I was enjoying lunch in the Stormont canteen today when Daithí McKay and CathalBoylan came along for some lunch of their own after having just finished in the Environment committee.
Sammy Wilson was before the Committee today.
Comrade McKay filled me in on some of the events............
Prepared as always and never one to miss an opportunity Sammy regaled each Committee member with their own individual carbon footprint i.e. given how much they travelled to and from Stormont etc.
Good man Sammy, quick as a whippet as always.
Sadly for him just not as quick as young McKay!
Daithí thanked Sammy for his useful information and contribution but he also suggested, in order to reduce his own carbon footprint, he take a leaf out of SinnFéin's book and save the earth by staying away from that foreign Parliament over in Westminster.
Go on Sammy, save the environment and help build the Republic.
This week a broad range of Community, Political and Church representatives met to discuss a way forward in tackling the anti social/anti community activity taking place around some of the interfaces in East Belfast.
What is taking place at the moment isn’t about politics, none of it is even about sectarianism; it is plain and simple thuggery!
People are suffering and they are suffering and the hands of a small number of young people, in no way representative of the vast majority of kids in the Strand. They are determined to wreck and they see no consequences to their actions. This must be challenged and it needs to be challenged at a broad community level. I am glad to see that this is now happening.
I have stood on the interfaces, with many other youth and community workers, taking abuse; I have visited the pensioners who are having their homes wrecked all for the sake of a few kids having a bit of ‘craic’. It isn’t craic and it isn’t what this community wants.
The elderly people who are suffering on both sides of the community deserves better, they have lived their lives and given their respective communities so much over their lifetime. I will not continue to have to visit these people night after night after the people responsible for frightening the life out of them have been and then retreated back to their homes, ready for bed and another school day ahead!
A letter was distributed to every home in the Short Strand last night calling for an end to this at once, an end to a small unrepresentative group holding valued members of our community to ransom in their own homes. It was signed by the Parish Priest Father Seán Gilmore, the Short Strand Partnership, the Short Strand Community Forum, Sinn Féin, the IRSP, the Workers Party and the Short Strand Safer Neighbourhood Project.
The only way to bring this resolvable issue to an end is for our community to stand together and say no. We were never bowed down, we were never afraid to leave our homes and walk through the streets even through the darkest of days. We owe the people who went before us and built this community a great debt, but we also have to build for the future ourselves and not allow a very small number the freedom to wreck and ruin as they please.
The Short Strand in many ways is a lucky community; obviously we don’t have every facility that we would like but what we do have are great people! People who will run numerous football teams, the only full-time youth club in the East of the City, work voluntary in the Community Centre night after night. I defy anyone to tell me the old mantra of ‘ah sure there’s nothing for them to do’ in this area, that’s wrong and it’s no longer an excuse. The Odyssey Complex is a five minute walk from both areas and the kids who are responsible are well aware of this, they simply choose not to engage in positive activities.
The overwhelming majority of kids in this area are a credit to their families and this community, they deserve to be commended and remembered in all of this. We have a great area and one that we can be proud of, that is why we are so united and so determined not to allow such a tiny number to feel that they can treat this community and its residents in any way they please. It simply will not happen.
There are many issues here, issues that I don’t believe those responsible have twigged on to. This type of activity is fundamentally putting their lives and the lives of others at risk, someone could die. Secondly the PSNI must act to end the misery being caused to pensioners in our area, the Social Services, as well as the City Council, Youth justice Agency, Housing Executive and others all have a role to play. We will be ensuring that they do!
I hope that after tonight’s public meeting we will emerge with a joint up, measured, proportionate and appropriate response to dealing with this solvable issue. I look forward to working with everyone in the Parish to make sure that the area is safe and empowered.
Ní neart go cur le chéile
Photo: Myself with one of the residents of the Short Strand whose home has been targeted numerous times as a result of anti social and anti community activity taking place on both sides of the 'Interface'
I received confirmation yesterday that the 27 units currently being built at the top of the Short Strand beside the Albert Bridge are to be used by Clanmill Housing Association for social units.
This is good news for the Short Strand.
