Here is the much celebrated video shown at Sinn Féin's An Chéad Dáil event in the Mansion House Round Room on January 12, 2019. Sinn Féin former Mayor of Dublin Mícheál Mac Donncha wrote and presents this historic and inspiring reflection of the events of 100 years ago.
Following this afternoon's decision in the High Court to reject the application of those citizens concerned with the destruction of part of the historical Carrickmines Castle Sinn Fein TD Aengus O Snodaigh called for costs not to be awarded against them as they took the case in the interests of Irish history, heritage and archaeology.
Deputy O Snodaigh said, "The Heritage Council has previously stated that 10 per cent of our historical sites were destroyed between 1991 and 2001, it seems as if that trend is continuing. We need more protections for our historical monuments.
"The whole Carrickmines saga could have been avoided if the junction was redesigned as was the next junction along, and if the question of ownership of Jackson Way was exposed fully." ENDS
Sinn Féin Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin has welcomed the indication from DUP Deputy leader Peter Robinson yesterday that he would support a peace dividend being paid by the British government to undo decades of British under funding and neglect.
Mr McLaughlin said:
" The main political objective in the immediate term is of course to establish whether or not the DUP are up for agreeing the sort of holistic package which is necessary to see the political institutions re-established and the other outstanding Good Friday Agreement issues resolved. This is of course proving somewhat difficult given the mixed signals being sent by the DUP over recent weeks.
" However I have to say that the comments made by Peter Robinson regarding the need for the British Government to pay a peace dividend to undo the decades of neglect and under funding mirror the position which has been advanced by Sinn Féin for many years.
" In every negotiation and indeed within the Executive Sinn Féin argued strongly that all of the local parties needed to adopt a united approach in demanding that the British government deliver a substantial and meaningful peace dividend.
" Communities across the six counties have suffered British government neglect through under funding and others have suffered and continue to suffer through oppressive policing and miltarisation. Our road and water infrastructure and our health and education facilities are clearly in need of substantial investment yet the only option which the British government seems to be advancing is increased local rates.
" This is unacceptable and it is time that the British government directly put up the money to undo the damage done by its decades old policy of militarisation and under funding." ENDS
Sinn Féin representative for Dublin South East, Councillor Daithí Doolan speaking ahead of tonight's City Council debate on Dublin's City Development Plan, has outlined his party's attempt to "rezone incineration out of the City Development Plan".
Cllr Doolan said:
"Sinn Féin has submitted an amendment to the plan which will only allow industry that is compatible with a non thermal treatment policy. The rezoning we propose tonight will guarantee that no incinerator can be built on the proposed site on the Poolbeg Peninsula. If we win tonight it will be a major victory not just for the local area here in the inner city but will be a victory for the whole of Dublin. I am confident that we do have cross party support with other parties indicating that they now support the campaign to stop the incinerator.
"The site for the proposed incinerator might well be on Poolbeg Peninsula but international studies show that the effects of incineration impact up to 40 kilometers from the actual site. This amendment will allow City Council to seriously address the waste crisis we face. We can no longer simply burn or bury our waste.
"Sinn Féin is committed to working with other political parties and with the communities we represent in order to introduce a Zero Waste Strategy for Dublin, a strategy which actually tackles the crisis at source. It aims to reduce the waste we produce, reuse where practical and invest in our fledgling recycling industry. Tonight is our attempt to ensure that incinerators and their side effects will have no place here in Dublin now or at any time in the future." ENDS
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP and the party Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP will hold discussions tomorrow morning (Wednesday 8th Sept) with the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
The meeting will take place at 11am at Government Buildings in Dublin.
The Sinn Féin delegation is available to speak to the media before the meeting at 10.50am.
Commenting on the impending decision of PSNI Chief Hugh Orde regarding the future of the Full Time Reserve, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing Gerry Kelly said that the removal of this force was a clear demand of Patten and a demand which must be met.
Mr Kelly said:
" Patten recommended that the Full Time Reserve be phased out quickly. This important Patten demand has already been delayed by years, a move facilitated by the Policing Board, in direct contravention of the Patten proposals.
" Sinn Féin have consistently raised this matter in our discussions with the British government and this force clearly must be removed from the policing equation. The Full Time Reserve is unrepresentative and represents to nationalists and republicans a key element of a failed policing agenda.
