Issuu on Google+

Slógadh Shinn Féin 2001 Dé hAoine 19, Dé Sathairn 20 agus Dé Domhnach 21 Deireadh Fómhair

Ráth Cairn, Chontae an Mhí

SINN FÉIN LEADERS TOIL TO SAVE PROCESS Téama: ‘Sinn Féin Cén difear don Ghaeilge?’ Eolas ó Shinn Féin na hUaime ag (046) 21345

REPUBLICAN NEWS

Sraith Nua Iml 24 Uimhir 41

IN RECENT WEEKS there has been intense media speculation surrounding the supposed intentions of the IRA. Some journalists have claimed that the IRA leadership has already decided on decommissioning. Others have claimed that votes have been taken to that effect, others that an IRA Convention is imminent or has taken place. The Irish Times on Wednesday even spoke of republicans being briefed to expect some move on decommissioning by the IRA.

This speculation has created enormous confusion and uncertainty, not just among republican activists but also wider afield. It has raised an expectation of a breakthrough not based on the current state of play. An Phoblacht understands that all these rumours are inaccurate and untrue.

What is true is that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have been involved in intense negotiations with the two governments, the Ulster Unionists and others. These efforts to try and resolve the crisis triggered by David Trimble’s actions and by the failure of the British Government

70p ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, WALES 75p

Déardaoin 18 Deireadh Fómhair 2001

e u r t n u d n a e t a r Inaccu d e s s i m s i d s r u o m ru

to honour their commitments have been ongoing for some time. The goal of the Sinn Féin leadership is to create a context in which progress is possible across a range of crucial matters leading to the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. As we go to print, however, that context for progress has not been achieved and Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness remain locked in concentrated discussions to try to create it. Gerry Adams has cleared his diary so that he can give a singular focus to this, while Martin McGuinness is devoting as much time as his Ministerial responsibilities allow. While sections of the media

and the political establishments have a singular focus on the issue of weapons, Sinn Féin sees this in the wider context of the Peace Process as a whole. In the effort to create a political context in which progress is possible, it is essential that David Trimble makes clear his commitment to working and sustaining the institutions. Tony Blair also carries an enormous responsibility, given the British Government’s unfulfilled commitments on policing, demilitarisation, the equality and human rights agenda and other matters of concern. Yesterday, however, David Trimble announced that the

resignations of his party’s three Ministers will go ahead today. As An Phoblacht goes to print, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly, responding, said: “The decision and the responsibility for the Ulster Unionist Party Ministers resigning is entirely a matter for the UUP and for the Ministers concerned. They cannot dodge that issue or pass the blame to others. “Sinn Féin will not be walking away from our political responsibilities. Our view on the UUP’s attitude to the political institutions and their obligations is very clear. The responsibility of politicians is to make politics work. That is what the UUP should be doing.”


Lucky escape in Ardoyne HAMMER AND KNIFE ATTACK

LEATHANACH 2

THE LATEST UDA attack on nationalists in North Belfast blew the back door of a house on Alliance Avenue off its hinges on Wednesday afternoon 17 October. The attack happened at about 3pm, just as the children from Holy Cross school and their parents came through the crown forces’ barrier at the junction of Ardoyne Road and Alliance Avenue. Speaking to An Phoblacht, Sinn Féin councillor for the area, Margaret McClenaghan, accused the UDA of timing the attack to coincide with the children returning home from school.

LURGAN TAXI DRIVER IN BOMB ATTACK

A LURGAN TAXI DRIVER who believes he was targeted by loyalist bombers is accusing the RUC of not taking the incident seriously. The man says he was responding to a bogus call in the loyalist Mourneview estate at 3am on Saturday morning 13 October when a pipe bomb was thrown at his car. The driver says he arrived at the pickup address and noticed the house in darkness. He radioed his base to say he was leaving when he noticed three masked men coming around the corner. The driver was accelerating away when one of the trio threw an object at the car, which exploded and caused a loud explosion. The man, who was badly shaken by the incident, drove straight to Lurgan RUC barracks to report the incident. As he arrived at the barracks, an RUC mobile patrol was leaving and the man told them of the incident. They in turn told him to go into the barracks but the driver decided to return to his depot and told the RUC they could send someone to see him. When the RUC got in touch with the man an hour later, an RUC woman said it was probably a firework. As of now, the RUC have yet to visit the man to take a formal statement. Speaking to An Phoblacht, Sinn Féin’s Dara O’Hagan said people are concerned that the RUC are treating the incident so lightly. “It doesn’t take three masked men to throw a firework,” said O’Hagan. The Upper Bann Assembly member has called on the RUC to say whether they carried out a proper search of the scene and if they have established exactly what caused the explosion.

Thursday 18 October 2001

“The bomb exploded as the children were coming through the British Army barrier,” said McClenaghan, “and the house that was attacked is no more than 100 yards from the British Army barrier”. McClenaghan said that shrapnel was embedded in the walls and ceiling. “The woman who lives in the house was in the sitting room and escaped injury. If she had been in the kitchen there is no doubt she could have been killed or seriously injured,” said the Sinn Féin councillor. Alliance Avenue is a nationalist road on the front

line between the nationalist Ardoyne and loyalist Glenbryn estate and has been under constant attack this year. And as Glenbryn loyalists mounted their campaign against nationalist children going to Holy Cross school, so too the UDA campaign against nationalist homes on Alliance Avenue was intensified. Residents now hope that the peace line that the new ‘peace line’ British security minister Jane Kennedy announced last week will afford them some protection against these UDA attacks. Experience, however, has shown that it won’t.

BELFAST MAN Liam Shannon is lucky to be alive. As the 22-year-old and a friend returned home in the early hours of Thursday morning 11 October, a gang of loyalists attacked the pair with sledgehammers and knives. In the vicious assault, Shannon was hit a number of times with the sledgehammer and was stabbed once in the arm. The two young men were returning home from a night out in Belfast city centre and were walking along the Westlink, the de facto border between nationalist West Belfast

Loyalist attacks continue SINCE last Tuesday 9 October, when loyalists jumped from a car in North Belfast and beat a 16year-old youth, numerous attacks have occurred throughout Belfast.

While most were directed against nationalists, a UDAorganised riot on the Lower Shankill on Thursday 11 October, in which a pipe bomb was thrown at the RUC, led the British Secretary of State to finally declare the UDA ceasefire over. The Shankill trouble began when the RUC raided a house on Shankill Terrace where they found bomb-making material, a pipe bomb, replica weapons and cannabis. One man, David Hinton, was charged in connection with the find. However, Reid’s move only acted as a spur to the UDA. In flashpoint areas such as Newington and Duncairn Gardens, which have borne the brunt of UDA violence in the past year, the UDA threw up to six bombs over the weekend.

In attacks on Tuesday 16 October two pipe bombs exploded close to houses at the junction of Duncairn Gardens and Halliday’s Road. The ‘peace line’ at this junction has been the scene of continuous loyalist incursions into the nationalist Duncairn Gardens area, where both people and property have been attacked. The most intense of the UDA inspired violence centred on the Limestone Road, close to the Newington area. Sporadic trouble erupted on Saturday afternoon 13 October, when a gang of loyalists stoned nationalist homes and nationalists retaliated. This trouble lasted a short while and the area was quiet until 5am on Sunday morning.

Pupils attacked after football match

An Phoblacht/Republican News

and the loyalist Village area of South Belfast. The pair were on the stretch of the Westlink between Grosvenor Road and Broadway when the loyalist gang, in a white Cavalier car, came up behind them. The pair began to run but three men jumped from the car and set about Liam Shannon. His friend managed to escape. The young nationalist received the stab wound when he covered his body with his arm as one of his would be killers aimed the knife at his chest. An Speaking to

Phoblacht , Sinn Féin Councillor Michael Browne said he was “concerned that this latest attack is only the beginning of another round of loyalist activity in this area. “Although in recent times the Village has been quiet compared to other parts of the city, there is a very vicious UDA unit there. In the last two years there have been numerous attacks on nationalists by gangs using knives and hatchets and those targeted were lucky to escape with their lives.”

According to Sinn Féin representative Cathy Stanton, a gang of loyalists from the Tiger’s Bay area, wielding hammers and a hatchet, smashed in the window of a house on Limestone Road and damaged a door frame as they tried to break into the house. A 15-year-old who was in the house at the time was wounded when he was struck by the hatchet. After four further four attacks, a pipe bomb was thrown into a house on Newington Avenue around Noon. The blast smashed a window in the home, which had already been attacked on two previous occasions in the last two weeks. The owner of the house, Breige Burns, was in the home with her 13-year-old son and grandchildren has lived there for 25 years. She now says she is going to move out. Then, on Monday evening 15 October, in a sustained assault, pipe bombs and shots

were directed at three houses on Newington Street. Three bombs were thrown into one house; two exploded, while the third was defused by the British Army. Four shots were directed at a second house. In a third attack, the bombers returned and threw a device into the back yard of Breige Burns’ home. This bomb blew off the wooden hoarding used to cover the windows after the previous attack. Cathy Stanton said this second attack on the Burns home was carried out while the woman was in the house collecting some clothes for her grandchildren: “The lights were on so they knew someone was in the house and bombed it again.” The attack on the youth in Alliance Avenue occurred last Tuesday 9 October, as he walked along with his friends. A silver car which had driven past the youths came back and

braked suddenly. Three men jumped out and ran at the youths shouting “get the fenian bastards”. A 16-year-old fell as the group tried to escape and as he lay on the ground he was kicked and beaten. He was treated for cuts and bruising in hospital. A similar incident occurred on Thursday 11 October, when a loyalist mob came out of Twaddell Avenue and grabbed a man at the Ardoyne shops. A youth who went to his aid was also savagely beaten. Sinn Féin Councillor Margaret An McClenaghan told Phoblacht that local Ardoyne people came out and the loyalists retreated. “When the RUC arrived they threatened to arrest local nationalists,” she said. On Friday 12 October at about 10.30pm, loyalists from the Westland Estate attacked Catholic houses on Westland Road.

MEMBERS of a soccer team from the Christian Brothers Secondary School in West Belfast were stoned by loyalists as they returned from a match in Dundonald on the outskirts of East Belfast.

The incident occurred last Wednesday 10 October, as the pupils, who had just played a soccer match against Dundonald High School, were on their way home. As they approached a road bridge near the

Ballybean Estate, a group of about 20 people, including some pupils from Dundonald High and young adults, let fly at the bus with stones and rocks. None of the pupils were injured in the attack.


UDA ceasefire declared over

Reid finally accepts the obvious

An Phoblacht/Republican News

BY FERN LANE AFTER three killings and more than 200 attacks on Catholics in the past year, British Secretary of State John Reid finally declared that the seven-year UDA ‘ceasefire’ is over. The announcement on Friday 12 October came only after the UDA had been involved in serious clashes with the RUC on the lower Shankill the previous night. Violence erupted in the area after police raids, which turned up a pipe bomb, ammunition, a timer, three blank firing guns and cannabis worth around £1,000. It would seem, therefore, that UDA attacks on the RUC, rather than the appalling violence inflicted on the nationalist community, prompted Dr Reid to made his decision. The LVF — whose supposed ceasefire was equally non-existent — were also ‘respecified’. In making the announcement, Dr Reid admitted that both the UDA and LVF had “systematically breached their ceasefire”. The Secretary of State had been poised to respecify both groups two weeks before but backed down after coming under political pressure, saying that as he had received communication from the UDA (a claim subsequently denied by loyalist spokesmen) that their campaign against Catholics would stop. Loyalists would be given one last chance to prove that their ‘ceasefire’ was holding. The following night, the LVF shot down journalist Martin O’Hagan. Reid claimed that the UDA, after a brief pause, had resumed its campaign, including its involvement with the Holy Cross protest. Dr Reid said that the UDA and LVF seemed “determined to spurn the opportunity given to them by the people to make the transition from violence to democracy”. He said that the decision would probably not change either the UDA’s or the LVF’s behaviour, adding that “they may lash out and flaunt their immorality and their contempt for the law. But there is a limit to society’s tolerance and that limit has now been reached.” Sinn Féin Assembly member and policing spokesperson Gerry Kelly said the announcement was long overdue. He said John Reid had reneged on his decision to respecify the UDA two weeks ago, when he accepted the “discredited” word of the UDA that they would observe their ceasefire. “What the British Government have done is accept what Catholic victims of the UDA have been telling them for well over a year and accept that they called it wrong two weeks ago,” he said. “The UDA are involved in an ongoing campaign against Catholics and are involved in the blockade of Holy Cross School. However, it is worth noting that Mr Reid only took this decision after the UDA attacked members of the RUC.” After the announcement, one UDA leader issued a warning, threatening that if UDA leaders were arrested, “5,000 members will take to the streets and the place will go berserk. There won’t be a bus left in Belfast; they’ll be burnt. Tony Blair will not just

Thursday 18 October 2001

have Osama bin Laden to deal with — Northern Ireland will be out of control”. Since the announcement that they are to be respecified, the UDA have been involved in at least half-a-dozen further attacks on Catholic homes.

BURNSIDE Shortly after Reid announced his decision, it was revealed that David Burnside, the extreme Ulster Unionist MP for South Antrim, together with Fred Cobain, Assembly member for North Belfast, had held a secret meeting with UDA and UVF leaders in August. In the face of calls for his resignation from some members of his own party, Burnside insisted that the meeting was “perfectly legitimate”, had taken place with the knowledge of David Trimble and that there had been ongoing contact between the UUP and the UDA since the summer. He said that he had told the UDA that that he “didn’t believe

that violence helped their cause”. He did not say that he had told them he thought violence against Catholics was wrong, merely that it was unhelpful. He also claimed that he and Cobain had been attempting to establish the conditions under which the UDA/UVF would decommission. If true, this claim seriously undermines the UUP’s insistence that decommissioning is an absolute requirement and must have no preconditions attached. Such negotiations with the UDA/UVF suggests that the UUP accepts that loyalists can indeed apply preconditions, something it vehemently insists it will not accept of the IRA. Nevertheless, this approach is consistent with the UUP’s at best ambiguous, at worst completely schizophrenic attitude to decommissioning. Burnside said last Thursday (during a speech in which he also advocated

that the UUP and DUP should merge) that the party should not accept anything which could be interpreted as “symbolic” by the IRA and that it should in any case force the collapse of the elected Assembly in order to create a more “realistic” model based on that operated in Wales. Trimble himself has always carefully avoided talking about loyalist paramilitaries when referring to the subject of decommissioning, and has often appeared extremely reluctant to condemn loyalist violence against the nationalist community. His apparent sanctioning of members of his party to engage with the UDA/UVF raises many questions about his claim that the UUP does not deal with paramilitaries. And he does not apparently see any irony, or indeed hypocrisy, in his party relying on the votes of the PUP members of the Assembly — who represent the heavily armed UVF — in its attempts to have Sinn Féin members excluded.

