Ballina couple on Gaza-bound boat

Members of the Graham family, Ballina, pictured at the peaceful protest against Gaza strip blockade in Castlebar this week. Photo: Michael Donnelly.

Members of the Graham family, Ballina, pictured at the peaceful protest against Gaza strip blockade in Castlebar this week. Photo: Michael Donnelly.

Two human rights activists from Mayo were aboard an Irish owned boat travelling into Gaza carrying humanitarian aid this week.

Derek and Jenny Graham from Ballina travelled on the MV Rachel Corrie behind the Challenger II, which was attacked by Israeli forces earlier in the week. Fiachra O'Luain from Donegal, who ran as a North West candidate in the European elections last year was on board the Challenger boat where nine activists were killed.

In Castlebar on Tuesday, more than 100 people attended a Solidarity Vigil which was organised by Mayo Sinn Féin.

Councillor Thérèse Ruane, who addressed the crowd, said that: “The Gaza Freedom Flotilla is a humanitarian aid mission carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid to the besieged city of Gaza, which has been subject to an illegal blockade for more than 18 months now. The blockade of the Gaza strip is illegal. The boarding of the flotilla was illegal. The separation wall is illegal and the construction of settlements on stolen Palestinian land is illegal. Sinn Féin are calling for the immediate ending of the siege of Gaza.”

The Cllr concluded that “at home in Mayo and Ireland, we are calling for a trade boycott of Israeli goods.”

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