Friday, 6 September 2013

RSF redesign national website www.rsf.ie

Republican Sinn Féin redesigned their national website http://www.rsf.ie. Together with the monthly paper SAOIRSE, the internet is the most important tool to spread the republican message in the 21st century. The redesign of the national website is in line with significant developments of Republican Sinn Féin on the internet and social media. The new national website will be an important tool to make Republicanism and the Republican Movement more relevant to the people of Ireland in the run-up to the 1916-Centenary.

In the 1990s Republican Sinn Féin was among the first political organisations in Ireland to have a permanent and professional online presence by launching the national website http://www.rsf.ie and an online archive of the republican paper Saoirse on http://www.saoirse.info. Since then the internet became an essential part in the life of most people. To fulfil the requirements of the 21st century Republican Sin Féin decided to develop a new and modern online presence.

In early 2012 Republican Sinn Féin set up a Committee to develop the online presence of the organisation and establish a modern and vibrant online presence of Republican Sinn Féin. Since 2012 Republican Sinn Féin set up a new official Facebook page, a national Twitter account as well as an international Twitter account and a YouTube account. Further steps to develop the profile of Irish republicanism on the internet were made by setting up a new international website which is accessible on http://www.rsf-international.org and temporary website of the Republican campaign against the EU Austerity Treaty in May 2012 and a website for the Irish Anti-imperialist Forum 2013.

In autumn 2012 Republican Sinn Féin launched four provincial websites to make the republican voice be heard on a local level in Ireland. Republican Sinn Féin in the four provinces of Ireland is available on http://www.leinster.rsf.ie, http://www.ulster.rsf.ie, http://www.munster.rsf.ie and http://www.connacht.rsf.ie.

There is no change in the domain-name of the redesigned national websites. It stays http://www.rsf.ie

The international website is http://www.rsf-international.org

Republican Sinn Féin on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Republican-Sinn-F%C3%A9in/312436515470517

Republican Sinn Féin on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/republicansf

National Twitter-Account: https://twitter.com/RepublicanSF/

International Twitter-Account: https://twitter.com/RSFInt

All these websites and social media sites are officially maintained by Republican Sinn Féin. They provide news, history and events relevant to Irish Republicanism, Republican Sinn Féin and the Republican Movement.

The online presence, in particular the new redesigned national website, is a work-in-progress. Thus all websites will be constantly updated and redeveloped to fulfil the needs of a relevant political movement in the 21st century.

For any technical enquiries and all questions regarding the online presence of Republican Sinn Féin please contact: admin@rsf.ie

Críoch/Ends.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Oration by Des Dalton, President, Republican Sinn Féin at the grave of Patron Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, St Coman’s Cemetery, Roscommon

Speaking at the graveside of O’Donovan Rossa, Pearse restated the principles which had fired the
soul and intellect of O’Donovan Rossa and restated the determination of his generation to take up the torch of freedom from Rossa and his generation: “I propose to you then that, here by the grave of this unrepentant Fenian, we renew our baptismal vows; that, here by the grave of this unconquered and unconquerable man, we ask of God, each one for himself, such unshakable purpose, such high and gallant courage, such unbreakable strength of soul as belonged to O’Donovan Rossa. Deliberately here we avow ourselves, as he avowed himself in the dock, Irishmen of one allegiance only. We of the Irish Volunteers, and you others who are associated with us in to-day’s task and duty, are bound together and must stand together henceforth in brotherly union for the achievement of the freedom of Ireland. And we know only one definition of freedom: it is Tone’s definition, it is Mitchel’s definition, it is Rossa’s definition. Let no man blaspheme the cause that the dead generations of Ireland served by giving it any other name and definition than their name and their definition.”