LEATHANACH 3

FINUCANE MURDER WEAPON REVELATION

THE WEAPON used to kill Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane has been handed over to the British Army and ‘reconditioned’, effectively destroying the possibility of further forensic testing despite the ongoing nature of the investigation. The weapon, a Browning 9mm pistol, was supposed to remain in the custody of the Northern Ireland Forensic Laboratory, but documents leaked to the media show that it was handed over to the British Army on 3 October 1995. Worse still, the British Army failed to preserve the weapon, a key exhibit in an ongoing probe into one of the most controversial killings in the North. Significantly, the barrel and the slide of the pistol were subsequently replaced, despite the fact that earlier examination of the weapon had found it to be in full working order. As specific as a fingerprint, once a bullet has been fired, markings corresponding to grooves within the barrel and the extractor on the slide can trace the specific gun used in the shooting. A senior source within the Stevens Inquiry team has described the destruction of the evidence as either “utter incompetence” or “organised mischief”. Head of the Stevens team, Chief Commander Hugh Orde, responded to the revelation by ordering an investigation which he said, if necessary, would be forwarded to the DPP. To date the British Army and RUC have refused to identify where the order to remove the weapon came from. A British Army investigation carried out by a major in the British Counter Intelligence G2 department last month claimed that the British Army had not made “any special agreement” in relation to this particular weapon. “Weapons released from the laboratory are accepted as no longer being required for investigation purposes,” said the report. The Browning 9mm pistol was one of 12 weapons ‘stolen’ from the British Army’s Palace barracks in August 1987. A UDR soldier, Steven Fletcher, was later arrested in the 26 Counties and found to be in possession of another handgun ‘missing’ from the Palace Barracks armoury. The UDR soldier was jailed for five years in April 1988. During the trial, Fletcher claimed he had sold the guns to members of the UDA at a drinking club in the loyalist Shankill area of West Belfast. The pistol used in the Finucane killing has also been linked to the attempted killing of a Catholic in Carlisle Square in September 1988. Pat Finucane was shot dead as he sat down to dinner with his family on 12 February 1989, when loyalist gunmen burst into their North Belfast home.


SOUTH ARMAGH TO TAKE ON CHOPPERS BLOODY SUNDAY IN EUROPE INQUIRY

WITNESSES DESCRIBE COLD-BLOODED KILLINGS

LEATHANACH 4

Thursday 18 October 2001

An Phoblacht/Republican News

BY FERN LANE

A WITNESS has told the Bloody Sunday inquiry how he watched as one of the victims, Jim Wray, was killed as he lay injured on the ground. Malachy Coyle told the tribunal that Wray called out to him, saying that he could not move his legs. Coyle answered him, telling the injured man to lie still and pretend to be dead. As he did so, he heard a shot and saw sparks fly off the pavement underneath Wray, who was killed where he lay. Mr Coyle, who was 16 at the time told the inquiry that he had watched events through the slats of a fence in back yard of a nearby house, together with another witness, John McCourt. He said that he thought Wray had been first been hit in the spine, an observation confirmed by the autopsy report on Wray which showed that he had been shot twice, with one bullet damaging a vertebrae. Coyle said that Wray had looked at him and John McCourt through the slats, saying: “I can’t move my legs, I can’t move my legs. “Mr McCourt says, ‘be quiet, lie down`. At that stage I got feared for him and I says, ‘pretend you`re dead’ or, ‘lie down’. Then just underneath his chest bits of concrete just exploded... He let out a groan and his head went down slowly onto the pavement. He did not move after that.” Coyle also said that one of the British soldiers at the scene stood out from the others because he was running about without a helmet, had his sleeves rolled up and was shouting abuse. “The others didn’t have the same menacing presence as this boy,” he said. “This boy was really scary.” Another witness, SDLP councillor, Seán Carr, told the inquiry that he had seen a soldier shoot a man who had his hands in the air. Mr Carr, who is now a member of Derry City Council, was 13 on Bloody Sunday. He described how people had run through the entry linking Glenfada Park North and Abbey North as a soldier appeared in the entry. “As the man put his hands up and looked at the soldier, the soldier put his rifle to his right shoulder and shot the man,” he said. “The man fell to his right and then onto his side and rolled onto his back. He fell in the position where he was standing.

“From the window I could see that he blessed himself with his right hand across the centre of his face. I could not believe what I had seen. There was absolutely no reason for it. The man had been doing nothing and had his hands clearly up in the air.” The tribunal has also heard how one soldier, referred to only as Soldier 104, perjured himself during the original inquiry, saying that Joe Friel, who was wounded on Bloody Sunday, admitted having a gun when he was shot that day. This claim has been vehemently denied by Friel. The same soldier further perjured himself when he gave evidence to the resident magistrate in 1972 against 15-year-old Martin Gallagher. Soldier 104 claimed that he had seen Gallagher throwing stones on Barrack Street. However, Gallagher said that he “had been nowhere near Barrack Street all afternoon. The soldiers were lying. As far as I was concerned the court agreed with me because the charge was dropped and I was free to go.” Gallagher, who presented his written statement to the inquiry, described how he was arrested and taken to a detention centre, where 104 told him to “shut up” or he would be thrown “in to the Orangemen”. Sir Allan Green QC, legal representative for Soldier 104, told the inquiry that his client had “no recollection whatsoever” of the incident.

THE South Armagh Farmers & Residents Committee (SAFRC) is considering taking legal action against the British government and Ministry of Defence following a landmark ruling in the European Court of Human Rights.

The court ruled that night flights into Heathrow Airport in London could be banned, following an action taken by anti-noise campaigners who live adjacent to the airport. Residents are entitled to sleep, undisturbed by aircraft noise between the hours of 11.30pm and 6am, the court decided. The London residents had claimed that noise generated by 16 scheduled night flights infringed on their quality of life and therefore violated their entitlements under the new Human Rights Act. The judges in Strasbourg said that the British Government and the airline industry had failed to prove that the economic benefits from such flights justified the nuisance to millions of Londoners. John Stewart, chairperson of the anti-noise group ‘Hacan Clear Skies’, said “this is great news for the tens of thousands of people living under the flight paths and is a tremendous victory for a small group that has successfully taken the British Government to Court and won”. Speculation has now

Louth border incursion

mounted that residents in similar situations, who have previously had difficulty in advancing their objections, may now use this case as a precedent in the European courts. SAFRC says it is seriously considering taking a similar case, given the number of military flights in South Armagh that are of no economic value (if not an economic liability) and cause serious disturbance to residents. The committee is seeking a ban on flying over the area between 6pm and 10am every night and will present a letter of request to the Newry & Mourne District Council on Monday morning, together with a 32-page dossier on the ruling in the European Court of Human Rights. It hopes the council will provide SAFRC with both legal and financial support to pursue the case. SAFRC, which was formed in September 1997, has campaigned relentlessly for demilitarisation throughout South Armagh, the withdrawal of British troops and the dismantling of all Spy Posts

and fortifications in the area. The lack of such measures has figured greatly in the lack of economic development in the area, the tourist industry and the business and farming community, in general, it says. Of late, the organisation says it has received numerous complaints from residents throughout the South Armagh area about day and night-time

LOUTH County Councillor Arthur Morgan, has reacted angrily to local reports that British Army helicopters entered the Hackballcross area of County Louth this morning. This follows an incursion of a British foot patrol in August of this year. Councillor Morgan has called on the government to

raise this issue immediately with the British Government. “The incursion occurred at 9.30 this morning,” said Morgan. “Local people immediately contacted my office and I in turn requested that my colleague Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD raise the issue with Brian Cowen. This has

flights. In particular, concern has focussed on the amount of helicopters ferrying cargo from Bessbrook Military Barracks to the bases and joint British Army/RUC barracks in Crossmaglen and Forkhill. It is believed that building supplies are being brought into the bases, as construction work and refurbishment is visible. since happened. “It is unacceptable that the British Army continues to patrol nationalist areas of the Six Counties. To cross the border is simply a disgrace. The government must stop accepting British excuses of map reading errors. They must demand that Britain stop this practice.”


Britain faces human rights grilling in Geneva

An Phoblacht/Republican News

Thursday 18 October 2001

SINN FÉIN’S Pat McNamee has said that Britain will face “tough questioning” when it tries to defend its “commitment to international human rights standards” before the United Nations Committee on Human Rights in Geneva on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 October.

Speaking to An Phoblacht, McNamee, the party’s newlyappointed spokesperson on human rights said: “The British Government’s record on protecting the human rights of people in the Six Counties is coming under international scrutiny. The United Nations Human Rights Committee is meeting to examine the failure

of the British Government to fully comply with UN human rights standards. “We are the only political party in the Six Counties to have made a submission to the UN Committee on Human Rights and this is the second time we will lobby the Commission. This is an indication of the importance

with which we view the creation of a human rights culture here.” The Sinn Féin representative accused the British of perpetrating human rights violations in legislation and in policy. “The British Government is in contravention of the UN Charter, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Good Friday Agreement,” said McNamee. He said that the British will come under scrutiny in areas such as policing, the courts, repressive legislation, plastic bullets and collusion.

The court ruled that Ó hEara be awarded £11,000. In the second case, Thomas Brennan was arrested and questioned in connection with the killing of a British UDR soldier. Brennan was held in Castlereagh from 21 to 25 October and only saw his solicitor on 23 October. During the solicitor’s visit, an RUC member remained in the room. Brennan said the delay in seeing his solicitor meant his right to a fair trial was prejudiced. He was subsequently convicted, on the

basis of signed confessions, of killing the UDR soldier. The court decided that as the authorities were only responsible for the first 24 of the delay in Brennan obtaining access to his solicitor and that as he made no incriminating admissions during this period, then his rights under Article 6.1 were not violated. The Court did find that the presence of an RUC member during his interview with his solicitor on 23 October violated his rights and awarded him £6,920.

LEATHANACH 5

Euro Court orders Brits to compensate detainees

THE European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg has ordered the British Government to pay compensation to two republicans detained in Castlereagh Holding Centre in Belfast. One of the cases concerned the arrest and detention of Derry City Sinn Féin Councillor Gerry Ó hEara, who was arrested in 1985 and detained in Castlereagh where he was questioned in relation to a killing. O hEara was detained for six days and 13 hours and he

PLASTIC BULLET VICTIM MURAL

sued the British Government under Article 5.1 of the Convention of Human Rights saying there was no reasonable suspicion that he had committed an offence when he was arrested. Although the court did not find in his favour on that claim it did however find that the British government had violated Article 5.3 of the Convention. Article 5.3 says that a person should not be detained for more than four days before being brought before a judge.

● A new plaque and mural was unveiled in Belfast last weekend to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Brian Stewart. The child was killed by a British Army plastic bullet in 1981

Campaign to save rural post offices

ANTI-WAR PROTESTS...

Protestors outside the US Embassy in Dublin this week protest the war against Afghanistan

“GOVERNMENT representatives should listen to what Postmasters and others are saying concerning the very survival of the rural post office,” says Sinn Féin’s Mayo candidate Vincent Wood. He was speaking after a meeting organised in Killala as part of an ongoing campaign to save the rural post office network. “This is not a new debate. People have been calling for support and an increase in the services rural post offices can provide, including banking services, for many years,” said

Wood. “This makes the announcement of a forum, coming as it does in the run up to an election, all the more cynical. “On reading the report of the Post Office Working Group set up by Minister Mary O’Rourke, the key observations are that An Post predicts that it will incur losses of £27m per year by 2004 if the situation remains the same. The report acknowledges that these losses come from the larger post offices and company

owned offices and not from the small post office sector. The report also makes it clear that An Post has been profitable in the recent past. “Unfortunately, we have a government which is dominated by the Mary Harney/Charlie McCreevy wing, who want to see a totally deregulated and privatised free for all, where profitability is the driving force. There is no consideration for the social function that the rural post office plays in our communities. “The government also has

a bad record of standing up to the EU. Its competition rules are having a negative impact on potential government support. If the government opt to support An Post from the exchequer as recommended by the report prepared by ICTU leader Phil Flynn, they will have to ask for State Aid Clearance for the European Commission. “Postmasters have lobbied government hard for additional services to ensure their longterm survival. Their demands are reasonable and should be

supported by everybody genuinely interested in keeping rural Ireland together. “In the short term, the exchequer should pick up the £27 million per year tab and then go to the banking sector to negotiate the replacement of withdrawn bank facilities with services that could be delivered through the Post Office network. With additional services, such as Social Welfare payments, we can at least create the environment where the rural post office network can survive.”


LEATHANACH 6

Tax amnesty

WITH less than four weeks to the 15 November deadline for holders of illegal non-resident bank accounts to come forward, only a few hundred of an estimated 50,000 account holders have come clean to the Revenue Commissioners. Up to £700 million in unpaid tax and penalties was expected to flow into the state coffers. For now, less than £100 million has been paid. The Revenue Commissioners have said that they will be seeking High Court approval to obtain information from banks and building societies on these illegal account holders. The unasked question is why are the Revenue Commissioners waiting until 15 November. They should be amassing this information now. After all, the account holders have already broken the law. It also begs the question as to why there is an amnesty in the first place. Just one more example of one law for the rich.

Rich poor gap

THE SHIRT OFF YO U R BACK

An Phoblacht/Republican News

Thursday 18 October 2001

gas to fuel this network, gas resources that a previous Fianna Fáil government gave away for nothing.

BY ROBBIE MacGABHANN

THE Conference of Religious in Ireland (CORI) is the latest group to call on Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy (above) to act on closing the gap between rich and poor in the 26 Counties. Their budget briefing document calls for action on healthcare, accommodation, education and employment as well as a sufficient income to allow people live their lives with dignity. The Dublin Government was doubly indicted, according to CORI, because in a time of prosperity it had chosen to “betray its poorest people”.

Ten-year equality delay

IN 1995, the Dublin Government agreed draft commitments with the UN promising to redress inequalities in wages between male and female workers. Six years later, the Dublin Government is finally set to act and implement the tenyear action agenda agreed in 1995. Women’s wages are on average 84.5% that paid to men. The good news is that the Dublin Government has put the issue on its agenda. Why did it take so long though? Whether the measures they have taken will work is a question for another day?

“WE ARE central to the political life of this nation.” Of all the rhetoric in Bertie Ahern’s televised leader’s address at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis, this was probably the most accurate declaration. Fianna Fáil are central to Irish political life, but not in the way Ahern thinks. For example, last week’s public session of the Moriarty Tribunal gave just one glimpse of how Fianna Fáil has been central to political life. The tribunal was focusing on the spending habits of Charlie Haughey. Interestingly, it is not so long since Haughey’s spectacular leadership addresses at Fianna Fáil Ard Fheiseanna. The acclamation for Haughey at Ard Fheiseanna was a bizarre display, part cult idolatry and part mass hysteria, and now happily forgotten by the Fianna Fáil leadership.

HAUGHEY FARCE ‘Arise and follow Charlie’ was the tune played as Haughey took the podium. This week, though, the Haughey farce was being performed at Dublin Castle. Catherine Butler, Haughey’s former private secretary, was giving evidence. Butler told the Tribunal how Haughey used the Department of Foreign Affairs diplomatic black box system for his own personal packages. The black box system is a confidential postal service used by embassies around the world to mail confidential diplomatic correspondence between embassies and their home state. Haughey used this diplomatic privilege for the delivery of his exclusive Charvet shirts. This procedure was maintained even through his years in opposition between 1982 and 1987. Butler’s evidence also confirmed that these shirts, which cost hundreds

HAUGHEY’S SHADOW OVER AHERN’S FIANNA FAIL

of pounds each, were paid for using the taxpayers’ money as were Haughey’s lavish dining bills from the Le Coq Hardi restaurant.

INTEGRITY IN POLITICS That was then and now the tune is a different one. Ahern told the Fianna Fáil delegates that the party “remains deeply committed to integrity in politics, not withstanding individual lapses”. Maybe it is unfair to judge FF on the past lapses of the Dohertys and Haugheys or the Burkes, Flynns, Lawlors or Foleys. And Ahern did stress consistently his party’s record of five years of coalition government. So how does the last five years show the centrality of Fianna Fáil to Irish life? On tax, Ahern boasted of how Fianna Fáil had reduced the tax burden. “Almost four out of ten income earners are now exempt from tax,” he said. An impressive figure, but doesn’t he know that 21% of 26-County workers subsist on low incomes? Funny too that Ahern forgot to mention the huge cuts in tax on

RICH AND POOR

● CHARLIE HAUGHEY business profits and on capital gains tax, or the culture of avoidance and evasion created by successive Dublin Governments. Here we are back in the past in the land of Haughey, Lawlor, Burke, Flynn and Foley again.

