The Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas issued a press release today on the impact of deportations on Irish prisoners in Britain. Interestingly according to the ICPO, one of the men deported so far was actually born in Northern Ireland.
The Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas (ICPO) has called for an end to the unlawful detention of Irish-born people in UK prisons.
Last April a controversy arose regarding the release of foreign prisoners into society at the completion of sentence without their first being assessed for deportation. This culminated in the dismissal of the Home Secretary Mr Charles Clarke and the subsequent reaction by the Home Office to the issue of all Foreign Nationals in custody in the UK.
To mark the 90th anniversary of the death of James Connolly a joint commemoration meeting will be held by the Communist Party and the Connolly Association at the London Irish Centre on Thursday 18 May.
Speakers will be Jim Mortimer, former General Secretary of the Labour Party, Eugene McCartan, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland, Eoin O’Broin, Sinn Fein’s Director of European Affairs and National Executive member, leading Connolly scholar Priscilla Metscher and Jim Redmond of the Connolly Association.
Trafalgar Square – Hothouse Flowers, Altan, Gemma Hayes, The Chalets, Tara Blaise and very special guest Brian Kennedy – plus Tourism Ireland Village Covent Garden – Bap Kennedy, Declan O'Rourke, Claire Sproule, The Men They Couldn't Hang and Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann – plus Irish Speciality Food Market Leicester Square – Outdoor Ceili, music workshops, Celtic kids zone and crafts exhibition
The fountains in Trafalgar Square will turn green for the second time on Sunday 12 March, to greet the tens of thousands taking part in the capital's celebrations to mark St Patrick's Day. This year's festivities are being organised in partnership with Tourism Ireland, with Guinness & Co also on board as a sponsor for the first time.
Interesting comment by Gerry Adams at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis last weekend:
The third great challenge facing this party is to build support for Irish unity in Britain. There is a potential to create in Britain a solidarity movement similar to that in the USA. (Sinn Fein)
Former Sinn Fein publicity director Danny Morrison picked up the theme in the Daily Ireland:
I have spoken at literary events in England over the past ten years and have been encouraged at the interest in and goodwill towards Irish republicanism when the topic has arisen. If Sinn Féin is to create support for Irish unity in Britain it will need to invest significant resources – financial and personnel. Certainly, the ending of the armed struggle has created a more peaceful atmosphere making audiences more receptive to a republican appeal.
If unionists want to combat the argument and present their case then so much the better. Fingers crossed that they send in Ian Paisley. What an advertisement he is for ‘traditional British values’.
It sounds like this is going to be a serious priority. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.
The FT today looks as at the role of prominent Irish professionals in British life in the wake of the appointment of the former head of the Irish Competition Authority, John Fingleton, to head up the Office of Fair Trading.
It reflects the astonishing recent performance of the Irish economy, which has outperformed the rest of the European Union with growth rates averaging more than 7 per cent over the past decade. Being associated with this sort of economic performance has given the Irish, in whatever profession, a new swagger.
Thousands of Irish emigrants in Britain and overseas will lose access to RTÉ radio coverage of Irish sport if new plans by the national broadcaster go ahead.
RTÉ aims to replace sport with other programmes on its medium wave and long wave services by July 1.
Foreign affairs minister Dermot Ahern said today that the Irish emigrant community abroad depend on the coverage to keep in touch with Irish sport and he urged RTÉ to reconsider its plans. (Ireland Online)
As I noted in an earlier post, Brent East Labour candidate Yasmin Qureshi is supporting Kelly McBride's campaign to have her brother's killers expelled from the Army.
My Irish World story on the issue is now online and has been picked up by Bloomsday Girl at Slugger O'Toole. As Slugger reader Young Fogey notes, it's a very tight race in the north-west London constituency between Labour and the Lib Dems.