I have raised the issue of housing shortages in that area for some time now and this development will of course be of great assistance in helping those people languishing on the housing waiting list.
Appropriately they units are being developed on a historical part of our Parish, the Short Strand itself. I don't know where the name 'Pottinger's Quay' came from, another sad reversal to old colonial, imperial Belfast. I am reassured though that postal address of these units and indeed the other's on 'Pottinger's Quay' are indeed Short Strand.
I will of course be in touch with Clanmillasking them to see if they agree with me, that that particular name bears no significant or relevant connection to that part of the Parish. A lot of the time it shows a great lack of imagination and sadly a laziness to just refer back to irrelevant colonial terminology, it is particularly sad that they do this in an area where it wouldn't be wanted.
This is a historic Parish, with many people impacting upon it, it has a long history going back to the first settlement of the area and that is not reflected anywhere. Is mór an trua sin!
Aside from all of that, the news is to be welcomed, as someone who meets and deals and works on behalf of the many people on the waiting list I am sure it will go some way in relieving the burden on those people.
Tchím gur bhfuar m'alt faoi Fainne Ór mo dháidió é fhéin istigh sa chóip is déanaí de Nuacht24
Go raibh míle maith agat as an seal Eoghan.
Is féidir leat coinnigh suas chun data achan seachtain nuair a bhíonn Nuacht24 ar fáil sa Chultúrlann. San idir linn tá Eoghan agus an fhoireann ag déanamh sár-oibre thall ar http://www.andrumamornuacht.blogspot.com/
Sin é críochnaithearfeadhblianeile, ócáidspéisialta, úsáideach, tábhachtachagus leithleach
Caithfidhmé a rágurbhainmé a lánsult as an deireadhseachtain, an díospóireachtidircomradaithe ó achancearn den tírseo, tagthalechéilear son streachailts'againn a bhrúaraghaidhar son muintírnahÉireann.
SinnFéin'sArdFhéis is over for another year, it has presented our party, as always, with lots of work to do. I thought this year's ArdFhéis was a positive one, despite the depressing nature of the economy. Comrades, particularly fellow young ones, articulated our party position and what they want to see in the time ahead capably and articulately.
Much focus in the media has been put on the so called elevation of a 'Southern' leadership. I believe we have a leadership, an Irish one, a competent one a dynamic one and one well and truly set for the challenges ahead.
Obviously the economy featured highly on the Clár, people, including the membership of the party are understandably concerned about the current state of play. SinnFéin is clearly placed as a credible and viable alternative to the corrupt, failed capitalist system in the 26 counties. I think it was clearly on show this weekend what party is determined to take up the challenge of creating a better and more equal Ireland.
Gerry Adams made a call for the left in Ireland to unite; I believe this is an essential part of elevating Ireland, North and South out of the current economic quagmire.
Ar ndóighbheadhséfurastascríobh go deo faoi achanrud a tharla ag an deireadhseachtainachbeidhbarúildifrúlaagachanduine ar na himeachtaí.
Labhairmise (nuair a bhfuairmétréimhsesaor ó a bheadhagobair mar oifigeachpreas) arGaelú an Pháirtí, labhairméar son mo Chumannagtácúlerún 51 go dtí 54.
Over the coming days it will be interesting to hear all the different analysis of the 2009 Ard Fhéis; Is cinnte tá a lán obair romhainn ach sílím go bhfuil caighdean na gníomhaíochtaí sa pháirtí mar léiriú soileir go bhfuil muid breá réidh agus abalta don dúshlán atá romhainn.
Sin an téamaardíospoireachtsaTráGhearranochtar 7i.n. saIonadPhobail.
That's the theme of a discussion taking place tonight in the Short Strand Community Centre. It follows on from a similar discussion hosted by community groups in East Belfast in the East Belfast Mission Hall on the Lower newtonards Road a few months back; the theme of that debate was 'Constitutionally Different - Politically Similar?'
On the panel that night were Joe O'Donnell , Sammy Douglas, Dawn Purvis and Tom Hartley. Tonight we'll have Fergus O'Hare, FrancieMolloy, Paul Bew and Roy Garland.