WESTERN NEGLECT Lets look to the future and Fianna Fáil’s “vision”, where, “every community can prosper”. They want to spread growth through the regions. Yet who is to blame for the damning gaps in road, rail, power and telecommunications infrastructure highlighted so well in the recent State of the West Report. It is not by accident that whole areas of the West are unable to be guaranteed continuity of power supply. This is the result of years of a deliberate policy of under investment, but by whom? Ahern hyped up the extension of the gas network across the border and into the Northwest, conveniently forgetting the intense lobbying on Fianna Fáil it took for this very small step. He also overlooked the fact that we now have the buy back the Corrib

Perhaps the strangest piece in the Ahern jigsaw of what he thought were the good things in the Ireland of today was that: “Those who talk about rich and poor, as if those were the only two classes, do no justice to Ireland’s achievements as a society.” Could he be blind to the fact that of all the states in Europe, the 26 Counties has the second largest gap between low and high earners? Did he not read last week’s ESRI report that found the last 14 budgets, eleven of which were Fianna Fáil’s, actually widened the gap between rich and poor in this state? No it seems that Bertie is oblivious to findings like these. Maybe that explains why he made the incredulous claim that Fianna Fáil had made a bold start in tackling health issues. No admission that it was Fianna Fáil cutbacks, never rescinded which threw the health service into crisis. Ahern promised to, “deliver the blueprint and the funding for a world class, accessible and equitable health service”. Great so nothing to worry about there then. The sad reality of Fianna Fáil’s 75 years of “building the republic”, is that they haven’t actually built one. They have built a state full of vested interests, double standards, low standards, bad decision making and one that has created a society of rich and poor with a huge struggling middle, struggling with house prices, childcare costs, underfunded education, the list goes on. Those who cannot struggle just sink. They see a Fianna Fáil who would take the shirt from their back. Fianna Fáil are central to Irish life — they are the central problem.


An Phoblacht/Republican News

● Gerry Murray with Vincent Wood

Mayo councillor joins Sinn Féin

Thursday 18 October 2001

BY ROISIN DE ROSA VINCENT WOOD, Sinn Féin representative in Mayo, announced this week that Councillor Gerry Murray from Charlestown, County Mayo, who resigned from Fianna Fáil last month, becoming an Independent, has now joined Sinn Féin. “It is a significant development for Sinn Féin and for the ongoing development of the party in the county,” said Wood. “We are very pleased to welcome Gerry Murray to Sinn Féin and believe that it represents an important step in the rejuvenation and growth of Sinn Féin in this area.” Murray had been a member of the party before in the late 1970s but drifted away because of the then weakness of the Sinn Féin organisation in Mayo. In an interview with An Phoblacht, Gerry Murray spoke of a wide range of reasons why he has severed his links with Fianna Fáil and why he feels Sinn Féin is the only party that can genuinely present a vision to young people who are disaffected with current political parties. “The problem with Fianna Fáil, as I see it,” he said, “is that most have sold out their idealism, the idealism which once inspired republicans, for corporatism. They have forsaken the ideals and interests of the small farmers, the people of Western seaboard, and instead become slaves to the corporate sector of big business. “They are selling off state assets to private profit making companies. It is a disastrous policy for us in the West of Ireland. Deregulation can never bring equality of opportunity to our people here in Mayo. With deregulation, investment decisions are based on profit, whereas we need a government commitment of state funds precisely because, with the lack of infrastructure in this

region, it isn’t profitable for private companies to invest in our local social economy. “Privatisation can never break the cycle of underdevelopment. Profitable investment opportunities are on the Eastern seaboard, where there is the infrastructure. Lack of investment is quickly followed by population movement to the East in search of employment. With declining populations and declining opportunities, there is yet less potential profit to be made through investment in the West. It is a vicious spiral of underdevelopment which the corporations perpetuate. “If we are to move towards equality of opportunity, if we are serious about the development of the West, about raising the standards of living here, and providing employment so people can stay in the West of Ireland, then we must move from policies of deregulation in favour of government injection of capital in the provision of infrastructure. “Yet Fianna Fáil is committed to deregulation. They are committed through GATT and the IMF to the

neo-liberal agenda of privatisation and fostering private companies to provide the spur to economic growth. They have sold out to this neo-liberal agenda, which is entirely alien to the development of the West and alien to our whole social cultural development in this country. “Deregulation, where private companies are given the monopoly interest in the provision of essential services to the people, is anathema to the republican ideals of a democratic socialist republic, where equality of opportunity and diversity of cultures is what we have ever striven for. “A case in point is the broadband telecommunications system. For two years, we have fought to get broadband, which is an essential part of infrastructure if we are to draw investment to this area. Neither ESAT nor Eircom will put in the cable simply because it is not worth their while — there isn’t a profit for them. The state must take on its responsibilities, instead of selling off our national assets to the big corporations and leaving our region without the investment we need. “In the last five years, the Fianna Fáil-led coalition government has had a greater budget surplus than ever in our history, yet what have they done with it? They have not taken seriously the development of the West. Once the Celtic Tiger slows down, it will be the people

LEATHANACH 7

again for the road, just as it was in my youth, where we all left for England to get work, leaving the West economically and culturally decimated. “Vincent Wood and I have often shared platforms in the past — on the closure of local post office, the issue of gas and how to preserve the interests not only of local people, but also of the nation to claim its own resources and develop them. “Together we have fought long and hard to bring democracy into the discussion of how we are to dispose of our waste. The present government is set on the course of allowing big corporations to built incinerators around the country, even at the cost of stripping local authorities of the power to decide on a waste management policy. “But the people who live here need to have a say in this question which will affect our lives for generations to come. How we are going to get rid of our waste in such a way as to preserve not only the magic beauty of this part of Ireland, but in a way which preserves the future quality of life and the environment in which farmers have to operate. Corporatism is not the answer. We don’t need incinerators, but this government is wedded to corporatism and determined to hand over to big private interests the monopoly control of this essential service to our communities. The

“Fianna Fáil have sold out their idealism, for corporatism. They have forsaken the ideals and interests of the small farmers, the people of Western seaboard, and instead become slaves to the corporate sector of big business.”

— Gerry Murray

government is oblivious to the destruction of our environment or the enormous costs which the people will have to bear in paying corporations to build incinerators we don’t want. “But in the culture of Fianna Fáil, strong loyalty to party and to power overrides all discussion of policy. Individual party members are unable to challenge the policies of corporatism and deregulation. “Instead of preserving the ideals of the Republic, Fianna Fáil has based its political support on creating a culture of dependency. This is the basis of political power of the establishment. The culture of “leave it to me, I’ll get that fixed for you”. I don’t think that the young people of today, people who have avoided emigration, people who are educated and well able to grasp the broad political issues, are going to fall for the culture of dependency any longer. They are not waiting to be told by government what is best for them: they want to tell government how best to implement the republican ideals we all share. “I was first drawn to republicanism at an early age, in school, when the tragic deaths of Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg were discussed in every classroom. This brought me to an interest in the Six Counties, and I began to see, like many others at the time, the suffering that the people there were forced to endure, and I joined Sinn Féin. “But I see all this now as a whole: it is all about democracy and empowering the people to bring equality of opportunity into their region. “Sinn Féin is the only party that offers a serious commitment to development in the West, because it has not sold out to corporatism, consumerism and government to serve the interests of big business.” roisinderosa@hotmail.com


AnPhoblacht LEATHANACH 8

An Phoblacht/Republican News

Thursday 18 October 2001

The Guardian and the Irish Times should examine themselves, to see whether they are suffering from this particular media malady. A tragic irony, in the light of the circumstances of Greenslade’s comment, is that this bad practice has now affected the brutal killing by news-shy loyalists of Martin O’Hagan, an honest and thorough investigative journalist. The situation is even worse now of course, because a journalist has been killed who effectively attempted to redress the balance. Maybe that is why he was silenced. Anne Speed, Cabra, Dublin 7.

REPUBLICAN NEWS

58 Parnell Square, Dublin 1. Tel: 8733611/8733839. Fax: 8733074 535 Falls Road, Belfast BT 11 9AA. Tel: 600279. Fax: 600207 e mail: aprn@irlnet.com website: http://irlnet.com/aprn

ARROGANT EUROS THE SIGHT OF Bertie Ahern going cap in hand to the European Commission to plead for permission to put together an aid package to save the national airline has vindicated all those who voted No to Nice in June. Under the EU’s competition laws, irregardless of the circumstances of the crisis facing Aer Lingus, states are prevented from interfering with market forces, even to protect a vital national resource and save thousands of jobs. In also agreeing this week to allow greater competition in the postal service over the next number of years, the government is repeating the same mistake and putting the postal service and its workers’ livelihoods in jeopardy. Meanwhile, the Forum for Europe meets in Dublin for the first time today amid warnings from Foreign minister Brian Cowen that there would be no change in the text of the Nice Treaty to accommodate the concerns of the Irish electorate in advance of a second referendum. Last week, Enrique Baron Crespo, leader of the Parliamentary Group of European Socialists, told Sinn Féin that Nice would go ahead, irregardless of the wishes of the Irish electorate. And to think Sinn Féin argued in the referendum campaign that Nice would impinge on Irish sovereignty and make the EU a more undemocratic institution. Where could we possibly have got that impression? We do have a couple of suggestions for the government, if it is to protect the interests of its citizens. 1. It must act to save jobs at Aer Lingus and protect our national airline. 2. It should respect the people’s decision and refuse to hold a second referendum on Nice and instead insist that ratification be halted and the Treaty’s provisions be renegotiated. Such actions would send a clear message to Brussels that the Dublin government is still willing to act to protect the livelihoods and the interests of Irish citizens and that the illegal decision to persist with a rejected Treaty will not be accepted. Such action would also require a complete u-turn on the part of Fianna Fáil and the PDs. We won’t hold our breath. Roll on the general election.

Leadership ignoring youth

A Chairde, This letter is written out of frustration experienced by Ógra Shinn Féin and Sinn Féin college activists around the country. Sinn Féin is at present in the process of building political strength all over the island. In all the media reports, polling statistics and canvassing reports, the one very noticeable aspect of Sinn Féin’s growth is in support gained from young people. ÓSF activists and college activists are working hard on a wide variety of issues ranging from student funding to ‘Disband the RUC’ campaigns. This work, along with paper sales, organising public meetings, etc, is done day in and day out by activists with limited time and resources with a good level of success. None of the other parties’ youth wings are as active on the ground in communities or in college campuses as are republicans. However, the one major difference in terms of Sinn Féin and these other parties, whether DUP, Fianna Fáil or any other party is the amount of time given over by their political leaderships to develop their youth strategies. In the past year, despite numerous requests and attempts to facilitate leadership figures, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness each only spent one hour doing work on behalf of Ógra Shinn Féin or college cumainn. Other highprofile speakers have done their best to facilitate youth groups and for this we are grateful. However, what has been proved in the few meetings where Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness have spoken is that crowds of 300 plus can be attracted easily in every campus around Ireland. We are in the business of building political strength; we should be in the business of addressing all potential supporters, so why are we not availing of the opportunity to address large numbers of young people? This letter is written out of frustration. There has to be a way that our leadership can find two or even three days every year to address the development of a radical and autonomous youth movement. Damian Lawlor, National Organiser, Ógra Shinn Féin.

Gender imbalance

A Chairde, It is with great regret that I read about motion 189 not being passed at our recent Ard Fheis. As the only women in Waterford City’s Sinn Féin Cumann I’m actively trying to encourage other women to join, telling them that Sinn

Mála Poist Féin is the only viable Left alternative. Quota systems are not the answer to tackling sexism but can be a step in the right direction, for example they are used to be more inclusive of people with disabilities in the workplace, etc. We need to address and redress the gender balance in Sinn Féin. It’s lonely being the only female cumann woman! I would like more women to join but I’m afraid failure to pass motion 189 sends out a message to women that we are not wanted or valued. Sharon Walsh, Cathal Brugha Cumann, Waterford.

Second class news fodder

A Chairde, I agree with Roy Greenslade’s view that there is a ‘hierarchy of death’ when it comes to devoting comparatively less space to the deaths of nationalists in the media (Irish News, 3 October). I wonder if Mr Greenslade would agree that this problem is also affecting coverage of the sectarian loyalist protest against children going to Holy Cross School, the reporting of which damages perceptions of ‘loyalism’ every time it is aired in the media. For example, news of the exceptional and welcome decision of the British Conservative Party Spokesperson on the North of Ireland to accompany the Holy Cross schoolchildren through the daily gauntlet of loyalist sectarian hostility was not reported in the Guardian (which Roy Greenslade reports on the media in) and only barely made it to the bottom of page 9 of the Irish Times. The Tory spokesperson was called “Fenian scum” for his trouble by the (permanently) confused loyalists. This daily barbarity is as uncivilised as anything else that is grabbing the attention of these reputedly major national dailies. Perhaps the lack of attention given to the story is a symptom of the tendency to see attacks on Irish nationalists as less ‘newsworthy’ than attacks on unionists and loyalists. I suppose, somewhat tongue in cheek, that attacks on loyalists get more prominence because of the comparative rarity and therefore exceptional nature of the event.

An Phoblacht/Republican News welcomes readers’ letters. Letters in Irish or English should be kept short (no more than 200 words) and typed or handwritten clearly, double-spaced and on one side of the paper only. Name and address should be supplied for verification, but these will not be published if we are so requested.

Abortion

A Chairde, As a republican, a mother, and a Catholic, I found Justin Moran’s letter ( An Phoblacht, 11 October) at best misguided, at worst bordering on the offensive. It seemed to say more about his antagonism towards people who believe abortion is wrong, than real compassion for those coping with problem pregnancies. I do not propose getting bogged down in arguments about ships, planes, information and so forth: people can always find justification for their actions! What concerns me here would be the pragmatic aspects. If we are to promote and build a truly inclusive Irish society, we need to respect people’s beliefs. We have to recognise that many people in Ireland — of differing cultures and creeds — would find the notion of killing an unborn baby unacceptable. The “pro-choice” lobby has the potential to be deeply injurious not only to our party internally, but also to our electoral success. And while electoral success is not the be-all and end-all, if Sinn Féin does not achieve it on a nationwide basis, we will never be in a position to realise our ideal of a 32county democratic socialist republic — and hence, implement stated policies of “cherishing all the children of the nation equally”. May I hopefully suggest that the lack of an “abortion motion” on this year’s Ard Fheis clár indicates not “moral cowardice”, but a growing wisdom? Carol Mary Fraser, Clontibret, County Monaghan.

Holy Cross

A Chairde, TO THE BELEAGUERED CHILDREN AND PARENTS OF HOLY CROSS PRIMARY SCHOOL. Having watched with horror and indignation the suffering of you and your children over the past month or more, we would like you to know that you haven’t been forgotten by the young people of Twinbrook, Poleglass and Lagmore. Unlike the so-called Human Rights Commissioner Brice Dickson and other members of the ‘respectable’ classes, we are proud to show our support for you in your battle against sectarianism and intolerance. The days of Catholics going through back doors are long gone and nationalists throughout the Six Counties owe you a debt of gratitude for your highlighting of the bigotry that remains and that must be faced up to by everyone who claims to have an interest in peace and equality. We would like to offer any assistance possible and let you know that your fight and that of your children is an inspiration to us all. Lagan Valley Ógra Shinn Féin.

Cuireann An Phoblacht/ Republican News fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla. Is fearr litreacha gearra (200 focal ar a méid) clóscríofa nó lámhscríofa go soiléir ar thaobh amháin den leathanach. Cuir ainm agus seoladh leis ach ní fhoilseoimid iad seo más é do thoil.


