ࡱ> 02/Q@ bjbj͘ 4"2222222FFʶmooooooR^o2 o22ۄggg .22mg mg&g22 $ .m0ʍ0#.0FF222202g ooFFQFFDES OHAGAN, SOUTH DOWN CONSTITUENCY COUNCIL, PROPSOING THE RESOLUTION ON NORTHERN IRELAND, WATERFORD, SATURDAY 21ST APRIL 2007. Comrades and friends, At every rd Fheis over the years the Party has passed resolutions condemning the campaigns of terrorist sectarian slaughter which dominated life in Northern Ireland for over thirty years. The loyalist murder gangs the UVF, LVF, UDA and others declared that they were acting in the interests of the protestant unionist people in defence of their Britishness and the union; the nationalist murder gangs the Provisionals, INLA and others, equally declared that they were acting in the interests of the catholic, nationalist people in defence of their Irishness and the pursuit of freedom. Both camps curtailed the development of Northern Ireland into a peaceful, progressive community. Now it seems that those vile sectarian campaigns have come to an end. It is time to take stock; to ask what has been the outcome of those thirty years. That must not be understood as in any rejecting the end of violence and the coming of peace, no matter how uneasy. Indeed the Workers Party primary demand over those years was for Peace. We sought Devolved Government an Assembly where democratic politics might flourish. And we did so on the bedrock of Republican ethics the unity of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter which was and is a central plank in our programme. This required great political courage from our Northern comrades. And often we were reviled, assaulted, abused and attacked in the loyalist and nationalist ghettos as we tried to expound our political philosophy, particularly at election times. Much of this went unrecorded in the mass media, for many reasons. Possibly it lacked the sexiness of the car bombs and the assassinations. But more likely because our message was unpalatable in a society hell-bent on murderous victory over them by us or vice versa. It may now be with the promise of a new Assembly that a chapter has closed, but that is not the end of the affair, as it were. History is not like that. There are continuities. And foremost of those is the virulent cancer of sectarianism which permeates virtually every aspect of Northern Ireland society. Sectarianism, like its monster counterpart, racism cannot be eliminated at the stroke of a pen. This is something which our entire Party from Cork to Ballymena must face up to. Sectarianism / racism can be both crude and subtle. It is comparatively simple to oppose open discrimination, blatant racism and the promotion of segregation. But when this is done by appeals to rights or culture or identity or more sinisterly to religion, then the fight becomes harder, more deep-rooted and more bitter. Consider some years ago when the Party welcomed the Chilvers Report on Education in Northern Ireland. We were attacked from pulpit and classroom because we sought integrated education, as we still do. Fierce unbridled emotional language was used the Workers Party want to destroy our Catholic education system. Children were given notes to take home to their parents and countless sermons preached from pulpits condemned our position. Not once was the question of the common good raised for discussion and twenty-five years on we see the results. We now have a society more viciously divided than ever before, socially, politically and geographically. Some calculate that it will take fifty years to undo the evils of the past thirty. We would not be so pessimistic. But it will take decades. We cannot do this on our own. We alone cannot ensure that the common good trumps sectarian claims often very subtly disguised. Therefore we must build alliances with other democrats, trade unionists, other anti-secctarian elements. Our beginnings will necessarily be small. But begin we must. We warmly welcomed the decision to create a United Community Group in the Assembly. But in order to bring about the radical changes needed in Northern Ireland, in attitudes, customs and social institutions that concept must be developed in every town and village without exception. It promises hard work and more hard work. We must play our part to the full. Thank you. rt *YZhNO?qrøøh:hneh:CJ aJ hneh*VCJ aJ hneh7*UCJ aJ hneCJ aJ hneha0CJ aJ hneh:>CJ aJ hnehshCJ aJ hnehTCJ aJ hneh5CJ aJ hnehT5CJ H*aJ hnehT5CJ aJ LMNZ[ O҄ʔbrs721h:pA/ =!"#$%ŰŐĜ@@@NormalCJ_HaJmH sH tH DADDefault Paragraph FontRiRTable Normal4 l4a(k(No List"LMNZ[O҄ b rs700x0x0x00x0x00000000000000x00000x0x0x00x00000x00x 8@0( B S ?{ { <>{ |E{ { DA{ B{ /{ <{ <{ F{ *{ 7#{ |>{ 7#{ ľ{ ${ tJJJ\\g..a a ZZee>>##e e .. 8 *urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttagsdate8*urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttagsCityB*urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttagscountry-region9*urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttagsplace2007214DayMonthYear  є 333John JefferiesFYks+j;W(6bKcs@ _$Pc gWp" B j{ VV.S WIE(V:hLh gCCdDI}8CV+ 8#^BW: Df`rBp#^4E = H!}a!"N",c"Ao"x"|"I#DT${g$m$Ji%n&(&$s&D'h'\(q)t)t)Y*_*+]+':+F+0s+,--./Y/T#01/0A1U12 2W2$M3t345T5q5/6X6v7a89 ]9~: :?:q:o;6<4u

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