Whilst the Sentinel was a community newspaper focused on local issues and neighbourhood news, it also had an impressive capacity to look beyond the immediate area at major national and international issues. People in Wester Hailes were encouraged not only to know about what was happening in the wider world, but also to understand how their views and actions could affect people living thousands of miles away. In the week when the world gathered to mark the passing of Nelson Mandela, it seems fitting to highlight the efforts the Sentinel made to highlight the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
In July 1985 it carried an interview with Donald Kitson who had just been released after 20 years in prison where he had been jailed for his political activities against the regime. He discussed the power sanctions had in affecting the existing regime and highlighted efforts being made by shop assistants in Dublin who had gone on strike after refusing to handle South African goods. You can read the article in full here.
In October 1985, the paper published an extensive interview with Dali Tambo, son of Oliver Tambo who was the president of the ANC at the time. He brought a clear message to the people of Wester Hailes, asking for their support and explaining how their actions could make a real difference. He asked local residents to support sanctions and to lobby their local MP to ask for their support. The Sentinel re-iterated these comments, pointing out that “We all must play a part”. You can read the interview in full here.