Kid gloves for the UDA and the UUP An Phoblacht/Republican News

Thursday 18 October 2001

BY MICHAEL PIERSE

BERTIE AHERN, in an exchange last week in the Dáil with Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, conveyed something of the kidglove attitude to which David Trimble has become accustomed. That attitude reads as follows: The UUP leader is wrong in suspending the institutions, destructive and impossible in asking for the exclusion of Sinn Féin and placing a veto at every step, but what else is he to do with the internal UUP rumblings he has to contend with? Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: “Does the Taoiseach recall the letter from David Trimble to the members of the Ulster Unionist Council almost 12 months ago, 26 October 2000? In that letter, Mr Trimble outlined his strategy to increase pressure on republicans and nationalists progressively, to place responsibility on republicans and “only that way can suspension be achieved”? Surely what we have now is the out-working of this Unionist strategy for suspension of the Good Friday institutions?” Bertie Ahern: “The answer to that question is contained in the judicial findings of both the High Court and the Supreme Court in Northern Ireland. They have said that what David Trimble did on that occasion was

wrong. We said that from the start and we all agreed with it. Trying to undermine the institutions or operate vetoes in them is clearly unhelpful and the legal process has answered that question. As we go forward, that ruling is now there. I remember well the morning that happened. It was the last Saturday in October. The Deputy and I will remember the reason David Trimble played that card on that morning, and I do not need to say any more. I disagreed with it but, in fairness, he is not here to answer. I remember why he did it.” Why David Trimble ‘played that card on that morning’ is quite easily explained by those who are eager to defend his every move. We are constantly bombarded with the

assumption that ‘poor David’s’ ‘delicate leadership’ of the UUP is dependant on his ability to assuage hardline party elements. This, we are informed, is for the good of the Peace Process, but leaves the ‘beleaguered’ leader with little room for manoeuvre. The clichéd irony is, we are told, that republicans must bend over backwards to save David Trimble’s political neck. And, the argument goes that because hardline unionist politicians are ill-at-ease with sitting in the same room with representatives linked with people who have guns, the IRA must decommission. The absurdity of all this was revealed at the weekend when The Observer carried a sensational report about links between the UDA and UUP MP David Burnside. Now, if one was to pick a UUP figure who characterises all that is antiAgreement, anti-republican, and a recognised threat to Trimble’s leadership, David Burnside might easily be that figure. A man who has whined about silent IRA arms, about power sharing, about the involvement of the Dublin

LEATHANACH 9

Government in the Peace Process, has, apparently, been having the UDA over for tea. So much for the UUP hardliner’s distaste for violence. At a time when the UDA’s ceasefire has finally, belatedly, been declared extinct by the British Government, when unionists should be empowering their own communities to speak out against the endless drug-dealing, pipe-bombings, killings, gun attacks and harassment carried out by the UDA, Burnside, it transpires, is working with them handin-hand. What’s letting unionism away with this charade is a mass media and British political establishment that, in pandering to the UUP and UDA, is becoming as discredited as those organisations in the process. Sinn Féin had been calling for some time for John Reid to publicly recognise the reality that the UDA cessation was over and had been over for some time. John Reid reneged two weeks ago when he accepted the word of the UDA that it would stop the violence. Now, finally, most possibly because RUC personnel came under UDA attack,

rather than out of any real concern for the nationalists who have endured hundreds more, Reid has been forced to act. And this concern for the RUC, over the people the new policing service is supposed to represent, was re-echoed in another political charade this week. Much was made of the official change in name of the RUC next month to ‘Police Service of Northern Ireland’. Reid also made much of the fact that 154 Catholics have been recruited into the ‘new force’. Yet when pressed by Sinn Féin on how he intends build equality of representation at all levels within that force, it was revealed that the British Government have no answers and no plan. The 154 Catholics will be nothing more than pawns in an unrepresentative, unreconstructed RUC and will be used to buffer the unionist ‘cosy cartel’. They will be part of the kid-glove mindset, that sees the UDA as unruly children who might have to be sent to their beds early and the UUP as difficult teenagers who need to be appeased at all costs.

Tough talking as SF meet Crespo GOVERNMENT MUST RESPECT ELECTORATE ON NICE ENRIQUE BARON CRESPO, leader of the Parliamentary Group of European Socialists, and a delegation of Socialist MEPs met a Sinn Féin delegation in Leinster House on Tuesday 9 October. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD (left) and Dublin South Central representative Aengus Ó Snodaigh met the delegation, which was hosted by Labour Party President Prionsias De Rossa. They were in Ireland to promote the proposed EU ‘Convention’ which would draft the next major EU Treaty. The Sinn Féin representatives stressed the need to implement the decision of the electorate in the 26 Counties in the Nice

referendum and stated that the Dublin Government should by now have requested the other EU states to halt the process of ratification, as the Treaty has been rejected here. Crespo said that the Irish Government had clearly signalled that the process of ratification should go ahead. When it was put to him by the Sinn Féin representatives that it was unacceptable for the wishes of the Irish people to be ignored in this way, either by the Dublin Government or by EU states, he made it clear that Nice would go ahead. He compared EU membership to marriage and said “divorce” was always an option.

SINN FÉIN representative to the Forum for Europe, Aengus Ó Snodaigh has described comments from Foreign Affairs Minister Brian Cowen that there will be no change in the text of the Nice Treaty as deeply insulting to the Irish electorate who rejected the Treaty last June. Speaking in advance of today’s first meeting of the Forum, Ó Snodaigh (pictured) said: “It is time for the government to accept the will of the people and formally request that the other EU governments halt the process of ratification of Nice. “What Brian Cowen is in

effect doing is telling the Irish electorate that because we are small in numbers our

voice can be disregarded. The government should be standing up for the wishes of the electorate and not trying to railroad through the Nice Treaty. “Sinn Féin is totally opposed to a replay of the referendum. The people have rejected the Nice Treaty and therefore this State cannot ratify it. It is our view that the reaction to the referendum result reinforces what we have said about the undemocratic nature of the drive to deepen EU integration. Mr Cowen’s comments will just add to such concerns.”


Ten Freemen laid to rest LEATHANACH 10

Thursday 18 O

BY JIM GIBNEY

● The ten coffins outside the p

WHEN I WAS KID growing up in Belfast’s Short Strand in the ‘60s, there were two rebel songs that stirred my heart and that of many another teenager. They were the ballads of Tom Williams and Kevin Barry. Youthful minds created powerful images of Tom facing the hangman: ‘Now he’s marching to the scaffold, ‘Head erect he shows no fear’ and of Kevin, ‘But a lad of eighteen summers’, being tortured by British soldiers, ‘Just because he would not tell, The names of his companions, And other things they wished to know....’ In a tight spot under interrogation by the RUC, it proved useful to think about Kevin Barry. I know I did and other republicans told me they did as well. Standing on the upper ledge of Daniel O’Connell’s monument in Dublin’s O’Connell Street straining my neck to see the approach of the ten Volunteers’ coffins last Sunday, I thought of the rebel songs and the part these two martyrs played in shaping my early outlook. I also remembered hearing Kevin Barry’s name for the first time. It was the very early ‘60s. We lived in Rathcoole, now a UDA stronghold, on the outskirts of Belfast. A woman across the street from us had seven daughters. She longed for a son — in fact that’s why she had such a big family, trying to have one — and eventually a boy arrived. I remember my father asking my mother what name the boy was given. It was Kevin she said and my father replied, ‘Well he’ll never get a job in the shipyard’. The family’s surname was Barry. It was years later I learned the significance of that remark. As I stood on the monument and scanned O’Connell Street, my mind drifted back to Belfast’s Falls Road a few years ago. Tens of thousands of people paid homage at the re-interment of Tom Williams and here again the plain people of Ireland, on whose behalf Kevin Barry and his comrades fought and died, turned out in their thousands. The bleak weather, live coverage by RTÉ of the funerals and the petty attacks by anti-republican politicians and journalists for weeks before the State funerals didn’t dissuade people from all walks of life from attending the funerals. I watched as the advance party of soldiers and sailors crossed over the bridge into O’Connell Street. The crowds greeted them with silent respect. But the first glimpse of a hearse with a Tricoloured coffin inside and the crowd burst into spontaneous and prolonged applause. That was the pattern for the next five hours. Every time the crowd saw the coffins they burst into applause. And every time it happened a lump came into my throat. This applause was the only way the crowd had of demonstrating their emotions. It was their way of

individually saying ‘Thank you’, of making a one-to-one personal gesture to the men. It was their way of showing their appreciation for the freedom that Kevin Barry and his comrades had achieved for them in most of the country. It is the exact same freedom that permits people like Kevin Myers, Fintan O’Toole and others, who enjoy the benefit and comforts these martyrs

Injustice breeds resistance. World history teaches us that much. You either live a free man or a slave. Those we buried last Sunday and those republicans men and women who have fought and died in the long struggle for Irish freedom were not slaves brought them, to spit in their faces; to denigrate their memory and sacrifice while fawning over our neighbouring island, whose imperialist history is responsible for the deaths of millions of people. They didn’t face the difficult choice that young Kevin Barry and his comrades faced. They didn’t experience life under British military occupation. And aren’t they lucky that someone else fought and died for them. Because if they hadn’t fought the British in that period, then Kevin and Fintan as teenagers might have had more to concern themselves with than acne.

● Jim Gibney joined thousands of ordinary people in Dublin on Sunday last to pay tribute to ten brave Volunteers of the Irish Republic These self-appointed and selfinflated custodians of all that is ‘good’ in Irish society would have us genuflect to a society of forelock-tipping monarchists riddled with class prejudice, racism and jingoism. A society which likes to crow about being the ‘mother of parliamentary democracy’ while in its most recent ‘democratic adventure’ it drops tons of bombs on defenceless and poverty stricken people in Afghanistan. This is of course, done in the name of democracy. Kevin Barry was 18 years old. He had more democratic instincts in his wee finger than those who have inhabited Downing Street since they employed their hangman to end his short life in Mountjoy Prison. I managed to slip into the cortege and walked slowly behind the hearses up towards the GPO. Cries went up from the crowd at different intervals: ‘Up the IRA!’ ‘Up the Republic!’ ‘Tiocaidh ár lá!’ I noticed middle-aged men and women wearing on their lapels copper coloured medals hanging from a small

cloth Tricolour strap. Some smiled and showed them off proudly to the crowd as they passed by. They were too young to be out in 1916 or in the War of Independence. So they were there representing those of their relatives who were out and who had been decorated. I debated with my brother and friend whether to try to get into the proCathedral for the service or stay outside. My mind was made up for me when I realised that we could get within touching distance of Kevin Barry’s coffin in Marlborough Street. To see his nameplate on the hearse carrying his

● The hearses approach the GPO on O’Connell Street

coffin was strange. It made him a real person, not just a photograph in a history book. In what was for me the most moving part of the entire day, Irish soldiers carried on their shoulders from the car park of the Department of Education, one by one ,the coffins of the ten Volunteers. My blood ran cold at the thought that the British executed six of these men on the same day, 14 March 1921, between 6am and 8am. Their average age was 24. The soldiers carrying the coffins stood for a minute in front of the pro-Cathedral.


October 2001

LEATHANACH 11

pro-Cathedral in Marlborough Street

Kevin Barry was 18 years old. He had more democratic instincts in his wee finger than those who have inhabited Downing Street since they employed their hangman to end his short life in Mountjoy prison ● Kevin Barry’s remains As I watched I was reminded of what British State terror meant to the people of Dublin to the people of Ireland in 1921. Here it was — ten Tricolour draped coffins on display for the entire world to see. I thought of Derry’s Bloody Sunday in 1972, of the ten Hunger Strikers who died in the HBlocks of Long Kesh in 1981. I mused about the merciful quality of British democracy and those in Ireland who thought it a wonderful thing. Later that night, when I listened to the speeches made by Cardinal Daly and Bertie Ahern I was angry. They

marred a perfect day. A day that wasn’t easy for republicans to attend because it was a State funeral but we were there because we wanted to pay our respects to the ten Volunteers. While there we kept at bay in our minds what successive Free State governments from 1922 did on republicans and it is not an honourable history, Mr Ahern. Listening to both speeches, it struck me, now here’s a subtle form of revisionism to complement the more brutal form from Myers, O’Toole and John A Murphy. So we are now being asked to

REPUBLICANS PAY TRIBUTE

● Crowds thronged the city centre to pay tribute to the ten Volunteers believe that the men and women who fought and died for independence between 1916 and 1921 were legitimate because they had a mandate from the general election of 1918. There’s mental gymnastics for you. The 1916 Rising is retrospectively legitimised. They didn’t have a mandate to fight for their freedom any more than those who fought for the same freedom after 1921, yet these republicans are denigrated. The reality, of course, is that while electoral mandates are important when it comes to facing tyranny, there are other equally compelling factors. It is injustice that breeds resistance. World history teaches us that much. You either live a free man or a slave. Those we buried last Sunday and those republicans men and women who have fought and died in the long struggle for Irish freedom were not slaves. As someone who has been a long time critic of RTÉ, it would be churlish of me not to recognise that they excelled themselves with the live coverage of the funerals.

● Pat Doherty Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are pictured in Glasnevin Cemetery

SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams said on Sunday that the holding of state funerals for those IRA Volunteers, now known as the Forgotten Ten is a fitting tribute to the men and their families. Adams said the best way that we can honour these men and all those who fought for Irish freedom is to ensure that we continue to work for a lasting peace based on justice and equality.

● Leaving Mountjoy: The remains of the Ten before they were finally removed from the prison where they had lain for over 80 years

Adams attended the service in the Pro-Cathedral and the re-interment ceremonies at Glasnevin along with Ministers Bairbre de Brún and Martin McGuinness and Pat Doherty MP, Michelle Gildernew MP, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, and Councillors Seán Crowe and Martin Ferris. “Kevin Barry, Thomas Whelan, Patrick Moran, Frank Flood, Patrick Doyle, Bernard Ryan, Thomas Bryan, Thomas Traynor, Edmond Foley and Patrick Maher played their

part in the struggle for Irish freedom and fully deserve the honours which they are receiving today,” said Adams. “Republicans have always remembered and commemorated those who gave their lives so that future generations may live in better times. For those of us who are still pursuing the objectives of freedom, justice and peace in a united Ireland, today is an appropriate time to rededicate ourselves to this task”.


Irish revolutionary memoirs LEATHANACH 12

Thursday 18 October 2001

An Phoblacht/Republican News

Joe Good’s memoirs were originally penned in 1946 but only recently published with an introduction by Tim Pat Coogan. This is an account of one man’s involvement in the Irish people’s revolutionary struggle in the early part of the 20th Century. Joe Good was of London-Irish extraction and became involved with the Irish Volunteers there in 1914. It was there that he became familiar with Michael Collins and it is clear throughout the whole book that he respected him immensely. He even compares Collins to a Lincoln or a Moses, such is his admiration. In 1916, he came to Ireland to evade conscription in the British war effort and “take part in a better fight”. He said of the country he left that “I shall never return, for the British are not my people and their gods are not my gods”. He enlisted with the Volunteers in Dublin and along with Collins was stationed as part of the Kimmage garrison. During the Easter Rising, he operated around the O’Connell Street and the GPO area and he gives a very vivid account of this momentous week. Following the defeat of the Rising, he deals with the subsequent internment of the revolutionaries after the execution of their leaders.

