Friday, December 18, 2009

Minister and Taoiseach soaked on Grand Parade, Cork‏

Cork Ógra Shinn Féin took part in a novel protest today, friday the 17th, to highlight their opposition to the budget. With two Ógra members dressed up as Brian Cowen, and Brian Lenihan, members of the public were encouraged to hurl wet sponges at the taoiseach and minister for finance. The protest took place on fornt of what was the Capital Cinema, on the Grand Parade in the middle of Cork City.

A placard nearby read ‘the two Brian’s put a dampener on your Christmas, let them know how it feels!!’ and quite a number availed of this opportunity with great relish!
Brian Lenihan, AKA National Organiser, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, said that while he was feeling distinctly wet and cold, he was glad the people of cork enjoyed soaking the government so much.

‘People were certainly enthusiastic, maybe too enthusiastic! Even though people are pretty frustrated with this government, still it’s good to make a bit of fun of it.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen aka Joe Lynch said 'Even if they cut our social welfare and wages, there will be no cutbacks in Cork people’s humour’
Ógra will continue to protest against this anti youth, anti working class budget, all across the country and to provide a voice for those who have none.

Radio Interview of Ógra Activists Solidarity Trip to the Basque Country

National Secretary of Ógra Shinn Féin Dave Collins from Cork, recently travelled to the Basque Country to express the Irish Republican Youth movement's solidarity to the Basque Youth Movement, SEGI.

It was an important act of solidarity considering the recent arrests of 34 Basque youth political and cultural activists. The recent fascist onslaught by the Spanish state on the Basque pro independence movement, has been widely condemned across the globe, not least in Ireland, where protests and actions have taken place across the country.

While in the Basque Country, Dave engaged in a number of protests, rallies and press conferences pledging Ógra's ongoing support to our oppressed and imprisoned comrades.

Dave was interviewed on Basque Info on Feile FM last night about his time in the Basque Country and his thoughts on the recent arrests.

A full report of Dave's solidarity trip will be published soon.

Solidarity with SEGI

On Wednesday the 9th of December members from all three Cork Ogra cumainn took to the streets to inform the public on the recent illegal arrests of the members of SEGI via a leaflet drop in Cork city centre. The streets were packed with people doing christmas shopping and coming to and from work. Ogra members handed out well over 200 leaflets highlighting the illegal imprisonment of the members of SEGI and the current situation in the Basque Country, and received good feedback from members of the public interested in finding out more information.

Speaking on the recent events Cork Organiser for Ogra Shinn Féin, Dave Barry, had this to say,

"Cork Ogra Shinn Féin condemns the recent wave of arrests on the members of SEGI by the Spanish government and sends our solidarity to our comrades in the Basque Country. Cork Ogra Shinn Fein will continue to highlight the plight of the Basque people by the Spanish Government and call for the immediate release of all Basque political prisoners illegally held and tortured in Spanish concentration camps. Your struggle is our struggle."

Cork Ógra take to the streets in support of Basque Youth activists.

Twice in the last week, members of Cork Ógra have taken to the streets in protest against the arrests of the Basque youth activists recently. On friday the 27th hundreds of leaflets were distributed in Daunt Square and Winthrop Street at a peak shopping time.

This was followed up on Wednseday the 2nd when a large contingent of local ógra members joined with the Irish Basque Solidarity committee in a leaflet drop and banner Drop in Daunt Square for an evening protest.

Cork Ógra spokesperson Dan Harty had this to say 'Given the complete and utter media blackout with regard to this issue, we felt we had to be vocal and to highlight this issue.
On both occassions i noticed people were genuinely surprised that these sort of things could be happening in Western Europe without comment, and the vast majority of people were extremely supportive of our actions.'

'There was a great deal of people willing to support the on-line petition as well, and hopefully these people will spread the word about the disgraceful actions of the Spanish government.'

CIT Ógra Shinn Féin Launch

A large group of republicans gathered in Cork last Thursday for the official launch of the new Cumann in Cork Institute of Technology at An Spailpín Fánach in Cork City. The event included a showing of Terry George’s 1996 film “Some Mother’s Son” which was followed by a very enjoyable music performance by Sean Ó Sé and a sing-song session with contributions from all around the room.

Speakers on the night included Ógra Shinn Féin National Organiser Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire and Cork City Councillor Jonathon O’Brien, a founder member of Ógra who gave an inspiring speech on the role of youth in republicanism and who documented his own time in Ógra to those in attendance.

Chair Joe Lynch, having given a review of the campaigns undertaken by the Cumann since its formation in September, had this to say “...we can’t be content with already being the most active political party in the college, we can’t stop there and we won’t rest on our laurels, the real work begins now. The signs are extremely positive though, in the past six weeks I’ve seen nothing but commitment and drive on the part of my new comrades and as the Cumann matures with further recruits being brought on board who are in turn familiarised with Sinn Féin policy and structures there is no reason why can’t eventually emulate more established Cumainn in terms of campaigning on the issues affecting the people of this island, and recruiting and educating young activists.”

Following the various speeches the film was shown to a very enthusiastic audience and upon its conclusion the music kicked off, ending with a rousing rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann some time after midnight.
Vice-Chair Niamh Kerins commenting afterwards was pleased with the level of support from those in attendance “it was great to see so many people there supporting CIT Ógra, we won’t let them down” and PRO Jason Kelly commented “a great time was had, what a shame we can only have a launch once!”
All those in attendance agreed a great night was had and the Cumann can look forward to the year ahead and beyond with optimism following a great show of support from senior party members, Ógra activists from other Cumainn and from fellow students and supporters alike.