26 April 2001 Edition
Open letter to John Reid
As a democrat, and supporter of peace with justice in Ireland, I honestly can't understand your apparent lack of interest in sorting out David Trimble's illegal ban on Sinn Féin ministers attending North-South meetings.
That one weak politician can hold up the enforcement of an International Treaty, shows how weak the British and Irish governments are when it comes to implementing the Good Friday Agreement. The British government caved in on Patten, they gave us ``new'' plastic bullets to lodge into the heads of protestors, they nearly gave us a bloodbath on the Ormeau Road, they've allowed the North-South bodies, a critical part of the Agreement, to be cherry-picked out of the GFA by Trimble. What next?
More lifeblood to the dissidents?
Because that is all that this prevaricating can hope to accomplish. I honestly hope you do not continue to favor this approach to the peace process. It is inherently dangerous. The way I see it, if a consensus is reached that the peace process is not getting anywhere, that politics can't deliver a just peace, harder attitudes will shape the things to come. You must make the politics work, Dr. Reid. An electorate cannot be disenfranchised to save one man's hide.
James F. Loughman
New Jersey, USA
Palestinians must be protected
The latest upsurge in the conflict in the Middle East, which has seen Israel attack Syrian army positions, bomb Lebanon, invade part of Gaza and continue its attacks on Palestinian controlled areas in the West Bank and Gaza, highlights once again the need for international intervention in the form of a UN force to protect Palestinians from Israeli aggression.
While recent attempts to pass a UN Security Council resolution calling for a UN observer force to protect Palestinian civilians failed, because it was vetoed by the United States, the decision of the American administration to criticise Israel's occupation of Palestinian controlled territory in Gaza is a welcome move by the Unites States away from automatic, uncritical support for Israel.
The US must now drop its objections to the deployment of a UN force in the Palestinian territories. Ireland should also support moves to establish such a force (Ireland abstained in the previous Security Council vote on the matter).
The deployment of a UN force and the lifting of the Israeli blockade of the Palestinian territories would help to ease tensions in the region and prevent the conflict engulfing neighbouring states.
However, if a lasting peace is to be achieved in the Middle East, Israel must recognise the right of the Palestinian people to have a viable, independent Palestinian state.
The establishment of a sovereign, independent, democratic Palestinian state, comprising all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital, is the only long term guarantee of peace, security and stability in the region.
The sooner it is established, with full international recognition and support, the better for everyone in the region.
Máirtín Ó Gliosáin
As a local Sinn Féin councillor, you can imagine the great boost that our election campaign received last Monday week in the publication of the TG4 poll of the Dublin South West constituency. For the first time in living memory a Sinn Féin candidate in a Dublin constituency received such a level of support (18%) and came third in a four-seat constituency, well ahead of the rest of the declared candidates.
Surely the significance of the news to Dublin Sinn Féin, not least to other Dublin candidates, was worthy of more than a few lines in what is a republican paper. The fact that there was no serious political analysis in the paper was disappointing to republicans, not just in the 26 Counties, but throughout the island and abroad. It has always been difficult to get the media to recognise the potential of Sinn Féin, it should not be the case for our own paper.
Cllr Mark Daly
We referred to the poll in question in our editorial of 12 April and came back to the subject with a more substantial piece in our April 19 edition. - Editor
An Bonnán Buí
Ba mhaith liom an alt a bhí ag Gabriel Clery i bPoblacht na seachtaine seo caite a mholadh go hárd - alt shuimiúil gonta a rinne an ceangal idir nádúr, stair na hÉireann agus cúrsaí Gaeilge agus litríochta ar bhealach chomh pléisiúrtha agus nádúrtha. Is breá an rud leagan ghleoite Béarla Thomáis Mhic Dhonnaha den Bhonnán Buí a fheiceáil i gcl—, chomh maith le bun-leagan Chathail Bhuí agus caoineadh Francis Ledwidge. Nach trua freisin go bhfuil an Bonnán Buí imithe anois céad bliain uainn - ní hé amháin sna foraoiseacha báistí atá an dúlra á scriosadh.
Le súil go mbeidh a thuilleadh dá chuid altanna le léamh againn amach anseo.
Cris Ní Choisdealbha,
Ionad Buail Isteach na Gaeilge
Baile çtha Cliath
Mac Donagh & Ledwidge Talk
I enjoyed Gay Clery's article on Thomas Mac Donagh and the Bonnán Buí. I just wanted a few lines to let your readers know that the Ireland Institute is hosting a talk titled, Thomas Mac Donagh, Francis Ledwidge and the 1916 Rebellion, on Thursday 3 May at 8pm in the Pearse Family Home, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.
Michael O'Flanagan will speak on Thomas Mac Donagh and Liam O'Meara will speak on Francis Ledwidge. The event will be chaired by artist Robert Ballagh, whose first exhibition in 17 years, a collection of landscapes, is currently on display in the Pearse Family Home.
All are welcome
Aengus Ó Snodaigh
Baile çtha Cliath