2010 Published Letters

Irish Voice Dec. 15-21, 2010 plus Irish Emigrant, Dec. 20, 2010

 Christmas swim in support of prisoners

At this time of year many of us are busy getting prepared for Christmas -- buying gifts for loved ones, planning the dinner menu, baking cookies, looking forward to being with our families and friends, etc.

 At present there are nearly 100 Irish Republican political prisoners being held in British and Irish prisons on both sides of Britain's border in Ireland and in England. They cannot share any of these Christmas joys with their families.

 There are no dinners at home feasting on favorite home-cooked holiday dishes. There’s no family midnight Mass or opening presents Christmas mornings.
These prisoners have spouses, children, parents and siblings from whom they are separated at Christmas. Their families need the support of others who care about the sacrifices these young men have made for their country.

That is why I support the annual Cabhair Christmas Swim, which will again be held this year on Christmas morning at the Grand Canal in Inchicore, Dublin.

 Cabhair supports dependants and family members of Republican political prisoners. For more information please see www.irishfreedom.net. Every single dollar will help brighten someone’s Christmas.

Jane Enright  Woodside, NY

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Published in the Irish Post in England July 2010

Republicans will prevail

IN RESPONSE to the, ‘Dissidents must not be allowed to win,’ article (The Irish Post, July 21).
The recent Troubles in the North of Ireland are a direct result of the British-arranged peace process.
This British arrangement enhances the British-fostered hate and distrust in the North; the hate and distrust the British rely on to maintain their presence in Ireland.
The Good Friday Agreement (not sure what they call it now) is deeprooted in sectarianism, and no Irish republican would ever support, or promote, a scheme like this. Irish republicanism is based on unity without interference from a foreign invader.
The Provisionals have ‘dissented’ from Irish republican principles; they do not represent the movement.
The young people in the North are expressing their discontent with their current environment, and what lies ahead for the future.
This is alarming because they are the future of Ireland. Irish republicans have promoted the Irish Federal Proposal, ‘Eire Nua’, for many years.
This viable solution has been ruthlessly censored in England, Ireland, and even the United States.
The British and Dublin Governments are fearful of this proposal. In the context of a British declaration of intent to withdraw from Ireland, Eire Nua proposes the drafting of a new All-Ireland constitution, incorporating a bill of rights to guarantee individual freedoms irregardless of religious or political affiliations.
Eire Nua proposes a four-province federal government, a government that would address the fear and distrust by providing access to authentic national power-sharing in a nine-county Ulster Parliament.
The British and Dublin Governments have a vested interest in the current partitionist set-up in Ireland.
They have gone to great lengths to discredit the proponents of this viable peace proposal, and this is at the expense of the people of Ireland and Britain.
Irish history has proved that as long as the British remain in Ireland there will always be resistance, and we are seeing that resistance in the North today.

Brian Wardlow, Rahway, New Jersey, USA

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Irish News (Belfast) July 29, 2010

Dissidents are the true republicans of today

I completely agree with Sam Caskey (July 20) ‘Sinn Fein has betrayed republican principles.’ In fact, I would go one step further and label Provisional Sinn Féin as the true dissidents from the Republican Movement.
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 Adams, McGuinness, et al have no problem administering British rule, they are attempting to rewrite history and label Irish patriots as traitors.
 Those called ‘dissidents’ by the media 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.
Despite their illustrious political careers, it would seem that Adams, McGuinness, 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. 
Jane Enright
Woodside, NY

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Belfast Telegraph, Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Marches should be banned from nationalist areas

I am writing in reference to the coverage of this year's Twelfth Orange marches in your publication and other publications.

I have a big problem with the media's and politicians' focus only on the alleged 'rioters' in Ardoyne, while not mentioning the fact that residents were protesting against yet another bigoted, hateful march being forced through their neighbourhood.

The rebranding of sectarian marches as 'Orangefest' is a transparent attempt to reposition a negative into a positive.