" People will be watching closely whether or not the Policing Board are going to continue to acquiesce in maintaining this unrepresentative and discredited force." ENDS
Speaking from Stormont where he is leading a party delegation in talks with the SDLP, Sinn Féin Assembly group leader Conor Murphy said in an initial response to Peter Robinson's Dublin speech that 'the community were receiving mixed signals from the DUP'.
Mr Murphy said:
" We are conscious that that community is receiving mixed signals from the DUP over recent weeks. If today's speech by Peter Robinson is a genuine indication that a deal can be done then we would obviously welcome that. But I have to say the messages coming from the DUP have caused considerable confusion.
" Sinn Fein have been clear in saying that we are approaching these discussions in a positive manner. We want to see a package agreed which will see the political institutions re-established and the other outstanding issues resolved. But now is the time to make progress. Now is the time to do real business.
" If today's speech indicates that Peter Robinson is up for doing real business then of course Sinn Féin will wish to explore this in the coming days." ENDS
Dublin Sinn Féin will launch their waste strategy document "Towards A Zero Waste Strategy in the Dublin Region" on Thursday 09th September 2004, in Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street Dublin at 10.30 am.
Attending the event will be Mary Lou McDonald MEP, Aengus O Snodaigh TD and Dublin City Councillor Daithí Doolan.
Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP has said that he believes that the British Secretary of State Paul Murphy directly authorised the intelligence gathering operation uncovered yesterday at the home of a Sinn Féin member. Mr McGuinness has demanded that the British Secretary of State make a full statement on the matter.
Mr McGuinness said:
" I have just returned from London this morning. We were there as part of ongoing efforts to see a package agreed which would see the re-establishment of the political institutions and the resolution of all of the other outstanding Good Friday Agreement matters.
" Sinn Féin has all along been approaching these discussions in a positive and constructive manner.
" While we were in London yesterday a sophisticated bugging device was found in the home of a member of Gerry Adams staff. Gerry Adams yesterday raised this very serious turn of events with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair People should not underestimate the effects of this.
" This is a serious breach of faith by the British government and I believe that it comes directly from within the NIO. I have to presume that it was authorised by the British Secretary of State Paul Murphy in his role as head of the NIO and rest assured I will be raising this directly with him. The 'no comment' approach by the NIO will not wash.
" Clearly this NIO spying operation on Sinn Féin raises very serious issues and very serious questions about the continuing negative role being played by the NIO securocrats at the heart of the British system. The British Prime Minister Tony Blair needs to tackle head on those within the NIO who are hostile to the peace process and hostile to republican involvement in it." ENDS
Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has described as worrying, statistics by the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI), which suggested that a rise in racist assaults have been reported since the Citizenship Referendum last June.
Ms McDonald said "it is no coincidence that there is a direct correlation between the Citizenship Referendum and a rise in the incidences of reported racist assaults in the period directly after the passing of the referendum".
Speaking before her departure to Brussels Ms McDonald said:
„The NCCRI study shows clearly that the volume of racist assaults are running well above the Œaverage‚ numbers normally reported. That there has been a sharp increase during and since the passing of the Citizenship Referendum should surprise no one. Sinn Féin, along with others, warned that the referendum would lead to an increase in racism, and unfortunately we have been proved right.
"The NCCRI recorded 50 racist incidents during and since the referendum campaign. Many such incidents occurred during the actual campaign. These statistics are particularly worrying when placed beside other statistics, which show an average of 47 incidents every 6 months.
"Racism also extends far beyond such violent attacks. Members of ethnic minority communities experience a whole series of inequalities in our society, ranging from verbal and physical abuse to discrimination in employment, education, health provision, and public life more generally.
"The Garda racial and intercultural unit have not recorded such an increase in racist attacks and this shows that many members of ethnic minority communities in Ireland have no confidence in the Gardaí, and do not report many incidents to them.
"Condemning racist attacks is not enough. We need to actively work for the removal of racism from our society. This requires action as much as words. It requires adequate resourcing and support for ethnic minority communities and their support groups. And it requires meaningful partnerships between all sections of society.
"In particular politicians and others in positions of community leadership need to ask ourselves what more can we do to assist ethnic minority communities and ensure that all people can live free from the negative effects of racism." ENDS
Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has expressed concern at the approach being adopted by the European Commission to GM crops.
Ms de Brún said:
"The Commission will on Wednesday establish a threshold for GM contamination in seeds that will allow for unlabelled contamination of conventional and organic seeds.