For Ruairí Ó Brádaigh there too was but one definition of Irish freedom. For him there was but one straight and true path leading to the All-Ireland Republic of Easter Week. We come here to mourn the loss of Ruairí but we also come to celebrate his long and rich life. It was a life marked by unselfish devotion to the cause of Irish freedom. It was a life set apart by his sense of duty, honour and the intellectual rigour that he brought to the Republican Movement. Indeed often would Ruairí quote these lines from Louisa May Alcott, which are inscribed on the headstone of the tireless champion of Republican prisoners and the working class Charlotte Despard: “I slept, and dreamed that life was beauty; I woke, and found that life was duty.” Coupled with all of this was Ruairí’s deep humanity. He was a man whose empathy and compassion for the downtrodden and oppressed knew no boundaries of race or creed.

In his biography of Ruairí, Professor Robert W. White of Indiana University, described Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s life as: “…a window for understanding his generation of Irish Republicans and how they received the values of a previous generation and are transmitting those values to the next generation.” In his introduction to the same book, the journalist Ed Maloney described Ruairí as the “last, or one of the last Irish Republicans”. Whilst the tribute was well intentioned the case is quite different. It is because of the life’s work of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh that he is not the last Republican but has rather ensured the continuity of Irish Republicanism, passing on the torch to succeeding generations.

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was a towering figure of Irish Republicanism in the latter half of the 20th Century. He came to embody the very essence of the Republican tradition, setting the very highest standards of commitment, duty, honour and loyalty to the cause of Irish freedom. Of a prod Republican heritage inherited from both his father Matt and his mother May, since 1950 he served at every level of the Republican Movement, and from 1956 took on the onerous responsibilities of national leadership with only a short intervals, up to the present day. Ruairí was a man of immense capability both as a politician and as a soldier. He holds the unique distinction of serving as President of Sinn Féin, Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army and from 1957 to 1961 as a TD, representing Longford/Westmeath.

At critical junctures in the history of the Republican Movement, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, along with his close friend and comrade the late Dáithí Ó Conaill, manned the gap against the forces of reformism who sought to convert a revolutionary movement of national liberation into a mere constitutional political party, first in 1969/70 and once again in 1986. For Ruairí the essential principles of Irish freedom were clear and marked the political course to be followed. He dismissed any cult of the personality warning always of the inherent dangers of following merely the man or woman over the cause of Irish national independence. At a time when our sense of identity is being steadily eroded, when our people are discouraged from taking pride in their history or culture Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was a tireless champion of the Irish language viewing it as the cornerstone of our unique identity as a nation. Like Pádraig Mac Piarais he believed in an Ireland that was: ‘not only free but Gaelic as well; not only Gaelic but free as well’.

Gael go smior ab ea Ruairí. Óna chuid ama i gColáiste Mel is i gConamara, d’éirigh leis an teanga a thabhairt leis go han-líofa. Ar feadh a shaoil sheas sé go daingean le cúis na Gaeilge agus d’fhéach chuige go raibh Gaeilge ag an gclann ar fad.

Faraoir, le caoga bliain anuas d’aithin an meath a tháinig ar an teanga go háirithe an cúngú sna Gaeltachtaí is sa chóras oideachais. Tá an Ghaeilge i mbaol go mór mura dtugtar áit lárnach di in Éirinn. Mar atá faoi láthair níl áit do theangacha agus do chultúir ar nós na Gaeilge agus ár gcultúr Gaelach atá ag tachtadh ár muintire. Daoibhse atá in eagraíochtaí Gaeilge is gá daoibh an pictiúr mór seo, mar a deirtear, a aithint. Tá an Ghaeilge i mbaol, tá sí á ceil tar pháistí na tire, tá imeallú mór déanta uirthi.

The Irish Language has always been dear to Ruairí’s heart. He spoke it on every possible occasion and he saw to it that his children were all immersed in it. Unfortunately during the last 50 years the Irish language has been marginalized, neglected and downgraded in every possible way. The people of the Gaeltacht have been bullied by the politically-powerful and by international consumerism. This bullying has undermined their way of life. The neglect in the Education system now means that Irish is being denied to and hidden from 100’s of 1000’s of Irish children.

