Archive for July, 2013

Belfast White-line Picket In Support Of Michael Campbell 17th August

Posted in IRSP, Michael Campbell, Political prisoners on July 31, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

The Irish Republican Socialist Party will be holding a white-line picket on Saturday 17th August on the Falls Road, Belfast, to highlight the campaign to repatriate Michael Campbell from the hellish conditions of a Lithuanian prison.

The White-line picket on Saturday 17th August begins outside Costello House at 12 noon and ends at 1pm.  The case for the repatriation of Michael Campbell is an humanitarian issue that all Republicans, Socialists, Trade Unionists and progressives can unite on.

You can read more about Michael Campbell’s case for repatriation at the:

Plough & Stars Blog

Republican Socialist News

The Repatriate Michael Campbell Facebook Campaign

Show your support in Belfast on the 17th August for Michael Campbell!


Alex McGuigan

The IRSM 40 Years Of Revolutionary Resilience

Posted in Anti-IRSP revisionism, INLA, Ireland, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Seamus Costello, The founding of the IRSM on July 30, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

The Irish Republican Socialist Movement, now approaching it’s 40th year, is a revolutionary survivor.  Like many revolutionary movements in history it had a baptism of fire during it’s inception and faced counter-revolutionary pogroms throughout it’s history.  Despite it’s relatively small size in comparison to, at one time the Officials and later the Provisionals during the recent conflict, it is a movement that has held true to it’s aims, never jettisoning core values as mere ‘tactics.’

Never falling for the self-delusionary practice of historical revisionism, the movement has experienced the successes and set-backs of all revolutionary organisations, aptly described by Lenin as ‘two steps forward, one step back’.  Throughout it’s 4 decades of existence it has survived near strangulation at birth and been viciously attacked by a variety of sources, including:

  • Both the Officials and the Provisionals
  • The British army including it’s undercover death-squads
  • Various armed agencies of the 26 County regime
  • Loyalist death-squads
  • Counter-revolutionaries such as the IPLO and the Torney cabal
  • The ‘security services’ of various states

A Real Threat To The Status Quo

Unlike one-dimensional Nationalist movements whose ultimate goal is a unitary Capitalist Ireland, aptly described,in Let Us Free Ireland, by James Connolly, where a 32 county Gombeen state:

“will protect all classes, and if you won’t pay your rent you will be evicted same as now. But the evicting party, under command of the sheriff, will wear green uniforms and the Harp without the Crown, and the warrant turning you out on the roadside will be stamped with the arms of the Irish Republic.”

The IRSM has always stressed, indeed it’s core Connollyite ideology, is that there can be no real freedom in a unitary Ireland without economic freedom, sloganised by “National Liberation and Socialism”.  By the same token, for obvious reasons, including the very raison d’etre of the early IRSM, the ‘Stages’ theories of the Officials and their various off-shoots are anathema.

A clear and tragic indication of how the ideology of the IRSM is viewed as a threat to the status quo of both Britain, it’s 6 county statelet and the Leinster House Gombeen regime is that every articulate leader of the movement has been assassinated either by armed agents of the state or their proxies, these include:

  • Seamus Costello
  • Ronnie Bunting
  • Noel Little
  • Miriam Daly
  • Seamus Grew
  • Ta Power
  • Gino Gallagher
  • Dominic McGlinchey

Most, if not all of these murders happened at key stages in the IRSM’s history and it is far from an exhaustive list, a more in depth list can be found on the Fallen Comrades of the IRSM webpage.

The IRSM Today

It is suffice to say that the IRSM, unlike others, will not be going away!  Splinter groups from the Provisonal movement, for allegedly opportunist reasons, have tried to adopt, in some cases verbatim, the IRSM’s politics, even to the truly bizarre lengths of claiming Seamus Costello as their posthumous leader!  Ironically, many of the nouveau Republican Socialists were the most vociferous critics of IRSM policies and active participants in the Undermine and Absorb offensive against Republican Socialist POWS in Long Kesh.  Nevertheless, imitation is often cited as the highest form of flattery..

With the INLA leaving centre stage, the IRSP is growing as a revolutionary party.  We have always had a coherent alternative to the one-dimensional nationalism of other Irish Republican entities and avoid the political cul de sac of ‘Provo bashing’.  The party has been at the forefront of the anti-austerity campaigns, spearheaded campaigns for human rights for Republican prisoners, were highly visible during the recent obscenity of the G8 conference and are involved in a host of other activism.  Unlike the Brit-centric parties, we refuse to ignore the ‘elephant in the living room’ of British imperialism in Ireland.