Consider the reaction to a US group establishing 'Whitefest' to promote white culture and celebrate the alleged superiority of whites over blacks, Asians, etc.

What if members of this group wanted to dress as Ku Klux Clan members, skinheads and nazis and parade through traditionally black and Jewish neighbourhoods while singing pro-white, racist songs? No one would allow such a thing to happen.

The solution to marching disputes is simple to me: ban them in mixed and nationalist areas.

They foment anger and distrust between Protestants and Catholics.

JANE ENRIGHT

Woodside, NY, USA

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Irish Echo August 4 - 10, 2010

I am writing in reference to the coverage of this year’s July 12th Orange marches in this and other publications. I have a big problem with the media and politicians’ focusing only on the alleged “rioters” in Ardoyne while not mentioning the fact that residents were protesting yet another bigoted, hateful march being forced through their neighborhood!  

The re-branding of sectarian marches as “Orangefest” is a transparent attempt to reposition a negative into a positive. Consider public reaction to a U.S. group establishing “Whitefest” to promote white culture and to celebrate the alleged superiority of whites over blacks, Jews, Asians, etc. What if members of this group wanted to dress as Ku Klux Clan members, skinheads and Nazis and parade through traditionally black and Jewish neighborhoods while singing pro-white, racist songs? No one would allow such a thing to happen.  

The solution to marching disputes seems simple to me: ban them in mixed and nationalist areas, and forever. Personally, I believe that these archaic marches should be banned once and for all in all neighborhoods. They only foment anger and distrust between Protestants and Catholics.

  Jane Enright

Woodside, New York

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Irish Echo, July 28 – August 3, 2010

 Culture yes, UK no

 Let me get this straight. Martin McGuinness wanted Derry to become the UK City of Culture as stated in his recent op-ed article. Mr. McGuiness claims to be an Irish republican. However, no self-respecting republican would ever say that Derry is in the United Kingdom. We all know that Derry is one of the six Irish counties still occupied by the British. Derry is definitely a city of culture, but, regardless of the outcome of this competition, Derry will never be a UK city of culture.

 Gerry Magee

Bronx, NY

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Saoirse, July2010

Appalling Prison Condition

 A chara

I am very concerned about the appalling living conditions of Republican prisoners in Maghaberry Jail. There has been very little media attention to this issue. You would be providing a public service by drawing your readers' attention to the plight of Republican prisoners in the North. 

On June 21, 2010, the POW Department of Republican Sinn Féin once again highlighted the plight of the protesting Republican POWs in Roe House, Maghaberry Jail, Co. Antrim and a brief outline of the reasons for the protest:  

The protesting Republican POWs in Roe House, Maghaberry Jail, Co. Antrim began a dirty protest on June 6. Their protest escalated when the prison authorities refused to implement an agreement made with the prisoners at Easter to address their concerns at the conditions.  

The POWs have for some time tried to resolve the problems which they saw as unacceptable. These included long lock-up from anything between 14 to 21 hours per day, especially at the weekends. The controlled movement operated at the jail meant that only three prisoners were out of their cells at any given time, which also contributed to the long lock-up.  

Education facilities were practically nonexistent, and the general atmosphere, and indeed ethos, of the prison wardens was oppressive and restrictive, designed to provoke confrontation.  

 Today the Republican prisoners are locked-down for 23 hours per day. There is an increase in strip-searching despite the long lock-up and lack of contact between the prisoners/visitors; education facilities are totally nonexistent; yard time, visits, meals and showers must now be taken within the one hour they are unlocked. Because of the controlled/restricted movement the men are lucky if they get a shower every five or six days.  

They have no in-cell sanitation facilities in their cell. Having no water they are unable to wash or shave; they have not had their hair cut for some weeks. Many of them have sores around and in their mouths which leaves then very susceptible to infection. Their weight loss has been rapid and their sleeping pattern is seriously disrupted.  

 The ethos and attitude of the prison warders is even more vicious and they are in total control of the jail. They make the decisions and as there is no overall governor they have a free hand.  

