Long runs the Naomh Séamas Fox?

I’ve previously noted a row between the St James Community Watch and SF that played out in the Andersonstown News.

In recent editions of the paper a similar row has been revealed through reports, letters and texts.

This time the dispute centres on having ex-prisoner and former IRA Hunger Striker Bernard Fox speak at the opening of a commemoration garden. Local shinners seemed to have worked to remove him from the speaking list and it has generated a fair bit of controversy in the local West Belfast paper. I’m not sure what has been at the core of all these problems (well I am) but suspect Bernard’s willingness to be seen and speak at éirígí events (though he’s not a member) and the fact he doesn’t support SF means their local structures are attempting to attack him and anything he is associated with. Community responses don’t seem to support his sidelining…

(Links etc below the fold)
A Former hunger striker is claiming that he is being “vilified” by Sinn Féin after being told he won’t be speaking at the opening of a local commemoration garden.

Four members of Sinn Féin were proposed by local Sinn Féin members so obviously for some the Garden was not beyond “party politics”. Bernard Fox was also proposed by other members of the Committee, because he is a veteran republican who knew the people on our plaques personally.

Power struggle in Saint James’?

From the texts pages:

Sinn Féin, take a red face and a serious step back. If the people of St James’ voted for Bernard Fox to speak at the opening of the garden, then so be it. Why are Sinn Féin denying these people their democratic right? Or is it that Bernard is more popular than Gerry and co?

I’m an angry resident of St James’. I can think of no better man to address the memory of our dead than Bernard Fox. Tell me, is it because he can see that Sinn Féin is leading people into accepting British rule in Ireland? The people’s hearts are with you Bernard! “If you strike at, imprison us, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and, perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!” Was James Connolly talking about Sinn Féin? Arise!

Please print this about the St James’ commemoration garden. I myself was in jail with Bernard Fox and what a great man he is. Nobody in the area could lace that man’s boots. I know because I still fought for a united Éire when I got out of jail. Do yourselves a good thing and let the men who are men carry out what they want when it’s good for the area. The main speaker has to be Bernard, that’s what the area wants. Thank you.

I know Bernard Fox, he is too humble a person to have an ego. Just catch yourselves on, Sinn Féin.
on the side of right

Re: commemoration garden article. Why didn’t your reporter just ask the simple question of Sinn Fein: Why did you not want Bernard speaking?
sT james’ RESIDENT

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