If Seamus Costello’s words have an ideological resonance for you then membership of the IRSP may very well be for you:

“We must make no secret of the fact that we are a revolutionary party, prepared to give leadership on the streets as well as in the elected chambers and that we are out for a revolutionary state!”

Alex McGuigan

The First Ever Mass Escape From Long Kesh

Posted in Anti-IRSP revisionism, Billy wright, INLA, Ireland, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, Long kesh, The Great Escape, Willie Gallagher on July 28, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars


There has been no shortage of articles and documentaries chronicling the various escapes from prisons by Republican prisoners, however, there has been little written about the INLA escape from Cage 5 in 1976, which ranks as the very first mass escape from Long Kesh prison camp. The first mass escape from Long Kesh in 1976, occurred on the 5th of May, a date that ironically doubly ties it to Irish Republican penal history, as by grim coincidence Bobby Sands died on Hunger Strike some 5 years later, in 1981. The Irish Republican Socialist POW’s who successfully made that first mass escape from the infamous Long Kesh concentration camp were:

1.Seamus O’Kane,
2.Cahir O’Doherty,
3.John-Eddy McNicholl,
4.Harry Flynn,
5.Gerry Clancy,
6.Hen Doherty,
7.Jake McManus,
8.Joe Kelly
9.Gerard Steenson.

The Red Moles

The Republican Socialist prison-breakers chose tunnelling as their means of escape and brought new meaning to the term ‘Red Moles! ‘ An even more remarkable fact, about the 1976 Republican Socialist mass escape, was that the Irish Republican Socialist Movement had only been formed 2 years earlier, at the IRSM’s inaugural convention at the Spa hotel, Lucan, near Dublin. Unlike the Provisionals, who have made a cottage industry and travelling roadshow, based around the second mass escape from Long Kesh in 1983, Republican Socialists have been relatively reticent about their successful jail-breaking methodology. In contrast to others, they have been quietly modest about being the sole authors of the very first spectacular mass escape from Long Kesh.

The Cages Of Long Kesh

The Long Kesh prison of 1976 was very different from the prison of the H-Blocks era, which the general public would be more familiar with.  Following a Hunger Strike by Billy McKee, by the time of the first mass escape, the British Government had given de jure POW status to Republican and Loyalist prisoners and the prison regime was reminiscent of a World War 2 camp for captured combatants, which conjures up images of the regime seen in the Hollywood movie, The Great Escape. The similarities did not end there, as like any other era in Irish Republican penal history, the POWs spent much of their time devising ways to go under, over and indeed through the perimeter fence.  Like the POW camps depicted in movies, the Republican prisoners were allowed to, more or less, control their own time, with the command structures of the various organisations being officially and legally recognised by their ‘opposites’ within the prison guards and indeed by the state itself.

Cage 5

There were in fact 10 Red Moles who emerged at the end of the Cage 5 tunnel, but the tenth tunneller, Dessie Grew, injured his leg at the final wall-scaling stage of the escape and had to return via the subterranean passage to his Nissan hut. The Republican Socialist escapees had to morph into Communist Kangaroos to successfully clear all the rolls of barbed-wire, chain-link fences and the formidable perimeter wall, despite it being bathed in the glare of searchlights every few seconds!Unfortunately, two of the Irp escapees were captured some 10 miles away, later the following day by the British Army and RUC. The remaining seven Republican Socialist prisoners made good their escape, by a variety of ingenious methods.

SAS Death-squad Deployed To Murder The INLA Escapees!