On June 13 they stepped up their protest by embarking on a dirty protest. This protest means they are now using the floor and the walls of their cell to take their excrement and urine. They had been using juice cartons for their waste but these cartons are no longer available to them.  

The men, when asked to, are refusing to strip naked for the screws and be subjected to intimate body searches which often means they don't get their visits.  

This situation cannot be allowed to continue and we call on people to register their protest by writing/contacting all media outlets and also and in particular those Nationalist politicians who sit in Stormont claiming to speak for the prisoners.

Far from acting in the interest of the prisoners, it is in the interests of these British paid politicians, Adams, McGuinness, O'Dowd, etc, to make sure this prison protest is not given oxygen.  

The last thing they want is to be reminded of the part they played in betraying all the 1980/81 hunger strikers by signing away the status they won by 10 deaths in 1981. These people are part and parcel of the British government which is standing over the conditions in Maghaberry.  

 They draw their big salaries and would indeed occupy the office of Minister of Justice in the partitionist Stormont had not the Unionists objected to such a deal.  

But the Provisionals backed David Ford for the position, a man who believes the prisoners are 'in a situation of their own making'.
Jane Enright

Woodside, New York

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Irish Echo, July 21 – 27, 2010

Should be banned

Is it any wonder that the nationalist residents of Ardoyne in North Belfast protested the RUC/PSNI forcing a sectarian Orange march through their neighborhood?

 If these orangemen feel the need to parade through the streets in costume to make themselves feel superior to Catholics and nationalists, why don't they do it in their own neighborhoods? The large issue is, of course, why do they still feel the need, and claim it as their God-given right, to carry out these bigoted, triumphalist parades?

 These archaic marches should be banned once and for all.

 Jane Enright

Woodside, New York

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Irish Echo, July 21 – 27, 2010

 That Derry Bid

 I am writing in response to Martin McGuinness’ opinion piece entitled “Why Derry is my choice for capital.”

 Actually, Mr. McGuinness has been frequently quoted that he supports his hometown’s bid for UK City of Culture. UK City of Culture?

Since when does Martin McGuinness accept that Derry is part of the United Kingdom, you might ask? I’d say probably since 1998 when he and Gerry Adams signed the Good Friday Agreement which, among other disgraceful things, signed away Ireland’s constitutional right to the six counties he now blithely refers to as part of the United Kingdom.

Ellen Keating

Bethpage, NY

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Irish Voice, July 28 - August 17, 2010

Ban Orange Marches

Is it any wonder that the Nationalist residents of Ardoyne (north Belfast) protested the RUC/PSNI forcing a sectarian Orange Order march through their neighborhood recently?

If these Orangemen feel the need to parade through the streets in costume to make themselves feel superior to Catholics and Nationalists, why don't they do it in their own neighborhoods?

The large issue is, of course, why do they still feel the need -- and claim it as their God-given right -- to carry out these bigoted, triumphalist parades? These archaic marches should be banned once and for all.

Jane Enright

Woodside, NY 

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Saoirse -- June 2010

Dissidents’ Are Not Dissidents

A chara,

On Sunday, April 25th, the London Sunday Times printed an article entitled“MI5 Files Trawled in Bid to Jail Dissidents.” This article has created quite a stir around the Irish-American community and I feel compelled to respond.

 This article should be on the editorial page since it contains speculation and innuendo as well as numerous inaccuracies. I also have a problem with the media’s inaccurate use of the term “dissident” republican.

 Dissidents are those who “disagree especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief” (Merriam-Webster dictionary). In actual fact, Provisional Sinn Féin, are the true dissidents. They are dissidents from republicanism because they have accepted British rule in the North.

 They are dissidents because they have endorsed British policing and British “justice” in the North. They are dissidents because they recognize the 26 County Dáil Eireann as a legitimate governmental entity.