The discussions are part of a process of cross-community interaction in the East of the City, a discussion and exchange of views. These types of events are very important; more often than not they take place under the radar and allow a frank and up-close debate, which of course is healthy!
It's part of a clároibre/programme of work of groups in the Short Strand and Greater East Belfast. Work which hopefully allow a better understanding of each other and our politics. Long may it continue, i enjoyed the last one, I have no doubt to I'll enjoy tonight!!
Chomhmaithbíonnse i gcónaídeasbualadhleiar-príomhoides'agam Fergus!!!lol
So the East Belfast District Policing Partnership Sub-Group met in the Mount Conference centre last night. One of the items on the meeting's agenda was the future of MountpottingerPSNI Barracks.
In advance of the meeting I did a lot of media yesterday highlighting the mammoth waste of money involved in retaining the base (I won't go into to them all now but you can get further detail at http://www.sebelfastsinnfein.com/) including Good Morning Ulster, The Nolan Show, CityBeat Radio and UTV News.
This is an issue i have been campaigning on since I first became a member of SinnFéin and even before that, primarily as a resident of the Short Strand who has to live in the shadow of this base.
Before the DPP meeting over 100 people gathered outside Mountpottinger to hold a vigil in memory of those victims killed as a result of this base but also sending a very clear message that this base should go!
I am confident that the PSNI have seen sense and that the recommendation for the closure of Mountpottinger will soon be heading the Policing Board as well as Hugh Orde (bear in mind I asked Hugh Orde directly and he told me this base was a waste of money and that it should go!). This is a positive move; it is a positive move because it will allow the space and the confidence to move policing in East Belfast forward, to get policing right.
I am saddened that as yet, no Unionist politicians in the East of the City have been able to come forward with any other argument for the retention of Mountpottinger other than it should simply stay. I am up for having the argument as to why Mountpottinger should go, I believe I have put that argument forward to the people. If people have another view, other than feeling the need to retain a militarised base in the middle of a Republican area to keep an eye on the rowdy natives then let's hear it. If that is the only argument, and it appears thus far that it is, then that is a sad reflection on the leaders of Unionism in East Belfast.
Let's move beyond the DUP mentality of putting a 'ring of steel around the Short Strand' to an environment where policing is reflective of an answerable to the needs of the local community.
Mountpottinger is going, there is no doubt about that, i look forward to the day that it does. I look forward to the day when the community who have suffered as a result of it's presence and who continue to suffer as a result of its drain on policing resources, can see something much more positive and worthwhile on the site.
What we need to do now is work to make sure that the community safety policing teams are working for the benefit of the people, working to tackle crime/anti social behaviour and throwing off the shackles of Mountpottinger and everything it represents.
Yesyerday I blogged on Sinn Féin's position in relation to Belfast City Airport and the proposed runway extension.
My comrade Alex Maskey, MLA for South Belfast has tabled a writtin priority question to the Minister for the Environment Sammy Wilson on what exaqctly is the position of his own department, particularly given that Belfast City Council, of which Sammy is a member, has endorsed the call for a public inquiry into the planned extension.
Here's a copy of the statement issued today......
Sinn Féin calls upon Environment Minister to clarify Department's position on Public Inquiry into Belfast City Airport expansion Published: 13 February, 2009
South Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey and East Belfast Party representative Niall Ó Donnghaile have called upon Environment Minister Sammy Wilson to clarify the position of his Department in relation to calls for a public inquiry into the proposed runway extension at Belfast City Airport. This call has been submitted in a priority written question to the Environment Minister Sammy Wilson by Alex Maskey MLA. Niall Ó Donnghaile said, "Within the past week Belfast City Council joined North Down, Antrim and Ballymoney Borough Councils in calling for a public inquiry into the proposed runway extension at Belfast City Airport. "In joining these Councils, Belfast City Council is adopting the only logical and sensible approach open to it. It must listen to the wishes of the people who will be directly affected by this proposed extension". South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey said, "Residents have been complaining for some time now that existing operational conditions at the City Airport have been regularly breached. These include flights after the night-time restrictions and the requirement for aircraft to fly in and out over Belfast Lough. Residents have also highlighted greater noise levels from aircraft consistently flying over highly populated residential areas. I share many of these concerns. "In light of the growing calls for a public inquiry, most recently by Belfast City Council, I believe that the Environment Minister Sammy Wilson has no option but to accede to these calls. I am, therefore, now calling upon the Minister to clarify the position of the Department of the Environment in relation to a full public inquiry". CRÍOCH Note to Editors: The full text of the priority written question submitted by South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey to the Environment Minister Sammy Wilson is: "To ask the Minister to clarify the position of the Department of the Environment in relation to a full public inquiry into the proposed runway extension at Belfast City Airport given the position of a number of councils, including Belfast City Council, in supporting calls for such an inquiry."
