On May 7th 2015, the people of Liverpool/Merseyside will have the opportunity to choose their local Member of Parliament. For the Irish community in Liverpool/Merseyside, this represents an ideal opportunity to directly challenge all candidates on their position regarding the rights and needs of our community, especially in the areas of social care, recognition, culture and sport.
We in Cairde na hEireann Liverpool believe that the result of the General Election will directly affect Irish people in Liverpool/Merseyside and that the votes of the Irish community should not be taken for granted by any parliamentary candidate. We do not advocate a vote for any particular candidate or party that they may represent. However, we do feel that candidates should be challenged on their views and their support for the following issues facing our community at present:
- Support for the Irish peace process and full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
- Support the setting up of public enquiries into the killing of solicitor Pat Finucane and the innocent civilians murdered by the British Army during the Ballymurphy Massacre 1971.
- Support the rights of the Irish community to organise events and parades that commemorate our history, celebrate our culture and assert our political aspirations, free from the threat of attack from Far Right groups, including elements of the Loyal Orange Orders.
- Support for Irish organisations in the city aiming to meet the welfare and social care needs of the Irish community including Irish elders and Irish Travellers.
- Support and recognition for Irish community based organisations promoting the continuation of Irish traditional music, song and dance including support for Irish language groups.
- Positive support for the maintenance and development of Gaelic games in the city including recognition of the needs of Irish organisations/groups promoting Gaelic sports in Liverpool.
While Cairde na hEireann Liverpool does not advocate on behalf of any particular candidate/political party and having recently seen the published list of candidates, we would offer the following caveat: There should be no votes for candidates linked to racist or far-right political parties.
Cairde Na hEireann Liverpool notes that the list of candidates for Liverpool/Merseyside include the United Kingdom Independence Party. We believe that UKIP members were instrumental in the stoking up of racist and sectarian tensions that led to the direct attack on an Irish Community events during 2012 and 2013. UKIP and other right wing parties have nothing positive to offer the people of Liverpool and Merseyside except their own hate and prejudices that marginalises and divides the Irish community and other immigrant communities from the wider community.
We ask that our community take note of the above and ensure the needs of the Irish community are both recognised and acknowledged.