 In addition, the provisional leadership has recently hinted that they will soon take their seats in Westminster. Thus, they are the dissidents because, by their recognition of Leinster House in 1986, they have dissented from the traditional republican principles enshrined in the 1916 declaration of a 32 County Irish Republic.  

The republican movement today is Republican Sinn Fein  which does not recognize the legitimacy of the six or 26 county states in Ireland, both of which were created by acts of the British parliament against the wishes of the Irish people. 

In the second half of this disjointed article, the authors labeled RSF Vice President, Geraldine Taylor, a “leading dissident.” I know Geraldine Taylor personally. She is no dissident. She has consistently and strongly advocated for the end to British rule in Ireland and the establishment of a 32 county, four province federal Ireland, with self-governing parliaments in each of the four provinces.  

Mrs. Taylor was in New York to accept an award from the National Irish Freedom Committee. At the awards dinner, she spoke of her love for her country and her concern for republicans who have been persecuted and imprisoned for speaking out on the inadequacies of the Good Friday Agreement. Over the entire course of her life, Geraldine Taylor has provided unwavering support for the cause of Irish Freedom and is deserving of our thanks, gratitude and admiration. 

As an American citizen, as well as a friend of Mrs. Taylor, I resent the inference that she is a dangerous person whom my government should bar from visiting me or anyone here. Geraldine Taylor is an old age pensioner who spent her last day in New York shopping with me for souvenirs to bring home to her grandchildren. 

As a member of the NIFC, I resent the author’s portrayal of our organization as a “dissident support group.” As stated on our website, www.irishfreedom.net, “the aim of this organization is to preserve our Irish-American cultural heritage and Fenian traditions, and further the cause of Irish freedom and reunification in compliance with traditional Irish Republican values and principles as defined by Wolfe Tone in 1798, using all legal means at our disposal, as did our exiled forebears.” 

By stating that “people associated with such groups,” i.e. Geraldine Taylor and RSF … “are generally not admitted” to the United States, are the authors (of the Sunday Times article) suggesting that American citizens should not be allowed to hear from people who support an alternative peace policy to the British-authored, and clearly not working Good Friday Agreement? Freedom of information exchange is something this American holds very dear. I think it is a good thing that Americans had the opportunity to hear about an Irish-authored alternative peace plan that could actually result in a just and lasting peace in all of Ireland.

 

 JANE ENRIGHT

Woodside, New York, USA

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Irish Voice, June 23-29, 2010 

Prisoners in Despair

 I am very concerned about the appalling living conditions of Republican prisoners in Maghaberry Jail. There has been very little media attention to this issue. You would be providing a public service by drawing your readers' attention to the plight of Republican prisoners in the North.  I greatly appreciate the letters of mine that you have printed over the past years. I respectfully ask that you publish the following communication I have received  

On June 21, 2010, the POW Department of Republican Sinn Féin once again highlighted the plight of the protesting Republican POWs in Roe House, Maghaberry Jail, Co. Antrim and a brief outline of the reasons for the protest:  

The protesting Republican POWs in Roe House, Maghaberry Jail, Co. Antrim began a dirty protest on June 6. Their protest escalated when the prison authorities refused to implement an agreement made with the prisoners at Easter to address their concerns at the conditions.  

The POWs have for some time tried to resolve the problems which they saw as unacceptable. These included long lock-up from anything between 14 to 21 hours per day, especially at the weekends. The controlled movement operated at the jail meant that only three prisoners were out of their cells at any given time, which also contributed to the long lock-up.  

Education facilities were practically nonexistent, and the general atmosphere, and indeed ethos, of the prison wardens was oppressive and restrictive, designed to provoke confrontation.  

Today the Republican prisoners are locked-down for 23 hours per day. There is an increase in strip-searching despite the long lock-up and lack of contact between the prisoners/visitors; education facilities are totally nonexistent; yard time, visits, meals and showers must now be taken within the one hour they are unlocked. Because of the controlled/restricted movement the men are lucky if they get a shower every five or six days.  