The latest edition of the Martin/Treacy Cumann's newsletter is out today.
Activists were out on the ground delivering the news sheets to every home in the area.
A number of stories are covered including the upcoming DPP consultation into the future of Mountpottiner PSNI Barracks, Sinn Féin securing Short Strand community representation on Titanic Quarter as well as a number of other local issues.
Níl fhios agam an focal Gaeilge ar 'heirloom', rinne mé seic ar focal.ie ach beidh orm ceist a chuir ar Brendy Ó Fiaich.
Ar aon nós, níl mórán d'heirloomeanna againne, is é sin an Clann Uí Dhonnghaile na Mac an Bheatha. Ach caithfidh mé a rá tá rud agam atá iontach, iontach spéisialta. Is é sin Fáinne Óir mo Seán Athair, Seamás Mac an Bheatha.
Ar an drochuair fuair sé bás bliain roimh domhsa theacht ar an tsaol, bím i gcónaí iontach brónach faoi sin. Thosaigh mé a smaoineamh air arís nuair a bhfuair sár-Ghael ón ceantair, Liam Ó Docartaigh bás ar na mallaibh.
Bá Gael é mo seán-athair chomh maith agus tá mé chomh brodúil as sin. D'fhoghlaim seisean a chuid Gaeilge agus é faoi glas an Gallaibh sna 1930í agus sna 1940í. Ní raibh an tádh céanna aige na mar atá againne sa lá atá inniu ann; streachailt a bhí i gceist ár dteanga dúchais a fhoghlaim sna laethanta sin!
Ach, lán sé leis, is dóiche go raibh neart ama aige agus é ar an long phríosúin Al Rawhda agus i bPríosúin Bhéal Feirste. Is é seo an áit a bhain sé Fáinne Óir s'aige amach. Rinneadh an Fháinne as píosaí de phíopaí copair bainte ón long é fhéin. Is cuimhin liom go maith é agus mé iontach óg, curtha go cúramach i mbocsa seodra mo seánmhathair. Chomh maith le seo bhí na mílte leabhair ghaelach sa seomra leaba ag barr a tí. Ar an chéad leathanach d'achan ceann bhí 'Seamás Mac an Bheatha - Príosún Bhéal Feirste' nó 'Seamás Mac an Bheatha - Trá Ghearr'
Creidim go raibh sé foirsteanach mar sin de, do m'uncail Seánaí, mac Sheamáis, an Fáinne céanna sin a chaitheamh ar lá a bpósadh. D'fhoghlaim seisean a chuid Gaeilge agus é faoi ghlas ag Gallaibh fosta, ach an tam seo sna mBlocanna H agus é ar an phlúid.
Is linne ar fad é an Fáinne anois, mise, Pádraig, Seán, Éithne, Cáitríona agus Seán Óg, mar is linne an oidhreacht a thosaigh le Jimmy McVeigh agus é i bPríosún beagnach 70 mbliana ó shin. Caithim an Fáinne le bróid agus le grá, bród agus grá don teanga ach bród agus grá do mo sheánathair a thug domhsa agus dá garrchlann ár dteanga fhéin.
Sadly I missed a ‘Spotlight’ special on BBC1 last night about the proposed extension to Belfast City Airport’s runway (I was at a family party for my Grandmother’s 80th Birthday, I’ll have to watch it on the BBC iPlayer) but it is clearly an issue that is gaining momentum as time goes on with 1,700 objections already officially lodged.
