Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Remembering Ireland’s Dead at Easter

éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson has called for republicans to remember Ireland’s patriot dead with pride this Easter and attend the party’s commemorations.

éirígí has organised commemorations in both Belfast and Dublin to mark the 94th anniversary of the Easter Rising, as well as a number of smaller ceremonies across the country.

Breandán Mac Cionnaith, éirígí’s general secretary, will be giving the main oration at the Irish Citizen Army plot in Glasnevin, while former Blanketman and ex-chair of the Belfast National Graves Association Pádraic Mac Coitir will be the main speaker at the Harbinson Plot in Milltown Cemetery.

Leeson said: “While éirígí is organising these commemorations, all republicans who wish to remember those who have given their lives in the cause of Irish freedom are more than welcome to attend.

“These will not be strictly party political events, as evidenced by our choice of main speaker in Belfast, they will, first and foremost, be an opportunity for republicans to remember our patriot dead and recommit ourselves to the struggle for a 32-county socialist republic.

“We extend a particular invite to the families of our fallen comrades, to ex-prisoners and to those young people who have recently taken an interest in the republican struggle.”

Remembering 1916 in Sligo

He continued: “The state of Ireland today indicates that all republicans and socialists still have a lot to do to make the vision contained in the 1916 Proclamation and the writings of James Connolly a reality.

“Half-a-million people are unemployed in this country, the population in the Six Counties continues to live under an occupation enforced by the British government’s armed forces, while the political institutions in both states serve no one but the wealthy.

“The resting places of Ireland’s patriot dead are the perfect venues for socialist republicans to recommit themselves to ending these injustices and building an Ireland that the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation would be proud of.”

Pádraic Mac Coitir commended éirígí for organising the commemorations.

“While I’m not a member of éirígí, I’m honoured to have been asked to give the oration on Easter Monday. Easter is an important time in the republican calendar and éirígí are to be commended for offering an outlet for socialist republicans to fittingly remember all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.”

  • Dublin: Saturday 3rd April. Wreath laying at the memorial to the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, corner of Percy Place and Northumbland Rd, 1.30pm.
  • Newry: Saturday 3rd April. Wreath laying ceremonies will take place at the Michael Hughes monument, Derrybeg estate; Derrybeg volunteers Monument, Derrybeg estate; Brendan Watters Monument, Barcroft estate; St Mary’s memorial cross, Barley lane; Republican plot, St Mary’s graveyard.
  • Fermanagh: Sunday 4th April. Assemble at the grave of Jim Murphy in Derrylin, at 11.45am. Speaker: Bernice Swift. Organised by the Seán Mac Diarmada Society.
  • Dublin: Sunday 4th April. Assemble at Hart's Corner, Phibsboro, at 1.30pm, for march to Citizen Army plot, Glasnevin.
  • Belfast: Monday 5th April. Assemble at Milltown Cemetery gates, Falls Road, at 1pm, for march to Harbinson plot.

Monday, March 29, 2010

éirígí slam Keaveney suggestion of British troops operating in 26-counties

éirígí Tír Chonaill spokesperson Micheál Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig has launched a scathing attack on Fianna Fáil Senator Cecilia Keaveney. MacGiolla Easbuig was responding to comments made today by Keaveney in which she suggested that consideration should be given to allowing British bomb disposal units operate here in the twenty six counties.

MacGiolla Easbuig said: “The comments from Senator Keaveney are truly amazing. Next week, Republicans the length and breadth of this island will commemorate the sacrifice of the women and men of Easter Week who, along with many more before and after the rising, sacrificed their liberty and lives in order to secure the removal of British troops from our shores.”

He added: “While it is bad enough that the occupation of the six counties continues, it is outrageous and indefensible that Keaveney would suggest to invite British troops to operate here in Donegal or elsewhere thoughout this state. It is an insult to all those who fought and died for Irish freedom and an insult to those northern nationalists who continue to live under the British occupation.”