"The outgoing Commissioner for Environment, Margot Wallström, will propose on Wednesday (September 8th) establishing minimum thresholds for adventitious or technically unavoidable traces of genetically modified seeds in other products at 0.3% for maize and oilseed rape. This threshold is too high to allow farmers to make an informed choice.
"Once this proposal is adopted by the Commission on Wednesday, only a 2/3 majority of the Council of Ministers can stop it from entering into force. The Commission, on its own, can push this through in spite of widespread opposition across Europe. Given the numbers of people who do not wish to sow GM crop it is vital that seeds be labelled at the practical detection level (0.1%).
"The Commission proposal on labelling of seeds could make it practically impossible to control and monitor GM releases into the environment and could lead to widespread and uncontrolled GM contamination throughout Europe." ENDS
Sinn Féin this afternoon put on display a sophisticated bugging device which was found at the home of a voluntary worker in Gerry Adams West Belfast office. The press conference was attended by local Councillor Paul Maskey and West Belfast MLA Michael Ferguson. Mr Ferguson challenged the British Government to come clean on the issue and tell people exactly why they are mounting a spying and intelligence gathering operation on Sinn Féin.
Mr Ferguson said:
" This device was discovered this morning at the Andersonstown home of a member of Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams staff. The main body of the device was built into the roof space of the house with a small microphone built into the living room ceiling.
" This is a sophisticated device. It was put there by one of the British security agencies. It is part of a spying and intelligence gathering operation aimed at Sinn Féin. It clearly raises questions about the British commitment to this process and it is ironic that this find comes ten years on from the first IRA cessation and on the eve of important political negotiations.
" It is a reminder that the agencies and individuals who have operated here with impunity for decades and who organised the collusion policy are still here and still active. It also poses very serious issues for Tony Blair and the British government and their approach to the peace process.
" Gerry Adams is in London today and he will be raising this extremely serious matter directly with the British government and clearly it will now become part of the wider political agenda in the time ahead." ENDS
Sinn Fein Environment Spokesperson, South Down MLA Willie Clarke has said that the recent report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) is warning that Europe is warming more quickly than the rest of the world with potentially devastating consequences, including more frequent heat waves, flooding, rising sea levels and melting glaciers.
Commenting on the Report Mr Clarke said:
"This report makes for very serious reading. Across Europe there is the threat that extreme weather will become more common unless global warming is slowed down. This means that the floods of 2001 that killed about 80 people and the heat wave of 2003 killed over 20,000 people, could become more frequent and severe.
"We need to put in place strategies to tackle global warning here on the island of Ireland and across the EU we need to lead by example. It is vital that we see much greater emphasis in ensuring that the Kyoto Protocol on cutting greenhouse gas emissions is implemented in full.
"While Europe has done much in leading worldwide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is clear that we also need strategies at European, regional, national and local level to adapt to climate change. Sinn Fein believe that we need to see the establishment of an All Ireland Environmental Protection Agency to drive forward a strong environmental programme of enforcement and to stand up to the powerful vested interests who refuse to live up to obligations on emissions and pollution.
"The latest report paints a bleak picture of a Europe devastated by climate change. The study found that melting reduced the glaciers by one-tenth in 2003 alone and that 75 per cent of Alpine glaciers will have disappeared by 2050. Climate change since the Industrial Revolution, has accelerated in the last 50 years. Sea levels are predicted to rise, up to four times faster than during the last century, which poses a particular threat to communities living below sea-level.
"The concentration of the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is 34 per cent higher than its pre-Industrial Revolution level, its highest for possibly 20 million years. The global warming rate is now almost 0.2°C per decade, and temperatures in Europe are projected to increase a further 2 to 6.3 degrees this century, due to the build-up of greenhouse gases.
"Climate change cannot be ignored. Sinn Fein is demanding:
Mr Clarke concluded:
"For any part of this island to attempt to buy its way to compliance with obligations under Kyoto through emissions trading is irresponsible because it will do nothing to actually reduce greenhouse gas levels. Ireland must play its part in tackling global warming." ENDS
A sophisticated bugging device has been uncovered at the home of a Sinn Féin member in West Belfast. It is clearly the work of a British State agency and is part of a spying and intelligence gathering operation.