I and Alex Maskey met with representatives of the ‘Belfast City Airport Watch’ Group early last year. They put forward the social, economic and environmental arguments against this plan capably and informatively. Since then we have highlighted our opposition to the extension in literature distributed throughout South and East Belfast; as well as this both I and Vincent Parker (SF’s rep in the Balmoral area) spoke at a meeting held by the group in Ballynafeigh and highlighted our support for a public inquiry into the extension.
Sinn Féin, as well as other political figures, has expressed our support for an immediate public inquiry for a number of social, economic, environmental and strategic reasons. As well as this the Belfast based airline Flybe has expressed their opposition to the extension so too has Belfast City Council.
What is interesting about this fact is that the environment Minister Sammy Wilson is himself a Councillor in East Belfast. The logic would be that he too is opposed to the extension. This is certainly worth investigating in the time ahead.
In my own opinion the demands for this extension, primarily coming from Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary, indicates nothing more than his insatiable capitalist greed. He is motivated by this and this alone, he clearly has no concern for the detrimental impact this extension will have on the people of Belfast and beyond.
As a resident of the Short Strand, just down the road from the airport, I can empathise completely with the call for an inquiry into this planned extension, I do not believe it will be beneficial to the people of Béal Feirste.
Seo píosa scríobha ag Pilib Ó Ruanaidh ar blag Máirtín Ó Muilleoir ar saol Liam Uí Dhochartaigh.....
Le Pilib Ó Ruanaí:
Cuireadh Liam Ó Dochartaigh Dé hAoine seo caite 6ú Feabhra i ndiaidh aifrinn i dteach an phobail Naomh Maitiú i mBaile Mhic Airt a cheantar dúchais. Nuair a bhí mé ag fás aníos mar dhéagóir sna seachtóidí sa Trá Ghearr bhí aithne agam agus ag mo chomhghleacaithe ar fhear an bhus a labhair Gaeilge. Ar feadh m'eolais ba é Liam an t-aon duine sa cheantar a labhair Gaeilge – fuair mé amach ar ball nach raibh sin fíor – ach ag an am sin chuaigh mé chuig corr rang. Ó am go chéile cuireadh brú ar na poblachtanaigh óga a dteanga dúchais a fhoghlaim agus rachaimis chuig rang Liam, ach níor mhair sé i bhfad. Ba mhó an tsuim a bhí againn sa streachailt armtha a bhí ag dul ar aghaidh thart orainn ná mar a bhí againn sna briathra neamhrialta. Bhí sé ar an choiste a chur tús le Naíscoil Mhic Airt, lena chara Billy Matthews, Daithí De Paor agus daoine eile thart ar 1979 agus ábhar bróid a bhí ag muintir na háite go raibh naíscoil againn – má bhí ceann ag pobal iarthar na cathrach ní raibh fáth ar bith gan naíscoil bheith againne fosta! Bhí stair chorrach ag Naíscoil Mhic Airt ach as sin a d'eascair An Droichead, tionscnamh Gaeilge a bhain príomh dhuais Ghlór na nGael 2005 & 2006. Thug mé cuireadh do Liam theacht i láthair chuig an oscailt oifigiúil do Lárionad an Droichid mí na Nollag 2000. Bhí na maithe móra agus na móruaisle le bheith ann, ach shíl mé gur cheart dó bheith ann de bhrí gur iompair sé lóchrann na Gaeilge thar na blianta fada gan mórán tacaíochta nó cuideachta. Níor nocht sé ar