“Such comments serve only to give the green light to the British occupation forces to continue with their incursions into this state. British army helicopters regularly cross over into the twenty six counties, particularly along the Fermanagh border. And in the latest incident, only last week, armed PSNI officers set up a checkpoint and stopped traffic in County Donegal just outside Belleek. The armed officers also entered a shop on the southern side of the border. Yet absolutely no action has been taken by this administration which is led by Senator Keaveney's party Fianna Fáil, the self styled 'republican party'.”

He concluded: “One thing is guaranteed. éirígí will continue to oppose the continued presence of British troops in our country within the six counties. We will equally oppose any attempt by this Fianna Fáil led administration to allow British troops to operate in this state under any circumstances.”

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Large crowd protest for Pat O'Donnell at Castlerea prison

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has called for the immediate release from prison of jailed fisherman and Shell to Sea campaigner Pat “the Chief” O Donnell. He has also called for the immediate scrapping of Shell's planned pipeline in north Mayo, the nationalisation of the Corrib gas and the refining of that gas at sea.

He was speaking following a national demonstration held outside Castlerea prison on Saturday in support of Pat O'Donnell. Among the large attendance were éirígí activists from around the country.

The demonstration commenced at the entrance to the prison where activists and supporters had gethered. Following some traditional music played by friends and neighbours of Pat's from Erris, including Vincent McGrath of the Rossport five, and a short address by Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington, those assembled marched up to the prison gates.

At the gates of the jail, Maura once again addressed the crowd calling for the release of Pat O'Donnell and an end to the giveaway of our natural resources. The large crowd also displayed banners and placards and chanted slogans calling for Pat's release before marching back down the road to the entrance of the prison once more.

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey, who took part in the demonstration, said: "The jailing of O’Donnell is yet another attempt to criminalise an entire community in north Mayo and all those willing to stand up to the might of Shell Oil. Other prominent Shell to Sea campaigners, such as Maura Harrington, have been regularly intimidated, beaten, dragged before the courts on bogus charges and jailed as the state bends over backwards to do Shell's bidding.”

He added: “O'Donnell should never have been jailed in the first place and must be released immediately. His continued imprisonment is a gross miscarraige of justice.”

“The recent ruling from An Bord Pleanala has vindicated Pat and those other campaigners who all along claimed that this pipeline was unsafe and a major threat to the community in the Rossport area. This pipeline must be stopped immediately, the Corrib gas must be nationalised and the gas refined at sea, in line with international best practice. That is the only viable solution to this dispute.”

“This Fianna Fáil led coalition has already overseen mass unemployment and widespread cutbacks in social welfare, child benefit, pay and in our health and education services. Yet they are giving away billions of euros worth of natural resources, massive wealth which could be utilised to generate employment, eradicate poverty, create efficient health and education services accessible to all and increase living standards for workers.”

He concluded: “These resources must now be taken under public control. They must be used to create a better, fairer society instead of creating profits for Shell and those such as Sligo/North Leitrim Fianna Fáil TD Jimmy Devins who hold shares in companies with a major stake in Shell.”

For more photographs from Saturday's demonstration click here

Friday, March 26, 2010

National Demo tomorrow (March 27) for Pat O'Donnell at Castlerea Prison

Tomorrow (Saturday March 27) will be Pat O'Donnell's 46th day behind bars in Castlerea Prison. Pat, a prominent Shell to Sea campaigner and fisherman from north Mayo, was convicted of public order offences relating to a cavalcade in support of fellow campaigner Maura Harrington who was on hunger-strike at the time. He received a seven month jail term for his supposed offence.

A national demonstration, organised by the Shell to Sea campaign group demanding justice and the immediate release of O'Donnell, is to be held tomorrow (Saturday March 27 ) outside Castlerea Prison, County Roscommon.

éirígí Sligeach activist Gerry Casey has once again stressed the urgency and importance of people attending this show of solidarity with Pat O'Donnell and to demand his release. Speaking in advance of tomorrow's demonstration, Casey said that there were also other fundamental issues surrounding Shell's planned pipeline and the policing of it that need to be exposed.