While interned, he became a trusted associate of Collins and following the amnesty a few months later, he and his comrades once again set about the task of liberating Irish people from the shackles of British imperialism. This reorganisation involved the revitalisation of Sinn Féin, the participation and winning of by-elections, the funeral of Thomas Ashe, the rebuilding and formation of the IRA, the conscription crisis of 1917 and the pivotal 1918 General Election. This would eventually culminate in the Anglo-Irish or Tan War of 1919 to 1921. In 1918, he was part of a hand-picked team to assassinate members of the British Government, a plan on which this memoir throws much new light. During this phase of military conflict, he

travelled around the country and worked as a part-time electrician while involved in the reorganisation of the IRA. As the war escalated, he became a full-time activist. The book ends with the Truce of 1921. The s u b s e q u e n t negotiations and the Civil War are not dealt with. However, it is a historical fact that he fought with the Free State forces in the Civil War, such was his confidence in Collins. It is quite possible that he was involved in the atrocities that the Free State forces committed, but this does not take away from the fact that by his own terms, he was a committed republican in the Collins tradition. This is more than can be said for the later Fine Gael. These memoirs are in similar vein to the better known memoirs of Tom Barry’s Guerrilla Days in Ireland and Dan Breen’s My Fight for Irish Freedom with their emphasis on military exploits. While there can be little doubt that Joe Good was a courageous individual with a keen sense of survival, his political analysis doesn’t strike one as being well developed. Nonetheless, much of his account is laced with intelligent observations and it is a valid historical source. BY CATHAL Ó MURCHÚ

dissatisfied and feeling ripped off. Much like the aftermath of a Labour Party government, come to think of it. There are a couple of nice touches though. The photographs, especially of Labour’s backroom people, are interesting enough and he is more informative on the Labour Party’s campaign to drive out Militant Tendency than was Finlay. His accounts of the minutiae of the role of General Secretary and the day to day crises that appear, especially their financial problems in the ‘80s, make for interesting reading and some of the anecdotes will drag out a smile or two. My favourite anecdote deals with the decision of a Labour Party councillor in Carlow/Kilkenny to drop his pants and show Nick, husband of Mary Robinson, his newly scarred backside during the Robinson campaign. The rural wing and the D4 wing of the Labour Party colliding. It’s also well worth reading

for Labour members who might hold some surreal worldview of Quinn as a radical leader. His passionate desire to go into government with anyone, even Fianna Fáil, is something delegates to last week’s national conference would do well to remember when the votes are counted and it’s Bertie or opposition. So overall, Sping, Summer and Fall is a disappointing and shallow effort that never really gets off the ground. Labour seem to be convinced, and Finlay says as much, that Labour changed the face of Ireland in the ‘90s with the Robinson election and their role in government from 1992 to 1997. Finlay and Kavanagh are battling over who should take the credit for this illusory ‘victory’, but before the battle gets decided in favour of the party (Kavanagh’s view) or the handlers (Finlay’s view) there is one more book on the subject to look forward to. No doubt once liberated from his position as an elected

representative for North Kerry by the ever helpful Martin Ferris, Dick Spring will put pen to paper and claim his rightful place in the sun. But no matter how hard he tries, I doubt Mr Spring will be able to sum up the Labour Party as accurately, or as succinctly, as Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin did at the party’s recent Ard Fheis: “They’d be dead, if only they had wit enough to stiffen.” BY JUSTIN MORAN

BOOK REVIEW Enchanted by Dreams: The Journals of a Revolutionary By Joe Good Brandon Price £9.99

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN

● Three London-Irish rebels: Joe Good, John ‘Blimey’ O’Connor and Ernie Noonan

BOOK REVIEW Spring, Summer and Fall By Ray Kavanagh

Spring, Summer and Fall is the latest book written according to the Gump Theory of Irish politics. This theory states that the author was present at, and a key participant, in, all of the events in question even though he was of minor importance. Eamon Delaney’s fairly pointless An Accidental Diplomat is a fine example, now joined by this equally overrated first book by former Labour Party General Secretary Ray Kavanagh. Kavanagh’s book tells the tale of his 14 years as General Secretary for the Labour Party. From receiving the job, (by default, when the chosen applicant made a lamentable media gaff) through the wilderness of the early Spring years, to the 1992 General Election and the slump afterwards, Kavanagh, so he tells it, held the party together with seer-like vision and an iron-clad devotion to principle. Observant readers will note we’ve been down here before. Fergus Finlay’s Snakes and

Ladders tells pretty much the same story, barely mentions Kavanagh and mysteriously gives credit for the Labour Party’s ‘accomplishments’ to, well, Fergus Finlay. Kavanagh clearly feels more than a little bitter at being denied his place in the sun and large parts of his book are devoted to taking swipes at Spring’s Kitchen Cabinet but his attacks are the limp wristed jabs of a political featherweight against the heaving heavyweight bulk of the Pat Magners, Fergus Finlays and Sally Clarkes of the Labour Party. Part of the reason for this is the nature of the book’s layout. There just isnb’t enough space for Kavanagh to pour out 14 years worth of bitterness. Whole issues get small one page or one-and-a-half-page treatment. Labour’s impact on the North and Kavanagh’s analysis of Sinn Féin, a very positive one in fairness, gets less than a full page. Accounts of the difficulties of the merger

with Democratic Left, something Finlay was unable to add to his book, are brief and cursory. The reader learns nothing new. That’s probably the book’s greatest weakness. If you’re going to write a wartsand-all account of life in the Irish Labour Party putting in some revelations is an idea well worth considering. We are told that Dick Spring is hard to work with and occasionally bad-tempered. He reveals there was tension in Labour during the Robinson presidency campaign and so on and so forth. All statements of the blindingly obvious told, and told better, by Finlay. Possibly one of the reasons for this is the length of the book. It’s actually fairly short, even shorter than it appears once the layout and design is taken into account. You can’t help but feel that he doesn’t have much to actually say and once finished the reader is left vaguely


An Phoblacht/Republican News

Thursday 18 October 2001

LEATHANACH 13

The Stardust tragedy - have we learned the lessons? BOOK REVIEW They Never Came Home — The Stardust Story By Neil Fetherstonhaugh and Tony McCullagh Merlin Publishing Price £8.66 As we draw to a close the 20th anniversary events marking the Hunger Strike, it is appropriate to recall that in the year 1981 another Irish tragedy occurred in Dublin. We woke up on the morning of St Valentine’s Day to learn that dozens of young people had perished in a fire at an Artane disco called the Stardust. The death toll in the inferno reached 48 and it devastated the communities in Artane, Coolock and Donnycarney from which almost all the dead came. The Stardust was the most popular weekend nightspot for the youth of these working-class areas, where unemployment was high and facilities for young people were minimal. The dead were in their teens and early 20s. The horrific nature of their deaths and the sudden void left in families caused immeasurable pain and anguish to many more people. There were hundreds injured. It was not smoke and flames that killed the Stardust victims. It was commercial greed and governmental neglect at local and central level. The owners of the Stardust, the Butterlys, should never have been allowed to open it in the first place. The late Patrick Butterly, a money-obsessed gombeen man if ever there was one, ran a pub on George’s Quay and illegally opened a nightclub in an adjoining building, years before he opened the Stardust. It was found to

be in breach of fire regulations. His son Eamon Butterly ran the Stardust and continued in his father’s tradition. From the day it opened in 1978 until the fire, Dublin Corporation never carried out a fire safety inspection in the Stardust, which was one of the largest venues in the country. An inspector who was only responsible for the electrical aspects of safety reported major breaches, including blocked exits, but no firm action was taken. Butterly admitted it was his practice to chain emergency exits, claiming that the chains were taken off on disco nights. But emergency exits were chained on the night of the fire. Rather than pay some of the unemployed people of the area to guard the exits and prevent

unauthorised entry, the Butterlys guarded their precious profits with steel chains and locks that prevented people from escaping the fire. This book has new leaked material from the Garda report to the Director of Public Prosecutions, material that did not come out at the tribunal of inquiry. Most damning is the evidence that in the weeks running up to the disaster there were warning signs in the area of the disco where the fire started. People reported excessive heat. Sparks were seen coming from the ceiling. And one chilling detail may hold the key — a taxi-driver reported seeing flames shooting from the roof of the Stardust ten minutes before flames were spotted on seating in a cordoned-off part of the venue. This would indicate that some ongoing electrical or heating problem had finally flared up, started a fire in the roofspace and the fire on the seats was a secondary outbreak. The appalling result was 48 deaths but this was to be compounded by what followed. The tribunal report, while it slammed the flouting of fire safety by the Butterlys, found, without any supporting evidence, that the fire was ‘probably’ caused maliciously. The Butterlys received massive compensation. They were allowed to open licensed premises again on the site of the fire. They never expressed a syllable of remorse. The only person dragged to court was Christy Moore, when the Butterlys got a High Court injunction against his Stardust Song.

The families of the victims and the survivors had to campaign for years to get compensation. But they never got justice. Even the Stardust Memorial Park, laid out by Dublin Corporation and only opened in 1993, had to be fought for. What a sickening indictment of our society that it took the deaths of 48 young people for a working-class community to get a park with sculpture, landscaping and an allweather pitch. “Could the Stardust happen again? The answer is yes. It could happen any morning” — the words of Michael Fitzsimons, Chairperson of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association just last year. Fire safety standards and enforcement, and the level of support for the fire services, are still inadequate. The Stardust has faded from public memory and awareness of fire safety is abysmal. Lest republicans feel in any way righteous about this, there are hard questions here for us too. Have we learned the lessons? We have all been at republican social functions in overcrowded venues without proper emergency exits. As organisers of such events it is our responsibility, as well as that of the owners of premises, to ensure the safety of the people we welcome to our events. Anyone charged with responsibility for public safety should read this book, learn the lessons and act accordingly. This book sets out the facts. It is a very difficult, harrowing story to tell. I defy anyone to read it and not come away with a deep sense of anger and injustice. BY MÍCHEÁL MacDONNCHA

Strange obsessions FILM REVIEW Disco Pigs Directed by Kirsten Sheridan

Disco Pigs is a dark, disturbing film set against the backdrop of obsession between two Irish teenagers. Filmed in both Dublin and Cork, it stars Elaine Cassidy (Runt) and Cillian Murphy (Pig). The film opens with the birth of both Pig and Runt — instantly they are connected, they are almost telepathic about one another. As they grow, so too does their affection for one another, or at least that’s what Pig thinks. Pig is becoming obsessed with Runt and both of their parents decide to keep them apart. Runt is sent away just as their relationship goes into overdrive. They are partners in crime with an appetite for recklessness and destruction. Pig swears nothing can come between them but with Runt sent away, Pig’s life quickly goes downhill. Unable to cope without his sidekick he goes in search of her, resulting in violence and uncontrollable rage. As both prepare for their 17th birthdays, their world is about to change forever. They must decide what their next move will be. Their smothering relationship is drowning both of them so one must break free. Disco Pigs is a film about teenagers but not necessarily for teenagers. It is both funny and disturbing at the same time, but it is one to watch out for when it is released nationwide on 12 October. BY NATALIE SHERIDAN


LEATHANACH 14

Sinn Féin sweeps the colleges DCU

SINN FÉIN continues to grow by leaps and bounds in the universities of Ireland. After several years of hard work, the Sheena Campbell Cumann of DCU Sinn Féin has overtaken Fianna Fáil as the biggest political party on campus. “What makes this all the more dramatic is that every other political party in DCU suffered a decline in membership to a point where the continued existence of Fine Gael and Labour on campus must be in doubt,” said Chairperson Donncha MacConmara. “This is despite a determined campaign across the country by Ográ Fianna Fáil, which involved high-profile speakers, including Ministers and Bertie Ahern and massive investment in a poster campaign. The incredible growth of Sinn Féin in thirdlevel institutions is a matter of serious concern to the establishment parties and Fianna Fáil in particular. “In the end, it comes down to work on the ground,” said MacConmara. “Fianna Fáil offers a trip to the Dáil and junkets and we offer the chance to actually get involved in political activism and make it relevant to students, so not only do we get more members, the ones we get are more committed.”

TRINITY Sinn Féin in Trinity College has also had a great start to this academic year. After a hugely active and successful previous year, the numbers of people flocking to the party have been up again. The cumann in Trinity was only founded four years ago, but now it is firmly established, with over 100 members and it plays and active part in college life. As other parties suffer dwindling memberships, Sinn Féin remains a party on the move.

Government must act on jobs disaster — Ó Caoláin

NELIS CALLS FOR WORKING GROUP ON HIGHER EDUCATION Thursday 18 October 2001

An Phoblacht/Republican News

FOYLE ASSEMBLY member Mary Nelis has urged Dr Seán Farren to establish a working group to bring forward recommendations for the development of Higher Education in the North West. And she has urged the minister to give serious consideration to working in co-operation with the Dublin Government on this matter. Nelis was speaking to the motion from the Committee of Employment and learning in respect of the enquiry into Education and Training for Industry. “The enquiry received over 100 written submissions and held 38 oral evidence sessions,” said Nelis. “The report contains 43 recommendations.” She added that if the Assembly is to collectively pursue a culture of lifelong learning, with its benefits for the individual and society, “the Executive must strengthen and develop a mainstream education and training programme on a North/South basis. “All training must be geared to the provision of real jobs with real wages. Policies central to addressing unemployment, deprivation and social and educational

exclusion should be fasttracked in keeping with the recommendations contained in the enquiry. “There is a strong case for proper acknowledgment and funding for Further Education Colleges, especially in border areas, in order to develop a strategic role in delivering basic skills, Vocational Education and training equity. “It would be to the overall advantage for the future development of an all-Ireland educational strategy, if the Executive and the Irish government could explore the possibility of establishing a body to promote and validate vocational qualifications, such as NVQs, AVCEs, National Diploma and Higher National Diploma on an islandwide basis. Mary Nelis, while welcoming the report,

expressed disappointment that its recommendations

failed to identify areas of allIreland development, in

SINN FÉIN Health Minister Bairbre de Brún has introduced a new system of payment for senior health service employees that will end the old structure that awarded bonuses to senior executives at a time when the Health Service was underfunded in all major departments. In her statement announcing the new scheme, to be introduced on 11 October, de Brún said: “There has been considerable public concern about pay awards made to some chief executives and directors in Trusts. Awards

such as these cannot be justified when we have been facing such serious pressures on resources and I am determined to put an end to the last vestiges of the internal market.” The Sinn Féin Minister said she was not prepared to continue with a pay system that has allowed variations and inequities to occur and that she wants to see pay arrangements which are seen to be fair to all staff in the health service. Outlining the new pay scheme, de Brún said that the Department had designed a

new approach to the pay and grading of senior executives, which aimed to be fairer, more transparent, defensible and affordable. Adding that she was now, “drawing a line under the old system”, de Brún acknowledged that her hands were tied in respect of some pay awards that were already entered into. The old system, which was integral to the so-called ‘internal market’ introduced under the British Conservative Government, created a health service with a top heavy

bureaucracy that diverted much needed money away from the actually delivery of health services. Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Assembly member Sue Ramsey who sits on the Assembly’s Health Committee has given a guarded welcome to an announcement by de Brún that she is about to end the system of GP fundholding within the health service. Ramsey said Sinn Féin welcomed the move “as this system perpetuates inequalities within the Primary Care sector”.

brand of poultry products, was deemed to have fallen short of EU standards. The company stated that it did not have the resources to upgrade the plant and had no option but closure. “The MPP closure is a jobs disaster for County Monaghan and the border region. 300 jobs at the processing plant are gone and the livelihoods of poultry suppliers and ancillary services are deeply affected,” said Ó Caoláin. “This follows the closure in recent years of other food processing plants in this county. The food sector, which is the basis of the local economy, has been devastated and there has been no action from the

government and IDA to replace lost employment. In fact successive governments — including this one — have scandalously ignored the people of Monaghan for decades. “I ask the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Harney, where is the peace dividend and the Celtic Tiger for County Monaghan? “I demand immediate action from Minister Harney. We must have a statement of intent to prioritise this county, which was already an employment blackspot. Token task forces are not enough. We must have

priority access to inward investment and special supports for existing indigenous industries.” Ó Caoláin also highlighted the way the job losses had been ignored in the media and by government: “This severe blow to the economy of the region has been greeted with deafening silence from both the government and the national media. It seems that the reaction to job losses depends on location and not on the impact on people. Once again County Monaghan and the Border region is marginalised and disregarded. “As it was a government department that withdrew the

HEALTH CHIEFS TO LOSE BONUSES

REACTING to the announcement of the closure last week of Monaghan Poultry Products with the loss of 300 jobs, Sinn Féin Cavan/ Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin called for immediate action to provide employment in a county that has been “scandalously ignored” by government. The plant in Monaghan Town finally shut down after an extended period during which its operations had ceased. This followed the withdrawal of its licence by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. The food processing plant, which produced the ‘Golden Feather’

research and development, training and job creation.

licence to operate from MPP, the government itself has no excuse for not realising the devastating consequences. I call on Mary Harney to visit Monaghan and to set out her plans for the replacement of the jobs lost and the long overdue regeneration of this region.” CORRECTION In last week’s edition (11 October) the report entitled ‘Health horror story in County Cavan’ gave the name of the person in question incorrectly as John Fogarty. The correct name is John Clancy. We apologise for this error and any embarrassment it may have caused.