scór ar bith – rud nár chuir iontas orm, nó bhí a fhios agam nach mbeadh sé compordach ag ócáid fhoirmealta. Ach iontas na n-iontas nuair a d’imigh an chuid is mó de na aíonna agus an bia ite agus muidinne réidh le dul go dtí an teach tabhairne cé tháinig isteach ach Liam agus ba mhór an pribhléid agam an foirgneamh úrnua a thaispeáint dó angus buíochas a ghabhail leis as an oidhreacht a d’fhág sé dúinne a tháinig ina dhiaidhsean. Bhí Gaeilge den scoth aige, blas soiléir Béal Feirsteach agus fuaimniú iontach cruinn, stór leathan focal agus líofacht gan dua. Dá gcasfaí ar a chéile muid agus é ar a bhealach ‘n abaile ó aifreann na maidine stopfaimis le comhrá a dhéanamh le caibidil a dhéanamh ar chúrsaí Gaeilge. Ní bheadh sé iontach cinnte fá na hainmneacha ar an ghlún ‘óg’ i mbun Lá nó i mbun na Cultúrlainne nó ar an raidio ach mhol sé an obair a bhí á dhéanamh acu. Thoisigh sé a mhalartú scéalta liom fá Ghlún na Buaidhe agus comradaí leis, Joe Mac Domhnaill, a chuaigh a chónaí go Baile Átha Cliath.Chonacthas domh go ndeachaigh sé dian air leanstan ar aghaigh lena shaol i ndiaidh gur cailleadh a bhean Maureen a fuair bás roinnt blianta roimhe. Casadh orm sa chultúrlann tamall de mhíonna ina dhiaidh agus dúirt sé liom gan ligint air go raibh sé ag magadh liom ‘Ba chuma liom ach bhí grá mór agam di. De ghnáth nuair a chailltear ceile ar aois ‘s againne bíonn faoiseamh ar an duine atá fágtha ina dhiaidh, ach bhí muid i ngrá go fóill!’ Scrúdaigh mé a dhreach agus chonaic mé an splanc ina shúile agus rinne sé meangadh gaire. Thóg Liam a chlann le Gaeilge Philomena, Nuala agus Colm, agus is annamh an lá i ndiaidh bás a máthartha nach raibh duine acu sa teach le freastal a dhéanamh ar a n-athair. Ag an fhaire thaispeáin Colm litir a bhí istigh i bhfoclóir Uí Dhónaill de chuid Liam agus is í a bhí ann ná litir a scríobh sé chuig Aodh Ó Ruanaidh, cime poblachtanach áitiúil, a bhí ar agóid na pluide ag an am 1979 agus bhí Liam á mholadh as a dhúthracht i leith na Gaeilge. Sílim go bhfuil sé fóirsteanach mar ní raibh ach slat tomhais amháin ag Liam agus ba é sin an Ghaeilge. Go raibh sé sna flaitheas lena bhean ionúin Maureen ar láimh dheas Dé go raibh siad beirt.
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 CáitríonaRuane. 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?
SinnFéin and SinnFéin 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.
So Nelson was ejected from the Assembly Chamber again today after refusing to withdraw comments he made about Gerry Adams in a debate last week. This is the second time that Nelson has been asked to leave the Assembly due to his inability to withdraw baseless remarks about another MLA.
Sílm go bhfuil Nelson ag iarraidh tógtha leis an phoiblíocht a fhaigheann sé agus deirfhinn go bhfuil seo i bhfad níos fusa aige a dhéanamh na ionadaíocht éifeachtach a dhéanamh ar son na daoine a thug vóta do sa chéad dul síos.
Of course Nelson is becoming increasingly fond of the media that comes along with his pre-planned 'controversy' as opposed to actually engaging the business of the Assembly, i.e. working on behlaf of the people who elect him. I know that if I was a North Belfast voter I would be asking myself, in this time of economic hardship, is their DUP MLA value for money?????