He said: "Pat O'Donnell is in jail as a result of the unjust and corrupt political system that operates in this country. It is a system that has one law for the wealthy and powerful, another law for everyone else."

"As a result of Pat's determination to resist Shell's planned pipeline in north Mayo and to stand up to the illegal bully-boy tactics of Shell's security and Shell's police force, the Gardai, he was viewed as a threat to the status quo and the state itself."

"Pat O'Donnell's jailing is wrong. What Shell are trying to impose on the people of north Mayo is wrong. The giveaway by the political establishment of hundreds of billions of euro worth of oil and gas to Shell is wrong."

He concluded: "By attending this demonstration tomorrow, you can send a strong message to the political elite in Leinster house that Pat O'Donnell must be freed, that Shell's pipeline must be stopped and that all our natural resources must be nationalised and utilised for the benefit of all the people on this island and not just for Shell's shareholders."

Echoing the calls for a large turn-out at tomorrow's protest, éirígí Tir Chonaill spokesperson Micheál Colm Mac Giolla Easbuig says that Mr O'Donnell should be released from jail immediately and that the Twenty-Six County justice system should not be used to do the dirty work of multi-national fuel company Shell.

Mac Giolla Easbuig said, “Pat O'Donnell is now in the second month of a seven month jail sentence on trumped up public order offences. This is solely because he has taken a public stand against Shell who are forcing a pipeline, carrying high pressure raw gas, through Broadhaven Bay and ashore against the wishes of the majority of the residents of the area. This man has been vilified in the press and his life and that of his family turned upside down for the simple reason that he steadfastly refuses to let Shell run roughshod over the community in which he lives and has refused to be bought off by Shell.”

He added: “He and his son have been arbitarily arrested while fishing with no charges arising and Shell boats have torn his fishing gear from their moorings. He had his livelihood taken from him when a group of masked men boarded his fishing boat and held him and his crew at gunpoint in the wheelhouse, while some of the gang went into the engine room and scuttled his boat. Pat and his crew had to be rescued from a liferaft as his vessel sank. At demonstrations against Shell's actions Mr O'Donnell has been violently assaulted by Gardai leaving him with facial injuries and broken teeth."

"We are currently in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis in this country and the state should not be complicit in the giving away of hundreds of billions of euros worth of oil and gas to private business interests. Rather it should be used by the state for the people of this island and refined at sea in a safe and environmentally friendly manner in line with best international practices."

He concluded: “We in éirígí are reminding people and once again calling for as many people as possible to attend this national protest outside Castlerea Prison at 3.30pm tomorrow, to demand the immediate release of Mr O'Donnell and to secure justice for him and the people he represents. The hope is that this protest will send a message, not only of support to Mr O'Donnell, but a message to Shell and the Twenty-Six County government that the Irish people will not be walked on for the interests of foreign multi-national companies and their shareholders."

Anyone wishing to travel to the protest from Donegal can contact éirígí Tír Chonaill on 086 8845476

Anyone wishing to travel to the protest from Sligo can contact éirígí Sligeach on 087 1501952

Thursday, March 25, 2010

éirígí Sligeach now on Facebook & Twitter

You can now follow éirígí Sligeach on both Facebook and Twitter.

Just click here for our Facebook page and here for our Twitter page.

éirígí Sligeach can also be contacted by sending an e-mail to

or by phoning or texting us on 087 1501952

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

éirígí Calls for Action on Israel

éirígí Tir Chonaill spokesperson, Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig, has called on the EU to halt it's association with Israel in light of the recent vote in the European Parliament to support the UN Goldstone Report on Gaza. One of those who has voted in favour of the report is local MEP Pat The Cope Gallagher.

The report, by Justice Richard Goldstone on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council, was compiled in the aftermath of the military assault by Israel on Gaza in early 2009 and was heavily critical of the actions of Israel during the conflict. In the report, Goldstone concluded that Israel committed "grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention in respect of wilful killings and wilfully causing great suffering to protected persons," war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

Mac Giolla Easbuig said "The fact that the European Parliament has voted in support of such a report goes to show the revulsion that is felt, by so many, of the brutal actions meted out by the Israeli state on the Palestinian people, both in Gaza and the West Bank. This week, the the Council for the EU will be discussing the up-grading of the EU-Israel Association Agreement (EUIAA) and we in éirígí are calling on the EU to halt this in light of the recent vote that was taken by the European Parliament."

