2009 Published Letters

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Irish Voice: Sept. 16-22, 2009

Irish Emigrant: Sept 7, 2009

Jane Enright, Woodside, NY

Kennedy No Friend

I am writing in response to the plethora of letters, articles and eulogies to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy that has been printed in this paper and elsewhere.

 Many of the letters and articles published in this country allude to Sen. Kennedy as having been a ‘good friend of Ireland.’ I believe the opposite.

 Early in Sen. Kennedy’s political career he championed the cause of Irish reunification. However, he ultimately supported the Belfast Agreement (a/k/a the “Good Friday Agreement”) which recognized the political legitimacy of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom, gave unionist voters in the north the "veto" over the issue of reunification and required Ireland to relinquish its constitutional claim over the six northern counties.

 In addition, Kennedy accepted an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for which he was quoted as being "deeply grateful to her majesty the Queen and to Prime Minister Brown for this extraordinary honor.”

 Senator Kennedy a good friend of Ireland? I think not!

 


Irish Voice, Aug. 26 - Sept. 1, 2009

Thomas J. McCormack, Rahway, New Jersey

 “Violence Not the Answer”

I WAS quite amused at Kevin Hartnett’s letter “Violence Not the Answer” (June 18-24) which attacked a previous letter written by Jane Enright. Hartnett argues that unless you live in the “north,” you really have no right to comment on what is transpiring there.

This became clear when he attacked Ms. Enright for living in Woodside, New York, yet she holds an opposing opinion to the Good Friday Agreement. I guess that since I don’t live in the Darfur region of Sudan, I shouldn’t have the nerve to question the policies in that strife-ridden nation, should I, Mr. Hartnett?

Unfortunately, the type of criticism Mr. Hartnett engages in is short on substance and relies on personal attacks. Ms. Enright has the right to critique or criticize the agreement as much as Mr. Hartnett has the right to support it.

What should be discussed is the viability and facts surrounding these opposing views. What Ms. Enright is complaining about is the lack of openness and transparency on the part of Gerry Adams and his fellow travelers.

Mr. Adams’ recent U.S. tour on uniting Ireland had a presenter, Dr. Brendan O’Leary, who offered up a federation-style solution to Ireland. Anyone with a comprehensive knowledge of recent Irish history would realize that a federal solution was suggested by Sinn Fein over 35 years ago.

The author of that document was Daithi O’Conaill, and the solution offered was named Eire Nua. It is on record that Mr. Adams chose to dismiss this solution by calling it a “sop to unionism,” and opted to continue the war for another two-plus decades, resulting in a massive loss of life.

Mr. Hartnett should be asking Mr. Adams why did he support the war when all he had to do was support Eire Nua?

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Saoirse, August 2009

JANE ENRIGHT, New York

Stormont Agreement Vetoes United Ireland

A chara

I am writing about the Provisionals’ second US Unity Forum held on June 27 in San Francisco during which Gerry Adams stated that “Irish America holds the key to a united Ireland.”

Can someone please explain how Irish America holds the key to a united Ireland? Can someone please explain why no one in the media asks this question of Mr. Adams?

Gerry Adams knows perfectly well that Irish America has absolutely no say in the matter. Even if every single person in the worldwide Irish diaspora wanted Ireland reunited it wouldn’t make one bit of difference.

Gerry Adams knows exactly how a united Ireland can be achieved. He knows this because it is very clearly stated in the “Good Friday Agreement” which he signed.

In reference to reunification the document states: “to bring about a united Ireland…this right must be achieved and exercised with and subject to the agreement and consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland” (see page three of the agreement at www.nio.gov.uk/agreement.pdf).

Let’s at least be honest about how Ireland can be reunited. Since the majority of people living in the north are protestant and favor remaining in the ‘United Kingdom’ (ie unionists), the Agreement has given unionists veto power over the issue of Irish reunification.

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Irish Echo, July 29 - August 4, 2009

Thomas J. McCormack, Rahway, NJ

Tired of hearing it

“A paper union obtained by force and fraud, and never sanctioned or accepted by the Irish nation.” These are not the words of Pearse or Mitchell.

They are not words of Lynch, Mellows or Brugha. These are the words of British Prime Minister William Gladstone in 1886.

William Gladstone served during various periods as the prime minister in the mid to late 19th century. Mr. Gladstone’s comment was referring to the 1800 Act of Union which followed the defeat of the United Irishman and the Rising of 1798. Substitute the word “partition” for “paper union” and it accurately describes the current state of Ireland. The Government of Ireland act mimicked the Act of Union in much the same way. Neither Irishmen, nor Irishwomen, had a say in the outcome. The legislation was forced on the Irish nation by intimidation.

Unfortunately, today we see another British imposed “solution” to the century’s old conflict in Ireland. The problem has been, and will always be, the British occupation of the country. No solution, however well intended, will resolve the strife unless the true cause is accurately identified and subsequently  addressed. The Belfast/St. Andrew agreements fail to recognize these facts. Henceforth, working class Irish will suffer the consequences of these agreements. The statelet of Northern Ireland has never worked. It is artificial and contrived. The old paradigms should be abandoned. The concept of partition has never served he interests of the Irish nation.

Unfortunately, the architects of the Belfast agreement, namely Provisional Sinn Féin and the British government have conducted a public relations campaign over several years to sully the Eire Nua policy originally designed by Republican Sinn Féin in August of 1971.

Those who signed away the Six Counties, namely Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, campaigned against Eire Nua, calling it a “sop to unionists.”

