2 October 2008 Edition

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Youth Weekend 'phenomenal success'

THE third annual Republican Youth Weekend in Kilkenny City has been hailed as a “phenomenal success” by Ógra Shinn Féin.
The theme of this year’s weekend was ‘Internationalism and Socialism in the 21st Century’ but the weekend began with a decidedly Irish theme – a talk on Friday evening by Wexford man Bill Murray around the heritage of the pikemen of 1798.
Saturday saw a discussion on ‘Imperialism and Globalisation’. Local Sinn Féin member Burlano Mawumbi detailed how exactly his home country of the Congo has been ravaged by imperialism and globalisation, continuing external interference in the running of the Congo, foreign exploitation of natural resources  and the enduring war and suffering of his people. His account had a profound affect on the group leading to a broad discussion on African politics and the future for the continent.
There followed two workshops on how Ógra can help the development of the Basque struggle; how Ógra can internally and externally further the use of an Ghaeilge among young people. These two workshops were facilitated by Ógra International officer, Orlagh McCauley, and Oifigeach Cultúrtha, Senan Mac Aoidh.
After a quick lunch, there was an Ógra march through Kilkenny City, supported by the Ed O’Brien and Carrick-on-Suir republican flute bands. Outside Kilkenny Castle Ógra member Ryan Fulton read the Fianna Éireann Roll of Honour of young republicans.
Later on, there was a sometimes heated but stimulating youth debate between Ógra Shinn Féin, Labour Youth, and the Connolly Youth Movement.
Immediately afterwards, Dan Connolly facilitated a discussion around the Vietnam War with Professor Scott Kauffman (visiting professor of American History in UCD), Seán Edwards and Eddie Glacken, both of whom were members of ‘The Irish Voice for Vietnam’ during the Vietnam War.
A republican function offered conference goers a well-earned break after the intensive weekend before returning home on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking at the end of the event, local organiser Peadar de Bluit expressed his gratitude to all who had attended.
“Many factors played a part during the weekend, the hard work Ógra invested locally in organising the weekend and all those who accommodated us during the weekend, not forgetting Ógra comrades who travelled great distances to be with us.
“One of the ways we said beforehand that we would judge the success of the weekend was on the level of the discussion and we were certainly happy with that. Our hope now is that those who were here during the weekend will bring back to their local area the information they garnered here and put it into practical application.
“Mo bhuíochas le gach aoinne a chabharaigh in aon slí i rith na deireadh seachtaine agus thar ceann ÓSF Proinsias Ó Riain tá súil again sibh a fheiceáil arís.”

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