(Not my best photography every. I couldn’t use the flash, so had to make do)
Councillor Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tiobraid Árann has expressed his delight at the news that his intervention last night in the case of the 7 year old medical refugee Ava Barry has yielded a successful result. Cllr Browne cautions however that there are many, many more children and families that need similar treatment.
Cllr Browne said: “I am delighted to report that Minister Simon Harris has signed a licence for medicinal cannabis for Ava Barry. This is very, very, good news for this Cork family. We’re absolutely ecstatic that this Christmas that the Barry/Twomey family can be home together in West Cork.”
“When we realised that the possibility of the dissolution of the Dáil could mean that Ava Barry might not return home to her family for Christmas we were deeply concerned. We absolutely had to intervene, as we did late last night.”
“Sinn Féin in Tipperary have followed the plight of Ava and her absolutely indomitable mother Vera Twomey since the start. I myself am glad to be able to say that starting in this county we connected the dots from Tipperary to Dublin to make the task of walking easier for Vera, and I thank all the Sinn Féin volunteers who helped out along the way then, and have helped up until now.”
“There were and are such a large number of people that came out to support Vera from all parties and none, both on that walk and since, that it should never have been the case that Ava had to go abroad. But she did, and the worry about that family being split up haunted us.”
“I hope that Vera is pleased at this point. Her achievement is immense. The work done by Gino Kenny TD in supporting her aim to care for her child cannot be overstated. His bill remains live, for as long as this Dáil remains, courtesy of Jonathan O’Brien and Louise O’Reilly among others.”
“But let’s not forget that Ava, special and wonderful as she is, isn’t unique in benefitting from medicinal cannabis. There are still so many more people who need access to this completely natural herb to live a normal life.”
“That we came as close as we did to the game of political Chicken between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil bringing down the Government, to be followed by a dissolution of the Dáil, remains a problem that the political systems of the Southern State seem unable to resolve. That those parties would even play their games before first looking after a 7 year old medical refugee all the way out in The Hague in Holland, from the little village of Aghabullogue in West Cork is worrying.”
“As a minor matter that should never have had to be debated about, the departure of former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald from the position of Táiniste is also to be welcomed.”
“But today, our thoughts are with Vera, Paul, Ava, Sophie, Michael, and Elvera and the extended Barry family and the prospect of them being at home in West Cork together for Christmas.”
Seo phictiúrí ó Glean Gual an Satharn chaite, 2017-11-25. Isteach ann tá muintir Sinn Féin, Cumann Tommy Kavanagh sna Commons/Gort na hUamha.
Freisin, tá an gComhairleóir Davy Dunne ó Sinn Féin, le Dick agus Willie Ó Shea. Tá DIck agus Willie Phoblactánaigh le tamall mór anuas, ach níl mór ar sin a bhféidir linn a rá.
Leag an gComhairleóir bláthanna ar uamh Thomás Uí Donnabháin a bhfuair bás mar toradh dún mharú ag Black and Tans, diabhail orthú. Marach sé i 1920 le linn cogadh idir an Bhreatain Mór agus Phoblacht Ceannasach Éire.
Níl Phoblacht na hÉireann iníon do Phoblact Ceannasach Éire, mar is eól do daoine chomh sinne i Sinn Féin mar Dick agus Wille, ach an oiread. Ach do bhí siad fíor buoich chun comóradh fear a básach ar son an Phoblacht Ceannasach sin, agus chun bheith ann agus an gCómhairleóir ag ligint na mbláthanna chun meadú meas ar Thomás Uí Donnabháin.
Photographs from Glengoole (New Birmingham) from last Saturday 25th November, 2017. These show members of the Tommy Kavanagh Cumann, Sinn Féin from The Commons Gortnahoe.
Also present are Councillor Davy Dunne and Dick and Willie O’Shea. Simply put, DIck and Willie are Republicans of long standing.
Cllr Dunne laid a wreath on the grave of Thomas O’Donovan, killed by the much reviled Black and Tans in 1920, while fighting against Great Britain for the sovereign Republic of Éire.
