Gerry Adams

Irish republican leader Martin McGuinness, who was Sinn Fein leader in Northern Ireland until stepping down due to ill health earlier this year, passed away on March 20 aged 66.

Born in 1950 in Derry in the six counties occupied by Britain, he came face to face with the discrimination and sectarian bigotry against Irish nationalists and Catholics that marked the partitioned statelet.

While Fidel Castro is known as a committed internationalist, supporting independence movements in Angola to South Africa, Nicaragua and even French Polynesia, less is known about his support for the Irish struggle, TeleSUR English said on December 2.

But in 1981, when Irish Republican prisoners were in the midst of a historic hunger strike against the British state, it was Fidel who once again sided with the oppressed.

The 100th anniversary of Ireland’s Easter Rising against British rule was commemorated over the Easter weekend in Ireland and across the world. Although the rebellion failed, it spurred the Irish liberation struggle amid widespread anger at savage British repression.

In 1918, Sinn Fein swept elections in Ireland to British parliament, with Sinn Fein MPs refusing to take their seats and instead declaring independence. A war for independence ended in 1921 with a treaty that partitioned the island — provoking an Irish civil war.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, writing for his Leargas blog, has warned that the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that formally ended more than two decades of armed conflict in the six counties in Ireland's north still claimed by Britain, “hangs by a thread”.

“The conduct of a number of EU governments over the past number of weeks has been alarming,” president of Irish republican party Sinn Fein and member of the Irish Dail (parliament) Gerry Adams said on the outcome of the European Union summit, which ended Greece submitting to a harsh deal.

“They have effectively closed down the Greek banking system and held the Greek Government and people to ransom.

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