1 May 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


Shame on Bertie

I FEEL it necessary to write this letter to give me a release for my anger over An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s comments at the Fianna Fáil Arbour Hill commemoration that a ‘No’ vote on the Lisbon Treaty would be disastrous for Ireland.
A referendum is a democratic process that asks the opinion of the citizens of a country, so how dare Mr Ahern try to scare the people of Ireland into voting ‘Yes’? His comments fly in the face of democracy.
All I hear from the ‘Yes’ side is how good Europe has been for Ireland in the past. While I concede that Ireland has benefited from its membership, I as a salmon fisherman lost my livelihood through EU legislation and I look enviously to Norway, a non-EU member, and its thriving fishing industry.
I, as an ordinary citizen who will vote on 12 June, want to hear how I will benefit from voting ‘Yes’ and from what I’ve read that question is still unanswered. In fact, it seems that the content of the Lisbon Treaty will move Europe in a very new direction, one that is focused on competitiveness and not on social values and workers’ rights. It is a direction that I would not support.
When I vote ‘No’ on 12 June, I will not be thinking of what the EU leadership will make of that decision. I will be doing it because I think it is the right thing to do. That, Mr Ahern and your cronies in the EU, is what we here in Ireland call democracy and it is what the men you were honouring in Arbour Hill died for.
So shame on you, Bertie.
County Kerry

THE Taoiseach spent his last day in the Dáil yesterday as Taoiseach. During his watch we have experienced a wonderful improvement in the country’s wealth. I personally have not seen it in terms of life’s simple things.
I treat politics and politicians by how they achieve things and what they stand for. In terms of the primary education sector and in health, it would be fair to say that the Taoiseach has failed miserably.
Dublin 22



Vote ‘No’ until you’re sure it’s safe

FARMERS, constructions workers, civil servants and chimney sweeps, do not ignore the upcoming referendum on the Lisbon Treaty – it will have profound implications so don’t think that it will not affect you.
It seriously undermines workers’ rights, public services, and neutrality as it now stands without further renegotiations.  Ireland’s place in the EU is secure. We need a better deal and voting ‘No’ is the way to do it at this stage.
There are those pushing for a ‘Yes’ vote without having read the document that makes up the EU Constitution or the fact that it is legally binding  and takes precedent over all other Irish laws. Martin Mansergh said: ‘Sure what will they think of us if we vote no?’ That sums it up. This belittling cap in hand attitude has to change, we do not owe Brussels our heart and soul, you will hear that only for Europe we would have no roads, no jobs, all that type of scaremongering nonsense. We had the Maastricht Treaty, the Nice Treaty, and now the Lisbon Treaty which are all part of this evolving mechanism to make sure we pay dearly for anything that was given (a bit like selling your soul to the Devil), eroding any sense of neutrality or independence that we want or should retain.
And if the ‘Yes’ vote is passed there is no turning back from us becoming a state within the confines of Europe, with a George Bush lookalike as president of the ‘United States of Europe’. Now that would be something to look forward wouldn’t it?
If you are crossing the road and you are not sure whether it’s safe to cross or not, you stop. Well, this is it folks. Vote ‘No’ until you see the green light properly.
Gort a’ Choirce,
Chontae Dhún na nGall        



Paddy McCann

THANK YOU for publishing the Fógrá Bháis on Paddy McCann in last week’s An Phoblacht.
The Fógra was attributed to me but it was written jointly with Fintan O’Hagan, who was interned with Paddy.
My contribution was on Paddy’s time in Dundalk as I was not interned.

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