|Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013)|
Cork Workers Party Councillor Ted Tynan has paid tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela, saying that he and his comrades in the African National Congress had been an inspiration for many decades to all those involved in people’s struggles in Ireland and around the world.
Cllr. Tynan said he will support the posthumous granting of the Freedom of Cork to Mr. Mandela, saying it was an appropriate, if belated, bestowing of proper recognition on behalf of the people of Cork.
Cllr Tynan said, “As usual the majority of the Irish citizens were way ahead of their elected representatives when it came to supporting demands for the freedom of Nelson Mandela and for an end to apartheid in South Africa. When the Workers’ Party proposed that Mandela be given the Freedom of the City of Cork in 1987 the motion was defeated by some of those who are now loudest in their praises for Mandela. They have very short memories”.
The Workers Party councillor said that without the brave stand taken by the Dunnes Stores workers and others at home and around the world it is likely that Nelson Mandela would have died in prison. “It was the acts of solidarity worldwide and the struggles of the ANC within South Africa which defeated apartheid, not the worlds’ political elite now claiming credit”, he said
Cllr. Tynan continued, “With a few notable exceptions most of the world’s governments had to be shamed by their citizens into joining the fight against apartheid. It is fitting too”, he concluded, “that we do not forget the many who did not live to see the end of apartheid, from those who led the struggle to the many victims of the murder and repression of the apartheid state. For their sakes and for all peoples it is essential that the struggle continues against the class and economic apartheid that continues to exist in Africa, Ireland and throughout the world”.