Who then is responsible for this obliteration of people’s languages and cultures worldwide, including our own Irish? There is no place for own heritage in this neo-liberal agenda, the EU won’t allow it, the two states, even the 26 counties’ Dept of Education, work against the Irish language. ‘Death by a 1000 cuts’ is the effective state policy on Irish whatever niceties may be uttered. To the Irish Language Organisations we say: Be very careful in your dealings with the Northern and Southern states. Stop cosying up to these false promises. They’re only trying to buy you off. 90% plus of the Irish people dearly love our language. They want it passed on propery to our children, they want it central to Irish life not neglected and marginalized. The Irish people need leadership, the Irish language agencies need to give sustained, determined leadership and we as Irish Republicans need to centrally retain our commitment to the Irish language and culture at all times.

As an Irish Republican he believed passionately in Theobald Wolfe Tone’s vision of substituting the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter with the common name of Irish man and Irish woman. He played a leading role in formulating the Éire Nua proposals for a Four Province Federal Ireland, which was based on the principles of true decentralisation of decision making with full particatpory democracy involving all sections of the Irish people as trust founders of a New Ireland. Such a democratic template would provide the Unionist minority with a New Ireland with real political power and decision-making. He was among the Republican leaders who met representatives of loyalism and unionism as Feakle, Co Clare in 1974 and later strongly supported the MacBride/Boal talks, which were eventually sabotaged by a 26-County Government Minister. Such was Ruairí’s commitment to the principles of a non-sectarian and pluralist Ireland that he and Dáithí Ó Conaill stepped down from the positions of President and Vice President respectively of Sinn Féin when Éire Nua was dropped as a policy document to further the narrow political agenda of a reformist clique operating within the Republican Movement in the early 1980s.

For Ruairí Ó Brádaigh there could be no temporising on the issue of British Rule in Ireland. Drawing on the lessons of Irish history he recognised that it constituted the root cause of conflict and injustice for the Irish people. In opposing the 1998 Stormont Agreement he rightly viewed it as a flawed document serving only to copper-fasten British Rule while also institutionalising sectarianism, thereby further deepening the sectarian divide. Ruairí Ó Brádaigh’s analysis has since been bourne out by a number of independent studies which have shown an increase in sectarianism in the Six Counties in the years since 1998. The economically and politically oppressed and partitioned Ireland of today is far removed from the vision of a New Ireland, which inspired Irish Republicans such as Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

Standing by Ruairí’s graveside we can only truly honour him by turning our eyes to the future, by pledging ourselves to once more take up the fight for a New Ireland. Today our country is being assailed by the twin imperialisms of British military and political occupation and the economic and social oppression of the EU/ECB and IMF. These represent the old and new imperialisms, representing a threat to the very existence of the historic Irish Nation. In the Six Counties political repression remains the norm and the very fact that there remain political prisoners in Maghaberry, the internment without trial of veteran Republican Martin Corey and until recently of Marian Price, the presence of an armed Colonial police force using the same methods of repression, drawing on the same draconian laws to enforce the writ of the British Government all point to the abnormality of the Six County State. British Rule in Ireland will never be wither normal or acceptable and the lesson of Irish history remains as Ruairí continually pointed out: as along as there is a British military and political presence in Ireland there will always be a section of the Irish people determined to resist it. In the 26-County State our people are being robbed of the very markers of a civilised society, the ability to care for our sick and old, to educate our young and to provide for those on the economic margins of society. All of this is being imposed on our people in order to prop up the undemocratic EU superstate and its baking system.

