Monday, July 18, 2011

Sinn Fein - Uniting Ireland

UPDATE: A video from this talk is available here.

Martin Ferris to speak in Australia on 'Uniting Ireland'

* PERTH: Wednesday July 27, 7.30pm. Irish Club, 61 Townshend Rd, Subiaco. $5 entry - tickets at door.
* SYDNEY: Thursday July 28, 7pm. UTS, Haymarket Campus (Room CM5C.1.31). $5 entry - tickets at door.
* MELBOURNE: Saturday July 30, 7.30pm. Celtic Club, 316-320 Queen Street. Supper and entertainment. $40 entry. Tickets available at door. Ph John 0407 863 291.

Martin Ferris, a TD (MP) from Irish republican party Sinn Féin, is to address audiences in Australia later this month on the ongoing struggle for Irish reunification and independence. Ferris will address audiences in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney on the topic of ‘Uniting Ireland’.

Ferris was part of the Sinn Féin negotiating team in the lead-up to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and will speak on the progress and challenges of the ongoing peace process, and the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent international agreements.

Elected to the Dáil (Dublin parliament) in 2002, Ferris is the Sinn Féin spokesperson on workers’ rights. He will outline the economic crisis unfolding across Ireland, which has caused soaring unemployment and emigration, and the mass opposition to the government’s austerity measures and the IMF/EU ‘bailout’.

Ferris will also be discussing the legacy of the 1981 hunger strike in which 10 Irish republican prisoners died in the protest for political status in Long Kesh prison, an event which caused profound and long-lasting changes in Irish politics. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the hunger strike and events are being held all over the world to commemorate their deaths.

Ferris, a former IRA Volunteer and political prisoner who has been active in the Irish republican movement since 1970, said: “For centuries Britain's involvement in Ireland has been the source of conflict; partition, discord and division.

“The Irish peace process has delivered an end to conflict and that is to be welcomed. But the underlying cause of conflict persists – the British government's claim of jurisdiction over a part of Ireland. It is this denial of the Irish people's right to self-determination, freedom and independence that is the core outstanding issue that must be resolved.

“The Irish diaspora and supporters have a very important role to play in the ongoing struggle for Irish reunification and independence. In the construction of the peace process the progress we achieved would not have been possible without that support, especially in Britain, the US, Australia and Canada.

“Sinn Féin has organised a series of conferences and meetings on the topic of Irish unity in Ireland, Britain, the US and Canada over the past two years in order to start a conversation about achieving these goals.

“We are glad to be bringing similar events to Australia this year and hope it lays the basis for future engagement with the Irish community and supporters of Irish self-determination here in Australia.”

* This speaking tour is being organised by Friends of Sinn Féin Australia and the Casement Group Melbourne. For more information phone Emma on 0450 835 189.

[This information is from Friends of Sinn Féin Australia, Director John Little]