NZ group scales back activities
New Zealand-based Irish solidarity group Information on Ireland has decided, in light of the current political situation in Ireland, to scale back its activities. In a statement issued on 11 September, the group said: ``Information on Ireland and its magazine Saoirse were born out of a mass struggle around the Irish hunger strikers in 1980-'81. That situation in the north has changed substantially.
``As from October - the month we were founded 20 years ago - Information on Ireland will go into recess. We shall keep our address lists, support lists and bank accounts intact. We shall keep a watching-brief on the north. Should the people there become convinced once more that Northern Ireland is a statelet beyond reform and ask our support, we shall return to campaigning.
``For the moment, though, we are publishing the last issue of Saoirse, a magazine that years ago became this country's longest-serving NZ-Irish magazine. The weekly IoI radio programme, going out amazingly every Sunday morning since November, 1992, on Auckland's Access Radio, will make its final broadcast.
``Contact with the few Irish republican POWs still in jail will continue to be maintained.
``In the past century-and-a-half of New Zealand history, there has been an Irish Land League, an Irish Home Rule grouping, an Irish Republican Association, a League for an Undivided Ireland, a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Committee, a Connolly Association. None has lasted or maintained its commitment as long as Information on Ireland.''
Reacting to this decision, Joan O'Connor head of Sinn Féin's International Department, congratulated the New Zealand group for its campaigning work over the years. She pointed out, however, that ``the struggle is far from over and much remains to be done, on issues as vital as policing and human rights as well as the ultimate objective of securing a united Ireland''.
``The international community has played a vital role in the Irish peace process and has an equally vital role to play in these new circumstances to advance the struggle,'' said O'Connor. ``I will be having discussions with individuals from Information on Ireland to garner support for the work on Ireland that remains to be done.''