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2 August 2007 Edition

Belfast march will highlight human cost of 'Operation Bannner'

2 August 2007

In ancient Celtic mythology boundaries and borders held particular significance, the moment between day and night, the shoreline where land and water meet, the turning of one year into another. Free article

Interview : Internment and The Hooded Men

2 August 2007

The formal ending of the British Army's 'Operation Banner' comes as we approach the 36th anniversary of the introduction of internment without trial in the Six Counties in August 1971 when British soldiers, acting on the instigation of then Six County premier Brian Faulkner dragged hundreds of people to prison camps, where many were tortured. Last week former internee Margaret Shannon spoke to An Phoblacht about her experience of internment. This week her cousin LIAM SHANNON from Belfast talks to ELLA O'DWYER about the treatment meted out to 13 of the internees who subsequently became known as 'the hooded men'. Free article

Interview : Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty

2 August 2007

Last week saw Councillor PEARSE DOHERTY elected as Sinn Féin's first member of the 26 County Seanad, exceeding the quota of 89 to take 103 votes to top the poll on the Agriculture Panel. Here he talks to ELLA O'DWYER about his election and his intention to work towards the formation of a more representative and relevant parliamentary forum. Free article

Interview : Begoña Errasti President of a Basque nationalist party, Eusko Alkartasuna

2 August 2007

At the beginning of July, BEGONA ERRASTI, President of Eusko Alkartasuna, the social democratic Basque nationalist party which together with the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) and United Left (IU) is in government in the Basque Country, visited Ireland and Scotland. Begoña Errasti met politicians and academics in Ireland to learn about the Irish situation. In Scotland she met with the Scottish Nationalist Party, whose plan to hold a referendum on independence in 2010 allows the Basque people, says Errasti, "to look into an experience that we must support, because it could mean a fundamental change in this part of Europe". During her visit to Ireland Begoña Errasti spoke to An Phoblacht's SALLY GALLAGHER. Free article

Sinn Féin submission to Constituency Commission

2 August 2007

Even before the first leaflet was pushed through a letterbox or the first billboard unveiled there were serious problems this year with the 26-County electoral system. The first issue was an electoral register that was seriously at variance with the actual adult population across the 42 constituencies, lifetime voters taken off the register, new ones not put on. Then there is the significant and ongoing demographic change throughout Irish society, particularly in the Dublin constituencies, driven by a rapid increase in house building and changing migration patterns that has left some constituencies technically over represented and others with too few TDs. Dublin West has 30,967 voters per TD compared to Dun Laoghaire which as 22,833 voters per TD. With over 70,000 new dwellings being built annually over the last five years, in electoral terms it's the equivalent of adding a new four seat constituency to the Dáil every year. So how do we ensure that each TD has the same number of constituents electing him or her? Enter the Constituency Commission. The current edition comes to us courtesy of the 1997 Leinster House Electoral Act. Its job is to ensure "equality of representation" for 26-County voters, but with constraints. There can be no more than 168 TDs and constituencies can only be three, four or five seats. It is also advised not to cross county borders and use naturally occurring geographical features like rivers, or even the occasional motorway as constituency boundaries, though the 2004 Commission split Leitrim into two constituencies! Over the last ten years the three previous constituency commissions have taken some contentious decisions, such as breaking existing five seat constituencies into double three seaters. First to get this treatment was Kildare, followed by Meath, and there has been an ongoing project to dissect the voters of North and West Dublin into smaller and smaller constituencies while leaving South Dublin relatively untouched. Three seat constituencies massively favour the larger parties like Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. In its submission to the Commission, made this week Sinn Féin makes the case for a return to the original system which had seven, eight and nine seat constituencies, as well as offering new plans to restore the Sligo Leitrim and Meath constituencies. The details are summarised below Free article

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Gairm Chatha don Ghaeilge!

2 August 2007

Tar éis sceitheadh na tuarascála maidir le todhchaí labhartha na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht níos luaithe an mhí seo caite, tá díospóireacht spreagtha arís maidir leis an gcur chuige is fearr conas tabhairt faoin gceist seo. Ba é an Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta sna Sé Chontae is Fichead a reachtáil an tuarascáil seo, agus de bharr na conclúidí laistigh atá sceite, tá conspóid mhór tar éis teacht uathu. Maíonn an tuarascáil úd go bhfuil an Ghaeilge i mbaol a báis mar theanga labhartha sa Ghaeltacht faoi cheann fiche bliain ar a méid, sa chaoi nach mbeidh an Ghaeilge á úsáid mar theanga pobail. Tá sé luaite inti go bhfuil an t-aos óg ag tiontú ar an mBéarla mar ghnáth-theanga labhartha beagnach go huile is go hiomlán. Chuige sin, níl tuismitheoirí ag scaipeadh na Gaeilge chuig a gclainne sa bhaile. Chomh maith le sin, tá daoine ag teacht isteach sa Ghaeltacht nach bhfuil Gaeilge ar a dtoil acu, agus nach bhfuil fíorghá dóibh fiú í a fhoghlaim. Free article

Ní Neart go cur le Chéile

2 August 2007

I Mí na Samhna 2007 beidh comóradh Mairtírigh Éadán Tobair ar siúl i Loch Garman agus beidh comóradh bliaintiúl ag an suíomh in Éadán Tobair cois teorann, áit ar thárla an tragóid ar an 11ú Samahin 1957. Ba anseo díreach ó dheas den teorann i gContae Lú a maraíodh cúigear Poblachtánach i dhá phléascán mhóra ag teach beag Michael Watters. Ceathrar acu sin a maraíodh, bhí siad gníomhach in aonad seirbhíse agus glacadh páirt i bhfeachtas in aghaidh fórsaí na Breataine i dTuaisceart Éireann. Maraíodh Michael Watters, úinéir an tí, maor coille a bhí ina chónaí leis féin sa teach agus a thug tacaíocht don fheachtas. Free article

The Matt Treacy Column

2 August 2007

Once when someone put it to him that hurling's glory days were all in the past, Christy Ring responded: Free article

Remembering the Past

2 August 2007

Operation Motorman was a military operation carried out by the British Army to retake what it termed 'no-go areas' established in Belfast and Derry in the aftermath of the introduction of internment without trial the previous year. Free article

Media View

2 August 2007

Last Tuesday's Irish Times commentary on the end of the British Army's so-called Operation Banner in the Six Counties was truly extraordinary. In its editorial the Times said that British army's role and activities in the North had fuelled nationalist alienation and directly boosted the growth of the IRA. Free article

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