The Irish people it seems are merely fodder to be sacrificed on the high alter of EU finance capitalism. But not only are our people plundered financially but also culturally. It seems that the denizens of Leinster House, Stormont, Westminster and Brussels are intent on robbing us of our identity as a separate people and nation. Writing recently in the Sunday Business Post, Tom McGurk wrote that because the Irish people are being thought that it is wrong to take pride in our history, of resistance, our distinct culture and identity, today they are being denied the very tools of a strong sense of national identity required to stand up to EU Troika in contrast to people’s across Europe who have heroically defended themselves and their societies from the grip of the financial and banking elites. With Thomas Davis we believe: “This country of ours is no sand bank, thrown up by some recent caprice of earth. It is an ancient land, honoured in the archives of civilisation.”  The Irish nation is not bound by the artificial borders of the two partition states, The philosopher Dr Mathew O’Donnell writes that nations rather than states, which are simply units of political organisation, bring people together: “For people are not brought together by a state; the state is the subsequent organisation of people who already posses some kind of unity…It is with the nation that one’s loyalty lies. There is no disowning it, no alternative to it. There should be a feeling for the nation, for it is one’s own people. This is the origin for the effective element in patriotism.”

In the early 1890s the Irish Revolution began in earnest, speaking in 1892 the founder of Conradh na Gaelige Dubhghlas de Híde spoke of the need to reverse the process of anglicising Ireland:  “When we speak of 'The Necessity for De-Anglicising the Irish Nation', we mean it, not as a protest against imitating what is best in the English people, for that would be absurd, but rather to show the folly of neglecting what is Irish, and hastening to adopt, pell-mell, and indiscriminately, everything that is English, simply because it is English.”

He went to set out why we as a people needed to reconnect with our own distinct cultural identity if we were to prosper: “I would earnestly appeal to every one, whether Unionist or Nationalist, who wishes to see the Irish nation produce its best -- surely whatever our politics are we all wish that -- to set his face against this constant running to England for our books, literature, music, games, fashions, and ideas. I appeal to every one whatever his politics -- for this is no political matter -- to do his best to help the Irish race to develop in future upon Irish lines, even at the risk of encouraging national aspirations, because upon Irish lines alone can the Irish race once more become what it was of yore -- one of the most original, artistic, literary, and charming peoples of Europe.” As the centenary of the 1916 Rising draws near we have the opportunity once again to awaken the national consciousness to our possibilities as a people and the high ideals which have in the past inspired us to greater things and a vision of a New and better Ireland. As we approach the centenary of the 1916 Rising a battle has commenced for the hearts and minds of the Irish people.

The legacy as well as the essential message of 1916 is at stake for this and future generations. The resources of both partitionist states are being employed in order to sanitise our history to the point that it has been robbed of any meaning. Equivalence is being made between the forces of occupation and the independence movement that no self-respecting nation would contemplate. Does France commemorate the Vichy policemen or Norway its Quislings who collaborated with German occupation forces? The 1916 Rising for Irish Republicans is not only an important moment in our history but a beacon to light our way forward. It is an event that not only continues to occupy a central place in our history but also remains relevant due to the simple fact that it remains unfinished business.

The 1916 Proclamation sets out clearly the principles upon which the All-Ireland Republic should rest. It takes no great examination to see that both the Six and 26-County states fall far short of the definition of freedom and democracy set by the men and women of 1916.  This would be and remains the abiding message of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

In carrying on the work to which Ruairí dedicated his adult life we must bring to it the same high standards, the same commitment to truth and honour which guided him. We must never lose sight of the high idealism of 1916 because it will always speak to us of a New and better Ireland and with it the possibility of revolutionary social, political and economic change. and should note well the words of Brian Ó hUiginn: “Keep close to them on the road they walked without flinching, the road whose signposts, as Liam Mellows said, are unmistakable, the road of truth and honour and earnestness and courage, the road of no wavering, of no compromise with wrong, of no surrender – the only road that leads to the freedom and happiness of the indivisible Republic of Ireland.”

As we turn from this place we remember with pride our fallen chieftain, our Fenian Chief (as Desmond Ryan described James Stephens) I think it is appropriate to conclude with some words penned by John Fisher Murray To the Memory of Thomas Davis:

“A spark of his celestial fire, The God of freemen struck from thee; Made thee to spurn each low desire, Nor bend the uncompromising knee; Made thee to vow thy live to rive with ceaseless tug, th’ oppressor’s chain with lyre, with pen, with pen, with sword, to strive for thy dear land – nor strive in vain.

