The Blanket

Ireland Palestine Solidarity Committee
Anthony McIntyre

A Chara,

in a recent opinion piece Kevin Myers sought to suggest that because the former republican prisoner Feilim Ó Hadhmaill is a leading Belfast advocate of Palestinian rights this in some way precludes the possibility of cross community support. Why that should be so we are not told. In the North that such support is not forthcoming is more structural in nature than it is a consequence of Feilim Ó Hadhmaill's involvement in the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. The Palestine-Israel divide reflects the nationalist-unionist cleavage. Feilim Ó Hadhmaill, apart from being a dilligent and conscientious activist and a capable co-ordinator of Palestinian support work, has been successful in building on the small amount of goodwill towards the Palestinans that exists within the unionist community.

As for the Republic, the evidence is clear that being a former republican prisoner is not an inhibitor to broadening out within the community. Two former prisoners are TDs and others are local councillors. Kevin Myers in this case is exhibiting a wish that is father to the thought. As much as he might desire it republicans are not isolated because of their previous imprisonment. And if the Palestinians did not have friends like Feilim Ó Hadhmaill, their profile in Ireland would be somewhat attenuated.

Is Mise
Anthony McIntyre









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