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29 May 1997 Edition

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The rising people

We have just been through a decisive month. History will record that in May 1997 the political landscape of the Six County state changed, perhaps forever. In two elections, the nationalist people came out and demanded fundamental change to outdated political structures. By backing Sinn Féin in record numbers, by electing two Sinn Féin MPs and by ending Unionist domination in four local councils they asserted their right to a future as equals. Their votes backed a peace strategy which will end domination in our country.

That strategy is a path to freedom and it is being trod by growing numbers of people who are embracing the need for change with an enthusiasm which is inspiring. Even the enemies of republicanism have praised the energy and the political awareness of Sinn Féin election workers.

There is now an unstoppable momentum for change in Ireland and in the 26 Counties general election next week it will continue to build. There are signs of growing support for the Sinn Féin candidates. The election of Sinn Féin TDs has now become a priority in order to send another clear message that change must come and it must come in an inclusive process.

Sinn Féin represents a rising people. Not only has the party a clear and increasingly popular peace project, but it also has a clear picture of what must be done to empower the marginalised sections of society. Taken together, this is a radical project which can transform Ireland.

Sinn Féin election workers have another week to get their message across. No effort must be spared.

Free Roisín

It is a great relief that Roisín McAliskey and her baby daughter, born last Monday, are doing well. Congratulations are due to Roisín and her partner, Seán.

Congratulations are also due to Roisín's mother Bernadette and everyone who has worked so tirelessly for Roisín's release.

But their work is not done. Everyone must now redouble their efforts to ensure that Roisín's bail conditions are lifted and that she can leave the hospital in freedom with her baby. It is time to step up efforts to bring about her release.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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