How hapless is our country’s fate – If heaven in pity to us send, Like thee, one glorious, good and great – to guide, instruct us, and amend: How soon thy honoured life is o’er – Soon Heaven demandeth thee again; We grope on darkling as before, And fear lest thou hast died in vain.

In vain – no never! O’er thy grave, Thy spirit dwelleth in the air; Thy passionate love, thy prupose brave, Thy hope assured, thy promise fair. Generous and wise, farerwell! – Forego tears for the glorious dead and gone; His tears if his, still flow for slaves and cowards living on.

To Patsy, Mait, Ruairí Óg, Conor, Deirdre, Ethne and Colm,his grandchildren and great-grandchild we extend our deepest sympathies and our gratitute to you and the extended Ó Brádaigh family for the life of Ruairí and his unparalled contribution to the cause of a free Ireland. Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Críoch/Ends


Ruairí Ó Brádaigh a towering figure of Irish Republicanism

Statement by Des Dalton, President, Republican Sinn Féin, on the death on June 5 of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, Patron and former President, Republican Sinn Féin.

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was a towering figure of Irish Republicanism in the latter half of the 20th century. He came to embody the very essence of the Republican tradition, setting the very highest standards of commitment, duty, honour and loyalty to the cause of Irish freedom.

Since 1950 he served at every level of the Republican Movement, and from 1956 took on the onerous responsibilities of national leadership with only a short interval, up to the present day. Ruairí was a man of immense capability both as a politician and as a soldier. He holds the unique distinction of serving as President of Sinn Féin, Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army and from 1957 to 1961 as a TD, representing Longford/Westmeath.

At critical junctures in the history of the Republican Movement, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, along with his close friend and comrade, the late Dáithí Ó Conaill, manned the gap against the forces of reformism who sought to convert a revolutionary movement of national liberation into a mere constitutional political party, first in 1969/70 and once again in 1986.

For Ruairí the essential principles of Irish freedom were clear and marked the political course to be followed. He dismissed any cult of the personality, warning always of the inherent dangers of following merely the man or woman over the cause of Irish national independence. At a time when our sense of identity is being steadily eroded, when our people are discouraged from taking pride in their history or culture Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was a tireless champion of the Irish language viewing it as the cornerstone of our unique identity as a nation.

Like Pádraig Mac Piarais he believed in an Ireland that was: not only free but Gaelic as well; not only Gaelic but free as well.

As an Irish Republican he believed passionately in Theobald Wolfe Tones vision of substituting the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter with the common name of Irish man and Irish woman.

He played a leading role in formulating the ÉIRE NUA proposals for a four-province Federal Ireland, which was based on the principles of true decentralisation of decision-making with full particatpory democracy involving all sections of the Irish people as trust founders of a New Ireland. Such a democratic template would provide the Unionist minority with a New Ireland with real political power and decision-making. He was among the Republican leaders who met representatives of loyalism and unionism at Feakle, Co Clare in 1974 and later strongly supported the MacBride/Boal talks, which were eventually sabotaged by a 26-County Government Minister.

Such was Ruairís commitment to the principles of a non-sectarian and pluralist Ireland that he and Dáithí Ó Conaill stepped down from the positions of President and Vice President respectively of Sinn Féin when ÉIRE NUA was dropped as a policy document to further the agenda of a reformist clique operating within the Republican Movement in the early 1980s.

For Ruairí Ó Brádaigh there could be no temporising on the issue of British rule in Ireland. Drawing on the lessons of Irish history he recognised that it constituted the root cause of conflict and injustice for the Irish people. In opposing the 1998 Stormont Agreement he rightly viewed it as a flawed document serving only to copper-fasten British Rule while also institutionalising sectarianism, thereby further deepening the sectarian divide. Ruairí Ó Brádaighs analysis has since been bourne out by a number of independent studies which have shown an increase in sectarianism in the Six Counties in the years since 1998. The economically and politically oppressed and partitioned Ireland is far removed from the vision of a New Ireland, which inspired Irish Republicans such as Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

In an introduction to the biography of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh written by Professor Robert White, the journalist Ed Moloney described Ruairí as the last, or one of the last Irish Republicans. Whilst the tribute was well intentioned the case is quite different. It is because of the lifes work of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh that he is not the last Republican but has rather ensured the continuity of Irish Republicanism, passing on the torch to succeeding generations.