The Republic of Ireland is not the successor of the sovereign Republic of Éire, as would be known to older Republicans like Dick and Willie. They were delighted to attend the commemoration of one who died for that sovereign Republic, and to be present when Councillor Dunne laid a wreath of respect for Thomas O’Donovan.
Sunday 15th October, 2017.
The text of the oration delivered by Mary Lou is here: 2017-10-15-MLMcD-TextOfSpeech
There’s video of the oration:
And photographs… lots of photographs
On Sunday 16th July the annual Liam Lynch commemoration was held in the Knockmealdown Mountains, above Goatenbridge in County Tipperary.
Well attended, we heard a lament played by Padraig O Cadhain, a little of which is here:
The oration was delivered by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, the final part of which is here:
Donnchadh reminded us that it is clear to all who look rationally and objectively at the present state of the ‘Republic’ of Ireland that the vision of 1916 and of 1919 has not been fulfilled.
Below are some of the photographs taken at the event, held as always in beautiful Irish July sunshine.
Annual Liam Lynch Commemoration
Tipperary Republican Commemoration Committee cordially invite all to the annual General Liam Lynch commemoration:
Goatenbridge, Co. Tipperary, 2017-07-16.
Guest speaker will be Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD of Sinn Féin (Cork South Central).
Music on the day will be provided by Carrick-on-Suir Republican Flute Band.
Assemble at 14:30. Refreshments provided afterwards.
All are welcome.
– Tipperary Republican Commemoration Committee
“Every Irish citizen is entitled to a home, an education, comprehensive health care free at the point of delivery, and, equal pay for equal work.” – Declan Kearney.
“To break the connection with England…and to assert the independence of my country, these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland… and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in place of Protestant, Catholic and dissenter, these were my means.” – Wolfe Tone.
This is the address by Declan Kearney at Bodenstown 2017: Advancing towards Irish Unity – in the United Irish tradition
This time 220 years ago Ireland was in the midst of dramatic political and revolutionary change.
It was described as ‘The time of the Hurry’ in the poem ‘The man from God knows where’ dedicated to Thomas Russell.
The United Irishmen were the engine of that change.
They took their inspiration from the new democratic and egalitarian ideals of the American and French revolutions.
They were Republican separatists committed to the promotion of anti-sectarianism, fraternity and equality.
They forged alliances across Irish society and mounted an unprecedented military insurgency in every Province.
In my own county the United Irishmen took control of towns like Randalstown and Ballymena. Local United Irish leaders such as Henry Joy McCracken, Roddy McCorley and William Orr remain household names to this day.
Jemmy Hope “The Weaver” from Templepatrick and his farseeing revolutionary vision became an ideological reference point for Fintan Lawlor and later generations of Irish Revolutionaries.
These and others personified the central tenet of emergent Irish Republicanism – the unity of Protestant, Catholic and dissenter.
Wolfe Tone famously summarised the United Irish Republican programme:
“To break the connection with England…and to assert the independence of my country, these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland… and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in place of Protestant, Catholic and dissenter, these were my means.”
As modern day Irish Republicans in the tradition of Tone, we are dedicated to the establishment of a national Republic, built upon equality, fraternity, unity and reconciliation between all citizens in Ireland.
Our primary aim is for an agreed, multicultural united Ireland, which celebrates diversity and equality, and shuns bigotry and discrimination.
Sinn Féin stands against all forms of sectarianism, racism, homophobia, sexism, and intolerance in society.
Today’s Ireland is one of huge social change and political realignment.
Partition continues to be the central fault line at the heart of Irish politics and society.
The imposition of the Brexit decision upon the people of the six counties has now magnified that fault line.
We are clear; Brexit is a by-product of partition and continued British jurisdiction in the North of our country.
It has now become a catalyst for a new realignment of politics in Ireland; in relations between this island and Britain: and, it is redefining politics in the British State and Europe itself.
Irish Unity has become central to the political discourse.