Sinn Féin Assembly member Michael Ferguson and West Belfast Councillor Paul Maskey will put the device on display at a press conference at the party offices on Sevastopol Street at 2.30pm and Gerry Adams will be raising this very serious matter with the British government directly.
Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew will led a party delegaation to meet the ICSA President Malcom Thompson and their General Secretary Eddie Punch, on Monday 6th September, at 2pm In Stormont.
One of the main focus points for discussion will be the issue of GM. The ICSA recently announced a campaign for Ireland to remain GM Free. Sinn Féin last year launched a similar campaign, so we warmly welcome this announcement by the ICSA. The ICSA has been at the forefront of agri-politics lobbying on behalf of its members over a range of issues, such as CAP reforms, and they were the first farm organisation in Ireland to lobby both in Brussels and at home for the full decoupling of farm payments.
Speaking ahead of the meeting Ms Gildernew said:
"Sinn Féin is concerned at the lack of political will from all other main political parties about the issue of GM.
"Last year we wrote to all of the political parties seeking cross party support against GM. The response was very mixed. The DUP said they 'would not be associating with anything Sinn Féin is involved in [and] there is a need for more research' while the SDLP's PJ Bradley said that the 'jury is out on this at the moment, I think Sinn Féin have jumped far too quickly on this [as] they have done so in the past on other things'.
"Sinn Féin will continue to meet all groups interested the long-term future of Irish Farming and consumers. Consumers across Europe have overwhelmingly reject GM, farmers are only too well aware of the risks in becoming involved in a technology which is not proven. The BSE crisis still casts a dark cloud over Irish Farming.
"It is the farmers who have paid for the mistakes of scientists and decisions driven by big business interests, with closed markets and diminished returns. It would be the farmers who would suffer from any consumer backlash against GM if there was even the slightest hint of a contamination. Ireland must maintain it natural image on the world stage, it is as an island nation that we should be able to promote our produce as clean and green and free from GM contamination." ENDS
Sinn Féin will table an emergency motion at tonight's meeting of Dublin City Council concerning the proposed sale of City Council flats. Speaking ahead of tonight's meeting Councillor Daithí Doolan, said, "the motion calls on City Council to agree on a programme of consultation with residents before a single flat is sold".
Cllr Doolan said:
"We are currently in a situation where the City Manager John Fitzgerald, has announced that the Council intends to sell off its flats but is waiting on approval from Minister Cullen who has had a report on his desk on the matter for some tiem now. Rather than wait for approval or discuss the matter with local residents and Councillors the City Manager announced his proposal on the national airwaves.
"The sale of 16,500 flats is a huge change in social and public policy and naturally residents will have many concerns and questions to be answered. What this motion does is to ensure that no sale takes place without firstly consulting with City Councillors, residents, residents groups and housing NGOs.
"We must ensure that no sale takes place without first guaranteeing that there is not a reduction in available housing stock and the money from the sales is ring fenced and used to replenish the housing stock. The housing crisis in this city needs a long term integrated approach not short term announcements in the media.
"This is an important motion because it ensures that those effected by the proposed sell off will once again be central to the debate, something the powers that be often choose to forget about." ENDS
Sinn Féin North Belfast councillor Danny Lavery has said that following a UDA show of strength in the area on Saturday that many local people had feared that there would be a sectarian attack on a local nationalist.
Cllr Lavery said:
"This was a sectarian attack carried out by the UDA on a young nationalist in the Whitewell area. It was deliberate and premeditated.
"Many local people were concerned that there would be a sectarian attack after the UDA mounted a show of strength on Saturday in the area.
"This young man is extremely lucking to be alive today.
"Unionist politicians and civic and community leaders need to do more to defuse tensions not just in the Whitewell area but throughout North Belfast where there has been an increase in UDA activity. Comments from unionist political leaders in recent days have only served to increase tension. I would urge them to abandon their overtly sectarian approach to community relations." ENDS
Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew speaking at the Liam Lynch commemoration today said "The recent outbursts from the DUP leader Ian Paisley are hardly a reflection of a party prepared to do business or reach agreement. These comments are not only negative, they are sectarian, provocative and totally unacceptable. The DUP, including their leader, need to come into the 21st century. They need to get real. They need to respect the Sinn Fein electorate. They need to come to terms with the reality. Sinn Fein is the largest nationalist party in the north. If the DUP want to do a deal - if they want to share power then that means sharing power with Sinn Fein."