They have no in-cell sanitation facilities in their cell. Having no water they are unable to wash or shave; they have not had their hair cut for some weeks. Many of them have sores around and in their mouths which leaves then very susceptible to infection. Their weight loss has been rapid and their sleeping pattern is seriously disrupted.  

The ethos and attitude of the prison warders is even more vicious and they are in total control of the jail. They make the decisions and as there is no overall governor they have a free hand.  

On June 13 they stepped up their protest by embarking on a dirty protest. This protest means they are now using the floor and the walls of their cell to take their excrement and urine. They had been using juice cartons for their waste but these cartons are no longer available to them.  

The men, when asked to, are refusing to strip naked for the screws and be subjected to intimate body searches which often means they don't get their visits.  

This situation cannot be allowed to continue and we call on people to register their protest by writing/contacting all media outlets and also and in particular those Nationalist politicians who sit in Stormont claiming to speak for the prisoners. Far from acting in the interest of the prisoners, it is in the interests of these British paid politicians, Adams, McGuinness, O'Dowd, etc, to make sure this prison protest is not given oxygen.  

The last thing they want is to be reminded of the part they played in betraying all the 1980/81 hunger strikers by signing away the status they won by 10 deaths in 1981. These people are part and parcel of the British government which is standing over the conditions in Maghaberry.  

They draw their big salaries and would indeed occupy the office of Minister of Justice in the partitionist Stormont had not the Unionists objected to such a deal.  

But the Provisionals backed David Ford for the position, a man who believes the prisoners are 'in a situation of their own making'.

Jane Enright

Woodside, New York

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Irish Echo --- May 26 - June 1, 2010

The opportunity to hear

On Sunday, April 25th, the London Sunday Times printed an article entitled“MI5 Files Trawled in Bid to Jail Dissidents.” This article has created quite a stir around the Irish-American community and I feel compelled to respond.

 This article should be on the editorial page since it contains speculation and innuendo as well as numerous inaccuracies. I also have a problem with the media’s inaccurate use of the term “dissident” republican.

 Dissidents are those who “disagree especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief” (Merriam-Webster dictionary). In actual fact, Provisional Sinn Féin, are the true dissidents. They are dissidents from republicanism because they have accepted British rule in the North.

 They are dissidents because they have endorsed British policing and British “justice” in the North. They are dissidents because they recognize the 26 County Dáil Eireann as a legitimate governmental entity.

 In addition, the provisional leadership has recently hinted that they will soon take their seats in Westminster. Thus, they are the dissidents because, by their recognition of Leinster House in 1986, they have dissented from the traditional republican principles enshrined in the 1916 declaration of a 32 County Irish Republic.  

The republican movement today is Republican Sinn Fein  which does not recognize the legitimacy of the six or 26 county states in Ireland, both of which were created by acts of the British parliament against the wishes of the Irish people. 

In the second half of this disjointed article, the authors labeled RSF Vice President, Geraldine Taylor, a “leading dissident.” I know Geraldine Taylor personally. She is no dissident. She has consistently and strongly advocated for the end to British rule in Ireland and the establishment of a 32 county, four province federal Ireland, with self-governing parliaments in each of the four provinces.  

Mrs. Taylor was in New York to accept an award from the National Irish Freedom Committee. At the awards dinner, she spoke of her love for her country and her concern for republicans who have been persecuted and imprisoned for speaking out on the inadequacies of the Good Friday Agreement. Over the entire course of her life, Geraldine Taylor has provided unwavering support for the cause of Irish Freedom and is deserving of our thanks, gratitude and admiration. 

As an American citizen, as well as a friend of Mrs. Taylor, I resent the inference that she is a dangerous person whom my government should bar from visiting me or anyone here. Geraldine Taylor is an old age pensioner who spent her last day in New York shopping with me for souvenirs to bring home to her grandchildren. 