We in Republican Sinn Féin are proud to remember him as our President and later our Patron, as a man of great intellect, coupled with great humanity and empathy for the oppressed both in Ireland and internationally. We salute his memory and pledge our resolve to honour him by continuing his work, guided by the same principles and maintaining the same high standards of integrity, truth and that marked Ruairí Ó Brádaigh as man and patriot. We extend our profound sympathies to his wife Patsy, and the Ó Brádaigh family. Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam dílis.


Biography: Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

1932: Born in Longford.
1950: Joined Sinn Féin
1951: Joined the Irish Republican Army.
1955: OC Arborfield arms raid.
1956: 2 o/c Teeling Column, South Fermanagh.
1957: Elected in Longford-Westmeath Sinn Féin TD to All-Ireland parliament.
1958: Escaped with Dáithí Ó Conaill from Curragh Camp.
1958-9 and 1960-62: IRA Chief of Staff.
1966: Republican candidate in Fermanagh-South Tyrone.
1970-83: President of Sinn Féin.
1987 to date: President of Republican Sinn Féin.
2009-2013: Patron of Republican Sinn Féin.
Married to Patsy, six children: Mait, Ruairí Óg, Conor, Deirdre, Ethne, Colm, grandchildren and great-grandchild. He was a secondary teacher by profession.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Misery of emigration stalks the land once again

With the release of the survey by the National Youth Council of Ireland stating that over 300,000 Irish people have been forced to emigrate from the state in the last four years we should stand back and take stock of what is once again happening in this country.

Emigration is not a new phenomenon unfortunately. Since the foundation of this state every generation has witnessed the loss of many loved ones through forced economic emigration as a result of the policies of whatever government happened to be in place at the particular period.

From the 1920s up until the early 1990s mass emigration was a constant feature of life in this state. The brief exception to this was during the so called “Celtic Tiger” period which we now know was built on a foundation of lies.

It should be clear at this point that this state regardless of which gombeen party happens to be in power does not consider its people as anything more than goods for export and in no way can it claim to be the legitimate heir to the Irish Republic proclaimed on the steps of the G.P.O. in 1916, the Republic which “guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally”.

Rather than call for a reforming of the institutions that exist in the state as so many reformist do, Republican Sinn Féin calls for an entirely new system to be put in place which will place at its core the very people it represents. Reformation of a corrupt system will not end the forced exodus of Irish people from their own country. One corrupt political party has replaced another since the foundation of the Free State all with the same results. We have always seen the protection afforded to the wealthy while the poorer in society were dispensable. Corrupt practices have never been more obvious than now where the poor are paying for the excesses of the rich.

In ÉIRE NUA and SAOL NUA, Republican Sinn Féin have the only credible alternative to the failed institutions of this state and it is only through the implementation of these that we can finally hope to see an end to the forced emigration of so many of our people. Play your part in the creation of an Irish society that is worthy of the sacrifices made by so many throughout the generations.

Familiarise yourself with both ÉIRE NUA and SAOL NUA which can be viewed by visiting our website at www.rsfgaillimh.com/ and any enquiries regarding either of them can be sent to rsfgaillimh@live.ie

Brian Kilcommins,
PRO Republican Sinn Féin Galway

Monday, 6 May 2013

Re-dedication of the Cull / Tymon Memorial - Arigna

On May 5th the Cull / Tymon Cumann, Sinn Féin Poblachtach preceded over the re-dedication of the Séamus Cull / Patrick Tymon / Michael Cull memorial in Arigna, Co. Roscommon.

