IN Clonakilty, Co Cork, the local Amnesty group recently celebrated their 25th anniversary with special guest Michael Moane, an attorney who spoke of his work with Guantanamo prisoners, and the ongoing efforts to obtain fair hearings for the men, many of whom have never been linked to terrorist activity.
Moane said much of his work was finding homes for those unable to return to their countries of origin. “The promise that was contained in this republic, when it was founded, is not going to be delivered by politicians, but by people across this country getting actively involved in shaping our society,” says Amnesty Ireland’s executive director, Colm O’Gorman.
“Human rights are not vague, wishy-washy luxuries that we can no longer afford. Ireland has signed treaties to protect children’s rights, women’s rights, the rights to health and housing for everyone, but successive governments have not delivered. They need to be held to account for this.
“If people want to join Amnesty International, that’s fantastic, but it’s more important that all of us start to stand up for our human rights and ensure that the economic recession doesn’t punish the most vulnerable among us. We have to realise that the only people who are going to reclaim the promise of this republic are the ones who are living in it.”
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