As a member of the NIFC, I resent the author’s portrayal of our organization as a “dissident support group.” As stated on our website, www.irishfreedom.net, “the aim of this organization is to preserve our Irish-American cultural heritage and Fenian traditions, and further the cause of Irish freedom and reunification in compliance with traditional Irish Republican values and principles as defined by Wolfe Tone in 1798, using all legal means at our disposal, as did our exiled forebears.” 

By stating that “people associated with such groups,” i.e. Geraldine Taylor and RSF … “are generally not admitted” to the United States, are the authors (of the Sunday Times article) suggesting that American citizens should not be allowed to hear from people who support an alternative peace policy to the British-authored, and clearly not working Good Friday Agreement? Freedom of information exchange is something this American holds very dear. I think it is a good thing that Americans had the opportunity to hear about an Irish-authored alternative peace plan that could actually result in a just and lasting peace in all of Ireland.

 

Jane Enright

Woodside, New York

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Irish Voice, May 12 - 18, 2010 edition

"More Internment?".

I was very concerned to hear of the arrest on April 16 of Martin Corry, a longtime Republican activist from Lurgan, Co. Armagh. This man was not charged with any offense and is being imprisoned simply because he is an outspoken critic of the Good Friday Agreement.

  Corry is a former political prisoner who served his entire sentence rather than agree to early release with conditions attached (i.e., on license). The British have claimed that his license (parole) has been revoked. However, this man was not released on license! His family has no information about why he was picked up. This smacks of internment to me.  

I have grave concerns about how the Brits are planning to deal with, as they put it, the "dissident problem." I urge your readers to contact the British Consulate in New York at 212-745-0272 and insist that this man be released immediately!

Mary Gorman

Philadelphia, PA

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Published in the Irish Emigrant, May 3-9, 2010

Not fair to RSF???

 On Sunday, April 25, the London Sunday Times printed an article by Liam Clarke and John Mooney, entitled “MI5 Files Trawled in Bid to Jail Dissidents” (see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article7107279.ece). This article has created quite a stir around the Irish-American community and I feel compelled to respond.

This ‘article’ should be on the editorial page since it contains speculation and innuendo as well as numerous inaccuracies. I also have a problem with the media’s inaccurate use of the term “dissident republican.”  

Dissidents are those who “disagree especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief” (Merriam-Webster dictionary). In actual fact, Provisional Sinn Féin, are the true dissidents. They are dissidents from republicanism because they have accepted British rule in the north.

They are dissidents because they have endorsed British policing and British ‘justice’ in the north. They are dissidents because they recognize the 26 County Dáil Eireann as a legitimate governmental entity. In addition, the provisional leadership has recently hinted that they will soon take their seats in Westminster. Thus, they are the dissidents because, by their recognition of Leinster House in 1986, they have dissented from the traditional republican principles enshrined in the 1916 declaration of a 32 County Irish Republic.  

The republican movement today is Republican Sinn Fein (RSF), which does not recognize the legitimacy of the six or 26 county states in Ireland, both of which were created by acts of the British parliament against the wishes of the Irish people (see www.rsf.ie).

In the second half of this disjointed article, the authors labeled RSF Vice President, Geraldine Taylor, a “leading dissident.” I know Geraldine Taylor personally. She is no dissident. She has consistently and strongly advocated for the end to British rule in Ireland and the establishment of a 32 county, four province federal Ireland, with self-governing parliaments in each of the four provinces.

Mrs. Taylor was in New York to accept an award from the National Irish Freedom Committee (NIFC). At the awards dinner, she spoke of her love for her country and her concern for republicans who have been persecuted and imprisoned for speaking out on the inadequacies of the Good Friday Agreement. Over the entire course of her life, Geraldine Taylor has provided unwavering support for the cause of Irish Freedom and deserving of our thanks, gratitude and admiration.

 As an American citizen, as well as a friend of Mrs. Taylor, I resent the inference that she is a dangerous person whom my government should bar from visiting me or anyone here. Geraldine Taylor is an old age pensioner who spent her last day in New York shopping with me for souvenirs to bring home to her grandchildren.