As an interesting postscript to the Great Irp Escape from Long Kesh, several SAS death-squads were dispatched to track down and kill the Republican Socialist escapees. Their deployment had allegedly been authorised at cabinet level by the British government of the time and the death-squads were armed with a variety of irregular weapons, including pump action shotguns and Ingram Sub-machine pistols. Their use of ‘unconventional’ weaponry added weight to the widely held belief that, if the SAS had made good on their heinous manhunt, the escapees would have been murdered in cold blood, MRF-style . One of the SAS death-squads, travelling in an unmarked van, were stopped at a joint Gardai-Free State Army checkpoint, 2 days later on the 7th of May. In contrast to the immediate imprisonment Republicans routinely received at the hands of the Gardai, the 8 man SAS death-squad were quickly flown back to their lairs, following a brief court appearance.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future, the story of the great Long Kesh escape of 1976 will be told in greater detail and to a wider audience. It is a fascinating story and a very important piece of Irish Republican penal history.  Unfortunately, partly due to a degree of historical revisionism from various quarters hostile to the Republican Socialist Movement, the significant role played by INLA POW’s is often glossed over, especially overseas.  The bravery of Republican Socialist POW’s such as in the 1976 Great Escape, can never be understated, as despite being a much smaller Irish Republican organisation, 3 members of the INLA, Patsy O’hara, Kevin Lynch and Mickey Devine, laid down their lives during the H-Block Hunger Strike of 1981.  In 1997, a spectacular INLA operation, within the restrictive confines of Long Kesh’s H-Block’s, executed Billy ‘King Rat’ Wright, an extreme right wing Loyalist renegade who was personally directing a campaign of sectarian murder against working-class Catholic civilians.

A much more in depth account of the 1976 Great Irp escape, including a personal account by veteran Irish Republican Socialist, Willie Gallagher who was imprisoned in Cage 5 at the time is available to read on the IRSM History section of the IRSP website


Alex McGuigan,
(Edited July 2013)

Seamus Costello Co-founder Of The Irish Republican Socialist Movement

Posted in INLA, Ireland, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, Seamus Costello, The founding of the IRSM on July 27, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars


Each October, IRSP members, Republicans,, Socialists, Trades Unionists, relatives and friends remember the late, Seamus Costello, in his home town of Bray, County Wicklow. Many of Seamus Costello’s old comrades, co-founders and younger members of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, gather in Bray annually, to remember with pride their slain comrade. Seamus Costello was the co-founder of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

Seamus Costello was the INLA’s first Chief of Staff. Tragically, he was murdered in the prime of his political life, by an Official IRA gunman on the 5th of October 1977, in the North Strand, Dublin. Seamus Costello left behind a grieving wife, Maeliosa and his four children, Caoilfionn, Fionan, Aoibbin and Ronan, were traumatically deprived of a loving father. The Irish Republican Socialist Movement was devastatingly robbed of it’s first leader and co-founder.

Much has been written about Seamus Costello, his political dynamism and personal charisma. As a guerrilla fighter during the IRA’s ‘Border Campaign’ of the 1950’s known officially as Operation Harvest, Seamus Costello earned the nickname, ‘The Boy General’. He operated in the South Derry area, was wounded and subsequently interned. His highly respected antecedents, were partly responsible for South Derry eventually becoming a strong IRSP area, over a decade later, when the Official IRA’s most revolutionary activists rejected Goulding’s reformist politics to join the Republican Socialist Movement.


Seamus Costello was first and foremost a Republican Socialist, a revolutionary who broke with and rejected the reformist political chicanery and Stalinist stageist ideology of the Official Republican Movement. Born into an agricultural family background, he was well placed to advocate on behalf of small farmers and he was as well versed on issues effecting the rural working-class, as he was on urban proletarian issues. Prior to Seamus Costello’s murder in 1977, he was appointed, or elected to


  • Wicklow County Council
  • County Wicklow Committee of Agriculture
  • General Council of Committees of Agriculture
  • Eastern Regional Development Organisation
  • National Museum Development Committee
  • Bray Urban District Council
  • Bray Branch of the ITGWU
  • Pesident Bray and District Trade Unions Council
  • Cualann Historical Society
  • Chairperson of the IRSP/Chief of Staff INLA


Seamus Costello’s politics in his own words can be gauged by the following quotations


On a New Ireland:


“We want to build a society where our children can live in peace and prosperity, a society where they will control the wealth of this country.” (Crossbarry, Cork, in March 1976)


On Capitalism:

“Against robber-rights I will fight to their destruction or my own.” (Seamus Costello)


On Imperialism and Partition:

“Our attitude, on the other hand, is that the British presence in Ireland is the basic cause of the divisions between the Protestant and Catholic working class in the North.” (Seamus Costello)


On the Official Republican Movement’s Reformist Trajectory:

“They ignored the presence of 15,000 troops on the streets. They ignored the torture and terror perpetrated by the British Army on the Nationalist population and they acted as though there was no change in the situation since 1969.” (Seamus Costello)


On the Provisionals:

The principal difference we would have with them as I see it, is that the Provisionals are not as an organization, dedicated to the establishment of a Socialist Republic….We are not in business to criticize the Provisionals. We have our own policy to pursue and we have our own objectives. To the extent that the Provisional policy runs parallel to ours, we are prepared to co-operate with them.” (Seamus Costello)


On Loyalists and issues effecting Northern working-class Protestants:

“We should certainly co-operate with anybody on any aspect of our policy. But we think that any approach to the Loyalist and Protestant working class in the North, must be on the basis of a principled political approach….We feel that the approach to the Loyalists must be an honest one and that we must explain to them what all aspects of our policy are.” (Seamus Costello)


 On the IRSP and the role of the INLA in defending it’s members:

“Any revolutionary movement that cannot defend its own membership, and cannot demonstrate its capability of defending its own membership, goes out of business anyway. We are in business as a serious revolutionary organisation and we are not going to be put out of business by anybody. The IRSP is organised and it is here to stay.” (Seamus Costello, March 1975.)


On Revolutionary politics, elections and parliaments:

“I favour guerrilla tactics in parliament the same as I do in other respects.I favour them in local elections and local government bodies,they’ve proved successful there. And I see no reason, why, with a few TDs or MPs, of the right calibre, pursuing the right policies, why they cannot destroy the confidence of the people within these institutions and bring them tumbling down in ruins” (Seamus Costello)


What People said about Seamus Costello


Noel Browne, on hearing Seamus Costello speak at a conference in Boston, USA, stated:

Seamus Costello spoke for the IRSP and gave a scintillating display of good humour, history, politics and facts…. I’ve never heard his brand of Republicanism before… Is it not a triumph for our radio, TV and newspapers and of the venomous Dublin political denigration machine that none of us has ever read, heard of or seen this man’s remarkable dialectical skill and political ability.”


Noel Browne concluded, by prophetically stating:

“They will have to shoot him, or to jail him, or get out of his way, but they certainly won’t stop him. Costello the revolutionary Marxist Socialist whose ambition is a secular, pluralist united Socialist Republic, won’t go away until he gets it!”


Nora Connolly-O’Brien, the daughter of Irish Marxist philosopher and Easter Rising leader, James Connolly, said of Seamus Costello:


“Of all the politicians and political people with whom I have had conversations, and who called themselves followers of Connolly, he was the only one who truly understood what James Connolly meant when he spoke of his vision of the freedom of the Irish people.”


Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey, a founding member of the IRSP and lifelong Republican Socialist, said of Seamus Costello:


“My personal acquaintance and friendship with Seamus Costello began in 1973. Before then I knew him only, as most people in Ireland, by reputation……….On hearing of his death, I could find no words of my own to express the deep sense of loss I felt, both personally and as a revolutionary  socialist committed to the struggle for Irish freedom. I took therefore the words of a fellow revolutionary on the death of Malcolm X, the black revolutionary champion of black liberation and socialism in the U.S.A.: ‘Without him, we feel suddenly vulnerable, small and weak, somewhat frightened, not by the prospect of death, but of life and struggle without his contribution, his strength and inspiration’.”


Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey, finished off her appreciation of Seamus Costello, by saying:


” His single greatest attribute was, however, his ability to relate to the mass of the people. His potential as a leader of mass struggle is not easily replaced. He could inspire not only the dream but the confidence of its achievement, and the commitment to work towards that end…..From the ranks of mass struggle, others will come. From the experience of struggle, the political programme, organisation and method of struggle will come. But another Seamus Costello may never come again. When our freedom has been won, let us guard it well,remembering it was paid for in the blood and the lives of those now dead, but whose memory lives forever in the hearts of us who loved them for all that they were and all they might have been, had they been allowed to live.”


Thomas ‘Ta’ Power, INLA Guerrilla and Revolutionary theorist wrote:


“the sheer stature of the revolutionary Seamus Costello is too great for what can be expressed in feeble words, yet words are the only (way) to express and convey this stature albeit in a feeble way”

Follow In Seamus Costello’s tradition!


The politics of Seamus Costello are perpetuated in the Irish Republican Socialist Party.  October 2013 will be the 36th Anniversary of the tragic murder of Seamus Costello.  However, the IRSP, the revolutionary political vanguard of the movement Costello co-founded, is as relevant in contemporary Ireland as it was in 1974. Irish Republican Socialism is in the unique position today, as it was in Costello’s lifetime, of being the only Irish party to adequately address the crisis of Capitalism and the undemocratic partition of Ireland. In conclusion, there is no doubt that Seamus Costello would be proud to know that the Republican Socialist Movement, despite almost insurmountable obstacles in the past, still fights for, and owes it’s allegiance to the Irish working-class!





