Republican News · Thursday 19 November 1998

[An Phoblacht]

Support for Donegal Celtic decision

A chairde,

The Centre for Human Rights supports the decision by Donegal Celtic Football Club to withdraw from its fixture against the RUC and applauds the players and committee for their sensitivity to the feelings of the people of West Belfast.

Given the RUC's record of abuse and the violation of the rights of the people in West Belfast, it would have been unwise to give this organisation any recognition or credibility on the sporting field. No doubt the players are disappointed but they made this courageous decision on principle and on conscience and they have won the respect of the people in West Belfast for their sensitivity.

This was not purely a sporting matter but a matter of concern for the whole West Belfast community that has suffered systematic and deliberate abuse and the violation of their rights at the hands of the RUC. Just as sports persons in South Africa chose to boycott the Apartheid regime it is the responsibility of the whole community, including sporting organisations, members and players to make a moral decision, according to their consciences, to boycott equally discriminatory bodies in the north of Ireland.

The people of West Belfast expressed their genuinely held, deeply felt concerns, based on their own experiences of the RUC, over the past week to Donegal Celtic. To suggest, as some have done, that this amounted to pressure, intimidation and threats is deeply insulting to the people of West Belfast.

ne Monaghan
Centre for Human Rights

Not all wars are equal

A chairde,

Forgive me for sounding cynical but are people in the media getting carried away with themselves on the commemorations of the war dead? I am referring to all the hype and the hidden political agenda regarding the 50,000 Irishmen who died in the First World War.

By all means let us not forget them. However let's get off stage regarding celebrations by their political masters.

The people who sent these young men out of the trenches to be slaughtered should be charged with war crimes. They were like lambs to the slaughter. They were also conned by the British establishment at the time.

I am particularly annoyed at the silence of our liberal media to the 1798 commemorations. It's rather strange when thousands of people walk through our capital city honouring the men and women of 1798 in a magnificent colourful display yet it's ignored by our national media. The revisionists have not gone away, you know.

Finian McGrath

Media priorities

A chairde,

On Saturday 31 October a 35-year old Catholic man, Brian Service, was brutally gunned down by a [loyalist] splinter group.

Whether this was done because of the refusal of Trimble and company to take the Good Friday Agreement the promised stage further, we do not know. One thing it certainly does show is that the people breaking the peace process are not republicans; they are standing firm in the face of great provocation and even killings.

Little has been said by the British media about this outrageous act against a totally innocent man. All they seem to want to talk about is the decommissioning issue.

There was, for instance, a disgraceful interview by John Humphreys (``On The Record'') where he asked Gerry Adams if he was not inviting violence over decommissioning, completely ignoring the fact, until Gerry Adams reminded him, that an innocent nationalist has been assassinated. Wasn't that violence?

This kind of behaviour by the British media is extremely insulting to the nationalist people of the north of Ireland, and indeed to decent thinking people. As Mr Adams pointed out to Humphreys, ``They (Catholics) do not figure much on the Richter scale''.

This is very similar, in fact, to the way black South Africans were treated until the overthrow of the racist white regime.

When will the British media begin to show both sides of the situation in Ireland?

Val Cardwell

Lost friend

A chairde,

Please could you print my appeal to help me find a really good friend of mine I lost touch with six years ago.

Does anyone know where Christopher ``Chris'' O'Sullivan is? He's about twenty four years old, about six feet tall, dark hair. He was last living in West Belfast in 1993.

He played in either the Eire Nua or Billy Reid band and came to Glasgow in May 1989 and 1992. I've lost his address and I'm dying to hear from him again.

If you know Chris or maybe you are Chris, please, please get in touch.

Kathleen McLean

Band in the USA

A chairde,

I read with interest the story ``Eire Nua to play in the USA''.

But I'm sorry to say that they are misinformed when they say, ``A lot of bands tried but never made it, we want to be the first''.

In 1977 an accordian band travelled to New York and in 1978 Andersonstown's ``Piobairi Uladh PB'' spent two wonderful weeks in New York and surrounding states.

Piobairi Uladh on arrival in New York played twice a day every day plus night time engagements and had within the band a very good Irish dancing team, who performed with the band at functions.

The band was invited back in 1980 and was ready for the off when the loss of some members owing to studies left us with no choice but to cancel our trip.

We were invited back again (1997) but sadly lack of playing members, again forced us to decline.

Piobairi Uladh are celebrating their 25th anniversary on 27 November in the Felons Club, everyone is welcome. We would like to wish Eire Nua RFB good luck and hope they achieve their goal and get to the States and hope they enjoy themselves as much as we did.

Piobairi Uladh Pipe Band are looking for members, male and female to train as pipes and drummers.

Band rooms at St Paul's Handicap, Beechmount Avenue, 7.30 Monday nights.

Vincent Wilson.


A chairde,

Having watched an interview with Billy Hutchinson on TV3 I was alarmed to hear some of the statements he was coming out with. Suggesting that 9 out of 10 people in the streets felt like David Trimble and did not wish to see ``the IRA in the form of Sinn Fein'' in any new assembly was outrageous.

In fact, if Mr Hutchinson bothered to look at electoral results together with general street feeling on both sides of the border on the subject the figure would be closer to 9 out of 10 people DO wish to see such an outcome.

I also feel it a bit rich to hear a UVF leader refer to ``Sinn Fein-IRA''. I think Billy would be well served remembering his own history and the history of his own organisation renowned for its many outright sectarian attacks.

While other aspects of the interview were quite frank and insightful I think it quite hypocritical to hear such outbursts, given his past.


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