Sadly, that “sop” would have delivered so much more than anything that the current Provisional leadership has to offer. It could be argued that the demise of Provisional Sinn Féin began in earnest during the 1981/82 time frame. It was during this period that non-republican elements within thatmovement began to dismantle Sinn Féin from the inside out, starting first with the Eire Nua document. Eire Nua provides for a democratic and fair system of representation so desperately needed on the island of Ireland. Undoubtedly, anyone willing to take the time to sit down and read this policy paper will see it as a refreshing, unique and insightful approach to what has been centuries of repression and despair.

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Belfast Telegraph, July 1, 2009

Jane Enright, New York

Adams begs question of how America can create united Ireland

During Sinn Fein’s second US Unity Forum, on June 27 in San Francisco, Gerry Adams stated that “Irish America holds the key to a united Ireland.”

Can someone please explain how Irish America holds the key to a united Ireland?

Can someone please explain why no one in the media asks this question of Mr Adams?

Mr Adams knows perfectly well that Irish America has absolutely no say in the matter.

Even if every single person in the worldwide Irish diaspora wanted Ireland reunited, it wouldn’t make one bit of difference.

Gerry Adams knows exactly how a united Ireland can be achieved. He knows this because it is very clearly stated in the Good Friday Agreement, which he signed.

In reference to reunification the document states: “to bring about a united Ireland... this right must be achieved and exercised with and subject to the agreement and consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland”.

(See page three of the agreement at www.nio.gov.uk/agreement.pdf ).

Let’s at least be honest about how Ireland can be reunited.

Since the majority of people living in the north are Protestant and favour remaining in the United Kingdom, the Good Friday Agreement has given unionists veto power over the issue of Irish reunification.

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Irish Voice, July 1-7, 2009

Jane Enright, Woodside, New York

A Real Irish Plan

I am writing in regard to the letter “Another North Plan” by Liam Quinn in the June 17-23 issue. Mr. Quinn attended the Sinn Fein conference at the New York Hilton on June 13 entitled “United Ireland: How Do We Get There?” He wrote that he expected to hear specific steps that Sinn Fein planned to take to achieve that goal, but left feeling disappointed and confused about the lack of specifics presented.

In his letter he wrote that outside the hotel he was given a flyer about the Irish-authored Eire Nua (New Ireland) peace proposal by a member of the National Irish Freedom Committee. Mr. Quinn wrote that “Eire Nua sounds a whole lot better than the Good Friday Agreement (GFA),” but until that day he did not know of its existence.

The reason many people have not heard about Eire Nua is because the U.S. government forbids Irish Eire Nua proponents from entering into this country.

Since 1974, our government has consistently denied entry visas to supporters of the Eire Nua peace proposal for a federal system of government, promoted by Republican Sinn Fein in Ireland and the National Irish Freedom Committee in the U.S.

It would seem that the U.S. government, under pressure from the British and 26-county free state governments, will permit Americans to hear about only one “peace process” for Ireland, the GFA.

Eire Nua would provide for peace and, unlike the GFA, would also provide a truly just system of government for people in all 32 counties of Ireland and a British withdrawal from the six counties in the North.

For more information about the Eire Nua peace see www.irishfreedom.net

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Irish Voice, July 1-7, 2009

Mary Gorman, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

No Unite Plan

I have been interested in Irish culture and politics my whole life, so it was of great interest to me to read in this paper that Gerry Adams would be speaking in New York City on the topic of a united Ireland. My husband and I live in Philadelphia so we decided to make a weekend of it in the Big Apple when the conference was on last month.

The conference was a big disappointment to both of us. First of all, we expected Mr. Adams to tell us specifically how his party planned to get us to our goal -- a 32 county Ireland.

Instead of telling us how Sinn Fein is going to accomplish this goal, he rambled on about the importance of the worldwide Irish Diaspora and how we all needed to get involved. He knows full well that even if all the Irish people in the entire world, including every person in the Republic of Ireland, voted tomorrow to reunite the country, it wouldn't make one bit of difference.

He knows this because he signed the Good Friday Agreement which states that reunification can occur only by the consent of a majority of voters in Northern Ireland!

We have never been supporters of his, but we used to at least believe that he wanted a reunited Ireland. No more. I think he was here only to keep the dollars flowing to his party’s coffers!

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Irish News (Belfast) June 27, 2009

Liam Quinn, Baltimore Maryland

Eire Nua provides roadmap to unity
I drove to New York City from Baltimore to attend Sinn Fein’s ‘United Ireland: How Do We Get There?’ forum.
As a native of north Belfast and having lived through the worst years of The Troubles, I was eager to hear Gerry Adams speak of Sinn Fein’s strategy to bring about the reunification of my country.
I left feeling rather disappointed and even confused.
I had thought that he would lay out a specific plan for how we would achieve a united Ireland by (hopefully) the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.
Instead he talked about the importance of the Irish diaspora and how we all need to get involved.
But he didn’t tell us how – and he only talked for about five minutes.
On my way out of the hotel, I was given a flyer by someone from a group called National Irish Freedom Committee. After looking up the group’s website, I learned about another Irish peace plan called ‘Eire Nua’.
I had never heard of this plan before. I have to say that the ‘Eire Nua’ sounds a whole lot better than the Good Friday Agreement.
I never could understand why Sinn Fein supported the agreement in the first place because it required Ireland to give up its constitutional claim to the north and requires a majority of northern voters to vote for reunification.
Still, I didn’t want Ireland to go back to the violent past.
I now believe there is an alternative to those two approaches to solving the Irish problem.

