Ógra Fianna Fáil organise in NMD.
The youth wing of Republic of Ireland political party Fianna Fáil have organised in the Newry Mourne and Down District writes Kevin McAteer.
‘Ógra Fianna Fáil NMD’ have recently selected their new committee following their first AGM. Their main officers are: Cathaoirleach, Tara Savage; Rúnaí, Ben King; and Cisteoir, Shay McEvoy.
Down News chatted with Ben King (above inset on left), secretary of the now established youth wing of the Ógra Fianna Fáil party. Following the tumultuous years in Ireland from the 1916 Rising, Partition and Civil War, Fianna Fáil was then founded in May 1929 by Eamon de Valera as a republican party.
1. What is Ogra Fianna Fáil?
Ogra Fianna Fáil is a Irish National youth wing of the political party Fianna Fáil. It is a movement stretching mainly across the 32 counties of Ireland at local and third level colleges.
2. How did your group start up?
Our group was set up initially as a result of the orchestration by Andrew McFadden who is the current National Policy director for Fianna Fáil and Ruairí Cormican, who is the Northern Organiser. These two men endeavoured to bring Ogra Fianna Fáil to the six counties and its universities and colleges.
3. Are you local people living in County Down or a group of friends who decided to set a group up locally?
I am a local of Castlewellan, County Down. My fellow party members who include Tara Savage and Shay McEvoy are both local to the Newry, Mourne and Down area as well.
4. What are your values as a group?
Our values reflect the The Republican ideals of Fianna Fáil and our founder Eamonn De Valera. We aspire a United Ireland that is shared for all no matter what their Religious, ethnic or social background. We pride ourselves in the Irish National heritage of Ireland and its traditions. Our united beliefs are portrayed in the Irish proclamation of 1916.
5. Have you any campaigns organised ?
Our campaigns have yet to be formulated but our main focus is to welcome members who reside in the Newry Mourne and Down area of South Down. Our campaigns will involve our members.
6. Where is your local group based?
We are widely from across the South Down area from Newry in the south to the northern part of the council area.
7. If someone wanted to join, how would they do this ?
Those who want to join are asked to search our Facebook page at Newry Mourne and Down Ogra Fianna Fáil. Alternatively, they can contact us by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. What got you into politics as a young person ?
I got into politics at a very early age. I remember sitting watching the current affairs shows as a young teenager when it came to Northern Irish elections. My grandfather took part in the Northern Ireland Civil rights marches, as did my uncle in Newry. I came to form my own political viewpoints through the experiences I had encountered at local and national levels. Politics affects everyone and my upbringing as a Catholic reinforced my belief that it is our duty to do what we must to serve those around us for a society that cares and loves.
Ireland was changing very quickly after the economic crash, which endangered society socially and culturally. This inspired me to become involved in politics and to to stand in solidarity with those voters who have been disillusioned with liberal populist politics and the effect that it is having on families and communities.
9. Why set up in Newry Mourne and Down?
We set up in Newry Mourne and Down area because there was appetite for traditional Republican politics. Fianna Fáil is fundamentally a republican party. We believe in a united Ireland.
10. Have you plans to set up elsewhere?
Ogra Fianna Fáil are committed to reach communities across Northern Ireland and welcome anyone who would like to get involved and become a member.
(Ben King- Runaí, (Secretary) of Newry, Mourne and Down Fianna Fáil.)