I’ve found some in this picture. Now let’s go to work.
I’ve found some in this picture. Now let’s go to work.
Sheena Campbell reading a copy of An Phoblacht at the GPO in Dublin. Today marks the 20th anniversary of her murder. Sheena was a dedicated Sinn Féin activist, a young mother and student. There will be a vigil to remember her tonight at 7.30pm outside the gates of Queen’s University, Belfast. Read more about Sheena: www.anphoblacht.com/contents/10670
From the Pat Finucane Centre, on Facebook
Today, September 4, marks the 20th anniversary of the murder of Peter Mc Bride in Belfast by two members of the Scots Guards Regiment, James Fisher and Mark Wright. Despite their convictions for the murder of the unarmed teenager in broad daylight both soldiers were allowed to rejoin their regiment having served only three years of their life sentences. One, Mark Wright, was discharged for medical reasons following an shooting injury sustained in Iraq. The other, James Fisher, remains a serving soldier in the British Army.
As Jean Mc Bride deals with the daily consequence of loss and grief she is confronted with the additional agony that the British Government, army and large sections of the British media find it perfectly acceptable that the killer of an unarmed teenager should remain in the British armed forces. No demands in parliament that convicted murderers should be dismissed, no outrage on the Steven Nolan Show on the BBC as has been the case concerning the employment of others with convictions for murder, no demands to change the law as some Unionist politicians have campaigned for… just silence. Peter who ? And Guardsman James Fisher ? Twenty years ago today Wright and Fisher shot Peter in the back. They remained soldiers while in prison awaiting trial. They remained soldiers following their conviction. Fisher remains a soldier today. No outrage to be heard on behalf of an ordinary working class mother from a Catholic area of N. Belfast…just silence.
It’s in part their position on the economy which makes Sinn Fein the most advanced socialist party in Europe with mass support.
On 25 July speaking tonight at the MacGill Summer School in Donegal, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD argued that growth `is the only game in town but the government has so far remained on the side lines’.Deputy McDonald said `Last week the Government gave itself a 94% success rate on delivery of measures in the second quarter of its action plan on jobs. And yet, all the key economic indicators, as the guide to this discussion points out, are negative.’ She added `In June 2011, unemployment was 14.4%. In June 2012, we had an unemployment rate of 14.9%. Since the start of this year, 740 businesses have gone into insolvency – 155 in the month of May alone.’
She said that when Sinn Féin first proposed the idea of a stimulus in December 2008,` we were told that it was not needed’ adding, `Subsequently we were told it would not work. After that we were told – including by members of the current Government – that there was no money for a stimulus’.
She said, `Perhaps the Government’s stimulus announcement is best described as stimulus for slow learners – because while the premise is now accepted, the scale of the stimulus required appears to be sorely misunderstood and the broad contours of other government policies run against the grain of stimulating the economy.’
She added `we have the bizarre situation where the Government that has axed capital spending yet claims kudos for introducing a stimulus package. Let’s not forget the real net gain of the announcement is a mere €800million euro to be spent over a five to six year period. We have a deficit problem in this state that must be addressed. There are a range of taxation and savings measures that can be used to do this. However we differ, radically differ, with the Government on what those measures should be, and we all agree on the end game of deficit reduction.’
Last night I attended the inaugural Redmond O’Neill Memorial Lecture. It was not just an important opportunity to remember Redmond’s contribution to the struggle but also to hear from a leading representative of the cause closest to his heart, that of Irish liberation.
Pearse Doherty, Sinn Fein TD, made an impassioned, inspiring speech which I hope will soon be available to link to. In the meantime, Pearse read a poem by Bobby Sands that I hadn’t come across before.
There’s an inner thing in every man,
Do you know this thing my friend?
It has withstood the blows of a million years,
And will do so to the end.
It was born when time did not exist,
And it grew up out of life,
It cut down evil’s strangling vines,
Like a slashing searing knife.
It lit fires when fires were not,
And burnt the mind of man,
Tempering leadened hearts to steel,
From the time that time began.
It wept by the waters of Babylon,
And when all men were a loss,
It screeched in writhing agony,
And it hung bleeding from the Cross.
It died in Rome by lion and sword,
And in defiant cruel array,
When the deathly word was ‘Spartacus’
Along with Appian Way.
It marched with Wat the Tyler’s poor,
And frightened lord and king,
And it was emblazoned in their deathly stare,
As e’er a living thing.
It smiled in holy innocence,
Before conquistadors of old,
So meek and tame and unaware,
Of the deathly power of gold.
It burst forth through pitiful Paris streets,
And stormed the old Bastille,
And marched upon the serpent’s head,
And crushed it ‘neath its heel.
It died in blood on Buffalo Plains,
And starved by moons of rain,
Its heart was buried in Wounded Knee,
But it will come to rise again.
It screamed aloud by Kerry lakes,
As it was knelt upon the ground,
And it died in great defiance,
As they coldly shot it down.
It is found in every light of hope,
It knows no bounds nor space
It has risen in red and black and white,
It is there in every race.
It lies in the hearts of heroes dead,
It screams in tyrants’ eyes,
It has reached the peak of mountains high,
It comes searing ‘cross the skies.
It lights the dark of this prison cell,
It thunders forth its might,
It is ‘the undauntable thought’, my friend,
That thought that says ‘I’m right! ‘
“Every class in society save royalty, and especially British royalty, has through some of its members contributed something to the elevation of the race. But neither in science, nor in art, nor in literature, nor in exploration…, nor in mechanical invention, nor in humanising of laws, nor in any sphere of human activity has a representative of British royalty helped forward the moral, intellectual or material improvement of mankind. But that royal family has opposed every forward move, fought every reform, persecuted every patriot, and intrigued against every good cause. Slandering every friend of the people, it has befriended every oppressor. Eulogised today by misguided clerics, it has been notorious in history for the revolting nature of its crimes. Murder, treachery, adultery, incest, theft, perjury – every crime known to man has been committed by some one or other of the race of monarchs from whom King George is proud to trace his descent.”