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Irish Echo, June 24-30, 2009

 Jane Enright, Woodside, NY

A retreating prospect

 Editor:

In an interview in the Belfast Telegraph, the Democratic Unionist Party candidate for the European Parliament,  Diana Dodds, claimed that “the DUP is preventing Sinn Féin from delivering on its manifesto by constantly frustrating and blocking the republican agenda.”

 Dodds stated that “no reasonable or impartial person could seriously suggest that devolution has been beneficial to Republicanism.” She said that the Provisionals’ manifesto was long on promises but had proved short on delivery and that through devolution “we have brought the Sinn Féin agenda to a grinding halt.”

 I consider myself a reasonable, though not impartial, person and I agree with her assessment 100 percent. Devolution has made the prospect for a united 32 county Ireland further away than perhaps ever. I do not understand how any republican or nationalist can continue to support Provisional Sinn Féin.

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Irish Voice, June 24-30, 2009

John Joe Brady , Flushing, New York

Conference A Let Down

 I am writing in regard to Niall O'Dowd's column, “A Game Plan for a United Ireland,” in last week's issue about Gerry Adams’ recent united Ireland conference.

I was born and raised in Co. Galway and have lived in New York for nearly 20 years. I attended the Sinn Fein conference at the Hilton Hotel, even though I stopped supporting Sinn Fein when they signed the Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

I do not agree with the GFA for three main reasons -- it took away political status from political prisoners (something that was important to Adams when he was imprisoned); it required Ireland to withdraw its constitutional claim to the Six Counties in the North; and because it required the consent of a majority of northern voters to approve of the reunification of my country. Essentially, what it did was reinforce partition.

I wanted to hear Mr. Adams present us with specifics about how we “get there.” He only spoke briefly and he did not give any specific plan for reunification. Professor Brendan O'Leary later spoke about a new federal solution that might “get us there.”

I do not agree with O'Dowd's apparent support of O'Leary's idea. O'Leary's plan would have the Six Counties remain within the United Kingdom in some sort of confederation with the 26 counties.

In other words, O'Leary's plan would simply add another layer of government and leave the North still occupied by Britain. Think of the cost of yet another level of bureaucracy.

More importantly, isn't the point to have a united Ireland?

There is another federal solution for Ireland, and it's been out there for decades. It's called Eire Nua (New Ireland).

Eire Nua calls for a four province federal system with maximum decentralization to the local and regional levels so that all people can have a say about their local housing, education, social welfare and other local public services. Regional councils would be responsible for infrastructure issues and revenue collection. Provincial assemblies would allocate funding and coordinate regional plans.

The National Parliament would be responsible solely for foreign affairs and defense. Again, local people would control local issues. This would all take place in the context of a British withdrawal, of course.

The Eire Nua federal plan is a comprehensive Irish-authored formula for a just and lasting peace in Ireland. It is promoted by Republican Sinn Fein in Ireland (www.rsf.ie) and by the National Irish Freedom Committee in the United States (www.irishfreedom.net).

It is a truly democratic system of government which -- as you Yanks say -- is by the people, for the people.

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Irish Voice, June 24-30, 2009

Mike Costello, Laurence Harbor, New Jersey

On the Outside 

On Saturday, June 13, I attended an information demonstration that was set up by Cumann Na Saoirse (CnS) activists outside the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan where Provisional Sinn Fein were holding a well publicized conference on Irish Unity. Later these activists became known as the “outsiders.”

A banner carried by the outsiders featured two full color sharply contrasting maps of Ireland. The first was an Éire Nua map, the proposed four province federal Ireland solution. The second map featured a Union Jack covering the six British occupied counties of north east Ireland.

A flyer that was handed out contrasted the Irish authored Éire Nua program with the realities of the British arranged Good Friday Agreement.

Many of those attending said that they were “hopeful” about the “event held on the inside.” Some wanted to know the reason for the information demo.

It was clear that many hopefuls felt that were about to witness a grand revelation about the secret path to a united Ireland that the charismatic Gerry Adams was about to announce.

However, a few were annoyed on seeing the Union Jack placed on the map of Ireland and stated they emphatically that those days were gone.

The information demo started at 11 a.m. and continued until the attendees thinned out shortly after noon. The light attendance was a source of disappointment for us, the outsiders, as we were looking forward to a busy morning engaging hopefuls who were in search of an elusive answer to their life long wish of a united Ireland.

Later, a few CnS activists who were on the inside felt the conference was boring, but became energized when they noticed that the hopefuls were checking Eire Nua handouts even as Professor Brendan Ó Leary was talking about a confederation of two states, not a four province federation of Ireland.

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Irish Echo, June 24-30, 2009 

Mary Gorman, Philadelphia, PA

Short on specifics

 Editor:

I have been interested in Irish culture and politics my whole life so it was of great interest to me to read in this paper that Gerry Adams would be speaking in New York City on the topic of a united Ireland. My husband and I live in Philadelphia so we decided to make a weekend of it in the Big Apple.

The conference was a big disappointment to both of us. First of all, we expected Mr. Adams to tell us specifically how his party planned to get us to our goal: a 32 county Ireland.

 Instead of telling us how Sinn Féin is going to accomplish this goal, he rambled on about the importance of the worldwide Irish diaspora and how we all needed to get involved. He knows full well that even if all the Irish people in the entire world, including every person in the Republic of Ireland, voted tomorrow to reunite the country, it wouldn’t make one bit of difference. He knows this because he signed the Good Friday Agreement which states that reunification can occur only by the consent of a majority of voters in Northern Ireland.

 We have never been supporters of his but we used to at least believe that he wanted a reunited Ireland. No more. I think he was here only to keep the dollars flowing to his party’s coffers.

