The following statement was sent to John McGill, POW Officer of Australian Aid for Ireland (WA Branch) by MARY MCARDLE, an Irish Republican prisoner of war in Maghaberry jail in occupied Ireland.
We the women POWs of Maghaberry Gaol would like to send solidarity greetings to those people in Australia who have shown so much concern for our cause over the years. We would particularly like to thank those who have put great time and effort into highlighting the injustices suffered by the Irish people in these British-occupied counties. As you well know in a war where only one side gets to tell its story, and the other is suppressed through state censorship and a partial media, it is difficult if not impossible, for the truth to emerge. That is why it is so important for us to maintain our links with all interested parties in Australia as this is one of the few ways for us to get our story across and publicise the facts about the war.
We belong to a nation that has been involved in struggle for hundreds of years. We have suffered in a way that makes it easy for us to relate to people in other countries and communities who are also striving for justice against overwhelming odds. We want to make it known that just as they support us, we support them. The Aborigines of Australia share our history of oppression and, like us, they have not yet succeeded in achieving their goals. But we feel that it is essential that we all work together to accomplish our aims in the future.
Although we are fighting for a united, independent Ireland, we are essentially internationalists. We hope to see each country stand on its own two feet, free from imperialist rule or outside interference. Only then can we relate to each other on an equal basis and work for the good of all. So, again we thank you very sincerely for your continuing support. We are happy to know that so many people so far away care enough to work for Irish POWs. n
Anyone who is interested in corresponding with Irish POWs or helping to support their families should contact their State Branch of Australian Aid for Ireland(AAI). AAI is a non-profit, Australian-based organisation which provides humanitarian and financial aid for Irish political prisoners and their dependents. AAI seeks also to promote amongst the people of Australia an awareness of the real nature of British colonialism in Ireland. You can contact your local branch of AAI by writing to the Secretary at: PO Box 290, Mordialloc Vic 3195; PO Box 600, Smithfield NSW 2164; PO Box 130, Rundle Mall SA 5000; PO Box 1210, Midland WA 6056; PO Box 246, Chermside Qld 4032; PO Box 542, Rosny Tas 7018.]