Republican News · Thursday 25 May 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Community memorial initiative

Attempts by unionists on Down District council to destroy a republican memorial are being met with community opposition.

Loca people have organised a soccer tournament to raise funds for the upkeep of the monument. A local charity will also benefit from the funds raised in the soccer tournament.

``The bar league is yet another example of the public interest in and support for Downpatrick's Republican monument'', said Sinn Féin councillor Aidan Carlin. He said the latest twist in the fight over the memorial to Volunteer Colum Marks, shot dead in an RUC shoot-to-kill operation in 1991, is to take place at the council's Policy and Resources Committee meeting on Wednesday night.

``Led by UK Unionist Billy Alexander, the unionists are intent on having this memorial removed,'' said Carlin. ``It is also unfortunate that the SDLP will not defend the right of nationalists to honour their dead of this conflict, but with the goodwill and support of the Downpatrick community, Sinn Féin will defend the memorial and make sure it stays where it is''.

The first match of the tournament was played at Downpatrick's Model Farm estate on Tuesday 23 May and resulted in a 2-1 victory for RD11 over the Vianstown Blues.


GAA shoot wide in mast row

The decision by St Maoliosa's GAA club in Fermanagh to allow British Telecom erect a telecommunications mast on club grounds has drawn strong criticism from local residents.

Despite objections from residents of Lack Road, Irvinestown, who have been campaigning against the mast for 18 months, but the club committee went ahead and allowed the mast to be built on 8 May.

Sinn Féin councillor for the area Geraldine Cassidy told An Phoblacht that locals are incensed that the RUC and British Army were brought in to protect workers erecting the mast.

Said Cassidy: ``I am totally disgusted at the GAA, for not only did they move in the RUC but the British Army was installed on the pitch from Sunday night until work commenced on Monday morning. I wonder what the GAA in Crossmaglen would think about this action?''

Cassidy was also critical of new GAA President Sean McCague for not ruling St Maoliosa's out of order. ``The GAA's Central Council said they didn't have jurisdiction over St Maoliosa's, yet they ruled that St Enda's in Omagh couldn't allow a soccer match be played there for the Omagh Bomb fund.''

Cassidy says that residents, ``who have genuine fears for their health'', will continue to campaign to have the mast removed.

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