Full Text of speech by Michelle Gildernew MP - Liam Lynch Commemoration
''We have declared for an Irish Republic and will live under no other law' - so said Liam Lynch. Liam Lynch was an unapologetic Irish Republican. Despite great personal sacrifices and safe in the knowledge of the righteousness of his cause he was prepared to face the might of the British Empire at a time when they still occupied much of the world.
His legacy has of course been the subject of much revisionism and counter revisionism over the decades. But what can be in no dispute is that Liam Lynch continues to rank as one of the most influential Irish figures of the last century. Republicans, particularly here in Munster are rightly proud of the contribution which he made and indeed it says much that over 80 years after his death Republicans from Cork and surrounding counties still come together each year to commemorate his life and ensure that his memory is cherished and honoured.
Liam Lynch is buried in this graveyard alongside his close friend and republican volunteer in his own right Mick Fitzgerald. Mick Fitzgerald died on Hunger Strike while imprisoned for republican activity and it is right and proper that we also remember his life and role on this day.
Irish people are proud and rightly so of the contribution made by people like Liam Lynch. Mick Fitzgerald and countless others throughout the course of the last century who risked their lives and liberty in pursuit of the goal of an independent republic.
Republicans of my generation who grew up through 30 years of political conflict and violence in the six counties of course have an affinity with the modern day IRA. Ten years ago the leadership of the IRA called a cessation of military operations. It opened up the potential for the first time since the 1920's of the development of a process of change which if approached by progressive forces across the island would offer us a bridge away from partition and into a new and agreed Ireland. Since then, and despite much provocation the IRA has remain disciplined and resolute and has on numerous occasions demonstrated its support for the peace process.
It is also well known that the process is currently in a major crisis. The promise of 1994 and indeed of 1998 and the Agreement has not been delivered upon as the Irish people demanded in referenda across the island. But Sinn Féin are deeply committed to the job of peace making and the job of delivering the sort of Republic which men like Liam Lynch, Mick Fitzgerald and Bobby Sands died for.
Any strategic moves which the leadership of Sinn Féin have embarked upon have been rooted in advancing our primary political goal of Irish Unity and Independence. That will continue as we approach the latest round of political talks.
We are approaching the current discussions positively and with a determination to see the crisis resolved, the political institutions restored and the process of change accelerated. Agreement is possible but that requires that the other parties also come at the discussion with determination to make progress and crucially with a sense of reality. There is little evidence in the public pronouncements of the DUP of a recognition of current political realities. The recent outbursts from the DUP leader Ian Paisley are hardly a reflection of a party prepared to do business or reach agreement. These comments are not only negative, they are sectarian, provocative and totally unacceptable. The DUP, including their leader, need to come into the 21st century. They need to get real. They need to respect the Sinn Fein electorate. They need to come to terms with the reality. Sinn Fein is the largest nationalist party in the north. If the DUP want to do a deal - if they want to share power then that means sharing power with Sinn Fein.
It has yet to be established whether or not the DUP are capable of sharing power with nationalists and republicans and accepting us as equals. Despite recent comments I hope they are. Sinn Féin is certainly approaching this engagement positively.
However if the DUP are incapable of accepting equality, if they are incapable of sharing power then there is an onus on the two governments, and the British government in particular, to move immediately on the human rights, equality, policing and demilitarisation agendas..
The British government needs to stop rewarding negative unionism. They must advance and accelerate the agenda of change set out in the Good Friday Agreement. They must stop denying people basic rights and entitlements on the whim of Ian Paisley. The Good Friday Agreement was endorsed democratically by the majority of the Irish people, north and south. The process of change must not be frozen because unionism cannot come to terms with new political realties. If necessary, that means moving forward above the heads of political unionism. Sinn Fein wants to see an accommodation with unionism but such an accommodation must be on the basis of equality, inclusivity and mutual respect. Unionism, if it is not up to the challenge of equality, cannot be allowed a veto over progress.
Irish Republicans want to see the peace process work. We want to see an end to conflict on our island. We want to see the political institutions re-instituted. We want to see the Good Friday Agreement implemented. We want a united, free and independent Ireland.
We know as the lead nationalist party in the north and the largest pro-Agreement party, that there are huge responsibilities on us and we are up to the task. But we cannot achieve this alone.
