadh na nÓg
BHÍ Slogadh na nÓg ar siúl ón 16ú go dtí an 18ú Iúil i gConamara.
Ba é téama an deireadh seachtaine ná poilitíocht na Gaeilge, le cainteanna ar an nGaeilge sna mBlocanna H agus ar Gluaiseacht Cearta Sibhialta na Gaeltachta.
Chomh maith leis sin cuireadh ranganna Gaeilge ar fáil chun barr feabhais a chuir ar Ghaeilge muintir Ógra Shinn Féin. Cuireadh béim ar an Phiarsach agus Máirtín Ó Cadhain i rith turas Poblachtánach de Chonamara.
Beirt fhear a thuig an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge mar pháirt den ghluaiseacht do shaoirse. De réir eagarthóir Connachta, Mairéad Ní Fhearghail:
“Is mór an fiúntas ar bhain daoine as an deireadh seachtaine agus do léirigh na cainteanna uile tábhacht na Gaeilge.”
‘Hey, Windsor – We don’t take kindly to your sort round here’
(as they might say in South Park)
BETTIE WINDSOR (aka Queen Elizabeth II) isn’t welcome on Irish shores is the message from Ógra National Organiser Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, who signalled Ógra’s intent to campaign against a proposed visit.
“Many media commentators have and will attempt to legitimise this visit in the context of ‘normal diplomatic relationships’. This is based on the rather questionable basis that Anglo-Irish relations are normal. How normal is the British occupation of six Irish counties? As far as Ógra is concerned, Mrs Windsor should stay put.”
He added that this proposed visit surely undermines Fianna Fáil’s claims to be a republican party even further.
“The Taoiseach’s welcome came on the day he refused in the Dáil to give a commitment to raise the issue of collusion with the British Prime Minister. What more can be said? The Fianna Fáil leader’s uncritical and unquestioning welcome to Elizabeth Windsor is simply shoneenism.”