19 June 1997 Edition
Call for youth movement
Having read Eoin O'Broin's article, ``The youth reclaim the Basque country'' (5 June), I feel compelled, as a young republican, to share my views with other republicans.
I have lived for eighteen years in West Belfast and I hope to remain here for many years to come. However, for the time being I intend to go to university and afterwards get a job (which isn't the easiest thing to do in these parts).
For some time now I have recognised the need for a youth movement to be established within republicanism. We have a radical and progressive youth with no platform. Some may argue that Glór na nOg provides a platform, but I believe it doesn't.
I think it's important to acknowledge how many first-time voters voted for Sinn Féin in the recent elections here and I believe that many of these people would actively get involved in some sort of youth movement if the opportunity presented itself.
After reading the article about the Baque youth and I felt both embarrassed and ashamed that the republican youth here have no opportunity to express their feelings and let their voices be heard.
For the first time, Sinn Féin engaged in what was called a ``youth canvass'' in the run-up to the general election last month. I, along with a number of other young republicans from West Belfast, canvassed the doors of first time voters in all areas of the constituency. The response was excellent and the hard work was rewarded when Gerry Adams was elected MP.
However after the election, the youth input was forgotten and it was back to the drawing board when our only opportunity to discuss the present situation was with our friends in the street.
I think now would be the perfect time to establish a proper youth platform within republicanism, one where we can discuss the history and development of republicanism, find its short-comings and also adapt to changing circumstances.
We need to provide the youth with a political focus, we need to actively involve them within the structure of the movement. As is done in Euskal Herria, we must organise political demonstrations, educational lectures and social events.
I believe an attitude of activism and self-sufficiency exists, one which can create a strong and vibrant youth movement, which will have many advantages for the whole community. The sooner this is done the better.
As the Basque saying goes, ``Gazteria etorkizuna da'' or as I understand it ``The youth are our future.''
18 year old Republican,
Peter O'Rourke's ``Remembering the Past'' column in An Phoblacht (22 May) entitled ``Internment 1922'' stirred my blood. I am an American-born son of IRA Volunteer John P. McRory, born 4 June, 1896 at 3 John Street, Belfast. I was 19 when my father died on 10 March 1958 before I could learn more, directly from him, about his life in Ireland, and more specifically as an IRA Volunteer.
I know he was imprisoned during or after the Tan War, went ``on the blanket'' and spent time in Derry Jail and on the Argenta (approximately 18-24 months). I don't know the exact dates. If anyone has that information available, could they contact me at the address below, or give me information as to whom to contact? Thank you.
Raymond J. McRory,
124 Cherry Valley Avenue,