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The all Ireland Irish Ship to Gaza Campaign held its successful Northern launch at Conway Mill on Wednesday 1st December.

Speakers at the Northern press launch included; Sinead MacLochlainn-National Chair of Irish Ship to Gaza Committee, John Mallon-Chair Belfast Irish Ship to Gaza Fundraising group, Patricia McKeown-Irish Congress of Trade Unions, UNISON, Trade Union Friends of Palestine, Margaret Walsh SDLP representative, Gerry Adams MP Sinn Fein representative and Issam Ben Ali from the Palestinian Rights Institute Dublin passenger on the first Flotilla in May.

Sinead MacLochlainn said “The campaign aims to maximise Irish participation on the Flotilla by funding an Irish boat with up to 50 people. The purpose of the flotilla is to break the siege and open the sea lanes to Gaza. This will allow cargo ships to sail into, and out of the seaport bringing in tons of aid and building supplies. People can then rebuild their homes and start the economy working again. This will put people back to work and get them off aid by allowing importing and exporting to freely take place directly with Gaza and the world.”

John Mallon said “ There are people from all walks of life in Belfast who want to get involved with the campaign. There is currently a fundraising Sky Dive event being organised between Belfast and Derry and already there are over 120 people who have signed up to jump for Gaza. The Falls Women’s Centre are getting behind the Irish Ship campaign with their support. People are organising sponsored walks and other events in support of this cause. We welcome anyone who wants to get involved in organising events in support of the boat to Gaza.”

Patricia McKeown pledged support from ICTU, UNISON and Trade Union Friends of Palestine. She said; “The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is 100% behind the objectives of the Flotilla which is to breach the blockade as a prelude to ending the siege. The Trade Union Friends of Palestine are already working on the Freedom flotilla 2 and the Irish Ship to Gaza. After the last incursion they raised 100,000 Euro very fast for the last flotilla and I think they would want to repeat that exercise.” Speaking on behalf of UNISON she said “UNISON raise a lot of humanitarian aid and funds and looked to repeating that and widening it.”

Margaret Walsh representing the SDLP gave apologies for Tim Attwood who was supposed to attend today. She said “I do support the right for people to live and to have freedom. And I certainly support the project 100%.”

Gerry Adams MP said “I would like to commend and thank to organisers of the Irish Ship and Flotilla. It should not fall upon the citizens to do this, there is a responsibility on the international community to breach what is an illegal blockade on the Gaza strip. “ He continued “Up to 80% of the people of Gaza rely on hand outs to survive. If this were anywhere else Governments would be compelled to give aid as opposed to citizens. So I just want to commend the organisers I think it is very brave what people are doing.”

For more information on Irish Ship to Gaza events in the North please visit Friends of Palestine Belfast HERE or Derry Friends of Palestine HERE or HERE.

Fund raising events to be held across the North and South in the coming weeks. Please support the Campaign as we work to fund an Irish Ship on the Freedom Flotilla 2 whose primary purpose is to breach the illegal blockade on Gaza. In the North you can donate to either Derry Friends of Palestine or Friends of Palestine Belfast. Groups in the South participating in the campaign are Irish Anti War Movement, Free Gaza Movement, Palestinian Right Institute, Trade Union Friends of Palestine and the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Additionally you can donate directly to the ISTG bank account details below:

PLEASE DONATE Bank Account Details:
AIB Bank
P.O. Box 96A, 7/12 Dame Street, Dublin 2
Sort Code 93-20-86
Account Number 33077059

Outside of Ireland you can donate directly into our account:
BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS

AIB Bank
P.O. Box 96A, 7/12 Dame Street, Dublin 2
Sort Code 93-20-86
Account Number 33077059
IBAN: IE37 AIBK 9320 8633 0770 59
SWIFT CODE: AIBKIE2D

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