26 June 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

Democracy and the Lisbon Treaty

IT IS ironic to see the EU establishment, including Messrs Cowen and Martin, condemning Robert Mugabe for failing to respect democracy in Zimbabwe. What a contrast to their reaction to the (only) free and fair vote on the Lisbon Treaty here in Ireland!
At home, Mr Cowen, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour still try to frighten us into voting the Government line. When they go to the EU, they are reduced to cowering, forelock-tugging deniers of their own people’s democratic choice.
What my dad said is so true:  bullies are indeed cowards at heart.


Don’t forget Gaeilgeoirí outside the Gaeltacht

THE Irish version of Sinn Féin’s poster in the Lisbon Treaty referendum looked well and is to be commended. However, it appears that very few were visible outside the Gaeltacht and a couple of Irish-language organisations.
What harm in every second poster being totally ‘as Gaeilge’ in all party campaigns?
A sentence in Irish in a ridiculously small font on the poster most voters saw does not mean equality for the Irish language. It does not help those republicans who are trying their best to promote Irish when both languages are not on par in Sinn Féin electoral and referenda campaigns.
Daithí Mac an Bhaird,
Contae Chill Dara


Portarlington and the Hunger Strikes

VISITING my native town of Portarlington some weeks ago I was given a copy of the book The Palm of Honour. The first chapters were very interesting but I was more than surprised on reading parts of Chapters 5 and 6.
Brian Stanley was quoted regarding Sinn Féin and the H-Blocks in Portarlington in the 1970s and early 1980s. I was treasurer of Cumann Thomais Mhic Ghil Cuil and Tsudaire, Contae Laois, from about 1974 to 1984 and secretary of the H-Block Committee and would like to highlight some omissions.
Brian speaks of Liam O’Mahoney (RIP) who was in Portlaoise Jail but there was also six other men from the Portarlington area in Portlaoise Jail for their republican beliefs around that time. Another Portarlington man and a Tullamore man served time in English jails for their republican beliefs.
During the first hunger strike in the H-Blocks, the mother of one of the hunger strikers, came to Portlaoise for a few days. She travelled around Laois, highlighting the hunger strike and collecting signatures in support of the strikers.
For the H-Block demonstrations in Dublin, buses were hired to bring people from Portarlington to Dublin and they were supported by people from Clara and Tullamore.
The prisoners in Portlaoise Jail were not idle. They made beautiful craft leather and timber which was sold and raffled, the proceeds going to An Cumann Cabhrach and the H-Block committee in Dublin and some going back into the prison to buy the materials for which to make the craft.
A lot of people will remember the van parked in Market Square, Portarlington every weekend during the Hunger Strikes, covered with posters, the hundreds of signatures collected in support of the strikers under the watchful eye of the Special Branch, the dawn raids on the homes of Sinn Féin supporters.
There were two young Fianna Éireann boys who sold numerous tickets all over Portarlington, walking miles.
The Palm of Honour fails to mention over ten years of work by dedicated workers, some of whom are now dead but not forgotten. Part of my reason for writing this is in their memory. Mary, Michael, Jack, Mick, Ned, Pat, to name but a few, who did such Trojan work for Sinn Féin.
County Waterford


DUP at it again

IT was no surprise that the British Government found succor in its recent internment vote from the ‘Fascist Unionist Party’ (aka the DUP). It was further no surprise that the fascists had their colors on display this week when Iris ‘There was never any discrimination in housing’ Robinson had her gay-bashing rant that Martina Anderson thankfully slapped down.
Watching from afar, one can only salute the patience of Sinn Féin in sticking with such an odious party in the forced coalition government. Still in denial about their community’s role in nurturing the cesspit-like corruption prevalent in the semi-statelet of the Six Counties, and eager to shirk any blame for denying the nationalist community their rights, the fascists are at it again with the gays and the Muslims.
The solution: a Sinn Féin rout of the party in the next Six-County elections and the forward march to a republic where such uncivilised behaviour will have no role in the plural society all Irish men and women deserve.
Washington DC,


An Phoblacht
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