"The EU-Israel Association Agreement promotes strong business, trade and cultural links between the EU and Israel and an up-grade to 'special status' will make these links even stronger, eventually giving Israel the chance of more input in EU policies and more access to EU money. This just will not be acceptable. Currently Israel is no more than a rouge state. Its in clear breach of a list of UN Security Council resolutions, the Forth Geneva Convention and rulings from the International Court of Justice. Its even in breach of the regulations of the EU-Israel Association Agreement set up for Israels benefit. Its a nuclear power in violation of international law and shouldn't be rewarded for its continuing illegal occupation in Palestine."

Likening Israel to to the once Apartheid South Africa, Mac Giolla Easbuig continued by saying widespread sanctions should be placed on Israel. "The conditions which the Palestinian people endure under the Israeli occupation are as bad as that which the people of South Africa lived under during the Apartheid Regime. Economic, cultural and sporting boycotts done much to bring that regime to an end and similar actions could go a long way to bring the Israeli states brutality to an end. Rather than aiding and abetting Israel in its crimes the EU should place economic sanctions upon it for the wrongs it continues to perpetrate in the middle east."

Mac Giolla Easbuig concluded by saying, "The current Twenty-Six County government have their part to play in this also. They should be actively calling on Israel to desist from its many crimes, instead of backing them by trading with them in deals, such as the purchasing of millions of euros worth of bullets from Israeli Military Industries, a deal which they are currently considering."

"At the up-coming EUIAA meeting, the Twenty-Six Counties will be represented by the Department of Foreign Affairs and given Israels track record and its continuing occupation of Palestine and blockade of Gaza, I'm calling on the government to insist that this agreement isn't up-graded, but rather scrapped altogether. I would also ask that those who represent the Twenty-Six Counties in the European Parliament, such as Pat The Cope Gallagher, work harder to insure that Israel is brought to book and that the Irish people who they represent are not mis-represented by being made complicit in Israels many crimes."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

éirígí urge support for Castlerea demo in support of Pat O'Donnell

éirígí have re-iterated calls for the release of jailed fisherman and prominent Shell to Sea campaigner Pat “the Chief” O Donnell. They have also urged people from throughout the north-west to attend a national demonstration, organised the Shell to Sea campaign, outside Castlerea prison in County Roscommon on Saturday next March 27 at 3.30pm in support of O'Donnell.

On February 11, Pat O’Donnell received a seven month prison sentence at Castlebar Circuit Court. relating to two separate incidents that occurred in September 2008. These incidents occurred during a cavalcade organised in support of another prominent Shell to Sea campaigner Mayo woman Maura Harrington, who was on hunger-strike at the time.

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey said: “As Pat O Donnell enters his second month unjustly imprisoned at the behest of Shell, éirígí want to re-iterate our demand for his immediate release. We also pledge our ongoing support for the community of Rossport and surrounding areas in their struggle against the oil giants Shell, a multi-national company with an appalling human rights and environmental record worldwide.”

He added: “Pat's real crimes are not the politically motivated offences for which he was convicted. His real 'crime' is his continued defiance in the face of a concerted campaign of intimidation against himself and other opponents of Shell's planned pipeline by the so-called forces of law and order in this state on Shell's behalf. Many have been jailed and have suffered assault as a result of their opposition to this pipeline. Indeed, Pat has been assaulted on numerous occasions, has been repeatedly harrassed and arrested by Gardai and has his fishing boat sank by armed and masked thugs.”

“Pat O Donnell, and others like the Rossport five and Maura Harrington who have also suffered such intimidation and imprisonment at Shell's behest, are be commended for their resilience. Their selfless sacrifice, their willingness to endure hardship for the safety of their community and the common good and their unwillingness to be intimidated or bought off with bribes is an inspiration. It stands in stark contrast to those politicians and sections of the media who sought to demonise and criminalise honourable people such as Pat and others opposed to the giveaway of our natural resources to Shell and their construction of an unneccessary and unsafe pipeline carrying raw unrefined gas through their community.”

