And so here we go again, another split within the republican movement  A split that is unnecessary and ill advised but created by people who have their own political ambitions, and a party it seems who have no moral compass on the rights for the unborn which must be a matter of  conscience for any person or politician, especially in a country where a large minority voted against abortion, (33.6% ) a vote that also should be respected.

But it now seems that Sinn Fein, under both Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald, no longer represent the voice of that minority and so they force the withdrawal of a republican who did and does voice their concern about this law, who spent all of the abortion debate speaking against it  and should have been allowed to continue to do so, and it is my belief that that decision taken by the leaders of Sinn Fein was one of personal preservation rather than the good of the party and the people of Ireland and their right to choose  on what side of the argument they wish to promote. 

Sinn Fein’s  argument is that it was a decision taken by the majority at the party conference, but as we all know these conferences are party owned and anything the party puts forward will also be passed.  Gerry and Mary Lou say its right so it must be right as they will not undermine the leadership whether its what they believe or not. 

The Unforeseen Consequence Of This Decision :t

There comes a time when a political party has to give people/ members the right to follow their conscience on matters of faith  and this is one of those times 

This decision by Sinn Fein to suspend and censor Peadar Toibin was wrong very wrong  and I hope not to late to revisit,  as the main losers in this conflict, will not be Sinn Fein or Peadar Toibin  but the nationalist community in the north, who will now have their vote split  four (4 ) ways  SDLP, PBP, S/F and now this new party being formed by Peader Toibin 4 parties all seeking for the nationalist vote, none of this to my mind makes sense as it once again may leave the door open for a return to Unionist rule  in the north  and do not think that proportional representation will protect the Sinn Fein vote it will not 

As older people in my generation used to say,Splits and Money was always the downfall of the Republican Movement. So I appeal to Peadar and Sinn Fein not to split that vote any further at this time of crucial importance for the nationalist people in the north 
For the people in the north while we respect Peadar’s stand on abortion and his right to life conviction , there are 100,000’s of people who want an end to partition and British rule above and beyond all else

  Its Unity That We In The Northern Republican /Nationalist family need and not division Or People Who Will Put Personal Ambition Ahead Of the people who supported them


A Little Place Full of Nationalist / Republican History In Belfast

A brilliant place, they taught Irish there, which under the Northern Ireland special Power’s Act was illegal  and if caught you risked getting  six months in Crumlin Road Jail.

It was also a home for Irish culture, i.e. dancing and music, but as the troubles / war was erupting in Northern Ireland  in the early 1970s it became the meeting place for the Association for Legal Justice who championed republican / nationalist  prisoners rights.

 The Association  also investigated shootings carried out by the British Army / RUC and hit squads,

My sister Rita Kelly was a founding member of the Association of Legal Justice. She would later help to establish the Irish National Caucus in Washington DC, which was to introduce the Sean McBride Principles to the U.S senate and Congress which were to be followed by any American Company who were investing in  Northern Ireland and  that included work equality and justice.  This is now law in the US, and is the basis for the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland.

Other founding members were, Fr Brian Brady, who was Dean in Trench House College for teachers in West Belfast,  Pascal O’Hare and P.J. McGrory solicitors. Gerry Kelly’s (MLA) father was also involved. Other founding members followed which included my brother Oliver Kelly, Solicitor.

Oliver was in Longh Kesh at the time and he sent out several statements to the Association of Legal Justice from other internees who had been abused and tortured by the British/RUC.  All of this information was sent to the Irish government who did nothing to help or support the prisoners. As a matter of fact my brother Oliver was arrested on the morning of internment and completed his law society exams in Long Kesh  October 1971 and became a qualified solicitor. He was released from internment in December 1971 but was re-arrested in March 1972 and was one of the last internees to be released.  Once again the free state stood idly by

If walls could talk the Ard Scoil could tell many stories from the beginning of a romance at one of the many Ceili dances , to sustaining our Irish culture and language, many happy nights.

But also many sad days as we read the statements from Long Kesh and the witnesses to the many murders committed by the British Army  the RUC and their murder gangs of the UVF and other loyalist  gangs