Déardaoin, Deireadh Fómhair 27, 2011

Lives Will Be At Risk


Donegal spokesperson for éirígí has criticised the HSE for its plans to reduce the NoWDOC service in the county, stating that the plans will endanger the lives of people in Donegal. The plans by HSE management would see a redeployment of NoWDOC staff to other HSE work in Ballybofey in a further cost cutting measure in the health services in the county.

The NoWDOC service which was set up in 2007 provides access to GP doctors outside of normal practice hours and operates in the North West region. Working on a rota system of GP's in the area where one doctor covers specific areas at any one time, the service caters not only for large towns like Letterkenny, but also for outlying regions from four centres such as Derrybeg and Carndonagh. If the planned reduction is implemented it could see the service reduced to one centre operating out of Letterkenny meaning only one vehicle covering the whole of the county.

Speaking in relation to the planned cuts, éirígí spokesperson Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig called for the cutbacks to be abandoned immediately. “These planned cuts are a disgrace and should be roundly condemned by everyone. The setting up of this service was itself a cutback from previous access people had to their GP outside of practice hours and now we see more plans for further reductions purely as a cost cutting measure.

“People living across the whole of Donegal, many who live in very remote areas, rely on having access to a GP outside of practice hours. Such cuts in a service like the NoWDOC are a direct attack on the people and families of Donegal and most importantly on the most vulnerable in our society such as the elderly, infirm and those with babies and young children. It is not sensationalism to suggest that a move to reduce this service will endanger the lives of many people in the county."

Calling for action against any proposed cuts the éirígí spokesperson said “The HSE managers clearly have no regard for the well-being of the people of County Donegal when they can plan cutbacks which will endanger life purely in the interest of saving money just so the government can redirect that money to paying off the debts of reckless bankers and a greedy elite. These plans must be resisted and it is important that the ordinary people act now by contacting their local HSE offices to voice their objections and by asking their GP if they support such cuts. People need to put pressure on both to resist further reductions to healthcare services in Donegal. If such cuts are allowed to go ahead the HSE and the government will continue to put more lives at risk in the interest of saving money.”

Dé Céadaoin, Deireadh Fómhair 26, 2011

Plight of Palestinian Prisoners Highlighted in Belfast
Members of éirígí erected a camp at the former Andersonstown barracks site in Belfast over the weekend of 21-23 October and engaged in a 48-hour fast in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners who had undertaken hunger strike action against conditions in Israeli jails.
The solidarity activities also included two evening vigils and the distribution of leaflets to raise awareness of the current situation, especially that of PFLP leader Ahmad Sa’adat who was moved to Ramle prison hospital after three weeks on strike. Despite the poor weather, hundreds of people visited the camp over the course of the weekend.

Déardaoin, Deireadh Fómhair 20, 2011

Solidarity Call for Hunger Strikers in Palestine
Support the Palestinian Hunger StrikeThe socialist republican party éirígí has announced it will establish a camp at the former Andersonstown barracks site in Belfast and engage in a 48-hour fast in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli prisons.
Prisoners began a hunger strike on Tuesday 27 September. They are calling for an end to the policy of isolation for all prisoners, for an end to the three-year-long solitary confinement of Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and for an end to the systematic humiliation of Palestinians at checkpoints and crossings as they visit the prisons.
Over 500 Palestinians are currently on hunger strike in jails scattered throughout the Israeli state.
éirígí representative and former Belfast chair of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign John McCusker said, “Republicans recently marked the 30th anniversary of the end of the 1981 hunger strike, and now we find it necessary to draw attention to what is currently happening in Palestine.
“Palestinian prisoners have for years experienced degrading treatment and humiliating conditions at the hands of the Israeli Prison Administration. Their friends and families on the outside have to also endure shameful treatment just to get to visit their loved ones, and sometimes even this can’t happen as detainees are routinely moved from one prison to another with little notice.”
McCusker continued, “While we engage in our fast in support of our comrades in Palestine, we will also engage in a leafleting campaign to raise awareness of the situation, and our camp will be open to anyone who wants to come and find out more about the hunger strike.
The solidarity fast by members of éirígí will commence at 1pm on Friday [21 October] and will conclude at 1pm on Sunday with a rally at the barracks site. The rally will be addressed by former protesting Irish republican prisoners, as well as veterans of the Turkish hunger strike solidarity campaign and Palestine solidarity activists. There will also be candlelit vigils at the site on Friday and Saturday evening at 7pm.

