bombs nor whistling shells don't discriminate between their victims, be they man, woman, or child. One man's freedom fighter, is another man's radical.......Names are but labels.
........The SF has no chance of ever forming a Dublin government and trying to misuse common sense and hard political facts that Smiley is a terrorist supporter is disgusting. I respect the rights of Dublin but he keeps being stupid by disrespecting our system and Head of State, etc. Being two faced is one thing but a murdering supporter for something that cannot win democratically is the pits.
DonorsTop of the list of donors, either individual or corporate, is Chuck Feeney, the Irish- American businessman and philanthropist who gave away, to charitable, social and educational causes, most of the multibillion dollar fortune made on duty-free shopping.You will not find Chuck Feeney at the Sheraton. His commitment to Friends of Sinn Féin had a specific purpose: to finance the opening of an office in Washington DC to lead the lobbying effort for the party and the Northern Irish peace process. The money came through multiple instalments over a period of three years in the mid-1990s to fund the running of the office and is long spent.Mr Feeney's money came "at a crucial time" for the organisation as Friends of Sinn Féin established itself, said Mr Cullen. "Chuck's donation to us was understood from the very beginning to be of a limited term and of a limited amount and that was met. It was very much appreciated," he said.Among the people working for Sinn Féin in the US is the party's American representative Rita O'Hare. Ms O'Hare is the party's main representative and lobbyist in the US and regularly meets members of Congress and other senior public figures to press the party's case on various issues.The other major source of funds for the party's US wing, the American labour movement, has donated more than $1 million over Friends of Sinn Féin's 20-year history. The second largest single donor behind Mr Feeney is one of the biggest American trade unions, the Laborers' International Union of North America, various chapters of which have donated a total of $221,141 over the years.The Midwest Region Laborers' Political League, based in Illinois, one of the strongest regions for trade union support in the country and home to one of the largest Irish-American communities around the Chicago area, is fourth on the list of big donors, giving the party a total of $135,000.The ties with US trade unions date back to George Meany, the longtime chief of the powerful AFL-CIO, the country's biggest union, who was of Irish descent.Many Irish emigrants, including republicans and former IRA men, were involved in the emergence of the American trade union movement. Mike Quill, a native of Kilgarvan, Co Kerry, and a member of the anti-Treaty IRA in the Civil War, emigrated to the US in 1926 and helped establish the Transport Workers Union of America, a union of New York City subway workers, in 1934.Irish-American financial support is nothing new in the history of Irish nationalism. The US has been a major source of funding for Irish nationalism since the 19th century and in more recent times, the republican movement. Éamon de Valera, who spent most of the War of Independence fundraising in the US, raised about $5 million on his tour, an extraordinary sum in 1920s America.Existing networks"They are tapping into a lot of pre-existing networks but also trying to create new ones, and that has always been the republican approach right up to the present," said Diarmaid Ferriter, professor of modern Irish history at UCD. "Obviously it is a hell of a lot more upfront an endeavour because of the evolution of Sinn Féin, its growing presence in the Republic and the end of the IRA campaign."Prof Ferriter said it has always been "very fashionable" for Irish-Americans and Irish-American groups to lend money to "the cause"."You can sell a relatively unsophisticated message when you are abroad about what the Irish cause is," he said.The 1994 IRA ceasefire created an opportunity for Sinn Féin to transform lucrative US fundraising opportunities from the cash boxes in the Irish pubs raising money for Irish Northern Aid Committee, or Noraid, in legal terms the IRA's US agent, to dinners in upmarket hotels for Friends of Sinn Féin. "With that there was also a recognition that if you are going to pursue that route [the political route], you need to alter your fundraising. It could no longer be just some very well-meaning people passing the hat in a Bronx bar," said Mr Cullen. "So what we recognised was that there has to be a new fundraising campaign that would be completely transparent, that would reach a much broader audience than some construction workers in that Bronx bar, and not to demean that at any time."Noraid, which began sending money back to republicans and the dependants of IRA political prisoners shortly after the start of the Troubles, raised almost $3.6 million over a 19-year period to 1990, according to its filings with the US department of justice.The biggest fundraising periods for Noraid were during the most violent years of the Troubles - $312,700 raised in 1972 after the Bloody Sunday killings in Derry; $250,510 in 1981 at the time of the H-Block hunger strikes; and $243,963 in 1988 and early 1989 after the March 1988 killing of three IRA members in Gibraltar that sparked one of the darkest periods in Northern Ireland.Another violent event stopped Friends of Sinn Féin's fundraising for a time. The ending of the ceasefire with the IRA bombing of Canary Wharf in 1996 led the group to suspend fundraising activities abruptly and the organisation talking to the US department of justice about the situation in Northern Ireland and giving assurances about Friends of Sinn Féin's intentions and purpose. Two men, Inan Bashir and John Jeffries, who were working in a small newsagent's shop, died when the IRA exploded a 500kg bomb. Thirty-nine people were also injured, which led to private warnings from top financiers that their place in the City of London would be jeopardised if bombings continued."When we had a bump on the road, like Canary Wharf, we were on the phone to them immediately," said Mr Cullen.Since then, the party has developed a strong grassroots organisation in the US as a result of years of fundraising, stealing a march over the establishment Irish parties. "Nobody has come close," said prominent Irish-American lawyer Brian O'Dwyer. "Sinn Féin has a political organisation that is unparalleled. Their political apparatus is better than anything I have seen on either side of the Atlantic." He noted the party's advanced use of social media to deliver the party's message and referred to a 2014 trip by US congressman John Lewis to Northern Ireland where within minutes of a meeting with Gerry Adams a photograph of the two politicians appeared on the party's official website with details of the meeting."They have tremendous discipline for getting their message across and tremendous use of technology - better than the Democrats," said Mr O'Dwyer.For long periods, Irish-Americans felt a sense of antipathy from Irish governments towards their community because of their support of the Irish republican movement during the 1970s and 1980s, he said."Historically, the Irish government up until recently had been an enemy of Irish- America," he said, noting how senior members of Irish-American community who supported Sinn Féin never set foot in the Irish consulate in New York for years. That started to change when the Clinton administration dealt with Irish-America in the early stages of the Northern Irish peace process. Mr O'Dwyer said the Irish-American community in New York has since embraced Mr Adams and Sinn Féin because the peace process was seen as the first time that Irish-America had an influence on American foreign policy in pushing for Mr Adams to receive that all-important visa to visit the US in 1994. The support of prominent Irish-Americans was seen as being crucial to sowing the seeds of peace."People like myself are enormously proud of what we have done and Gerry Adams is a symbol of that," said Mr O'Dwyer.Young emigrantsIn addition to regular contributions from generations of descendants of Irish emigrants, according to Mr Cullen Friends of Sinn Féin has seen a trend of growing support from recently arrived emigrants, particularly young middle-class people, who have leaned towards Sinn Féin more so than they would have at home because of their unhappiness at having to emigrate and their frustration with the policies of economic austerity."Some of these people that I have spoken to would not be Sinn Féin-inclined but they are angry over the disenfranchisement," he said.He sees Friends of Sinn Féin being active in the US in marking the centenary of the 1916 Rising next year, a time which no doubt will create more fundraising opportunities for the political party."We are definitely going to give voice recognising the sacrifices of the men and women who lost everything in the Rising because the benefits that we have today are their sacrifices so we will make sure that they are acknowledged and remembered," he said.
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