He concluded: “The bottom line is that Shell has no right to extract this gas. It belongs to the Irish people and must be nationalised and used for their benefit, not to boost Shell's profits. Pat O Donnell should be released immediately. éirígí would urge people to take part in Saturday's national demonstration outside Castlerea prison to lend their support to the demand for his release and to support the campaign to stop Shell's pipeline and to take back our natural resources."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Palestinian Play in Donegal a big Success

A much larger than expected crowd attended an event to mark International Women's Week in Dungloe last weekend. The event, a play entitled "Clouds on a Mountain Road", was held in Ionad Teampall Chróine, Dungloe, and staged by Derry based theatre company Sole Purpose Productions.

Well over one hundred people turned up on the Saturday evening (13th March) and packed into the upstairs room in Ionad Teampall Chróine, Dungloe, to see the two local actresses, Carmel McCafferty and Abby Oliveira, put on a very emotional and moving performance which got a standing ovation from the audience on the night.

The emotive play looked at the issue of two women living in Palestine, how they deal with the brutal occupation of the Israeli Defence Forces, the conflict the occupation causes and the personal hurt and emotion caused to the women by the conflict. Orna Akad, who wrote the play, looked at how women resist the occupation and the great angst which it causes them, as well as their efforts to make change in their own way, was at the heart of the play.

One of the women portrayed in the play was internationally acclaimed Palestinian poet, Fadwa Tuqan, a women from a comfortable background who had seen the world and lived a western style life. The other was a younger Palestinian women, Inshirah Shiti, a political ex-prisoner and militant from a much poorer background, holding strong religious views. Throughout the course of the play the two women discussed their feelings, the effects the conflict has had on them and the reasons for doing what they did in their own way to resist the occupation of their homeland.

Éirígí Tir Chonaill spokesperson Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig who organised the Dungloe event said he was overwhelmed by the amount of people who showed up on the night to see the play and mark International Women's Week. Speaking after the event Micheál Cholm said, "I was amazed and delighted to see so many people make the effort to show up and support this event. Such a crowd turned up that we had to close the doors and unfortunately we had to turn people who came late away, which I'd like to apologise for as I appreciate the fact they made the effort to come to the event. But we just had no more room to fit people in."

"It was such an emotional performance and it was hard not to be moved by the subject matter. All too often the issue of how conflict affects women and people in general on a personal level is overlooked. This play, particularly on International Women's Week, was a good opportunity to do just that. The brutality meted out on the Palestinian people on a daily basis continues and all the problems that come with that affect them both emotionally and psychologically, as well as socially, from the very youngest to the very oldest in their society. There were so many people sitting around me who were moved to tears and that reaction just went to show that the audience took on board the message of the play", he said.

"A women speaking to me after the play said throughout the performance, she could visualise pictures of the suffering of the Palestinian people and almost relived the footage which was shown around the world of the horrors of the prolonged Israeli military attacks on Gaza and its people in early 2009. Not only that but she said she could relate what the women discussed in the play to her own terrible experiences living through the on-going British occupation in the North of Ireland where she had lived for most of her life. So I feel that the play did a service, not only of marking International Women's Week, but in educating people about the many issues, challenges and emotions women face in times of conflict."

Micheál finished by thanking all those involved in helping to stage the play and also thanked the people who turned up on the night to see it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

éirígí slam Devins hypocrisy over Corrib gas controversy

Jimmy  DevinsSligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has accused local Fianna Fáil Deputy Jimmy Devins of hypocrisy following recent comments in which he called for the extension of the Corrib Gas Field to Sligo and the north-west.

Casey said: “According to Devins, ways of extending the Corrib gas field for the benefit of the north-west need to be explored. Yet this a deputy who has steadfastly supported the shameful give-away of these valuable natural resources worth hundreds of billions of euro to create profits for the shareholders of multi-national companies such as Shell.”

