26 February 1998 Edition
I would like the opportunity to remind Sean McMahon (Mala Poist 12 February) that not only are we fighting for Ireland, but for Cuba and all other countries who are battling against imperialism.
I note with interest that his ``humble opinion'' is that we can attack the US press and its priorities, but we should not criticise the US policy that is currently killing sick and elderly people in Cuba.
Che Guevara, the Argentinian internationalist, in his final letter to his children, urged them,''above all, always be capable of feeling in the deepest part of your being whatever injustice that is commited in whatever part of the world. It's the most beautiful quality of the revolutionary''
It's not a question of choosing our fights carefully, it's a question of solidarity and necessity. If we wait until we have secured a united 32 county Ireland, who's to say Cuba will still exist? So Sean, find out about Che and his ideas and Dara McNeil, congratulations for producing consistently informative and well written articles.
Obstacles to change
The once mighty and powerful unionist monolith has disappeared, but the old and outmoded mentality still exists. The peace process has exposed the inability of unionist politicians to confront and engage with other political parties. Before the IRA suspended the ``war'' unionists relied on the British army/RUC to do their bidding.
It is evident from the lack of progress from within the talks that Trimble's UUP can't cope with the wheel of change. The DUP, on the other hand, remain outside the ``change process'' like a relic from the past. In fact the Stalinist approach adopted by Paisley has in effect rendered him an irrelevance.
Realistically, nothing tangible will emanate from the Stormont talks. The onus of responsibility will finally rest on the laps of the British and Irish Governments.
Questions for Ahern
Much has been said about the supposed similarity of the republician movement's predicament with that of the UDP. However, apart from the fact that the UDA itself admitted breaking its ceasefire, there is another fundamental difference between the UDP and republicians.
As unionists the UDP accept the right of the British writ to run in a part of Ireland and for it to be exercised by a direct ruler unelected by anyone in Ireland and drawing on information from the RUC.
Nationalist Ireland, of course, does not and cannot accept this. Its forefathers struggle was for an accountable Irish constitutional democracy. And it is the constitutional implications of the Irish Government's attitude in relation to the indictment brought against Sinn Fein by the British Government, a decision which could be seen as prejudicing the trial of four other Irish citizens in Belfast, that give rise to concern.
The Supreme Court judgement in the McGimpsey case made the vindication of the constitution and the rights therein for Irish citizens in respect of the north and the pursuit of the reintegration of the national territory under Articles Two and Three a constitutional imperative for the Irish Government. How is the Irish Government meeting this imperative if it is collaborating in a process that would effectively deprive Irish citizens both at trial in Belfast or at the talks of their de jure constitutional and human right on the basis of information supplied by the RUC? It is not enough for Bertie Ahern to say he has had no dealings with the RUC only with the British prime minister, when the information he has been given by Tony Blair obviously must come from the RUC.
Fórsaí na Breataine nochtaithe
Léiríonn an tuarisc a bhí ar ``An Phoblacht'' 8/2/98 fán bhanshaighdiúir a scaoil an `RUC' go bhfuil an `SAS' gníomhach ar fad in Éirinn agus ar dhá thaoibh den teorainn fosta.
Bhí an scéal eile fán comhairleoir as Stát Aontaithe Mheiricea a stad an RUC millteanach freisin.
Má dhéanann siad seo le comhairleoir as SAM, cad é dhéanfadh siad le comhairleoir Éireannach nó le duine ar bith eile as an ghnath phobal?
Is cinnte gur fórsa sceimleitheoireachta atá san RUC agus seicteach fosta. Ní féidir glacadh leo ar chor ar bith go dtí go gcuirtear forsa neamhsceimhleoireachta agus neamhsheicteach in a n-áit. Ba chóir do Rialtas na 26 Co. cur in éadan an SAS.
Mícheál O Maoileoin,
Seize the opportunity
I find it an amazing spectacle to see the leadership of Sinn Fein demanding, nay begging, to be re-admitted to a pro-unionist, pro-British talks process with a pre-determined outcome.
Sinn Fein should be glad of the opportunity to extract themselves from a process which may have had potential at its outset but which has been steered on to the rocks of another unionist-dominated assembly by a combination of anti-republician forces in the media, within Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the SDLP, as well as the unionists/loyalists and Britain's Labour Party.
Sinn Fein has been given a golden opportunity to re-establish a democratic peace process based on the republican principles contained in Towards a Lasting Peace and Scenario for Peace. Negotiation on the future of Ireland should involve representatives of ALL the Irish people, not just those who happen to live in the partitionist state.
Aengus O Snodaigh
Baile Atha Cliath
Democrats and progressives
Isn't it extraordinary how people use the words ``democratic'' and ``progressive'' as titles for their parties - Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists, Gary McMichael's Ulster Democratic Party, Billy Hutchinson's Progressive Unionist Party, Desmond O Malley's Progressive Democrats? Maybe the time has come for us to re-define the words ``progressive'' and ``democratic''?
Bannow Road Fire Victims Committee are appealing for funds for the Kidd family. The fire, on Sunday 1 February in the Cabra area of North Dublin, claimed the lives of two children and seriously injured five others. Donations for the fund can be made at TSB Bank Account No 00433321. Sort Code 990603.
Bannow Road Fire Victims Committee