 A great turnout of all ages assembled at Tullynaha in Arigna near the old Cull home place behind an impressive colour party and the Raheen Pipe Band. The ceremony was chaired by Paddy McNama who called on Doctor Seán Maguire to unveil the monument. A decade of the rosary was read by Joseph Doherty. Wreaths were laid by Tommy Cull on behalf of the Cull family. Finbarr Tymon on behalf of the Tymon family. A wreath was laid on behalf of todays republican prisoners of war by Seán Scott a man who had fought alongside Seán South and Fergal O’Hanlon in Brookeborough in 1957, it fact he had to spend three years in hospital after being badly injured upon escape. Tomas Lavin then laid a wreath on behalf of the Cull / Tymon Cumann and Michael McDonagh laid a wreath on behalf Roscommon Comhairle Ceantair. The 1916 Proclamation of Independence was read by Darren Reynolds and the Roll of Honour was read by Pat McManus.

The oration was delivered by Dan Hoban, Co. Mayo. During the course of his oration he outlined the history of the Republican Movement thoroughout the last century covering all the betrayals and sell-outs which only led to a strengthening of British rule and the fragmentation of the Republican Cause. “In talking here today and in particular to the youth of Ireland I have just one message for Gerrys Adams, Martin McGuinnes, Enda Kenny and all their lackeys. Today we say to the youth of Ireland, were not going to say to you what these other people have said to you, we are not going to say to you the war is over, we are going to say to you, you can use every means at your disposal to get rid of British troops out of Ireland, and that will always be the case and you will have the blessing of the republicans of this country when you do that. We are calling on the people of Ireland to make one last ditch stand to drive the British forever from our shores and to hell with the lackeys who are licking up to them, we don’t want them, they are not part of us, they are not part of the Republican Movement, they have stolen the name of republicanism but they are only lackeys for Britain.”

Paddy then brought proceedings to a close and called on Patsy Hough who sounded the last post followed by the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann. There was music afterwards in Flynn’s where refreshments were provided, a raffle was held and music was played by John O’Dowd.

Monday, 11 February 2013

There’s No Irish In Ireland!