Everybody who voted for the Agreement needs to impress upon the two governments the importance of ensuring that our rights and entitlements are not continually filtered through the prism of negative unionism.
The Irish government needs to fulfil its role as a co-guarantor of the Agreement, defending the rights and entitlement of Irish citizens.
And, I want to make a direct appeal to everyone here today and to nationalists and republicans the length and breadth of this island, to join with us in reasserting the primacy of the peace process.
The progress we have achieved, together, in the last decade have been hard won and must be protected as we try to move beyond the current difficulties.
The task ahead of us is not easy but it is not impossible. It is a matter of political will and political courage. Republicans are up for the challenge - only time will tell of others are up for it also."ENDS
Sinn Féin Assembly group leader Conor Murphy has announced that it has now been established that one of the bullets intercepted in the post earlier this week was addressed to the home of Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams. Mr. Murphy also revealed that a bullet actually reached the home of West Belfast Councillor Paul Maskey.
Mr. Murphy said:
"From the outset Sinn Féin claimed that the posting of bullets to the homes of party activists was the work of unionist paramilitaries. It has now been confirmed that a claim of responsibility has been received by from the Red Hand Defenders. The Red Hand Defenders is of course an often used flag of convenience for the UDA.
"Sinn Féin have also now been able to establish that one of the bullets intercepted in the post was addressed to the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams. Another envelope containing a bullet actually arrived at the home of West Belfast Councillor Paul Maskey.
"It is clear that unionist paramilitaries have intensified their ongoing violent campaign over the past number of weeks. Yet despite these threats and the attempt at mass murder in an Ardoyne pub on Thursday night unionist politicians will no doubt continue to focus their attentions on the silent guns of the IRA while ignoring and in some cases justifying ongoing unionist paramilitary attacks on the nationalist community. The hypocrisy of their position is both breathtaking and indeed insulting." ENDS
Sinn Féin Representative for Dublin South East, Councillor Daithí Doolan speaking ahead at today's Global Day of Action march, called for Minister for Environment Martin Cullen, "to do his bit for the environment and resign before he does any more damage with his proposed plan on incineration.
Cllr Doolan said:
"Today is the International Global Day of Action on the Environment, and nowhere is the battle to protect our health and our environment more clear than here in Ireland. Unfortunately for us we have Minister Martin Cullen who would rather force hazardous incinerators on our communities rather than tackle the current waste management crisis at source. Why? Because it serves the profits of private companies to burn our waste in our backyards.
"Sinn Féin is at the forefront of a broad coalition of forces to oppose the current plan to build incinerators across the state. We must involve political parties, community groups, farmers groups and environmental groups if we are to be successful in protecting our environment from incineration".
"Today's march is about challenging that very thinking. We must face up to our responsibilities on waste, but to do so we must implement waste strategies that are sustainable not strategies based on burning waste for profit. We must continue to promote a Zero Waste Strategy. An internationally recognised strategy that is solution based. A strategy based on actually going to the source of our waste problem by reducing the waste we produce, reusing and recycling. This requires changing our thinking about waste, we must start to see it as a resource as opposed to something that must be buried or burnt." ENDS
Today's Global Action on the Environment march assembles at 12:30pm Garden of Remembrance and will march to Leinster House.
West Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Michael Ferguson has criticised those who organised a visit to the Crumlin Road prison yesterday by Charles Windsor on the 62nd Anniversary of the execution by the British state of IRA Volunteer Tom Williams.
Mr Ferguson said:
"Obviously nationalists and republicans have no affection or interest in the activities of British royals like Charles Windsor. There are people within the unionist community who of course do value for whatever reason the concept of a monarchy. Those organising royal visits to the six counties need to take this into account and keep the offence caused to nationalists and republicans by these visits to a minimum.
"However many Belfast republicans are extremely angry and upset at the sight of Charles Windsor parading through the Crumlin Road Prison on the anniversary of the execution by the British state of IRA Volunteer Tom Williams.
"As we witnessed with the massive crowds who attended the reburial of Tom Williams in Milltown cemetery, Tom Williams holds a special place in the hearts of republicans throughout this city and elsewhere.
"The decision to send Charles Windsor into the Crumlin Road prison on his anniversary was either a calculated insult or an act of complete incompetence by those organising the trip. Either way the presence of Charles Windsor in the prison on that particular day was offensive and republicans are owed an explanation for it." ENDS