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Irish Voice, June 17-23, 2009

Liam Quinn, Baltimore, Maryland

Another North Plan

I drove to New York from Baltimore to attend Sinn Fein’s “United Ireland: How Do We Get There” forum on Saturday. As a native of North Belfast and having lived through the worst years of The Troubles, I was eager to hear Gerry Adams speak about Sinn Fein’s strategy to bring about the reunification of my country.

I left feeling rather disappointed and even confused. I had thought that he’d lay out a specific plan for how we’d achieve a united Ireland by (hopefully) the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

Instead he talked about the importance of the Irish diaspora and how we all need to get involved. But he didn’t tell us how. And he only talked for about five minutes.

As I said, I left feeling confused by the conference and tired after a long drive from Baltimore. On my way out of the hotel I was given a flyer by someone from a group called National Irish Freedom Committee. I was kind of in a hurry to get home so we didn’t speak long.

When I got home I read his flyer and looked up the group’s website. There I learned about another Irish peace plan called Eire Nua.

I never heard about this peace plan before. I have to say that the Eire Nua plan sounds a whole lot better than the Good Friday Agreement.

I never could understand why Sinn Fein supported the Good Friday Agreement in the first place because it required Ireland to give up its constitutional claim to the North and requires a majority of northern voters to vote for reunification. Still, I didn’t want Ireland to go back to the violent past.

Now I have learned that there is an alternative to those two approaches to solving the Irish problem. For more information about the Eire Nua peace plan see www.irishfreedom.net.

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Irish Voice, June 10-16, 2009

Gerry Magee, Bronx, New York

 Why the Forums

As advertised in this paper and elsewhere, Provisional Sinn Fein (PSF) President Gerry Adams and PSF’s U.S. representative, Rita O’Hare, will be hosting a forum in New York City on June 13 entitled, “United Ireland – How Do We Get There?” A second forum will be held in San Francisco later this month.

I am puzzled about why PSF is going to the trouble and expense of holding these events. After all, both Adams and British Crown Minister Martin McGuinness regularly hold press conferences in which they claim that their party has all the answers, and that only they can bring about a united Ireland. If they have the plan for uniting Ireland, what is the purpose of the New York and San Francisco forums?

The fact of the matter is that PSF doesn’t have a plan for uniting Ireland. Adams, et al, often refer to the British-authored “Good Friday Agreement” as the framework to bring about reunification. However, before accepting that claim at face value I would suggest you all actually read the agreement (online at www.nio.gov.uk/the-agreement). There is nothing in it to support such a claim.

The provisionals claim that so-called “dissident Republicans” have no plan, no strategy and no support. To the contrary -- the Irish-authored Eire Nua peace policy, espoused by Republican Sinn Fein in Ireland and the National Irish Freedom Committee in the U.S., would provide for an all-Ireland, four province federal system of government in the context of a British withdrawal from the six occupied counties (see www.rsf.ie/eirenua and irishfreedom.net).

It is clear to me that the provos are the dissidents and the real Republicans are those who remain true to the Fenian ideal of a 32 county Ireland free from British control.

Again I ask, if the provos have the plan to achieve a united Ireland, what is the purpose of these forums?

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Irish Voice, June 3-9, 2009

Jane Enright, Woodside, New York

What united Ireland? 

In an interview in May 26th’s Belfast Telegraph, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) candidate for the European Parliament, Diana Dodds, claimed that “the DUP is preventing (Provisional) Sinn Fein from delivering on its manifesto by constantly frustrating and blocking the Republican agenda."

Dodds stated that “no reasonable or impartial person could seriously suggest that devolution has been beneficial to Republicanism.”

She said that the Provisionals’ manifesto was long on promises but had proved short on delivery and that through devolution “we have brought the Sinn Fein agenda to a grinding halt.”

I consider myself a reasonable, though not impartial, person, and I agree with her assessment 100%.

Devolution has made the prospect for a united 32 county Ireland further away than perhaps ever. I do not understand how any Republican or Nationalist can continue to support Provisional Sinn Fein.

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Irish Echo, May 27-June 2, 2009

 Míceál Ó Coisdealbha, Metuchen, NJ

A sign of things to come

Editor:

John McDonagh, Radio Free Éireann host, recently played speeches from the 1986 Sinn Féin ard fheis by both Ruairi ÓBradaigh and Martin McGuinness.

In what was meant to be a fiery speech, McGuinness promised a new expressway to deliver an all Ireland republic. Ó Brádaigh however, stated quite emphatically that Mr. McGuinness and company, would, by following their planned departure, be absorbed into the status quo and would be in the forefront of administering British rule in Ireland. The welcome appearance and comments by Martin Galvin later on the show added to the historic context.

The show brought back memories of a discussion that I had with Ó Brádaigh after the launch of the Éire Nua federal proposals by therepublican movement in 1972. At that time, he said that the early success of the Éire Nua discussion with the pro-British groups in the occupied six counties was most encouraging and that it had raised hopes for a peaceful and just solution in the context of a British withdrawal from Ireland

He added what I later thought were prophetic words when he said that Éire Nua was a program for all the people and hoped that the forces of status quo would not scuttle it, thus leading to further problems in Ireland. In a sign of things to come he was denied entry to the U.S. shortly afterwards.

Well, instead of peace for the all people in Ireland, they got another British arrangement based on a sectarian head count and they gotMartin McGuinness being pictured with members of the British war machine in Ireland, insisting that people support the British presence in Ireland by informing.