Dé Domhnaigh, Deireadh Fómhair 16, 2011

Féile Dlúthpháirtíochta na mBascach i mBÁC
Tar éis rath an imeachta anuraidh, tá Coiste Dlúthpháirtíochta na mBascach in Áth Cliath ag tabhairt Fhéile Dlúthpháirtíochta na mBascach ar ais chun na hardchathrach don dara bliain i ndiaidh a chéile Dé Sathairn 22 Deireadh Fómhair.
Tugann an fhéile deis do rannpháirtithe fáil amach faoi ghnéithe éagsúla de shaol na mBascach, ó spórt agus ceol traidisiúnta, go bia, agus ar ndóigh go dtí an streachailt pholaitiúil leanúnach ar son na saoirse ón stát Spáinneach.
Tosaíonn sé ag 4in i gClub na Múinteoirí, Cearnóg Parnell le taispeántais ar chultúr na mBascach agus ar chur faoi chois polaitiúil agus frithbheartaíocht. Beidh bia agus deoch ar fáil freisin agus roinnt stalla eolais.
Ag 7in beidh caint ar an scéal polaitiúil faoi láthair i dTír na mBascach agus ina dhiaidh beidh daoncheol traidisiúnta Bascach ag 8in le Taberna Ibiltaria. Leanfaidh an ócáid ar aghaidh don oíche le rogha de cheol punc, ska agus rac Bascach.
Dé Domhnaigh [23 Deireadh Fómhair] beidh kantupoteo (raimleáil cheolmhar thraidisiúnta) ann, ag tosnú ag 12.30in agus faoi stiúr Taberna Ibiltaria.
Is annamh a fhaigheann ceist na mBascach aird ó na meáin, ach cé go bhfuil cur faoi chois stát na Spáinne dian go fóill, tá an iliomad bealach nuálach aimsithe ag na Bascaigh le frithbheartú agus le haistroid. Tá Fhéile Dlúthpháirtíochta na mBascach i mBaile Átha Cliath ag ofráil deis den scoth chun tuilleadh a fhoghlaim faoi streachailtí na mBascach agus chun dlúthpháirtíocht a léiriú le muintir aiséirithe eile san Eoraip.

 Basque Solidarity Festival in Dublin
Following the success of last year’s event, the Dublin Basque Solidarity Committee is bringing the Basque Solidarity Festival back to the capital for the second year running on Saturday 22 October.
The festival gives participants the opportunity to find out about various aspects of Basque life, from traditional music and sports, to food, and of course to the ongoing political struggle for independence from the Spanish state.
It begins at 4pm in the Teachers’ Club, Parnell Square with exhibitions on Basque culture and on political repression and resistance. There will also be food and drink available and a number of information stalls.
At 7pm there will be a talk on the current political situation in the Basque Country followed at 8pm by traditional Basque folk music with Taberna Ibiltaria. The event will continue on into the night with a selection of Basque punk, ska and rock music.
On Sunday [23 October], a kantupoteo (a traditional musical pub crawl) will take place, beginning at 12.30pm and led by Taberna Ibiltaria.
The Basque question rarely gains attention from the media, but while Spanish state repression remains severe, the Basque people have found diverse and innovative means of offering resistance and fighting on. The Dublin Basque Solidarity Festival offers a great chance for finding out more about the Basque struggles and for expressing solidarity for another of Europe’s risen people.

Dé hAoine, Deireadh Fómhair 14, 2011

Dozens join éirígí anti-EU/IMF Protest
Up to forty people last night joined an anti-EU/IMF protest outside the 26-County Department of Finance in Dublin. The picket was organised by éirígí to coincide with the latest visit by representatives of the EU/IMF/ECB ‘troika’ to Ireland’s capital city.

The colourful protest attracted the support of passing motorists and pedestrians alike. The presence of the republican protesters cannot have been missed by the troika delegation staying in the exclusive Merrion Hotel directly across the road from the Department of Finance.
Speaking at the protest éirígí Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan said,
“When the EU and IMF first arrived in Ireland many people welcomed them in the vain hope that they might represent a better option than the then Fianna Fáil/Green Party government. But with every passing month more and more people are coming to the realisation that this is not the case. The so-called troika are nothing more than a pack of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
“It is a simple fact that the EU and IMF are now in complete control of economic and social policy in the Twenty-Six Counties. And they are using this position of power to implement a draconian neo-liberal agenda of cutbacks, privatisation and increased taxation. That agenda needs to be steadfastly resisted in the workplace, in the community and on the streets.”
Louise continued with the promise of further protests against the EU and IMF, “Irish republicans have resisted foreign interference and aggression for centuries. The fight against British imperialism is the same fight as the one against EU and US imperialism. There are now clear signs that the honeymoon period for the EU and IMF is coming to an end.
“Tonight’s protest put down a marker for future opposition by éirígí and the wider socialist republican community to the dictates of Brussels and Washington. I would encourage anyone who cares about the very notion of Irish self-determination to join with us in building mass opposition to the politics of the EU and IMF.”