Plan Colombia backfires An Phoblacht/Republican News

Thursday 18 October 2001

LEATHANACH 15

BY SOLEDAD GALIANA

DISEASE, destitution and an increase in coca production are the consequences of the US’s military drug-eradication strategy known as Plan Colombia, according to Hugh O’Shaughnessy, author, broadcaster and columnist with The Observer in London. He witnessed all this against the backdrop of ever-increasing violence, militaryparamilitary collusion and human rights abuses during his visit to Colombia in June. O’Shaughnessy (below) was in Dublin last week at the invitation of the Latin America Solidarity Centre.

Amnesty International’s 2001 Report refers to Plan Colombia as “a controversial Aid package”. Plan Colombia was originally designed to seek aid to support the peace process but, as Amnesty’s report points out, “was transformed into a predominantly military plan ostensibly aimed at combating illicit drug cultivation”. In July 2000, the Plan received the backing of the US government, which approved funding of $1.3 billion. “In approving the aid, the US Congress added human rights conditions to it, but in August 2000, President Bill Clinton waived most of the human rights conditions on the grounds of American national interests. So, in practical terms, Plan Colombia has meant better equipment and training for the Colombian army, and the spraying of poisonous chemicals that are failing to kill the coca bush, but are killing other crops and farm animals and bringing disease to farmers and their families. Hugh O’Shaugnessy travelled to the Putumayo, one of the territories of the Amazones, which is the centre of coca production. “This is a very tough plant,” explained O’Shaughnessy referring to the coca bush, from which cocaine is extracted through a chemical process. “It is very difficult to eradicate. In fact, it is very difficult not to get a good harvest out of a coca bush.” Hugh described how since Christmas 2000 the coca farmers “have been attacked from air by spraying planes that pour out from the heavens a sort of poison, which is extremely powerful, that has poisoned the land. It went into the rivers and killed the fish, it went into the people and if it did not kill them, it brought them a great deal of illness. “I was with a couple of teachers in a primary school and one told me something that happened just before Christmas last year. The spraying planes came over the school at tree top height and went three or four times over their school, a school for kids between five and ten. These spraying planes killed the kids’ farm, the animals they had there — rabbits, etc — and three or four times a day,

these planes came over, probably piloted by mercenaries from the United States, certainly guarded by helicopter from the US.” Five miles away from the school, O’Shaughnessy visited a little reserve for the indigenous people of the area and met Franci, “a little girl, less than five years old,

Plan Colombia has meant better equipment and training for the Colombian army, and the spraying of poisonous chemicals that are failing to kill the coca bush, but are killing other crops and farm animals and bringing disease to farmers and their families covered in sores from her armpits down throughout her full body. And she was not by any means the worst affected.” O’Shaughnessy considers that what is happening in Colombia is, as far as the population of the Putumayo is concerned, “diabolic” and is serving no purposes, as the spraying is not effective in eradicating the coca bushes. “The peasants of the area soon realise that if you cut your coca bush down to its roots within twelve hours after the spraying, that bush will be back producing the coca leaves from which the coca paste is obtained within a month or two,” explains O’Shaughnessy.

In fact, it seems to O’Shaughnessy that the US coca eradication plan has only helped to increase production. “Some of the people went into parts of the jungle where the planes have never been, despite all the gadgets that the US Government has provided, cut them down and they planted coca in places where there has never been coca plantations before. The result of the fumigation of the coca plantations in Colombia is not a reduction in coca production, it is an increase in coca production. The experts that have studied this, Colombians who know their country better than foreigners do, point out that Colombia is now in a position to grow and supply

foreign markets with more tons of cocaine than before the fumigation planes arrived, bringing destruction to the countryside.” And this Plan Colombia is taking place against the backdrop of a very fragmented society. In the Republic of Colombia, a country with 40 million people, two million people are internally displaced. One-twentieth of the population of Colombia are refugees in their own country. A similar number of four million people are in exile in other countries. Fifty-one per cent of Colombia’s population lives in poverty. In Colombia, on any average day, there are 70 killings. In Colombia in the year 2000, there were 20,600

killings, of which about 10% or 12% were political. That is around 2,000-3,000 political assassinations per year. There were over 3,000 kidnappings. In Colombia today, there are two million displaced people. Change is obviously needed, but O’Shaughnessy does not think Plan Colombia is the answer. “The US government is pouring in £1 billion on a set of military forces that are among the world’s worst. These people are bestial. They are responsible from a good part of these 70 people dead every day. But they are being reinforced with ammunition, with helicopters, with training in order to back up and defend an establishment in Colombia

that does not work and does not deserve being saved. “The US is backing the army of Colombia. The armed forces of Colombia in their turn back the Death Squads, which were formed to privatise the terror that even the Colombian army could not face without international outrage”, says O’Shaughnessy. The cosy relationship between the military and the paramilitary has been denounced on many occasions by different human rights organisations. Amnesty International’s 2001 Report states: “Collusion between the Colombian Security Forces, particularly the army, and paramilitary groups continued and, indeed, strengthened. Instances of collaboration included the sharing of intelligence information, the transfer of prisoners, the provision of ammunition by the armed forces to the paramilitary and join patrols and military operations in which serious human rights violations were committed.” Surprisingly, these paramilitary death squads, the closest allies of the US-funded military forces, have been tied up in drugs trafficking by the DEA, the US agency dealing with drugs trafficking. After the arrest of the Colombia Three — Jim Monaghan, Niall Connolly and Martin McCauley — the establishment media in Ireland gave a legitimacy to the Colombian military that it does not deserve, argues Gearóid Ó Loinsigh, a member of the Colombia Support Network in Ireland, who will be travelling shortly to Colombia to work with Sembrar, a human rights organisation. “The media argued that the FARC rebels are directly involved in drug trafficking and also quote the military as a body you can trust, whose word you can believe,” he said. “But who are this Colombian military? Some of those officers who were involved in the setting up of the Death Squads are now in the high ranks of the army. Jario Bedolla, who set up the first one, the AAA, became a commander-in-chief of the Colombian Army. “General Bonnet is now the military attaché in the Colombian Embassy in Greece. When he was in charge of the Third Brigade in Cali, this brigade carried out the Trujillo Massacre. Sixtyeight peasants were quartered with chainsaws. There are places in Colombia were people have been quarter with chainsaws by the Colombian military and their body parts were delivered to their families wrapped up nicely for them. These are the people who were quoted as legitimate acceptable sources of information.”


Dún Sellafield Anois! LEATHANACH 16

An Phoblacht/Republican News

Thursday 18 October 2001

Seanfhocal na Seachtaine ‘Más mall is mithid.’

Níl a fhios agam cá mhéad leithscéalta is bréaga a dtig le rialtas na Breataine a inse fá chomhlacht núicleach amháin. Tuigimid nach dtig le muintir na hÉireann ná muintir na Breataine fiú teacht ar eolas beacht cruinn fá gach uile timpiste is meancóg contúirteach a tharla i Windscale/Sellafield ó bunaíodh é i 1947.

Is léir nach bhfuil ach traon den fhírinne searbh ar eolas againn agus gach iarracht déanta an fhírinne a cheilt. Tá sé mar dhualgas ar gach oibrí Official Secrets Act na Breataine a shíniú. Anois, dá mbeadh gach rud i gceart agus an comhlacht ag léiriú go raibh siad go hiomlán macánta is oscailte fá chúrsaí sabháilteachta, ní bheadh gá lena leithéid d’Acht a shíniú. Bunaíodh Windscale i 1947 i ndiaidh an dara chogadh domhanda. Shíl rialtas na Breataine go dtiocfadh leo an t-eolas rúnda ar eolaíocht núicleach a fháil ó na Meiriceánaigh. Dhiúltaigh na Poncánaigh an t-eolas seo a roinnt lena gcomrádaithe cogaíochta agus dá bhrí sin, thosaigh na Sasanaigh ar a thriallacha núicleacha féin. Ba é an fhealsúnacht a bhí ag rialtas na Breataine le Windscale a bhunadh ná go mbeadh siad ábalta airm cogaidh núicleacha a sholáthar don Roinn Cosanta. Lonnaíodh an monarchan amuigh in áit iargúlta rúnda sa dóigh is nach mbeadh siad ag cur isteach ar an phobal mhór - bhuel, sin a shíl siad ag an am! Ní amháin go raibh siad ag freastal ar an Roinn Cosanta ach rinneadh forbairt ar an fhealsúnacht cogaidh seo. Atáirgeadh Plutóiniam fán bhliain 1950. Tógadh freasaitheoir núicleach nua ar an láithreán céanna i 1956 agus ina dhiaidh sin bhí bolscaireacht mór scaipthe agus iad ag rá go raibh fuinneamh úrnua a chruthú acu a bhí saor, sláintiúil,

sabháilte agus thiocfadh le gach duine a bheith ag brath air. Níor mhair an dearcadh dóchasach i bhfad. Bhí timpiste mhór ar 8 Deireadh Fómhair 1957 nuair a shíl duine de na hoibrithe go raibh freasaitheoir ag fuaradh róghasta. Cuireadh a thuilleadh teasa ins sa fhreasaitheoir agus pléasadh na simléirí. Ina dhiaidh na timpiste móra seo, cuireadh Sellafield ar Windscale agus BNFL ag dúil go mór go ndéanfar dearmad fá na contúirtí núicleacha. Cé nach bhfuil gach uile timpiste eile ar eolas againn, seo a leanas cuid acu: Scaoileadh leis an scéal go raibh sileadh uisce truaillithe ag teacht ón mhonarchan i 1975. Tuigeadh go raibh breis agus 100 gallún d’uisce truaillithe ag dul isteach ins sa talamh thart ar an mhonarchan gach lá, ach ní raibh barúil dá laghad acu cá fhad a raibh an t-uisce truaillithe ag sileadh amach. Rinneadh gach iarracht an scéal seo a choinneáil ciúin agus rialtas na Breataine ag plé tógáil Thorp ag an am. Thángthas ar sileadh eile Nollaig 1978. Tharla gur druideadh foirgneamh ar leith 21 bliain roimhe ach ní raibh gach uile rud druidte. Tuigeadh go raibh ar a laghad 2,200 gallún de leacht iontach raidighníomhach i ndiaidh teacht amach ó phíopa nár dúnadh. Arís, ní raibh a fhios acu cá fhad a raibh an leacht seo ag sileadh amach. I 1983, tugadh fá deara go raibh méidmillteanach dramhaíl raidighníomhach

Tá súil agam go dtig liom ábhar machnaimh a thabhairt anseo do theachtaí poblachtánacha atá le dul chuig an Slógadh i Ráth Cairn ag Deireadh na seachtaine 20-21 Deireadh Fómhair. Sinn Féin - cén difear don Ghaeilge? - is ea téama an tslógaidh. Bhuel, creidim gur chóir dúinn a bheith iomlán macánta agus an fhírinne ghlan a insint gaus a admháil gur beag difear atá ann i láthair na huaire. Níl amhras ar bith ann ná gur ghnáth a mbíodh poblachtánaigh go mór chun tosaigh i ngluaiseacht na Gaeilge ach tá an íomhá sin caillte anois le blianta. Cé gur eagraíodh Slogaidh ag Roinn an Chultúir agus ag Ógra Shinn Féin, níl cuma ar an ghluaiseacht go bhfuil siad chomh gníomhach agus a bhí blianta ó shin nuair a bhí ‘Nuacht Feirste’ agus ‘Saoirse’ agus foilseacháin eile ag teacht amach go rialta. Tuigim go bhfuil neart Gaeilgeoirí

Tá an seanfhocal seo roghnaithear son téama an tslógaidh i Ráth Cairn.

caite amach sa mhuir mheann. Bhí an oiread sin dochar déanta go raibh orthu tránna thart ar an chósta a dhruidim ar feadh sé mhí. Fiú, i ndiaidh na míosa seo, ní bheinn féin ró-dóchasach fá snámh san fharraige choíche taobh le Sellafield. Cé go raibh contúirtí uafásach i gcónaí ann, tugadh

cluas bodhar agus neamh-aird do lucht timpeallachta. Leanadh ar aghaidh leis an láithreán núicleach a fhorbairt i Sellafield. Osclaíodh Thorp i 1994. Ina dhiaidh sin, thosaigh rialtas na Breataine ag plé na féidireachtaí le monarchan eile l’ábhar núicleacha a athphróiseáil. Cinnte, is maith leis na Sasanaigh athchúrsáil

a chur ar seo. Thosaigh réamhstaidéar ar an mhonarchan MOX i 1996. Thug na Seapánaigh faoi deara go raibh cuid den eolas cruthaithe ag an chomhlacht go bréagach i dtaobh MOX. Ba léir nach raibh muinín ag an domhan mhór sa chomhlacht núicleach seo. Dá bhrí sin, cuireadh fiosrúchán Ospan ar

Moltaí do Ráth Cairn

taobh istigh den ghluaiseacht phoblachtánach ach tá gach cuma ar an scéal go bhfuil an Ghaeilge curtha ar an mhéar fhada acu féin. Is cosúil go bhfuil a lán daoine gnoitheach i rudaí éagsúla ach ní chóir dearmad a dhéanamh fán tionchar atá ag impiriúlachas cultúir orainn ar fad. Ar a laghad déantar iarracht an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn i measc cuid de na hionadaithe poiblí atá i Sinn Féin ach is féidir le Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, an SDLP, an Comhlacht Glas, na PDs, an Lucht Oibre beart eile an méid céanna a chur trasna. Creidim go bhfuil baol láidir ann go bhfuil Sinn Féin ag iarraidh cosúil leis na páirtithe polaitiúla eile agus cúpla focail in úsáid nuair atá na toghacháin i ndán dúinn.

