13 May 2010 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

Sinn Féin determined to build on South Down Westminster Election

As someone who attended last Friday morning’s early election count in Lagan Valley, tired and bleary eyed after a long day participating in the polling day operation, I was once again reminded as to why Sinn Féin is unlike any other political party on the island of Ireland. The dedication and commitment of our party activists, combined with their work ethic is something to behold when put into action. It is matched in equal measure by the determination of our elected representatives, who regardless of their position within the party apply themselves in a similar manner.
As the night unfolded it became clear that Sinn Féin had succeeded in facing down Unionist prejudice and SDLP opportunism. When votes from the South Down boxes were being counted Caitríona Ruane arrived to greet her fellow activists and proceeded to personify how an elected representative should conduct themselves in the face of adversity. In particular, the dignity she displayed when making her speech upon completion of the count highlighted both her humility and her strength of purpose. They are qualities that show why she is a Minister in the North’s Executive and leading the implementation of Sinn Féin’s progressive and decent policy on education.
Already Sinn Féin is planning for next year’s Assembly and Council Elections, contests which despite the typically skewed reporting of the press and broadcast media will turn out to be far more accurate reflections of the political landscape in south Down. Because as even Jim Wells from the DUP and the TUV’s Ivor McConnell commented when making their respective speeches at the count - thousands of Unionists voted tactically to ensure Margaret Ritchie won the south Down seat. This was a hollow victory for Ms Ritchie and it wasn’t hard to understand the implications of what the DUP and TUV were saying - the SDLP are acceptable to even hard-line Unionism and besides, this was payoff for the SDLP splitting the nationalist vote in Fermanagh/South Tyrone.
But despite the shady electoral pacts, both formal and informal, and the efforts of some partisan journalists and their editors to undermine Sinn Féin we emerge from this election the biggest party in the North. Over the next 12 months we will build on this success and continue to work even harder on behalf of our constituents, regardless of their political creed, religion ethnicity or social background. Our determination to build a fairer more inclusive Ireland gets ever closer.
Gavin Gallagher
South Down Sinn Féin   Constituency Manager


Tactical voting

Did no one notice the tactical voting going on in the South Down constituency last thursday? Rumour has it that a large number of nationalist/republican voters, having got so sick to the teeth of listening to Margaret Ritchie’s promise that she’d go to London if elected, decided to vote for her enmasse to make sure she carried out her promise to go. In the mean time voters can rest assured that while Margaret is in London blowing hot air for the next 5 years they’ll be well represented here in IRELAND by the local Sinn Féin Assembly members and Councillors,
Have fun Margaret we’ll see ya in 5 years!
 Bill Foley,
Rathfarnham, Dublin


O’Leary an embarrassment

As a Public company Ryanair has been let down badly by its CEO Michael O’Leary who in the last few weeks has had to apologise to the Courts for lying and now has had to pay damages to an Aer Lingus Pilot for defamation. In most public companies actions like this by its CEO would call into the question the position of that CEO but Ryanair seems to think this is okay.
Paul Doran
Clondalkin, Dublin

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