series of events are to take place throughout Belfast this week to mark the 20th anniversary of the murder of leading human rights lawyer Pat Finucane. Pat Finucane was murdered on 12 February 1989 by UDA gunmen acting in collusion with the British military and the RUC. His murder came just weeks after British Home Office minister Douglas Hogg stood up in the British Parliament and claimed that some solicitors in the North of Ireland were 'unduly sympathetic to the IRA'. Since 1989, the Finucane family has battled for an independent, international public inquiry into Pat's murder and this demand has been supported by President Barack Obama, Sinn Fein, the Irish government, the EU and human rights organisations and leading legal figures across the world. The public launch of the planned events will be on Tuesday 10th February 3pm at the former Andersonstown barracks site at the top of the Falls Road. A mural supporting the Finucane family's campaign for truth will be unveiled at this event. The main speaker will be Sinn Fein President and West Belfast MP Gerry Adams. A member of the Finucane family and Mark Thompson from Relatives for Justice will also speak. Sinn Fein Minister Gerry Kelly is encouraging people to take part in the anniversary events. Mr Kelly said: ''Pat Finucane was murdered because of his success in defending those who were victims of British oppression, collusion and state murder. ''Pat's case is the most prominent case involving the British government's state murder policy and we believe the decision to murder Pat was taken at the highest levels of the British government. ''Today, 20 years on, the British government continues to cover up Pat's murder, in the same way as they continue to cover up hundreds of other cases of collusion and state murder. ''The Finucane family have campaigned relentlessly for many years for the truth about Pat's death. The dignity they have shown is in stark contrast to the behaviour of the British state. ''The events organised this week are to remember Pat and to highlight the continuing campaign for an independent, international public inquiry into Pat's murder. ''I would encourage people to attend the events and show their support for the campaign for truth about British state murder in Ireland.'' ENDS
Tchím an phictiúr seo de gnáth agus mé a' bualadh isteach i gcuamm sóisialta Naomh Máitiú sa Trá Ghearr. Tá sé in airde ar an bhalla ansin. Is féidir m'áintín Ann a dhéanamh amach ag siúl faoin bhrat. Chomh maith le sin is é an fhear plúide ar taobh na láimhe clé Aodh Ó Runaidh ón Trá Ghearr, Ghael uasail é fosta.
Tá an íomha seo agus na sluaite eile le féiceáil ar an suíomh idirlínne www.bobbysandstrust.com
Usually myself and Alex Maskey use Friday's as our constituency day, I float between the Short Strand Community Centre and our constituency office on the Lower Ormeau Road.
It was when I called into the office this morning that I saw some literature from TAR ANALL, the support group for Republican Ex-Prisoners and their families.
TAR ANALL is engaged in some brilliant and often over-looked projects and work; from cross community work to youth outreach, to providing educational opportunities for Ex-POWs and their families as well providing brilliant courses for it's 50+ Group.
This particular literature however focused on the darker side of life post imprisonment, and that is that many of our former prisoners suffer detrimental effects as a result of British imprisonment. This can involved post traumatic stress, depression, drink or drugs dependency, as well as being up against all forms of discrimination in employment, insurance and adoption opportunities as a result of their time spent imprisoned.
The theme of the latest support course is "Still Imprisoned? There is hope. There is help."
A Republican community like the Short Strand that suffered so much as a result of British oppression and fought so valiantly against it, no doubt has one of the highest amounts of Ex-POWs per head of population of any area throughout Ireland. I would urge anyone who feels they need to avail of this service to do so. TAR ANALL provides a professional, expert and confidential service. You can call them on 02890323631 or the outreach helpline on 07598875152
I see Upper BannMLA John O'Dowd has released a statement making it very clear to the DUP where the party stands in relation to any attempts at diluting the All-Ireland dimension of the Good Friday Institutions.
It comes on the back of a motion submitted by the DUP for debate on Monday questioning the 'value' of the North South Ministerial Council. Clearly it's a bit of an attempt of chest thumping in advance of the upcoming election, but ultimately it's going nowhere. According to John MórSinnFéin immediately set about initiating a 'Petition of Concern' which essentially means that this motion from the DUP will need cross community support. Obviously that support won't be forthcoming from SinnFéin.
So that's where we are with that, sin é.
The DUP's pretty cynical attempt at out Allistering Allister is a no-go.
As Republicans, SinnFéin will not allow the All-Ireland aspects of Government to be eroded or undermined. We are an All-Ireland party, the only Republican Party in the Assembly and are working to advance the Noth-South institutions for the benefit of all.