Alex McGuigan,


Gino Gallagher 1963-1996 – Tribute To A Revolutionary

Posted in Gino Gallagher, INLA, Ireland, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP on July 26, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

gino 02

Contemporary IRSP activists and especially younger Irish Republican Socialists, who may not have known him owe much to Gino Gallagher, not least being that he is credited with refurbishing Costello House, the IRSPs national headquarters on Belfast’s Falls Road. At his insistence, Costello House was transformed from being a run-down building into something resembling the party offices that exist there today. Gino Gallagher, in his then role as IRSP POW spokesperson was responsible for obtaining the repatriation of INLA prisoners from English gaols. He also was instrumental in forcing the NIO to agree to negotiating rights for the Irish Republican Socialist Party in relation to the INLA prisoners in Long Kesh.


INLA Chief of Staff

A feared military operator, who at the time of his death was Chief of Staff of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) he was also a highly politicized Republican Socialist activist who embodied Ta Power’s doctrine of ‘every soldier a politician, every politician a soldier‘.  Gino Gallagher was instrumental in promoting the central tenets of Ta Power’s analysis and vision for the Republican Socialist Movement which stressed the primacy of politics. Gino Gallagher described Ta Power as, ‘the biggest influence in my life.’  Tragically, both men were to meet similar cruel ends, cut down by the Judas bullets of counter-revolutionaries.

Gino Gallagher was made INLA Chief of Staff following the arrest and subsequent expulsion of Hugh Torney and his associates when they declared an unauthorised INLA ceasefire from the dock of a Dublin courtroom in 1995, in return for a successful bail application after their arrest in Ballbriggan. By all accounts, Torney had been a one-dimensional militarist, at best, and his tenure as INLA Chief of Staff was marked by his concerted attempts at running down the political wing, the IRSP. Torney would have resented Gino Gallagher’s reversal of the IRSP’s political fortunes and his drive to make the party the significant player it had once been.


Death of a Revolutionary

Gino Gallagher was cruelly shot dead as he waited to sign-on at the Falls Road offices of the Social Security Agency, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, 1996. The assassin who the Torney cabal hired to murder one of the IRSM’s most able leaders was Kevin McAlorum, the career criminal son of an infamous North Belfast drugs dealer. Both Torney and McAlorum met violent ends, the former only 8 months later on 3 September 1996 and the hired assassin 8 years later on June 4th, 2004, by grim irony only the day after Gino Gallagher’s father’s funeral.

Even in death the forces of reaction feared and hated Gino Gallagher, heavily armed RUC and British army stormtroopers invaded the family home, disrupted the funeral procession and beat mourners. Gino Gallagher was buried in Milltown cemetery on 2 February, 1996, with the funeral oration delivered by IRSP Ard Chomhairle member, Michael McCormick, who paid tribute to his political activism and revolutionary zeal. The oration praised Gino Gallagher’s promotion of ‘open democratic discussion,’  his struggle against ‘elitist, militaristic and non-political attitudes in the movement’ and how he, through determined activism ‘along with others, revitalised the Republican Socialist Movement.’ Gino Gallagher’s funeral oration ended with the sentence:

“Finally, as we lay this Volunteer and Comrade ino the soft green soil of his native land, remember him each time you gaze into the stars and see there etched across the sky, the Plough and the Stars!”

Today, his cowardly killer and those who hired him have been dispatched to the dustbin of history but Gino Gallagher’s image is immortalised in murals and commemorative plaques in his native west Belfast. Though times have changed greatly since 1996, Gino Gallagher’s legacy lives on in a revitalised IRSP that has fully endorsed the primacy of politics and continues to represent the interests of working-class people.

Saoirse go deo!

Alex McGuigan,


The Misuse Of James Connolly

Posted in 'The Troubles, Alex McGuigan, Anti Fascism, Anti-IRSP revisionism, Belfast, Bourgeoisie, Class Solidarity, Community, Dublin IRSP, Easter Commemoration, Fallen Comrades, History, Imperialism, Industrial Action, International socialism, Internationalism, Ireland, Irish Citizen Army, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Jim Larkin, Karl Marx, Murals, Polarisation of the classes, Primacy of politics, Proletariat, Reformism, Revisionism, Socialism, Solidarity, Trade Unions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

It is glaringly irrational for purely nationalist parties in Ireland, notably Sinn Fein, to continue to pretend  to Connolly’s ideological legacy but not surprising given that entity’s flare for revisionism and political opportunism.  It goes without saying that if Connolly were alive in these early years of the 21st Century, he would certainly not be a member of Sinn Fein!