He added: “Contrary to the suggestion by Devins that extending the Corrib gas to Sligo and the north-west would somehow benefit the region, the reality is that under the current circumstances where Shell own and control the gas, the only people who will benefit from this will be the shareholders in Shell.”

“While he has been extremely reluctant to publicly say so, amongst those set to benefit financially will be Deputy Devins himself. According to the Leinster house Register of Interests, Devins is a shareholder with Standard Life, a company which owns over 46 million shares in Shell and is one of their biggest shareholders.”

“If Devins was genuine in seeking the people of the north-west and the people of this island in general to benefit from the Corrib gas field, then the only way to do that is to support ending Shell's involvement in exploiting our natural resources and their proposed pipeline through north Mayo. If he has the interests of the north-west at heart then he will support the nationalisation of the Corrib gas field and other similar fields, to support the refining of the gas at sea and and to use the vast revenue obtained to create effective and efficient public services, to eradicate poverty and to increase living standards for workers.”

Casey concluded: “If he fails to support such demands, then his comments about this gas being of “benefit” to the north west will be seen for the gross hypocrisy that it is. The only ones to benefit if the state and Shell get their way will be himself and the other shareholders in Shell or companies that hold shares in Shell at the expense of the people of this island.”

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The courts do Shell’s dirty work: Release Pat O’Donnell

Pat  O'Donnelléirígí chairperson Brian Leeson has condemned the jailing of a prominent Mayo Shell to Sea campaigner and vowed that the party would continue to support the Rossport community in its fight against the notorious oil giant.

On February 11, local fisherman Pat ‘The Chief’ O’Donnell received a seven month prison sentence at Castlebar Circuit Court. The sentence relates to two separate incidents in September 2008 during the course of a cavalcade that was organised in support of Mayo woman Maura Harrington, who was on hunger-strike at the time.

Local Gardaí, who had followed the cavalcade as part of an ongoing campaign of harassment against local activists, alleged that Pat O’Donnell and a number of others engaged in threatening and abusive behaviour and a breach of the peace. Despite using video surveillance to monitor the cavalcade, the Gardaí could produce no evidence to back up their claims, nor was there any damage to the Garda car that O’Donnell and others were alleged to have attacked.

Astonishingly, the Gardaí in question claimed that they were in fear for their lives and compared the incident to the 1988 funeral of IRA volunteer Caoimhghín Mac Brádaigh in Belfast, which was attacked by two undercover British soldiers. Local Garda Aidan Gill blubbered in court: “They were abusive and shouting ‘get out you bastards’ and were banging on the car. It was a terrifying, frightening experience which lasted for about five minutes but it felt like an eternity.”

Notwithstanding their apparent terror, the Gardaí were still able to single out Pat O’Donnell from a crowd of over 60 people.

The jailing of O’Donnell follows a, by now, all too familiar pattern in which the Twenty-Six County state has sought to criminalise those willing to stand up to the corporate might of Shell Oil. Other prominent Shell to Sea campaigners, such as Maura Harrington, have been regularly harassed, beaten and hauled before the courts on spurious charges as the state does all in its power to facilitate Shell.

Harrington was brought before the courts again this week and given a one-year driving ban. While the state deems it a crime to defend your community and to highlight the fact that €420 billion [£365 billion] worth of oil and gas has been given away to private companies, the bankers and developers who brought the economy to its knees are free to roam the streets waiting for their next opportunity to mug the Irish people.

Paying tribute to Pat O’Donnell, éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson said: “Pat O’Donnell has been a stalwart defender of his community’s right to live in safety. He has paid a heavy price for his refusal to be bought off by Shell. Last June, masked men held Pat and his crew man Martin McDonnell at gunpoint and sank his boat and now he is facing a seven month prison sentence on trumped up charges. It is people like Pat who continue to provide an inspiration to those of us campaigning for people and communities to be put before private profit.”