The Hidden Ireland blog highlights news of discrimination against the Irish-speaking communities and citizens of Ireland for their English-speaking peers who are often unaware of what is being done in their name. Eoin Ó Riain has now written a very important story on the fear haunting some members of the Irish-speaking population of Ireland:
Guth na Gaeltachta curtha ina thost! 
“The Gaeltacht voice is silenced!”
This is yesterday’s headline in this week’s Gaelscéal, one of the Irish newspapers published each week. It indicates that members of Guth na Gaeltachta, the Donegal Gaeltacht-based organisation set up in alarm at the direction of State policy towards our language was taking following the publication of the report of An Bórd Snip Nua, were now fearful of speaking publicly because of the threatening attitude being adopted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
This stems particularly from the letter sent, in English, to one of the members, employed by the Department, not in the Gaeltacht section but in the Heritage section, as a gardener, advising him that his terms of employment could be compromised if he continued speaking against Government policy on the Gaeltacht, that they could be construed as breaking the terms of his employment. We mentioned this in a blog, Bullying from Govenment, in July 2012.
Naturally Guth na Gaeltachta spoke out against this threat at the time. The Junior Minister, to whom responsibility for the Gaeltacht has been devolved, Dinny McGinley, stated that he had no responsibility over civil service procedures!  It appears that the Civil Service operates without impunity. (In a case brought eventually to the Oireachtas by the Comisinéir Teanga the Civil Service “defended” its position on incorrectly implementing its own policy for recruitment. “This is the way we’ve always done it, therefore it is the correct way!” Sir Humphery could not have said it better!)  Since that time Guth na Gaeltachta has been remarkably silent and normally vociferous spokespeople, not all of whom are Department employees, are unwilling to make any comments, good bad on indifferent, “on advice.”
One wonders where this will stop. I have come across one old-age-pensioner who is now afraid to voice his opinion on the Language he has loved and  for which he has fought all his life, because he now depends on a state pension and is afraid he will lose it. What about employees of the Department of Education or third level institution who owe their funding to the state? On the radio last evening it emerged that language planning experts in Galway University had been moved “sideways” from the Language Planning Department. This is the Department which will be in greater demand by Gaeltacht parishes if the policy forced through the Oireachtas by this government last year is to be implemented!
This attitude falls in with the dictatorial way in which this Fine Gael/Labour Government is ramming through policy, much of it not really thought through, and instilling fear on one sort or another not only into the Gaeltacht people, but also people in other areas , especially rural people. One merely has to mention the fear gripping so many people with the closure today of one hundred rural Garda stations – eight in the Donegal Gaeltacht. Or the threatening behaviour of the Minister of the Environment Phil Hogan on the issues of so-called “Household Tax” and rural effluent treatment. How he has cut-back funding to local authorities because he says that people in their area had not paid this charge, the collection of which was in fact not the responsibility of the local authority!  Look at the enforced merging of the National Library and National Archives; National Museum and National Gallery; Comisinéir Teanga and Ombudsman; the ramming through of the Gaeltacht Bill which removes the democratic authenticity of Údarás na Gaeltachta are all indications of a dictatorial bureaucracy. It is interesting in this context to look at what our present President Michael D Higgins has said on “institutional inadequacy,”(The President, the bureaucracy and the language!)
Martin Niemöller was a Luthern Theologian in Germany during the war. This is something he said which has perhaps some little relevance here.
“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. 
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist. 
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. 
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.” 
Have they now come for Guth na Gaeltachta?”
I would ask everyone to please share this story with as many people as you can.
UPDATE 02/02/2012: It has just been announced that the Irish government through its Irish language agency Foras na Gaeilge is to end all public funding of Gaelscéal, the Irish language newspaper which broke the story above [ASF: full story on the shock termination of the government contract with Gaelscéal now here]. The announcement came on the Friday after the front-page article was published and has taken many people by surprise. When contacted by journalists from the Irish language station Raidió na Gaeltachta the government body said it had no statement to make until Monday. Today however the anglophone Irish Independent newspaper carries a story claiming that the decision was based on the high cost of subsidising a weekly newspaper that on average sold less than 2000 copies an issue.
While I have always been sceptical about the need for a dedicated Irish language newspaper, or indeed dead tree media in general, I find the timing of the decision by Foras na Gaeilge questionable to say the least. My own belief is that the future home of news and current affairs media is online – and the sooner the better. Let us hope that Gaelscéal or a similar entity is supported in making that transition.
Thanks to Eoin Ó Riain for the follow-up news.
The excellent Irish language news and current affairs website Nuacht24 now has an article on this. It is also the very type of platform for Irish language media that I personally favour.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Enda Kenny’s constituency office exempt from rates

Enda Kenny, who earns a salary of
 €800.00 a week.
CHARITY shops in the Enda Kenny’s home town of Castlebar, Co Mayo are facing demands for thousands of euro in commercial rates – but his constituency office is exempt from the charge, according to a report on January 20.

In a lucrative perk introduced some years ago as part of the national valuation regulations, TDs’ offices are exempt from the rates.

However in Castlebar charities such as the St Vincent de Paul and Oxfam have rates charged on their premises at the same rate as other commercial premises. The same rules apply to charity shops all over Ireland run by organisations like Age Action Ireland, Aware, Enable Ireland and the Irish cancer Society.

“It is outrageous that the Taoiseach's lavish constituency HQ is a freebie for Enda Kenny as far as rates are concerned while Oxfam and other charities are being crucified,” local independent councillor Frank Durkan said.

Attempts to make charity shops exempt from commercial rates have met with a stony silence from the department of finance.

“When you consider the valuable work done by charity shops in helping the marginalised in
society on behalf of the State, the demand for commercial rates is ludicrous,” said Paul Hughes of the Irish Charity Shops Association.
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Irish Republican Information Service (no. 310)
Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill, 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
Phone: +353-1-872 9747; FAX: +353-1-872 9757; e-mail: saoirse@iol.ie
Date: 28 Eanáir / January 2013

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http://saoirse.info