Next Saturday in Belfast at the Waterfront our party will host a major national conference on Irish Unity to build on that discussion.
Many citizens are now looking beyond the Brexit fall out and towards new constitutional and political opportunities.
In the North, greater numbers of ordinary people are now more engaged with politics.
Young people have become increasingly politicised.
All that is reflected in the Assembly and General election results in March and just last week.
The election of 27 Sinn Féin MLA’s and 7 MPs with 239,000 votes is an historic high in electoral support for our party, and for progressive politics.
I want to thank every activist and supporter and all their families who contributed to these spectacular achievements; and also to all of our voters.
There is a building momentum for Irish Unity and in support of anti-unionist and progressive politics.
There is also a new, popular expectation of real, and substantial political change.
The people of the North have spoken.
Sinn Féin respects the mandate secured by the DUP.
But make no mistake Sinn Féin’s electoral mandate is a vindication of our pledge that there will be no return to the status quo: and I repeat; no citizen or section of society will be put to the back of the bus again.
In 1967 our parents and grandparents and others in this gathering set out to demand civil rights in the North. They were beaten and shot off the streets.
Fifty years later an equality revolution is happening in the six counties and it is being led by young people.
Agus tá siad tiomanta agus diongbhailte. Tá siad dearg le fearg agus tá muid go léir dearg le fearg.
For the first time since partition electoral support for political unionism has fallen below 50%.
These are the new realities.
And this is the new context for the current round of political talks.
Let us be clear – the political crisis in the North can be resolved.
The political institutions can be re-established.
However, that means the DUP and British government need to get the message – which they have ignored since Martin McGuinness’ resignation on 9th January.
So I will spell it out.
The equality and rights agenda is not negotiable.
Agreements previously made on equality, rights, parity of esteem and legacy must be implemented.
The Good Friday Agreement cannot be unpicked.
The political institutions must not be misused to advance institutionalised bigotry.
Continued refusal by the DUP and British government to accept these fundamental positions will create only one outcome: a future of permanent political instability.
The DUP have spent the last week in talks with the British Government trying to strike a deal which will keep the Tories in power.
As with Brexit, any deal with Tories will be bad for the economy, public services and for citizens.
This Tory government cares as little for working-class unionists as it does for working-class republicans.
Working-class unionists did not vote for Tories.
The DUP leadership know that. They know the north is of no consequence in Westminster.
Even Edward Carson recognised this nearly 100 years ago. He said:
“What a fool I was… in the political game that was to get the Conservative party into power.”
The central fact is the political process in the North remains overshadowed by financial scandals.
That is why Sinn Féin stood the DUP leader down from her position last January.
The focus on her future role in an Executive is completely misdirected and premature.
That discussion will only arise when there is an acceptable implementation plan to restore public confidence in the political process and ensures that the institutions will work on the basis of proper power sharing, equality, respect and integrity.
This is a serious situation, which demands a serious focus by all parties.
It is not a game, and it is certainly not a dance.
If the DUP really wants to go into the Executive, that party needs to decide whether it is now prepared to embrace a rights-based approach to government in the North.
Instead of pretending that a crisis does not really exist, the DUP should get with the programme.
If the DUP imagines it can wind back the clock, with a Tory side deal or not, and reestablish the institutions without adherence to equality and rights, then the DUP is indeed living in a fool’s paradise.
As for the two governments, instead of talking up the prospect of a successful outcome to these talks, they and the DUP should reread Martin McGuinness’ resignation letter on the 9th January.
It sets out exactly what is required to restore public confidence, and to create the conditions for proper government in the North.
We don’t need optical illusions; we expect change!
The new Irish government now carries a huge responsibility.
The failure of the last Irish government to fulfil its obligations as a co-guarantor for the Good Friday Agreement is a national scandal.
This dereliction of political leadership must end.
The new Taoiseach and his administration should now publicly disassociate itself from the pro-unionist, partisan position of the British government.