Leeson continued: “The stance taken by the community in Rossport was vindicated last December when An Bord Pleanála ruled that the proposed route of Shell’s high pressure gas pipeline risked the lives of those living in close proximity to it. Yet those who fought this battle and brought the issue to national and international prominence are the ones to be imprisoned. Pat should be released from prison immediately and Shell’s project in Mayo abandoned once and for all. The community in Rossport have a right to live in peace and safety and the people of Ireland and not Shell have the right to benefit from the country’s oil and gas resources.”

Please write letters of support to Pat O’Donnell, c/o Castlereagh Prison, County Roscommon.

éirígí claim BreastCheck staff shortages endangering womens live in north-west

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has accused the Fianna Fáil led administration and the Health Service executive (HSE) of putting the lives of women in the north-west at great risk. He was speaking in relation to staff shortages in the BreastCheck service in this region which are causing unnecessary and ultimately dangerous delays in screening women in order to detect breast cancer.

Casey said: “Each year, hundreds of women in the Twenty-Six Counties die from breast cancer, with thousands more diagnosed with it. In most cases, early detection of breast cancer makes a full recovery extremely likely and also lessens the traumatic effect on the patient of the entire treatment and recovery process.”

“Despite all the fanfare that greeted the long overdue arrival of BreastCheck to the north-west last year, the reality is that many women who are entitled to this essential service have yet to receive an appointment .”

He added: “In recent weeks we in éirígí have been contacted by a number of women who expressed grave concern over their failure to recieve an apointment for their screening. This is despite the fact that they received letters last July explaining that this service was now up and running. When contacted, the HSE said the delay in appointments was due to staff shortages in the BreastCheck service here in the north-west.”

“This is scandalous and a further insult to the women of the north west who had wait ten years after the roll-out of this service on the east coast before BreastCheck even commenced in this region. Now many women are being forced to wait an unacceptably long time to receive what is a potentially life saving service.”

The whole BreastCheck saga from its inception exposes the abject failure of this administration and the HSE to prioritise essential and potentially life saving services for people when needed. They are more intent on slashing staff numbers and services throughout the health sector, which has resulted in the removal of breast cancer services and ward closures at Sligo General Hospital. All this while they proceed with the implementation of their right-wing policies of privatisation and a two-tier health system rather than creating a first class and efficient health service based on medical need, available and accessible to all.”

“The scandal in recent days at Tallaght hospital where thousands of x-rays were left unreviewed merely serves to underline the lack of real concern for the health and well being of the population at large, particularly the patients and families who suffer unnecessarily because of such unjustifiable blunders, within both the HSE and the administration in Leinster House.”

He concluded: “The simple reality is that women in these counties may die unnecessarily from breast cancer as a direct result of this administration's policy and these delays. The HSE and their political masters need to immediately rectify the situation, end the delays and provide the necessary resources and staff to deliver the BreastCheck service to the women of the north-west speedily.”

Friday, March 12, 2010

éirígí Protest Against British Warship In Dublin Port

HMS  Daringéirígí have announced details of a protest in opposition to the docking of a massive British warship in Dublin Port. The protest, which will take place this Saturday, March 13th, will assemble at 2pm at Seabank House, East Wall Road, Dublin 3.

The HMS Daring, an air defence destroyer class of warship, is currently occupying a berth at Ocean Pier 32, on Alexandra Road, Dublin Port.

Speaking at the announcement of the protest éirígí spokesperson, Brian Leeson said:

“The presence of this British warship in Dublin is an attempt to portray the relationship between Ireland and Britain as normal, when in truth that relationship remains deeply abnormal.

“A section of Ireland’s national territory remains occupied by Britain, which maintains a permanent garrison of 5,000 British soldiers, 8,000 paramilitary police and 100s of MI5 operatives in the Six Counties. It is an absolute outrage that the Twenty Six county state would play host to the British war machine, under these circumstances.”

Brian concluded by encouraging people to join the protest on Saturday, “éirígí is calling on all those who support Irish freedom and oppose the ongoing British occupation of the Six Counties, to join this protest and send a very clear message to the British government that its forces are not welcome in any part of Ireland.”