Before anyone makes the habitual statement that no person alive today can really second guess the possible contemporary actions or attitudes of dead revolutionaries, well in James Connolly’s case we can. It is well documented that Connolly during his political life in Ireland was never a member of Sinn Fein, a party that was founded in 1905 and of which he was very much aware of.  Connolly, the Marxist and revolutionary trade unionist would have been diametrically opposed to a party that largely backed William Martin Murphy and the employers during the Dublin Lock-out of 1913.  In actions that would be familiar today, the then Sinn Fein leader, Arthur Griffiths, refused to support the workers movement, describing it as ‘”sectional‘”.  When English trades unionists organised relief ships to help the striking workers, Griffith’s little Irelander hackles were raised and condemned the solidarity action as “an insult” to Ireland.

Sinn Fein And Socialism

James Connolly’s Sinn Fein And Socialism, published in April 1908 in The Harp, which critiques the shortcomings of that party’s one dimensional nationalism, was actually used in true revisionist form by the contemporary party during their hijacking of the centenary of Connolly’s residence in Belfast by quoting out of context the first few lines of the article which welcomes really only the the meaning of the English translation of the term Sinn Fein,

“That is a good name for the new Irish movement of which we hear so much nowadays. Sinn Féin, or in English, Ourselves”.

 Of course, the unlikely Connolly centenary celebrants of anti-Marxist Sinn Fein studiously ignored the rest of Connolly’s article and it’s mesage which is roundly critical of their ideology and pours scorn on their non-socialism and the absurdities of their early Habsburgian/monarchist leanings:

“As we all know the methods adopted by Hungary to reconquer its Parliament from Austria are the trite illustrations of the Sinn Féin orators. In fact during the early stages of the movement in Ireland before the felicitous name of Sinn Féin was coined the ideas as promulgated got the name of ‘the Hungary system’.

I remember one critic declaring that “the Hungary system was only fit for hungry men!”

It could be further added that any perceived ‘praise’ for Sinn Fein, was not for the party but used by Connolly to make the point that the working-class must rely on ‘ourselves’, not the national bourgeoisie (of which Sinn Fein was then a small but component part) who must be swept away so that,

“the era of the strutters and poseurs will end”

Connolly, the Marxist, in complete contrast to the limitations of bourgeois nationalism, ends his article by re-affirming that only the working-class can fight and win the fight for both national liberation and real economic freedom ie Socialism,

“we will realize at last what was meant by Marx when he spoke of the revolt of those who

Have Nothing to Lose but their Chains.”

No Reds In Their Beds!

Therefore, it is very much in the eye of the beholder to decide whether the, at best, nationalist Centrist party called Sinn Fein’s highly tenuous claims to the legacy of the Marxist, James Connolly, are the result of revisionism, political opportunism or a confused ideological compass (or perhaps a combination of the latter two?)

Certainly, it would be the height of irrationalism for a party such as Sinn Fein to attempt to claim the legacy of the Marxist Connolly, when there are such concrete assertations from the present party leader stating:

“There is no Marxist influence within Sinn Fein, it simply isn’t a Marxist organisation.  I know of no-one in Sinn Fein who is a Marxist or who would be influenced by Marxism.”

We saw echoes of this edict recently when members of that party’s youth section condemned Republican Socialist G8 protestors for having the temerity to carry red flags, the symbols of international socialism.  (The youthful McCathyites then camped out nearly 100 miles from the G8, reportedly near the Giant’s Foot [no pun intended] while of course their leadership salivated at the prospect of being permitted to join the chorus line of clapping seals welcoming the most insidious cabal of global war criminals and imperialists to Ireland!  However, the above statement from Adams is a completely rational assertation from a party whose well documented aim is for a unitary Capitalist Ireland that sees no contradiction in gladhanding the world’s most vicious imperialists, such as Obama et al.

History Vindicates Irish Republican Socialism

Ironically for a party who at one stage, using crude reductionism, viewed the modern partitioned 26 counties as a neo-colony of (British) imperialism (a view that was jettisoned during the heyday of the Celtic Tiger), it is now entirely comfortable with a future where Ireland would be a minor cheerleader of Western imperialism as it massacres it’s way around the world in search of oil, commodities and profit.