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Irish Echo, May 13-19, 2009

 Jane Enright, Woodside, New York

 Out in full force

Editor:

The Provisional Sinn Féin spin machine is out in full force. A few weeks ago, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said that republicans who do not accept British rule in Ireland are “traitors to the island of Ireland.” Now Minister Gerry Kelly has stated that “dissident republicans” (sic) are “sincere” but on the “wrong road.” That was the essence of his remarks at an Easter commemoration

in Lurgan, County Armagh. I have a big problem with the current use of the term “dissident republicans.” According to the Merriam-

Webster dictionary, dissidents are those who disagree “especially with an established religious or political system, organization,

or belief.”

In actual fact, the so-called mainstream republicans, ie. Provisional Sinn Féin, are the true dissidents. They are the ones who parted from traditional republicanism. They are the ones who have accepted British rule in the Six Counties. Not only do they have no

problem administering British rule, they are attempting to rewrite history and label Irish patriots as traitors. The so-called dissidents are the true republicans today. True republicans recognize the mandate of the First Dáil Eireann of 1919 as the justification to pursue and promote a united and free Ireland. This all-Ireland parliament was convened as a result of the only all-Ireland general election,

which was won in 1918 by republicans invoking the principles of Wolfe Tone and the 1916 declaration of an Irish Republic.

Wolfe Tone, the father of Irish Republicanism, stood for two basic principles: to unite the whole people of Ireland, regardless of religious conviction, and to break the connection with England, the never ending source of all political evil. Despite their illustrious

political careers, it would seem that Adams, McGuinness, Kelly and their ilk have failed to learn a basic history lesson: as long as there is British occupation in Ireland, true republicans will oppose it. 

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Irish Emigrant, April 20-26, 2009

 Jane Enright, Woodside, N.Y

History brush-up needed

To the editor:

The Provisional Sinn Fein spin machine is out in full force. A few weeks ago, British Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said that Republicans who do not accept British rule in Ireland are "traitors to the island of Ireland."

Now British Minister Gerry Kelly has stated that 'dissident republicans' (sic) are "sincere" but on the wrong road."

That was the essence of his remarks at an Easter commemoration in Lurgan, County Armagh.

I have a big problem with the current use of the term “dissident Republicans.” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, dissidents are those who disagree "especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief."

In actual fact, the so-called mainstream republicans, i.e., Provisional Sinn Fein, are the true dissidents. They are the ones who parted from traditional republicanism. They are the ones who have accepted British rule in the Six Counties. Not only do they have no problem administering British rule, they are attempting to rewrite history and label Irish patriots as traitors!

The so-called “dissidents” are the true Republicans today. True Republicans recognize the mandate of the First Dail Eireann (1919) as the justification to pursue and promote a united and free Ireland. This all-Ireland parliament was convened as a result of the only all-Ireland general election, which was won in 1918 by republicans invoking the principles of Wolfe Tone and the 1916 Declaration of an IrishRepublic.

Wolfe Tone, the father of Irish Republicanism, stood for two basic principles: to unite the whole people of Ireland regardless of religious conviction and to break the connection with England, the never ending source of all political evil.

Despite their illustrious political careers, it would seem that Adams, McGuinness, Kelly and their ilk have failed to learn a basic history lesson: as long as there is British occupation in Ireland, true Republicans s will oppose it.

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Irish Voice, April 15-21, 2009

Jane Enright, Woodside, New York

 Sinn Fein are Dissidents

The Provisional Sinn Fein spin machine is out in full force. A few weeks ago, British Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said that republicans who do not accept British rule in Ireland are "traitors to the island of Ireland."

Now British Minister Gerry Kelly has stated that "dissident Republicans" (sic) are "sincere" but on the "wrong road." That was the essence of his remarks at an Easter commemoration in Lurgan, Co. Armagh.

I have a big problem with the current use of the term "dissident Republicans."
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, dissidents are those who disagree, "especially with an established religious or political system, organization or belief."

In actual fact, the so-called mainstream Republicans, i.e. Provisional Sinn Fein, are the true dissidents. They are the ones who parted from traditional republicanism.

They are the ones who have accepted British rule in the six counties. Not only do they have no problem administering British rule, they are attempting to rewrite history and label Irish patriots as traitors!

The so-called "dissidents" are the true Republicans today. True Republicans recognize the mandate of the First Dail Eireann (1919) as the justification to pursue and promote a united and free Ireland.

This all-Ireland Parliament was convened as a result of the only all-Ireland general election, which was won in 1918 by Republicans invoking the principles of Wolfe Tone and the 1916 Declaration of an Irish Republic.

Wolfe Tone, the father of Irish republicanism, stood for two basic principles -- to unite the whole people of Ireland regardless of religious conviction, and to break the connection with England, the never ending source of all political evil.

Despite their illustrious political careers, it would seem that Adams, McGuinness, Kelly and their ilk have failed to learn a basic history lesson -- as long as there is British occupation in Ireland, true Republicans will oppose it.

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Irish Voice, March 18-24, 2009

Mike Costelloe, Laurence Harbor, New Jersey

Killings Were Avoidable

The recent loss of lives in the British controlled six Irish counties state is truly regrettable in that it need not have happened if the very people responsible for having created the problem in the first place did not coin the latest so-called solution to the "Irish problem."

 It is exasperating to see the cynical protests by the very people who deliberately derailed the Eire Nua (New Ireland) federal proposals of 1972.

 The current British authored solution, the Good Friday Agreement, is nothing other than the reapportionment of local power that rewards Irish warlords and others who agreed to administer and enforce the agreement.