Feictear go minic go bhfágtar dualgasaí Gaeilge ar na Gaeilgeoirí amháin agus daoine eile den tuairim nach mbaineann a leithéid leo. Leoga, éiríonn Gaeilgeoirí dubh dóite go luath ag Gaeilgeoireacht leo fán Ghaeilge. Is í an Chaeilge teanga oifigiúil na sé chontae is fiche. Ní leor mar sin, an Ghaeilge a chur i mbosca beag cúng léi féin. Ba chóir go mbeadh sín ar chomhchéim leis an Bhéarla i ngach aon gné den sochaí. Tharla nár fhoilsíodh cuid d’altanna an Draoi Rua agus gur scríobh daoine eile isteach ag rá gur chóir go mbeadh alt amháin i nGaeilge gach seachtain. Bhuel, is cuma muna bhfuil rámhaillí an Draoi Rua le léamh ach ba chóir sliocht

amháin Gaeilge a bheith i ngach aon eagrán den nuachtán - ach b’fhéidir nach bhfuil ansin ach béalghrá. Is cuimhin liom gur mhothaigh mé go raibh sé mar dhualgas orm freagra a thabhairt ar litir ag gearán fán easpa Gaeilge sa nuachtán. Bhí na moltaí seo a leanas agam foilsithe i Mí an Mhárta. 1. Foireann Gaeilge a cheapadh do nuachtán. Ba cheart do cheathrar ar a laghad a bheith ag comhoibriú le chéile. 2. Réimse altanna a chur ar fáil. Ní leor alt amháin gach seachtain. 3. Ceachtanna do fhoghlaimeoirí a sholáthar gach seachtain. 4. Foclóir a chur taobh l’altanna ag tagairt d’fhocail ar leith. Creidim

bun le staidéar a dhéanamh ar na féidireachtaí le cead a thabhairt do MOX oscailt. Ní raibh rialtas na Breataine sásta fanacht ar an tuairisc ó Ospan agus d’fhógair siad 3 Deireadh Fómhair 2001 go raibh siad tuillteanach ligint don chomhlacht MOX oscailt ag an suíomh i Sellafield. Ní amháin nach bhfuil daoine muiníneach as an chomhlacht núicleach lonnaithe i Sellafield, ach tá contúirtí móra ag baint l’ábhar núicleach a thabhairt i longa móra ar fud an domhan chomh maith. Mar aon leis sin, tá gach baol ann go mbeidh Sellafield ina thargaid sa chogadh idirnáisiúnta nuathosaithe anois. Ar ndóigh, leanfaidh rialtas na Breataine agus na comhlachtaí núicleacha lena mbréaga a chumadh a fhad is a dhéanamh siad a rogha rud leis an suíomh i Sellafield a fhobairt. Idir an dá linn, ní ghlacann Bertie Ahern ná Teach Laighin seasamh cinnte le cearta mhuintir na hÉireann a chosaint. Cinnte, b’fhearr i bhfad Windscale/Sellafield a dhúnadh láithreach agus tubaiste mór a sheachaint. AN DRAOI RUA

gur chóir do léitheoir eile foclóir a chumadh. 5. Chrosfhocail agus cartúin a chur ar fáil chomh maith. Ar an drochuair, tugadh neamhaird do na moltaí thuasluaite Mí an Mhárta agus níor thánaig feabhas ná forbairt ar an sceál ó shin. Níl thuasluaite ach sampla amháin. Creidim go bhfuil dúshlán mhór os comhair Sinn Féin le cur in iúl don phobal go bhfuil siad ag gabháil a seacht ndícheall a dhéanamh ar son na Gaeilge. Ba cheart a bheith ag smaoineamh fá ranganna den scoth a chur ar fáil do gach uile ball den pháirtí. Cad chuige nach mbeadh iris poblachtánach i nGaeilge le fáil go míosúil nó go seachtainiúil?.. Tá siúl agam go mbeidh neart moltaí eiel pléite i Rath Cairn agus go dtiocfaidh rudaí dearfacha as saotharlanna na deireadh seachtaine. AN DRAOI RUA


HELEN LUCY BURKE... and the way she might look at you An Phoblacht/Republican News

HELEN LUCY BURKE, the redoubtable restaurant critic, has got her teeth into An Phoblacht scribe and Sinn Féin guru Robbie Smyth. And it seems that Robbie has HLB’s taste buds tingling. Our Robbie was interviewed by the Anne Widdecombe style figure of Helen Lucy Burke for the current issue of the glossy Dubliner magazine purportedly to review Sinn Féin policies. But HLB seems to find Robbie himself mouth watering: “Smooth skinned... and astonishing eyes: a well-defined hazel centre is surrounded by grey and ringed with dark blue.” HLB works her way down Robbie’s body, from his “sleek hair”. “The tuft of chest hair which bubbles out at the crew neck is curly-wiry. The accompanying body is tall and substantial and is clyed in its customary suit of of solemn black T-shirt and slacks... His hands are unmarred by manual toil.” (Unlike Helen Lucy Burke’s hands, which I suppose bear testimony to her life

Thursday 18 October2001

digging the C h a n n e l Tunnel, being a hod carrier for Wimpey and p i c k i n g potatoes in Scotland.) HLB may find Robbie a delectable main course on the Sinn Féin menu but shows her distaste for “the rougher inner city types” she encounters at a community meeting in Dublin — more Pizza Hut than Patrick Guilbaud for Helen Snooty Burke. The cabbage patch critic cooks up a bewildering mish mash of what she thinks are Sinn Féin policies and views but the

overwhelming flavour of her piece is that she is tantalised by the succulent Smyth. “I enjoyed meeting the charming Robbie Smyth,” she purrs. And what of An Phoblacht? “Alas, I can warn those who have not read it that An Phoblacht is an infernally dull journal.” There’s no accounting for taste.

Labour Court appearance

A 26-COUNTY LABOUR PARTY Dáil candidate has appeared in a Dublin court on a charge of possessing £80,000 of cocaine. Tom O’Shaughnessy was a Labour Party parliamentary candidate in Clare in the 1980s and a Labour Party appointee to the Irish Aviation Authority. O’Shaughnessy was a Labour Party member of Shannon Town Commission from 1991 to 1999. Detective Garda Paul Doran told the Dublin

5

LEATHANACH 17

FIFTH COLUMN District Court: “[O’Shaughnessy] was involved in the Irish political scene for more than 14 years and has strong political connections.” O’Shaughnessy has been remanded with consent to bail.

Tally Hoey rides again

KATE HOEY, the Six-County-born and unionist British Labour MP, is getting up a head of steam again in her campaign to have Tony Blair organise in the North. The fox-hunt supporting former Sports Minister has been a strident voice in lobbying for Brit Labour to set up here. Last week, she curiously cited David Trimble in support of her drive, quoting Trimble’s statement that the Six Counties is the one place in the world where you can’t be a member of the British Labour Party. Blair will be conscious of the mortifying electoral wipeout suffered by the Brit Conservative Party in the Six Counties and is ignoring Tally Hoey’s ravings. But what does Brit Labour’s fraternal friends in the SDLP make of Cousin Hoey’s and David Trimble’s push for Blairism in Belfast?

Mick McCarthy on song

IRELAND’S SOCCER SUPREMO, the Yorkshire-born Mick McCarthy, didn’t learn the words of Amhrán na bhFiann when he won 56 caps playing for Ireland, but he knows them now. When he played, Mick’s attitude was: “If it wasn’t going to make me play better then it didn’t interest me.” But when Mick was made manager, another English-born Irishman sent him a video and the anthem in Irish with phonetic spellings in a bid to get him to change his tune. Mick did and now he encourages other English-born sons of Ireland to follow his lead.

Trimble sticks to UVF guns

THE MEDIA (and the Irish Times, in particular) has singularly failed to grill David Trimble on:(a) When he was soliciting votes from the UVF’s self-proclaimed political reps in the Progressive Unionist Party to expel Sinn Féin to try and force IRA decommissioning, why didn’t UVF weapons prevent David dealing with the PUP? (b) Why did he have no problem on Tuesday night giving blanket approval for David Burnside and other Ulster Unionist Party figures to meet loyalist death squads despite no sign of decommissioning there? I wonder why.

Dog fight

A GUARD at the Earl of Derby’s estate, where Royal Irish Regiment godfather Prince Andrew was dossing earlier this month, set off a security alert when he was shot in the shoulder. The minder was winged while he was investigating what royal flunkies described as a “disturbance” at the perimeter fence where the Earl of Derby keeps his kennels. But they don’t say who shot the royal bullet stopper. Was it a gun dog or an Afghan hound?

Bog standard policy

A SOUTH AFRICAN court has reportedly backed an ANC government minimum standard for toilet paper. Under the rules, oneply rolls must have at least 500 sheets and two-ply rolls 350. At last, a government White Paper that the public can find a real use for.


LEATHANACH 18

Thursday 18 October 2001

I nDíl Chuimhne ■ SF FUNCTION: 9pm Thursday 18 October, Bulgaden Castle Lounge, KILMALLOCK, County Limerick. Music by Black Rose. Guest speaker. Táille £5 ■ PUB QUIZ: In aid of local ‘81 Committee. 9pm Friday 19 October, McCoy’s Bar, NEWRY, County Down ■ SF FUNCTION: Featuring the Irish Brigade. 8.30pm Friday 19 October, Abbey Hotel, Abbey Street, DUBLIN. Disco afterwards. Táille £5 ■ SF FUNCTION: Featuring Shenanigans. 9.30pm Friday 19 October, Jimmy G’s pub, BANDON, County Cork. Táille £5 ■ SF FUNCTION: Featuring the Border Busters. 9pm Friday 19 October, O’Neill’s Lounge, DULEEK, County Meath. Táille £3.50. Organised by East Meath SF ■ BENEFIT NIGHT: For ex-POW Jan Taylor. Music by Spirit of Freedom. Friday 19 October, Springhill Court Hotel, KILKENNY. Tickets £6 ■ HUNGER STRIKE COMMEMORATION: Assemble 1.30pm Saturday 20 October, National Monument, Grand Parade, CORK CITY for march to Republican Plot at St Finbarr’s Cemetery (via Joe Murphy House, Pouladuff Road). Prominent speakers (including Bernard Fox, ex-Hunger Striker) and Youghal RFB and Dan Darragh RFB in attendance. Headstone unveiled by Mary Wilkinson (Thomas McElwee’s sister) and Malachy McCreesh (Ray McCreesh’s brother) ■ ANARCHIST BOOK FAIR: 10am-7pm Saturday 20 October, Camden Centre, Euston Road, LONDON, England ■ FUNCTION: Featuring the Spirit of Freedom. 9pm Saturday 20 October, GAA Club, BISHOPSTOWN, Cork. Táille £5 ■ OLD-TIME TRASHING AND CULTURAL FESTIVAL: Assemble 2.30pm Sunday 21 October, Corran Leap, COUNTY CORK. Events include trad music, road bowling, dog show and other novelty events. Funds raised go to West Cork Mental Health Services. Official opening and address at 4pm by Bantry SF Town Commissioner Ann O’Leary ■ CROSSMAGLEN HUNGER STRIKE COMMEMORATION: Unveiling of Memorial Stone. Assemble 2pm Sunday 21 October, Rangers GFC, CROSSMAGLEN, County Armagh. Prominent Speakers in Attendance ■ SF FUNDRAISER: Featuring Spirit of Freedom. 8pm Sunday 21 October, Outback Inn, CASTLETOWNROCHE, County Cork. Táille £5. Organised by the Farrell/McCann/Savage SF Cumann ■ IRISH NIGHT: Featuring the Wolfe Tones. 8pm Wednesday 24 October, St Davog’s GAA Centre, AGHYARAN, County Tyrone. Band on stage at 10pm. Tickets from GAA Centre and the Cairde Office, Strabane. Tickets limited. Contact no 71 382119 ■ RESIDENTS AGAINST RACISM: Table Quiz. 8pm Thursday 25 October, Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square, DUBLIN. £3/£2 per person ■ SOUTH ARMAGH WEEKEND: weekend of events organised by Coiste na nIarchimí and Ogra Shinn Féin. Includes educationals on republican history. Billets will be provided and a bus will leave SF Head Office at 6.30pm on Friday 26 October ■ SF FUNCTION: Featuring Foggy Dew. 9pm Friday 26 October, The Well, MOATE, County Westmeath. Táille £5 ■ HUNGER STRIKES COMMEMORATION: Through Song and Stories. 9pm Saturday 27 October, GAA Centre, DERRYTRESK, County Tyrone. £3 donation at door. ■ NATIONAL HUNGER STRIKE EXHIBITION: 8pm Monday 28 October, Tourist Info Office, Market Street, OMAGH, County Tyrone. Runs to Friday 2 November; Table Quiz: 9pm Wednesday 31 October, Molly Sweeney’s; True Stories from the Blocks. 9pm Friday 2 November, Molly Sweeney’s. Workshops facilitated by former Blanket men; Unveiling of Hunger Strike Wall Murals. Assemble 2pm Saturday 3 November, Strathroy and Strule 3pm. Local former POWs vs SF Select. Football match at Drumragh pitch. Throw in 5pm; Commemorative Function: Molly Sweeney’s. Music by the Borderbusters. Táille £5; Hunger Strike Rally. Assemble 2pm Sunday 14 November Coach Inn Car Park and march to Omagh Court House. Bands and prominent speakers ■ REPUBLICAN COMMEMORATION: Pilltown Ambush commemoration (81st Ann). Assemble 2pm Sunday 28 October, the Church, PILLTOWN, County Waterford. Speaker: Laurence McKeown (ex-Hunger Striker). Band include youghal RFB, youghal Pipe Band and Bonmahon/Seafield Pipe Band. Organised by Pilltown Ambush Committee, SF and West Waterford IRA Memorial Committee; Function afterwards in Coopers’ Bar, Clashmore ■ SF FUNDRAISER: Featuring Justice. 9pm Sunday 28 October, O’Rahilly’s GAA Club, DROGHEDA, County Louth. Táille £5. Organised by the Bobby Sands SF Cumann ■ HUNGER STRIKE MEMORIAL UNVEILING: Assemble 2.30pm Sunday 28 October, INNISKEEN, County Monaghan. Pipe bands and prominent speakers will attend. All welcome Followed by an Irish night in McNello’s Bar, Inniskeen, 9pm. Music by Shan Nos. Táille £2.50 CONTINUED ON PAGE 19

CAMPBELL, Sinn Féin member Sheena (died 16 October 1992); FITZSIMMONS, Volunteer Frank (died 16 October 1976); HERON, Volunteer Hugh (died 16 October 1972); HUGHES, Volunteer Michael (died 18 October 1974); MARLOWE, Volunteer Paul (died 16 October 1976); MULLAN, Volunteer John Patrick (died 16 October 1972); SURGENOR, Volunteer Joseph (died 16 October 1976). “never had man nor women a grander cause, never was a cause more grandly served.” James Connolly. Forever remembered by their many friends and comrades in the Republican Movement. CAMPBELL, Sheena (9th Ann). In proud and loving memory of our daughter Sheena murdered by a pro-British death squad, on 16 October 1992. May the winds of love blow softly in that quiet, peaceful spot. Where the daughter I loved is sleeping and will never be forgotten. Loved and sorely missed by Mum and Dad.

CAMPBELL, Sheena (9th Ann). In proud and loving memory of our beloved sister Sheena, who was murdered by loyalists. A special corner in our hearts is set aside for you. As long as life and memories last, we will remember you. Gone but never forgotten your brothers Mark and Greg. CAMPBELL, Sheena (9th Ann). In proud and loving memory of my sister Sheena, murdered by a pro-British death squad, on 16 October 1992. You were a sister so very rare, content with life and always there, no better sister this world could hold, for you had a heart of gold. Love Gabby and nephews Neil land Tiarnan. CAMPBELL, Sheena (9th Ann). In proud and loving memory of my sister Sheena, murdered by a pro-British death squad, on 16 October 1992. Silent thoughts of times together, hold memories that will last forever. Love Stephen, Denise and Leanne. CAMPBELL, Sheena (9th Ann). In proud and loving memory of my sister Sheena, who was cut

An Phoblacht/Republican News

down in the prime of her life by a pro-British death squad, on 16 October 1992. Quietly thought of everyday. Remembered in a special way. Love Gino and Arlene. CAMPBELL, Sheena (9th Ann). In proud and loving memory of our comrade Sheena, who was murdered by a pro-British death squad. A friend, a mother, a Sinn Féin activist. Harassed, censored, banned and finally murdered. Always remembered by her Comrades in Upper Bann Sinn Féin. CAMPBELL, Sheena (9th Ann). In proud and loving memory of our comrade Sheena, You may kill the revolutionary but never the revolution. From the Brian Smith SF Cumann, Craigavon. CAMPBELL, Sheena (9th Ann). In proud and loving memory of our comrade Sheena. “Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”. From the McKerr/Burns/Toman SF Cumann, Lurgan. CAMPBELL, Sheena (9th Ann). In proud and loving memory of our comrade Sheena. Your only fitting tribute will be the establishment of a 32-County

Socialist Republic. From the Julie Dougan Cumann, Portadown. CAMPBELL, Sheena (9th Ann). In proud and loving memory of our comrade Sheena. “The fools the fools they have left us our Fenian dead”. From the Campbell/Crossey SF Cumann, Lurgan/Derrymacash. CAMPBELL, Sheena (9th Ann). In proud and loving memory of Sinn Féin activist Sheena Campbell. ‘They may kill the revolutionary, but never the revolution.’ Remembered with pride by Sheena Campbell Cumann, DCU.

