Independent Media Centre Ireland

Free Gaza Public Meeting

category donegal | miscellaneous | news report author Tuesday July 27, 2010 22:37author by Séamus Mac Lochlainn - North West Solidarity Networkauthor email nwsolidarity at yahoo dot ie

Public meeting held in Donegal Town

A public meeting was held in Donegal Town on Saturday 24th July 2010 in the Central Hotel. It was organised by the North West Solidarity Network, a group of local activists who work together to develop events and initatives aimed at awareness raising and practical solidarity. The meeting was organised to address the issue of the Free Gaza flotilla and to look at possible ways forward for local actions.
Dónal Ó Mearáin, Fintan Lane, Fiachra Ó Luain & Jim McLaughlin
Dónal Ó Mearáin, Fintan Lane, Fiachra Ó Luain & Jim McLaughlin

Large Turn-out for Free Gaza event in Donegal Town

A large crowd turned out on Saturday 24th July in the Central Hotel to hear from two human rights activists, Fintan Lane and Fiachra Ó Luain who were in Donegal Town to speak about their experiences onboard the ill fated flotilla of ships which were attacked by Israel in May this year while bringing aid to Gaza . The event was organised by the North West Solidarity Campaign.

Donegal man, Fiachra Ó Luain gave a chronology of events including the invasion and capture of the vessels and the subsequent imprisonment of peace activists. Mr Ó Luain, commented "the level of violence used against those taken prisoner was overwhelming. Mr Ó Luain described how he personally was brutalised by the Israeli soldiers and how his passport was taken by the Israeli's and not given back to him until two weeks after he had returned home, he called on people to lobby their politicians.

Fintan Lane, Coordinator of the Free Gaza Campaign, then outlined the next phase aimed at breaking the blockade of Gaza . Mr Lane commented "it is of course very important to discuss the experiences of the flotilla which took place in May this year but I think it is crucial that we look at the way forward. Day and daily the people of Gaza are being killed and brutalised and we must keep working and do what we can to end this inhuman situation that they are forced to exist in". Mr Lane then outlined that there will be another aid flotilla which is at present in the planning phase, with fund raising events being organised across the country.

County Councillor Thomas Pringle, also spoke briefly about the work that he has been engaged in and reiterated his commitment to supporting human rights. He was thanked by those present for his successful Council motion to stop further contracts with French company Veoila which is involved with the Israeli regime and for his unwavering support and solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Jim McLaughlin, who chaired the event, commented, "a new focused campaign will be launched in Donegal in early September aimed at assisting the next Free Gaza flotilla which will hopefully set sail in the autumn. All those concerned with human rights must get involved, as only through concerted joint effort can we end this humanitarian nightmare”.

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