As we head further into economic challenges, the fallacy of partition grows ever more evident, day by day. An Island like ours, with two Transport System's, two Education and Health System's, two Economies, is unnecessary and I believe becoming increasingly unwanted and unjustifiable. The All-Ireland institutions are one way of highlighting the logic in increased practical co-operation throughout the Nation for the betterment of citizens and as John rightly put it, the DUP would be better focused on assisting those efforts within an All-Ireland framework as opposed to thinking up Assembly Motions which they know aren't going to succeed.
So meetings saw me visit the nation's capital city today (ArdFhéiseanna don't organise themselves ya know!) and I must say we picked a day for it.
As well as this the team has been continuing the Constituency Survey throughout Ravenhill these past few nights, that includes this lovely snowy night!!! (Only SinnFéin eh?!!!!lol)
With being away I wasn't able to make it tonight but I ventured into South Parade last night with other members of the ComhairleCeantair, to hear the concerns and issues of residents there.
Probably the main thing raised by members of the public in that area was the degree of vandalism taking place in the area. Certainly an issue that Alex Maskey and myself will raise with both the PSNI and the City Council in the immediate time ahead.
On a sad note, tomorrow see's the burial of BallymacarrettGaelgóir and stalwart Liam Ó Dochartaigh. Liam and his family were and are to the fore of the Irish language revival here in Belfast, well known and well got within the Irish speaking community, both here in the city and further afield.
Beidhméfhéin i láthairamárachle meas s'agam a léiriú do Liam agusdachlann, is cinntegurcáilleadh an-mhóir don phobailGaelach é ach is cinntechomhmaith go lánfaidh an ClannUíDhochartaigh leis an Ghaeilge a cuirchunchinnsatodhchaí.
rinneadh cur i láthair sa Tionól inné ón chruinniú earnála deireannach den Chomhairle Aireachta Thuaidh Theas(CATT)
Léirigh BTR Shinn Féin Barra Mac Giolla Dhuibh deacrachtaí s'aige agus an pháirtí leis an caidreamh agus na deachrachtaí atá ann idir an Roinn agus FnaG.
Is léir ar ndóigh go bhfuil fadhbanna ann, níl foireann go leor ar an Fhoras, tá deacrachtaí ann idir na rátaí difrúla thuaidh-theas agus da moilliú ann ar cur i láthair cúntais baince mar gheall ar deachrachtaí sa Bhord Albanais Uladh. Ní théann sé le ciall go nach bhfuil an phróiseas seo scartha idir an Fhoras agus an Bhord, níor chóir go raibh ceann amháin gafa ag an cheann eile.
Ar an drochuair fosta, ní raibh an Aire Campbell sa Tionól inne leis na cheisteann seo a fhreagairt, bhí tinneas air. Mar sin de bhí ar an tAire Michelle Gildernew labhairt, gan mórán réamhfhógra. Beidh sé suimiúl cluinstean san am atá romhain cén cineál freagair a bheas ag an Aire Campbell, go háirithe i dtaca leis na teorantaí ata ar an Fhoras mar gheall ar cibí deacrachtaí a bhfuil ag grúpaí eile!
Saint Matthews Chapel re-opened it's doors yesterday after just over a years worth of renovation.
I think half the district was there, overall I'd say they are impressed with the refurbishment, I know I am!
Bhí an tEaspaigTreanor i láthairinnéagcéiliúradh an Aifreann. Ócáiddeas, spéisialtaagusiontachtabhachtach do cuidmhórdaoine a bhíann. We also saw the return of Fr Martin O'Hagan, one of the 'singing' Priests.
The Chapel means a lot to the people of this community, in many ways it's a symbol of our progression as one of Belfast's oldest communities. It is over a century old and has seen many changes take place around it. It has been bombed, it has been shot at, it has been a place of worship, of solace, of sanctuary, of peace, it has seen local people give their lives in its defence, it has been a scene of much sadness and of much joy for generations of people in Ballymacarrett.
The refurbishment no doubt sets it well ahead for the next century. It was fitting that the re-opening to place on LánaFéileBríde, St Brigit's Day, a date in the ancient calendar which heralded the beginning of Spring, of new life. Comhgairdeasd'achanduine a raibhpáirteachsanobairseo, maithsibhfhéinuilig, sároibreatá i gceist.