Comhbhrón CORBETT, Arthur. Deepest sympathy is extended to the Corbett family in Ardoyne on the recent death of their father, Arthur. From the Sloan family, Dublin. CORBETT, Arthur. Deepest sympathy is extended to Kevin and the Corbett family in Ardoyne on the recent death of their father, Arthur. From Mark Dawson and family, Dublin.

IRA backs taking of seats Remembering the past

BY ART Mac EOIN

IN 1986, the IRA held a General Army Convention, its first for 16 years. Several sections of the Constitution of Óglaigh n hÉireann were amended and, by more than the required two-thirds majority, the delegates passed two particularly historic resolutions. The first removed the ban on IRA Volunteers discussing or advocating the taking of parliamentary seats. The second removed the ban on supporting successful republican candidates who would take their seats in Leinster House. At the same Convention the IRA Constitution was modernised to read in nonsexist language. By secret ballot delegates elected a 12person Army Executive, which in turn elected a new Army Council. Details of the secret IRA Convention were supplied to An Phoblacht/Republican News, published on 16 October 1986. The Convention was of major historic proportions in terms of the development of the republican struggle. For the first time in 16 years an IRA leadership was elected by delegates. The organisation renewed its mandate for the armed overthrow of British rule in Ireland and debated and adopted further strategies to defend and consolidate the struggle for a democratic, socialist republic. The decisions made at the 1986 IRA Convention were the result of new thinking and the continued evolution in strategy within republicanism in the years following the 1981 Hunger Strike and the successful elections of IRA Volunteers Bobby Sands, Kieran Doherty and Paddy Agnew which shook Westminster and Leinster House and demonstrated the potential of harnessing and maximising support for the struggle. The Convention was

also the precursor to an equally historic Sinn Féin Ard Fheis later that same month. While Sinn Féin would decide its own strategy in relation to the issue of abstention from Leinster House, it was clear from the IRA decision which way the wind was blowing. In a keynote editorial An Phoblacht implicitly urged Sinn Féin delegates to advance the struggle by dropping abstentionism: “For too long successive 26County Governments have impeded peace and progress, and have censored republicans, without effectively being challenged. “To win the struggle the Republican Movement needs to counter falsehoods, needs to increase support, needs to be relevant and to be effective- and to be effective it needs to be free of constraints. ‘’Out of the IRA’s General Army Convention has emerged a healthier, committed army, confident of seeing the long, hard war through to a victorious conclusion. “Let us borrow some of their boldness and confidence.” The writing was on the wall. Two weeks later Sinn Féin delegates voted to end the party’s policy of abstention from Leinster House. The IRA publicly welcomed the Sinn Féin decision and also

took the opportunity to respond to certain republican critics who, using archaic and legalistic arguments based around an outdated theology surrounding the long-redundant Second Dáil — arguments which meant nothing to the vast majority of Irish people, had attempted to deny the IRA’s right to change its policies: “To suggest that the IRA is not legitimate because of the decision it has taken on abstentionism is ridiculous. The IRA predates the Second Dáil and the First Dáil, its constitution is a military constitution, and our legitimacy stems from organised popular

resistance to British rule in Ireland, a tradition which was reinforced in 1916, by the Fenians, by the Young Irelanders, by the United Irishmen. “Its legitimacy stems from a tradition of resistance which has been a fact of history since Britain first encroached on Irish sovereignty 800 years ago”. The public statement announcing that an IRA General Army Convention had taken place and removed the ban on Volunteers supporting republicans taking seats in Leinster House, was issued on Tuesday 14 October 1986, 15 years ago this week.


BLANKET MEN DON THEIR OWN CLOTHES

An Phoblacht/Republican News

Thursday 18 October 2001

LEATHANACH 19

BACK ISSUES

AN ATTEMPT by the British administration at Stormont to use the 28day moratorium announced by Direct Ruler Jim Prior, in his statement after the ending of the H-Block Hunger Strike, to just slowly phase in prisoners receiving and wearing their own clothes has been successfully challenged. The Brits attempted to set the pace by stating that prisoners could only receive their own clothes after they had a visit and this would have led to ridiculous situation where one prisoner in a cell could have been on the Blanket until his visit in mid-November and his cell-mate could be receiving exercise and association now because he had a visit during the week. The prisoners inserted a statement in last Saturday’s Irish News calling upon their relatives to send in their clothes, regardless of whether or not they had visits, beginning last Monday 12 October. The immediate reaction of Stormont was to issue a statement emphasising the sequence in which clothes were to

be delivered to the prison and to place an advertisement in Monday’s Irish News to this effect. But when it came to the crunch, the Long Kesh administration were directed to accept the clothing and deliver it to the prisoners. The alternative was that the British would have been seen to been stubborn and awkward. So, by the time prisons’ minister Lord Gowrie visited the jail on Wednesday, many of the 400 Blanket men were off the Blanket and wearing their own clothes. Those republican prisoners, where they amounted to substantial numbers, immediately began claiming association and recreation and meals in the canteen served by republican nominated ‘orderlies’. By last Wednesday, prisoners with their own clothes had received only an hour’s association, one hour’s daily exercise and were going to the canteen for their meals. An attempt by a senior prison officer to introduce ordinary orderlies in H3 on Tuesday was resisted by the men and they won the rather

fragile and perhaps temporary right to nominate their own men for these duties. On Wednesday, Gowrie returned from the Tory Party conference in Blackpool and visited the H-Blocks. At that conference, Prior was forced to declare the obvious — that no deal had been struck to end the Hunger Strike — and was under pressure to give an undertaking to withdraw his promise that Gowrie would visit Long Kesh and talk to the prisoners once the Hunger Strike ended. He dodged the issue, but what actual effect on British attitudes and commitment to getting the H-Blocks out of the way, IRA activity in Britain and Ireland will have, remains to be seen. The Brits will, of course, attempt to sell the prisoners as short as possible, but they are aware that if they sell them too short they risk leaving roots in the soil out of which could sprout further prison crises, which will only bring international attention to the war in Ireland. An Phoblacht/Republican News, Saturday 17 October, 1981.

PRIVATE MEMBERS — FIVE WEEK DRAW

Super Cash Prizes for Five Weeks and a Star Prize of

plus new prize of holiday of your choice to the value of £1,500 with more than

Sinn Féin has recently scored some tremendous electoral advances. In order to keep up that momentum, the party requires finance. Your support for the annual National Draw is vital to the furtherance of our electoral project. The draw is also an invaluable source of funding for individual cumainn. The more you sell, the more you keep.

£19,000 in PRIZES

All queries, orders etc to be directed to:

Treasa Quinn, Sinn Féin National Finance Committee, First Floor, 58 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Tel: (01) 873 5546

National Draw Results Prize 1st prize: £300

Ticket no. 41962

WEEK TWO Winner Randelstown, County Antrim

2nd prize: £200

12118

Draperstown, County Derry

3rd prize: £150

19679

Fiona Kelehan, 101 Corduff Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin

4th prize: £100

46851

Omagh

£50 prizes

36714

Michael Gallagher, Dookinella, County Mayo

Prize £50 prizes

Ticket no. 31058

Winner Joe O’Flynn, Boherboy Close, County Cork

25376

Lisnaskea, Fermanagh

15407

Ciarán O Fatharta, Cuilean an Cheathru, Co na Gaillimhe

40945

Belfast

34622

Keith Sheerin, Loganstown, Trim, County Meath

16897

Derry

09574

Niall Pemproke, London, c/o Cairde SF

Josie McBride, Duntinney, Kerrykeel, County Donegal

44020

Lurgan, County Armagh

50395

Strabane, County Tyrone

11187

03257

Newry, County Armagh

Paul O’Brien, Clancoolbeg, Bandon, County Cork

15810

Timothy Logan, Coventry, England

38160

44755 Ballymoney, County Antrim TICKET STILL AVAILABLE

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18

■ SF FUNCTION: Featuring the Irish Brigade. Doors open 8.30pm Friday 2 November, County Bar, Decies Road, Ballyfermot, DUBLIN ■ IRISH NIGHT: Featuring Celtic Swing. Friday 2 November, Lizzie Buggies, BALLYCONNELL, County Cavan ■ SF FUNCTION: 9pm Saturday 3 November, Lawlor’s RATHVILLY, County Carlow. Details from John Dwyer, 0872969065 ■ SPONSORED WALK: For the Columbia Three Campaign. Sunday 4 November, GLENDALOUGH, County Wicklow. Bus will going from Dublin City Centre, buses from elsewhere may be organised as needed. For Sponsorship Sheets, suggested equipment list and further information contact Kieran at 086/3424027. All levels of walkers (age 14 yrs and over) welcome ■ REPUBLICAN COMMEMORATION: In memory Kevin Barry. Assemble 2.30pm Sunday 4 November, Rathvilly Village, COUNTY CARLOW. Speaker: John Dwyer (SF councillor). Organised by the O’Harahan/Barry SF Cumann ■ SF FUNDRAISER: Featuring the Irish Brigade. Sunday 4 November, Penthouse pub, Ballymun, DUBLIN. Táille £5. Organised by Dublin Northwest SF ■ CONFERENCE: Partition and Memory: Ireland, India, Palestine. An international, interdisciplinary conference The Keough Institute for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame 6-9 December. For further information and registration details, please contact Harriet Baldwin, Conference Co-ordinator, Centre for Continuing Education, 123 McKenna Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA. Tel (+1) 219 631 7864. Email Baldwin.1@nd.edu 0r. Mary Burgess, Conference Director, Keogh Institute for Irish Studies, Flanner Hall, University of Notre Dame. Tel (+1) 219 631 3419. Email: smyth.12@nd.edu ■ FOLK BAND available for bookings. Play rebel or republican music. Contact Bobby 028 831680 or Kevin 07833551603

● Joe Cahill presents a cheque to Susie Tracey at Sinn Féin’s Dungiven offices. Susie is the latest scratch card draw £1,000 winner

Sinn Féin National Finance Committee

Sinn Féin £1 Scratch Cards

are available to Sinn Féin shops and cumainn at 50p each

PRIZES OF BETWEEN £2 AND £500, WITH REGULAR £1,000 PRIZE DRAWS. Match three Sinn Féin symbols and enter the draw for £1,000

Scratch Card orders should be directed to the Sinn Féin National Finance Committee, First Floor, 58 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, Tel 8735546 Cheques and postal orders should be made out to the committee ALL AREAS MUST PAY IN LOCAL CURRENCY

DRAW RESULTS BLANCHARDSTOWN SF LOTTO 11 October. No winner. Jackpot £150. Nos 14,18,24. 5 x £10 consolation prizes. Clive Page, Denis Lyons, John Whelehan, Dean Rock, Hannah Junkin. Next week’s jackpot £250 STH DERRY SF LOTTO 15 October. Winning nos 1,2,10,14. No jackpot winners. 1 x £50. F Derry, c/o Magherafelt. Next week’s jackpot £2,400.


LEATHANACH 20

Thursday 18 October 2001

Featuring: Political, economic and social analysis, International coverage, Historical articles, Special features and supplements, Biting satire and much much more

DON’T MISS OUT SUBSCRIBE TO AN PHOBLACHT/ REPUBLICAN NEWS

Annual Subscription Rates Ireland .........................£42/euro 53.32 England, Scotland, Wales .......Stg£45 Europe Surface ......Stg£50/euro 81.98 Europe Airmail .....Stg£80/euro 131.17 USA ........................................US$120 Canada .................................Can$145 Australia ................................Aus$155 Elsewhere ..................Stg£80/US$120

TDs face bin charge anger in Finglas ● Daithí Doolan, Marie Keane and invited speaker, Tyrone Assembly member Francie Molloy (centre) are pictured at last weekend’s Dublin Sinn Féin AGM

Our e-mail address for subscriptions is: aprn32@gpo.iol.ie You can also access our website at: http://irlnet.com/aprn Name: ......................................................................................... Address:...................................................................................... .................................................................................................... E-mail: ........................................................................................ Telephone: ................................................................................. I enclose cheque, postal order, etc for £ ............ Please debit my credit card for: ....................... 1 year

6 mths

Card No:

(length of subscription)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Exp. Date:

Dublin Sinn Féin AGM

An Phoblacht/Republican News

Month

“I’VE never seen anything like it,” said an awed local Sinn Féin activist. “They were slaughtered.” Last Tuesday night’s meeting against the Bin Charges in the north Dublin suburb of Finglas was marked by the unexpected arrival of local TDs Pat Carey from Fianna Fáil and Roisín Shortall of Labour. After months of ignoring the campaign against the Bin Tax in the area, the two elected representatives were attempting to clamber onto the bandwagon and claim to stand up for the people of Finglas. But the people of Finglas had other ideas. One of the first questions to Shortall was from a member of the audience who pointed out that it was the decision of three Labour Party councillors to vote for the Bin Tax that led to it being passed in the first place. When Shortall attempted to deny this the speaker asked what measures had been taken against these councillors and was confidently told they had been expelled.

A silence fell over the crowd as the audience digested this example of the Labour Party’s ruthless commitment to high standards among its membership. But the speaker wasn’t finished yet: “But Ms Shortall, if these councillors were expelled from the party why are they all, including Cllr Eamonn O’Brien from your own constituency, still profiled as Labour Party representatives on your party website months after the vote?” (And remain so at time of going to press). To say the least, Ms Shortall’s confused answer was unconvincing. Indeed, a call to the Labour Party press office by An Phoblacht confirmed that none of the three councillors had ever been expelled from the party. Pat Carey came in for some angry criticism as well, when he claimed the reason he never attended these meetings before was that he had not been invited and he only saw fit to attend meetings to which he had been specifically invited. A member of the

audience pointed out that having been elected by the people of the area, Carey had a duty, an obligation even, to attend these events as an elected representative. Cornered, Carey began to backtrack, and claimed, to mounting disbelief, that the reason he hadn’t attended any previous meeting was that he had not been aware they were on. Angrily, another member of the audience leapt to his feet: “Mr Carey, you have an office in the middle of Finglas village and before every meeting that area is plastered with posters advertising them. To be honest, I’ve sometimes stuck them to the door to your office, so don’t tell me you weren’t aware of the meeting.” Shortly after, their double act complete and with the indignation of local people ringing in their ears, Shortall and Carey, the Laurel and Hardy of Finglas, left the meeting and shuffled off into the night, claiming they had commitments elsewhere.

Year

MARCH AND RALLY

BELFAST SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER Leaving Dunville Park, Falls Road 2pm and marching to EU Commission offices in Bedford Street MAIN SPEAKER: Alex Maskey (SINN FÉIN ASSEMBLY MEMBER WHO RECENTLY VISITED TURKISH DEATH FASTERS)

YOUR SUPPORT IS VITAL Published by AN PHOBLACHT/REPUBLICAN NEWS, 58 Parnell Square, Dublin 1. Tel: 8733611/8733839, Fax 8733074: and 535 Falls Road Belfast BT11 9AA Phone 600279; Fax 600207 Printed by AP/RN Print


An Phoblacht 18 October 2001