 As a member of the NIFC, I resent the author’s portrayal of our organization as a “dissident support group.” As stated on our website, www.irishfreedom.net, “the aim of this organization is to preserve our Irish-American cultural heritage and Fenian traditions, and further the cause of Irish freedom and reunification in compliance with traditional Irish Republican values and principles as defined by Wolfe Tone in 1798, using all legal means at our disposal, as did our exiled forebears.”  

By stating that “people associated with such groups (i.e. Geraldine Taylor and RSF) … are generally not admitted” to the United States, are the authors suggesting that American citizens should not be allowed to hear from people who support an alternative peace policy to the British-authored and clearly not working “Good Friday Agreement?” Freedom of information exchange is something this American holds very dear. I think it is a good thing that Americans had the opportunity to hear about an Irish-authored alternative peace plan that could actually result in a just and lasting peace in all of Ireland.

 Jane Enright, Woodside, New York

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Irish Voice --  April 2010

Irish Echo -- April 2010

March 18th  “ information event”

I found it interesting that last week’s issue did not include coverage of the March 18th “information event” with Martin McGuinness which was held at Rory Dolan’s in Yonkers. This event, sponsored by the Friends of Sinn Fein, was heavily advertised in your paper as well as in other local Irish-American newspapers.

 I attended this event and was quite surprised to see only about 60 people in attendance. That number includes McGuinness’ entourage and body guard as well as five members of groups that the Provos would label ‘dissidents.’ This was at a FREE event held in the heart of Irish New York and hosted by Stormont Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness himself!

 I noticed one photographer present wearing a press pass, however, I have seen no press coverage of this event. Could it be that Provisional Sinn Fein (PSF) does not want the word to get out that their #2 man couldn’t bring in more than 60 people to a free event? It might also be that since no actual information was presented at the information event, there wasn’t much to report.

 In my opinion, this event was more like a pep rally than an information event. McGuinness congratulated the PSF leadership for its foresight in developing a “credible long-term strategy.” Typically, he failed to clue in the audience as to exactly what their long term strategy is. The closest he came to giving any specifics was his claim that PSF is “building a series of short term objectives” that will somehow support the “building of the road to our long-tem goal: a united Ireland.”

 McGuinness spoke for about 10 minutes during which he claimed that PSF has “delivered on everything we said we’d make happen.” No one asked him about their one-time claim that they would achieve a united Ireland by 2016. No one asked why we no longer hear that claim from them. No one asked about their about-face on policing and other critical issues.

 His colleague, John O’Dowd, PSF MLA, Upper Bann, stated that only with support from Irish America can they achieve the goal of a 32 county Ireland. Curiously, this is a common Provo claim. O’Dowd failed to mention that under the “Good Friday Agreement” this goal can be achieved only with the approval of a majority of voters in the 6 Counties. Americans have absolutely no say in the matter.

 I detected a defensive tone in McGuinness’ remarks. At least three times he belittled those who hold traditional Republican values as ‘dissidents’ and “micro-groups that have no support, no strategy and no intelligence.” True Republicans want the Brits out of Ireland; they don’t help them administer British ‘justice’ in Ireland!

 Perhaps his defensiveness is because he has noticed that people are increasingly questioning PSF’s claim that only the British-authored “Good Friday Agreement” will deliver a united 32 county Ireland.  Perhaps it is because people are increasing realizing that since the signing of that agreement 11 years ago, that goal is further away than, perhaps, ever. Perhaps it is because he couldn’t attract more than 60 people to hear him speak at a free event. Contrast that to the 500+ people they used to draw to $500/plate dinners. Perhaps it is because, as in The Emperor’s New Clothes, we know that the emperor has no clothes!

Jane Enright, Woodside, New York

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National Irish Freedom Committee, P.O. Box 770549, Woodside, NY 11377

 Website: www. irishfreedom.net   --  Email: nifcmem@optonline.net

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