In conclusion, Connolly’s Republican Socialism, his militant trade unionism, his adherence to Marxism, his membership of the Irish Socialist Republican Party and his rejection of one-dimensional nationalism, are irrefutable and uncomfortable truths for those who have erroneously attempted to hijack his legacy.  The contradictions of these attempts are glaringly obvious for those whose minds have not been befuddled by neo-liberalism’ double-speak nonsense and blatant revisionism. By the same token the ‘gas and water socialists’ of the Brit-centric Left and two-nations ‘socialists’ who choose to ignore the British imperialist elephant in the living room who periodically pay homage to Connolly, conveniently chose to ignore his central tenet that national liberation and true socialism are symbiotically linked.

Today’s heirs of Connolly’s legacy are those who unreservedly adhere to his most oft quoted ‘thesis’ that:

“If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.”

Saoirse go deo!





Alex McGuigan,

Repatriate Michael Campbell

Posted in Human Rights, Michael Campbell, Political prisoners on July 24, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

Michael Campbell is an Irish political prisoner who has been held in a Lithuanian prison since he was entrapped in a British Security Services so-called ‘sting operation’ in 2008.  In 2011 he was sentenced under the most questionable of evidence to 12 years imprisonment in Lukiskes prison.  The circumstances of his arrest, trial and sentencing are currently the subject of repeated judicial challenges which are ongoing.

Of immediate importance and of concern to all freedom loving people are the draconian prison conditions that Michael Campbell is being held in.  For those unfamiliar with Michael Campbell’s case for repatriation to a prison in Ireland or the Dickensian conditions he endures on a daily basis, it is suffice to paraphrase the late Hugo Chavez’s description of the foul prison system (his own government inherited) that Lukiskes prison resembles “the fifth circle of Hell.”

IRSP Campaigns For Michael Campbell

The Irish Republican Socialist Party which has a long and honourable tradition of campaigning for political prisoners’ rights since it’s formation in 1974.  In 1981 3 of it’s members, Patsy O’Hara, Kevin Lynch and Mickey Devine gave their lives during the campaign for political recognition in the H Blocks,.  The IRSP has unconditionally supported and campaigned for Michael Campbell’s repatriation from the Lukiskes prison hell hole.  IRSP spokesperson, Michael McLaughlin, recently stated:

“Since Michael Campbell’s imprisonment in Lithuania concern has been growing amongst Human Rights watchdogs and Political Prisoner support groups in Ireland and the USA over the conditions he is being held in. He is serving his sentence in Lukiskes Prison in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Lukiskes Prison has a brutal regime where political prisoners are detained in small cells with common criminals, people with mental health issues and Heroin addicts for 23 hours per day laying on damp thin mattresses on the floor, two people have attempted suicide in the cell with Michael since 2009. The conditions of the cells are medieval they are infested with Maggots and Cockroaches and inmates are forced to eat, sleep and use the toilet in the cell, which is a hole in the middle of the floor, whilst being denied proper hygiene products; each inmate only gets allocated less than one roll of toilet paper per month. Michael Campbell is only allowed one shower per week and only leaves his cell once per day to use the “exercise yard” which is a 10ft by 10ft room. He is unable to communicate with anyone in Lukiskes Prison and only gets limited contact with his family as there is no regular post.”

The IRSP in Belfast and elsewhere in Ireland, who successfully spearheaded the campaign for the release on humanitarian grounds of terminally ill former H-Block prisoner, Brendan Lillis, will be holding white-line pickets and other events to raise awareness of Michael Campbell’s plight.

Many more Irish Republican, Socialist and human rights groups have added their voice to the campaign for the repatriation of Michael Campbell.  In 2013, all right thinking people should do what they can to prevent a political prisoner, convicted under the most dubious of evidence, being held in Bastille-type conditions.

What You can do?

  • Sign the Repatriate Michael Campbell petition and encourage your friends to sign it: Here!
  • Join the Repatriate Michael Campbell Facebook page for the latest news on the campaign: Here!
  • Take part in Repatriate Michael Campbell events in your area or organise one
  • Write to your political representatives asking that they highlight Michael Campbell’s plight
  • Write to the media highlighting the plight of Michael Campbell

An injury to one is an injury to all!


Alex McGuigan,
Belfast July 2013


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