This Irish government should bring forward a comprehensive plan for Irish reunification, including:
– A joint Oireachtas committee on preparing for Irish unity;
– A government White Paper on national reunification;
– And, specific proposals for a unity referendum on the island.
This month 40 years ago and here at Tone’s grave our comrade Jimmy Drumm correctly observed that the achievement of national and social liberation relied upon the development of a popular progressive movement for change throughout Ireland.
Today we live in an Ireland of endemic financial scandal, political corruption, gombeen elites, discrimination and sectarianism.
The strategic position articulated by Jimmy Drumm in 1977 is now more relevant than ever.
The austerity programmes imposed by Fine Gael and the British Tories have entrenched social inequality, both North and South.
None of our children should have to live in fear from poverty or austerity; inequality or discrimination; or from intolerance or sectarianism.
Social inequality is the antithesis of values enshrined in the 1916 Proclamation and the democratic programme of 1919.
Every Irish citizen is entitled to a home, an education, comprehensive health care free at the point of delivery, and, equal pay for equal work.
Instead social inequality, political corruption and financial scandal have become bywords for public policy under Fine Gael.
The new Taoiseach seems determined to take his government further to the right.
If that is his intention, then he should call a general election now, and let the people cast its verdict on that political programme.
In those circumstances Sinn Féin will go forward with our progressive political agenda.
We know where we stand, and it’s not with the gombeen men, the crooks, or fat cats.
To paraphrase Tone Sinn Féin stands with:
“That numerous and respectable class of the community, the men of no property.”
Irish unity has never been more achievable.
But that goal is only inevitable when Republicans successfully persuade sufficient numbers of our people that an agreed, united Ireland will serve their interests.
The refusal of significant sections of political unionism to embrace a shared future, and divisions caused by deep-seated sectarianism, create enormous challenges for Republicans.
Yet despite that, we must continue to show generosity of spirit, and reassurance to our unionist neighbours in the North.
As agents of change it is up to us to reach into the wider unionist constituency.
As republicans in the United Irish tradition we have to demonstrate how their rights, traditions, and identity will be accommodated in a new constitutional framework of an agreed Ireland.
It is for us to convince them that it is far better for Irish unionists to exert their influence over a progressive Ireland, instead of being reduced to stage props for a right-wing British Tory government.
Sinn Féin’s policies on reconciliation and anti-sectarianism represent genuine contributions towards the development of reconciliation between Republicans and unionists, within Irish society, and, between Ireland and Britain.
These need to be internalised and mainstreamed within our political work, both North and South.
Our generation of Republicans are history makers.
Martin McGuinness atá anois ar shlí na fírinne, and whom we greatly miss here today, as well as others in our leadership, have brought us to this point.
Now it is for the rest of us to finish that work.
We must become the nation builders.
We must continue the transformation of Irish society.
Meeting these responsibilities requires a step change in our party.
We need to be always strategically focused, cohesive, flexible and creative.
Let us be clear: building popular support and political strength is not a plan for opposition.
Our political strategy is a road map for governmental power.
So that means Sinn Féin being in government North and South.
This is our road map to achieving national democracy and a united Ireland.
But being in government is not a vanity contest.
This party is not interested in acting as a prop for the status quo North or South.
Political institutions are not ends in themselves: they should be made to work as the means to make positive change.
And of course, we must avoid being defined by the nature of the political institutions.
Sinn Féin participation in the Dáil, Assembly, all-Ireland institutions and European Parliament must be at the heart of a broader momentum for political and social change in Ireland.
If change is to be people centred, then change must be driven by the people.
A popular democratic movement for transformation needs to be developed across Ireland.
That is a progressive coalition of political, civic, community, cultural and labour activists united in support of economic democracy, sustainable public services, equality, rights, and the welfare of citizens.
These are the means of modern Republicans today.
Ireland is in transition. Our party is in transition.
The process of leadership succession has already commenced.
We have begun to implement a ten-year plan to regenerate our party with more youth and women; and enhanced skills and capacity.
Mar sin, más cearta, cothromas agus Poblacht atá uaibh – ná habraigí é – eagraigí, tógaigí, agus déanaigí é.
