Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Launch of ICTU's 'Ireland Palestine' Report

Gerry Adams this morning hosted the launch of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions 'Ireland Palestine' Report.
I took a race into the Long Gallery at Stormont this morning to listen to a number of speakers, including Patricia McKeown, President of the ICTU and Regional Secretary of Unison; Eamon McMahon and Joe Bowers from Trade Union Friends of Palestine; and Brian Campfield, Deputy General secretary of NIPSA.
The Delegation who put the report together visited Palestine in 2007 and did not include aspects of the recent military aggression from Israel.
Gerry Adams invited other MLA's who were present if they wished to speak, Carmel Hannah from the SDLP spoke as did Alex Maskey and Cáitríona Ruane. In particularly Alex made reference to his own visits to the West Bank and the oppression that he witnessed there. the floor was opened to speakers and many people wanted to speak. One man from Gaza indicated his delight to see so many people being at the launch of the report, taking time out to be there and listen to the findings of the delegation.
On a personal note, I think Gerry Adams probably put it correctly when he asked the body of the hall what we do now, what steps do we take to practically assist the beleaguered people of Palestine?
Sinn Féin and Sinn Féin members no doubt will continue to play their solidarity role whether that be raising funds for medical aid, raising awareness of the plight of the Gaza or seeing senior members sharing their experience of conflict resolution here in Ireland.

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