 As have other solutions in the past, this too is bound to fail as it is based on the sectarian partition of Ireland enforced by military might and nurtured by political expediency. This arrangement continues to deny the people of both traditions in Ireland an opportunity to work together to build a nation in which all could prosper and live in peace as envisioned in Eire Nua.

 Had this visionary and inclusive Irish authored proposal been allowed to take root, it is safe to say that mamy of the 3,000-plus deaths that have since occurred in Ireland's conflict would have been avoidable. It is time long overdue that the international community reviews the merits of Eire Nua. 

Finally, the U.S. government has shared responsibility for having catered to the wishes of Dublin and London by refusing visas to the proponents of Eire Nua since 1974. It is high time that the American people were allowed to make their own judgments on matters with such grave consequences.

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Irish Emigrant March 9-15, 2009

Jane Enright,  Woodside, New York

I am writing in response to Michael Cummings' letter of March 4 about the Obama administration and its Northern Ireland foreign policy. I agree with many of his points, however, I do take exception with some of them, specifically about the U.S. State Department's visa denial policy.

He stated that "Under previous presidents the State Department's Irish Desk was under virtual British dictation; demanding visas be denied to dissenting voices in Ireland" and that "It was a senseless policy later reversed, albeit tepidly, by President (Bill) Clinton."
That is not the case! The visa denial policy was not reversed. Yes, it is true, that Gerry Adams was finally granted a visa in 1994 to enter the United States. However, proponents of the Eire Nua Peace Proposal--an alternative peace plan to the so-called Good Friday Agreement -- are still not allowed into the U.S.

Irish-authored ÉIRE NUA (New Ireland) peace proposal for a four-province federal system of government with self-governing parliaments in each of the four provinces, as promoted by Republican Sinn Féin in Ireland and the National Irish Freedom Committee in the United States, would provide for a lasting peace and a truly just system of government for all people.

Since 1974, our government has consistently denied entry visas to supporters of the Irish-authored Eire Nua (New Ireland) peace proposal for a federal system of government, promoted by Republican Sinn Fein in Ireland and the National Irish Freedom Committee in the United States.

It would seem that the U.S. government, under pressure from the British and 26-County Free State governments, will permit Americans to hear about only one peace process for Ireland: the GFA. Eire Nua would provide for peace and, unlike the GFA, would also provide a truly just system of government for people in all 32 counties of Ireland and a British withdrawal from the six counties in the north.

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Irish Voice, March 11-17, 2009:
Jane Enright, Woodside, New York

Visa Denial Still Happens

I am writing in response to Michael Cummings' letter in last week's issue about the Obama administration and its Northern Ireland foreign policy. I agree with many of his points.

However, I do take exception with some of them, specifically about the U.S. State Department's visa denial policy.

Cummings stated "Under previous presidents the State Department's Irish desk was under virtual British dictation, denying visas  to dissenters like Gerry Adams..." He  also wrote, "It was a senseless policy later reversed by President Clinton."

That is not the case! The visa denial policy was not reversed.

Yes, it is true, that Gerry Adams was finally granted a visa in 1994 to enter the U.S. However, proponents of the Eire Nua peace proposal--an alternative peace plan to the so-called Good Friday Agreement -- are still not allowed into the U.S.

Since 1974, our government has consistently denied entry visas to supporters of the Irish-authored Eire Nua (New Ireland) peace proposal for a federal system of government, promoted by Republican Sinn Fein in Ireland and the National Irish Freedom Committee (www.irishfreedom.net) in the U.S.

It would seem that the U.S. government, under pressure from the British and 26-county free state governments, will permit Americans to hear about only one "peace process" for Ireland -- the Good Friday Agreement.

Eire Nua would provide for peace and, unlike the agreement, would also provide a truly just system of government for people in all 32 counties of Ireland, and a British withdrawal from the six counties in the north.
 

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Irish Echo, March 4 -10, 2009"

Jane Enright, Woodside, NY

Gerry Adams claims that having two health systems, two education systems and competing economies on a single island is not logical. He says that Ireland, North and South, needs a new joined-up economic strategy for the 21st century.  What Ireland needs is a one-Ireland, united Ireland strategy. Eire Nua is a peace policy, espoused by Republican Sinn Fein in Ireland and the National Irish Freedom Committee in the U.S that would provide for an all-Ireland four province resolution resulting in a federal solution to the mess that is currently dubbed the Good Friday Agreement.

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Irish American News (Chicago), Feb. 2009 

Jane Enright, Woodside, New York

We Get Letters

Gerry Adams is a brilliant politician. I do not mean that as a compliment. It’s hard for me to admit that I once admired the man. I now

believe that he is a scoundrel who has incrementally sold out the nationalist people. He has changed positions and backed out of

promises made to Irish republicans countless times. But he has done it brilliantly. Instead of making a giant political u-turn he makes one major reversal every year or so, hoping that no one will notice them adding up. And the major media never seems to notice!

The latest reversal is backing down on his often stated goal of achieving a united Ireland by 2016. In his New Year’s interview

he stated “As we approach the one hundredth anniversary of the 1916 Rising we are asking the Irish Diaspora to put its full weight behind a renewed campaign for Irish re-unification.” He made no mention of the 2016 target date. In fact he suggested that it could be possible in another 40 years!

Where is the outrage at the nerve of this guy? He calls himself a republican but the fact is that Mr. Adams and the rest of Provisional

Sinn Fein have achieved NOTHING to move us closer to a 32 county Ireland. In fact, they have only helped to reinforce partition and secure the 6 counties’ position as part of the UK.

