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31 January 2019 Edition

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A living struggle

Editorial | Eagarthóireacht

There are three themes running through the second edition An Phoblacht magazine. They are the continuity of struggle across generations, the international dimension of radical republican politics and the political, social and economic crossroads the island of Ireland stands at today.

Gerry Adams and Caoimhe Ni Shluain remember Joe Reilly and his 48 years of political activism. There is also a poignant poem by Lucillita Bhreathnach. Paddy Agnew finally made it to Leinster House 37 years after being elected. At the event held to mark Agnew’s visit Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said: “Many of those involved in Sinn Féin today were not born at that time but they and we are part of a struggle which is about achieving Irish unity. I believe we have the exceptional privilege of living through an unprecedented opportunity to end partition”.

This is echoed in the article by former political prisoner and hunger striker Raymond McCartney offers a unique insight into the motivations for political activism and the challenges we face today. Another former political prisoner, Jake MacSiacais, offers an insight too into the changing political environment between the 1970s and today.

Martina Anderson, Michael Mac Donncha and Duroyan Fertl provide an international dimension looking at the situation in Palestine and Catalonia.

Then there are the challenges facing Ireland today. Sinn Féin Vice President Michelle O’Neill sets out the impact of DUP and British Government failures to implement the Good Friday Agreement in Ireland. 

Muireann Meehan Speed considers the gender equality issues across the island. Eoin Ó Broin asks why the Fine Gael coalition government cannot accept that a social housing strategy must be the centrepiece of any solution to Ireland’s housing crisis. Mark Moloney highlights the Bethany children, still waiting for truth, justice and redress from the Irish Government. 

Frank Connolly, the investigative journalist whose reporting was a significant factor in the establishment of the Flood/Mahon tribunal, revisits the tribunal and the political corruption uncovered by it.

Finally Sinead Ní Bhroin considers a future Ireland where Facebook is socially owned. Here’s hoping!

Last words go to Raymond McCartney who in a powerful article reminds us of the challenges to come. He writes: “So now as we take time to remember and reflect, it is also a time to rededicate ourselves to the many challenges that lie before. The walking continues, new paths to be created.”

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