If you want equality and rights – if you want fairness in Irish society:
If you really want a Republic – then just don’t vote Sinn Féin:
Join Sinn Féin – and get your family and friends to do the same.
We continue to take our inspiration from Tone.
This afternoon in Bodenstown we stand resolute in the tradition of Henry Joy McCracken, William Orr, Roddy McCorley, Jemmy Hope, Betsy Gray and Mary-Anne McCracken.
Now let us go forward reenergised and confident, to mobilise and organise, and to achieve national independence and Irish Unity.
At the Easter Sunday commemoration of George Plant, Ciara McCormack of Thurles delivered a salient and strong reminder that not only do Fianna Fáil bear the responsibility for the recent financial bankruptcy of the State, but that they have a long and demonstrable history of moral bankruptcy too.
In her oration Ciara McCormack said: “I lived by the core republican ideals of fairness, equality, and social justice before I had ever identified my views as Republican. Irish Republicanism embodies these ideals at it’s core, though most will not make that connection. This is due to the systematic vilification of Republicanism through oppression which carried from British colonialism to the Free State and on into today.”
“I naively held the Department of Education view of history and so knew little of real heroes like George Plant.”
“During one of the most distressing chapters of Irish legal history, the corruption, deceit and manipulation employed by a power hungry Fianna Fáil backed by an equally rotten police force to execute George Plant are as relevant today if we look at those same entities now.”
“The death of George Plant shines a light on a period of history conveniently forgotten by those claiming to be the ‘real Republican party’”.
“A soldier during the Tan War from 1919 to 1921, George Plant later questioned but ultimately carried out his orders during a period of high intrigue often affected by informers.”
“Examining the life and suspicious death by execution of George Plant exposes the deceit and betrayal by the dark force of Fianna Fáil, which has stalked and shackled our people in often brutal repression for almost a century. Even the ‘new’ Fianna Fáil leadership forgets about testimonies extracted at gunpoint”.
“Fianna Fáil collectively betrayed the Sovereign Constitution of 1919, which held sway in the Irish Republic from 1919 to 1922; the betrayal of this document has led us down the dark path we are still on today in this southern ‘Republic’”.
“Fianna Fáil lambaste Sinn Féin about the horrors of armed conflict, forgetting the blood and horror of their own past. This and other behaviours are to be expected from the ever constant chameleon that holds Ireland in a perpetual state of dysfunction.”
“Fine Gael are what they are and they openly destroy our country, but the willingness of Fianna Fáil to stoop to any low low to keep a grip on power still damages the working people of the State.”
“It was in selfish pursuit of power that Fianna Fáil was formed, and their resultant policies ever since have morally and financially bankrupted Ireland.”
The full oration is available in PDF format here:
(and forget the blood and horror of their own past)
At the Annual Easter commemoration of George Plant, Ciara McCormack delivered a powerful account of the fate of George Plant at the dishonest hands of Fianna Fáil, and the fate of the southern ‘Republic’.
The oration reminded the large crowd in attendance of the duplicity of Fianna Fáil and the harm that group have done to our State and to our Nation. As she reminded us, “while Fianna Fáil continually lament and lambast Sinn Féin about the horrors of armed conflict, they conveniently forget the blood and horror of their own past. They are the ever constant chameleon that holds Ireland in a perpetual state of dysfunction”.
The full oration is available in PDF format here:
There are some photos available here:
As Gaeilge, cuirtear ‘taoiseach’ ar an ‘chief’. Sí fíor go raibh Martin McGuinness mar sár taoiseach muintir an phoblacht, muintir an fíor Irish Republic. Seo an turas deiridh abhaile Taoiseach Martin.
Martin McGuinness homecoming in the Bogside this afternoon
Posted by Derry SinnFéin on Tuesday, March 21, 2017
The word ‘taoiseach’ is Irish for ‘chief’, or leader. Martin was a gifted leader to the people of the true Irish Republic. This is his final journey home.