Gerry Adams has not fooled me. He’s a disgrace to Irish Republicanism. He can organize all the “Make Partition History” campaigns he

wants but I know “The Emperor’s New Clothes”  story when I see it. It’s time to admit that the “Good Friday Agreement” has failed. It could never bring about a united Ireland.

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Saoirse Feb. 12, 2009

Jane Enright, Woodside, NY, USA

ÉIRE NUA The Solution

A chara

So, partition has crippled Ireland, says Gerry Adams (Irish Times, January 22, 2009). Adams claims that having two health systems, two education systems and competing economies on a single island is not logical. He says that “Ireland, North and South, needs a new joined-up economic strategy for the 21st century...” What Ireland needs is a one-Ireland, united Ireland strategy.

ÉIRE NUA is a peace policy, espoused by Republican Sinn Féin in Ireland and the National Irish Freedom Committee (www.irishfreedom.net) in the US that would provide for an all-Ireland four-province solution resulting in a Federal solution to

the mess that is currently dubbed the “Good Friday Agreement”.

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Irish Echo, Feb. 11-17, 2009
Jane Enright, Woodside, NY

Declaration meets the Proclamation

Editor:
I was in our nation’s capitol for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. The feeling of optimism and elation among the crowds of people we met on the streets reminded me of the “peace and love” days of the ‘60s and ‘70s. There was something very different in the air. Everyone was smiling and happy. To be in Washington for this historic event was an experience I will never forget.

When I returned home I was inspired to read the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which I have not read for a long time. It is a timeless document espousing the values on which this country was founded. But 232 years later, does our society and government policies truly reflect “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?”

We have some work still to do in that regard. But at this historic time we have the opportunity and responsibility to support our new president in moving toward those ideals for all Americans.

While reading the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and being a longtime Irish activist, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between it and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, read by Pádraig Pearse outside the GPO at the start of the Easter Rising in
1916.

The Easter Proclamation’s statement declaring “the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible” has not yet been realized.

Six counties are still occupied and governed by a foreign power. Once Britain withdraws and Ireland is reunited, Ireland will be able to “prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.”


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Irish Voice, Feb. 11-17, 2009
Miceál O Coisdealbha, Laurence Harbor, New Jersey

British Greed

As time goes by more light is being shed on the deteriorating conditions in Ireland. Many are wondering what went wrong after the massive effort that was put into restoring political and economic unity to the Irish nation.

Republicans especially would do well to remember that as far back as 1972, the Republican movement chose a clearly defined peaceful path when they put forward a federal solution, which were the geneses of the Eire Nua program. Enshrined in Eire Nua was Saol Nua (New Life), which was economic proposals based on the work of (of all people) E.F. Schumacher, a British economist whose theory was that the economy was greed-based and consequently dehumanizing and bound to fail.

The perceived problem with Eire Nua was that it not only recognized the British presence as a problem, but it also included the deep rooted, old political families on both sides of the border that owed their very existence to the illegal border. The combination of British interest and native greed deprived all of the people of Ireland of a potential economic and political miracle at that time.

Instead the people were subjected to a massive reign of terror that included alternative British concessions ultimately leading to the present "carrot or kill" strategy carried out by their recently appointed warlords.


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Irish Voice, Feb. 4-10, 2009
Gerry Magee, Bronx, New York

Republican Traitor

I am writing in reference to Jane Enright's letter "Adams Is a Failure" in the issue of January 21-27.

She said it like it is. Gerry Adams has sold out Republican principles for his own political and financial advantage.

And just like in the story "The Emperor's New Clothes," the world press and American politicians seem unwilling to call Mr. Adams on his about-faces on all Irish Republican positions. He is no longer a Republican but a traitor and turn-coat.

Thank you to the Irish Voice for airing multiple points of view on Irish issues.

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Astoria Times-Ledger Feb. 2-8, 2009
Jane Enright, Woodside, New York

Nations on Road to Espousing Ideas in the Declaration of Independence

Last week, I was in our nation's capital for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States.

The feeling of optimism and elation among the crowds of people we met on the streets reminded me of the "peace and love" days of the 60s and '70s. There was something very different in the air. Everyone was smiling and happy. To be in Washington for this historic event was an experience I will never forget.

When I returned home I was inspired to read the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which I have not read for a long time. It is a timeless document espousing the values on which this country was founded.

But 232 years later, does our society and government policies reflect "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?" We still have some work to do in that regard, but at this historic time, we have the opportunity and responsibility to support our new president in moving toward those ideals for all Americans.

Also, while reading the Declaration, and being a long-time Irish activist, I could not help but notice the similarities between it and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, read by Padraig Pearse outside the GPO at the start of the Easter Rising in 1916.

The proclamation's statement that "[w]e declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible" has not yet been realized.

Six counties are still occupied and governed by a foreign power. Once Britain withdraws and Ireland is reunited, Ireland will be able to "prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called."

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Irish Emigrant, Feb. 2-8, 2009

Jane Enright, Woodside, NY 11377

Inspired by Obama Inauguration

Last week, I was in our nation's capitol for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

The feeling of optimism and elation among the crowds of people we met on the streets reminded me of the "peace and love" days of the 60's and 70's. There was something very different in the air. Everyone was smiling and happy. To be in Washington for this historic event was an experience I will never forget.

When I returned home I was inspired to read the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which I have not read for a long time. It is a timeless  document espousing the values on which this country was founded. But 232 years later, does our society and government policies truly reflect "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?" We have some work still to do in that regard. But at this historic time we have the opportunity and responsibility to support our new president in moving toward those ideals for all Americans.