Dé Céadaoin, Deireadh Fómhair 12, 2011

Reactions to Pat Finucane inquiry rejection
Pat FinucaneRelatives of murdered human rights solicitor Pat Finucane met with British prime minister David Cameron yesterday [October 11], who rejected holding a public inquiry into the killing as recommended in the 2004 Cory Report. Below we carry statements from the Finucane family and from the Pat Finucane Centre [PFC] responding to this latest development...
Finucane family statement
The Finucane family met the British Prime Minister David Cameron and NI Secretary Owen Paterson at 10 Downing Street today to hear the Government’s decision on an inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane in Belfast in 1989. The family was asked to come to Downing Street by the Prime Minister following a re-appraisal of the case in order to assess whether holding an inquiry remained in the public interest.
Speaking after the meeting, Geraldine Finucane said:
“My family and I were invited to Downing Street by the Prime Minister to hear the decision of the Government about holding a public inquiry into the murder of my husband, Pat Finucane. I have been to meetings in 10 Downing Street before but this is the first time I have been invited by a Prime Minster. I was hopeful and optimistic about today’s meeting. I thought David Cameron intended to show courage and leadership on this issue. I thought he would confirm that his Government would establish a public inquiry. I dared to believe we might finally get the inquiry recommended by Judge Peter Cory in 2004.
I now know that courage and leadership on the issue of Pat’s murder remains absent. The Prime Minister said he did not intend to hold a public inquiry. Instead, he proposed a review of the case by a senior QC selected by the British Government.
After 23 years of campaigning, 23 years of questions, 23 years of travelling the world gathering support for a public inquiry into Pat’s murder, the offer of a ‘review of the papers’ is nothing less than an insult. My family and I were lured to Downing Street under false pretences. We thought we were going to be given the inquiry that was promised. Instead, the Government intends to do even less in Pat’s case than in the other cases that were part of the Cory process.
My family will not be allowed to participate in this review. We will not be permitted to question witnesses. We will not be given copies of documents. In short, we are being asked to accept the result of a process from which we are completely excluded. We are being asked to trust the British Government. We were told that we should accept Mr. Cameron’s assurance that this ‘review of the papers’ will get to the truth.
After 23 years, my family and I are beyond taking any British Prime Minister’s word for anything. We have no hesitation in rejecting this sham proposal and will not be participating in it under any circumstances. It is a shoddy, half-hearted alternative to a proper public inquiry. It is not what we have sought for the last 23 years. It represents yet another broken promise by the British Government who still fear a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane and cannot bring themselves to uncover or confront the truth.”

PFC Response to Finucane meeting with Prime Minister
Reacting to the outcome of the meeting this afternoon with British Prime Minister David Cameron the PFC shares the shock and concern of the Finucane family at the news that no Public Inquiry is to be held into the 1989 murder.
“The family have campaigned long and hard for an inquiry into the murder of Pat. They were told that a Public Inquiry would be set up by the British Government. The Irish Government was told that a Public Inquiry would be set up.
Instead the PM has told the family that a QC, Sir Desmond da Silva, will be asked to ‘review’ the available papers and then brief the family. This is an extraordinary turnaround which we find incomprehensible and unacceptable. We understand that the family will not cooperate in any shape or fashion with this ‘review’.
At the meeting they were told that this was the “best way forward”. This may be true for the security forces and agencies who wish to conceal the truth. It is certainly not the best way forward for the family.
It was claimed that witnesses are not ‘available’ and that this would negate the effectiveness of any inquiry. This is a shabby and scandalous excuse.
It is absolutely vital that any inquiry be allowed to delve into the involvement of the British Army Force Research Unit, RUC Special Branch and the Security Service MI5 in the murder. Britain is failing to honour the commitment it made at Weston Park to implement the recommendations of Judge Cory, the Canadian judge appointed by the two governments to evaluate the evidence in a number of contentious cases. He recommended a Public Inquiry into the murder.
Pat Finucane received death threats from members of the RUC. Using parliamentary privilege only weeks before the murder a Conservative Government minister accused members of the legal profession of being close to the IRA thus setting the scene for loyalist attacks on lawyers. Both RUC and FRU agents were involved in the murder of Pat Finucane. On February 12 1989 Pat was murdered in front of his family.
Those who would argue that the above facts are a not a matter for Public Inquiry should consider the words of Geraldine Finucane,
“I believe that it is a mistake to ignore cases of serious concern just because they are in the past. I believe the only way our society can move forward into a peaceful future is by examining the controversies of our past and exposing them fully for all to see. I believe this creates foundations of confidence, upon which a lasting peace can be built.”