While reading the U.S. Declaration of Independence - and being a long-time Irish activist - I couldn't help but notice the similarities between it and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, read by Pádraig Pearse outside the GPO at the start of the Easter Rising in 1916. The Easter Proclamation's statement that "(w)e declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible" has not yet been realized.


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Irish Voice  - Jan. 28 - Feb. 3, 2009
Jane Enright - Woodside, New York

Ireland's Destiny Unrealized
Last week, I was in our nation's capital for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States.

The feeling of optimism and elation among the crowds of people we met on the streets reminded me of the "peace and love" days of the 60s and 70s. There was something very different in the air.

Everyone was smiling and happy. To be in Washington for this historic event was an experience I will never forget.

When I returned home I was inspired to read the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which I have not read for a long time. It is a timeless document espousing the values on which this country was founded.

But 232 years later, do our society and government policies truly reflect "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?"

We have some work still to do in that regard. But at this historic time we have the opportunity and responsibility to support our new president in moving toward those ideals for all Americans.

While reading the Declaration of Independence - and being a long-time Irish activist - I couldn't help but notice the similarities between it and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, read by Padraig Pearse outside the GPO at the start of the Easter Rising in 1916.

The Easter Proclamation's statement that "(we) declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible" has not yet been realized.

Six counties are still occupied and governed by a foreign power. Once Britain withdraws and Ireland is reunited, Ireland will be able to "prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called."

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 Irish News (Belfast) - Jan. 28, 2009

Jane Enright - Woodside, New York

Gerry Adams doesn’t fool me

Gerry Adams is a brilliant politician. I don’t mean that as a compliment. It’s hard for me to admit that I once admired the man.

I now believe he has incrementally sold out the nationalist people. He has changed positions and backed out of promises made to Irish Republicans countless times. But he has done it brilliantly.

Instead of making a giant political u-turn, he makes one major reversal every year or so, hoping that no-one will notice them adding up. And the media never seems to notice.

The latest reversal is backing down on his often-stated goal of achieving a united Ireland by 2016.

In his new year’s interview he stated: ‘‘As we approach the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising we are asking the Irish diaspora to put its full weight behind a renewed campaign for Irish re-unification.’’ HHe never even mentioned the 2016 target date. In fact, he suggested it could be possible in another 40 years.

Where is the popular outrage at the nerve of this guy? He still calls himself a republican. But Mr Adams and the rest of Provisional Sinn Fein have done nothing to move us closer to a 32-county Ireland. They have only helped to reinforce partition and secure the six counties as part of the UK.

Gerry Adams has not fooled me. He’s a disgrace to Irish republicanism. He can organise all the ‘Make Partition History’ campaigns he wants but I know ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ story when I see it. It’s time to admit that the Good Friday Agreement has failed. It never could bring about a united Ireland.

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Irish Voice Jan. - 21-27, 2009

Jane Enright - Woodside, New York

Adams is a Failure

Gerry Adams is a brilliant politician. I do not mean that as a compliment.

It's hard for me to admit that I once admired the man. I now believe that he is a scoundrel who has incrementally sold out the Nationalist people.

He has changed positions and backed out of promises made to Irish Republicans countless times. But he has done it brilliantly.

Instead of making a giant political u-turn he makes one major reversal every year or so, hoping that no one will notice them adding up. And the major media never seems to notice!

The latest reversal is backing down on his often-stated goal of achieving a united Ireland by 2016. In a New Year's interview he stated, "As we approach the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising we are asking the Irish diaspora to put its full weight behind a renewed campaign for Irish re-unification." He made no mention of the 2016 target date. In fact he suggested that it could be possible in another 40 years!

Where is the outrage at the nerve of this guy? He calls himself a Republican, but the fact is that Mr. Adams and the rest of Provisional Sinn Fein have achieved nothing to move us closer to a 32 county Ireland. In fact, they have only helped to reinforce partition and secure the six counties' position as part of the U.K.

Adams has not fooled me. He's a disgrace to Irish Republicanism. He can organize all the "Make Partition History" campaigns he wants, but I know "The Emperor's New Clothes" story when I see it.

It's time to admit that the Good Friday Agreement has failed. It could never bring about a united Ireland.

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Irish Examiner (USA) - Jan. 14, 2009

Jane Enright - Woodside, New York

Gerry Adams is a brilliant politician

Gerry Adams is a brilliant politician. I do not mean that as a compliment. It's hard for me to admit that I once admired the man. I now believe that he is a scoundrel who has incrementally sold out the nationalist people.

He has changed positions and backed out of promises made to Irish republicans countless times. But he has done it brilliantly. Instead of making a giant political u-turn he makes one major reversal every year or so, hoping that no one will notice them adding up. And the major media never seems to notice!

The latest reversal is backing down on his often stated goal of achieving a united Ireland by 2016. In his New Year's interview he stated "As we approach the one hundredth anniversary of the 1916 Rising we are asking the Irish Diaspora to put its full weight behind a renewed campaign for Irish re-unification." He made no mention of the 2016 target date. In fact he suggested that it could be possible in another 40 years!

Where is the outrage at the nerve of this guy? He calls himself a republican but the fact is that Mr. Adams and the rest of Provisional Sinn Fein have achieved NOTHING to move us closer to a 32 county Ireland. In fact, they have only helped to reinforce partition and secure the 6 counties' position as part of the UK.

Gerry Adams has not fooled me. He's a disgrace to Irish Republicanism. He can organize all the "Make Partition History" campaigns he wants but I know "The Emperor's New Clothes" story when I see it.

It's time to admit that the "Good Friday Agreement" has failed. It could never bring about a united Ireland.

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