Archive for September, 2013

Seamus Costello 36th Anniversary Memorial Event

Posted in Commemoration, Seamus Costello on September 30, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

The Seamus Costello 36th anniversary memorial event’s highlight will be the Seamus Costello Commemorative Lecture held at 6pm at Newtown Community  Centre, Newtownmountkennedy, County Wicklow.  Seamus Costello was the key co-founder of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) whose inaugural convention was held at the Spa Hotel, Lucan, County Dublin.  Naturally enough one of the four key speakers at the memorial lecture will be Jason Nott of the IRSP.  Other speakers will be Sean Doyle of the IWU; historian Ruan O’Donnell and John Dwyer Eirigi who broke away from Provisonal Sinn Fein in 2006.  This will be an event of great significance to those with an interest in the life of IRSP/INLA co-founder, Seamus Costello, his Republican Socialist politics and his dynamism as the leader of Ireland’s oldest Republican Socialist Movement, collectively known as the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM).

Brief Background To Seamus Costello co-founder of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement

Of significant will be Seamus Costello’s part in the IRA’s short lived campaign officially known as ‘Operation Harvest’ (1956-62) but colloquially known as ‘The Border Campaign’ where he earned the nickname ‘The Boy General’ due to his leadership abilities in his theatre of operations in South Derry, where he commanded an IRA active service unit.

Seamus Costello, following the IRA split in 1969 sided with the Left-wing Official IRA (OIRA) rather than the narrow nationalist Provisonal IRA, where he served as Vice-president of Official Sinn Fein and held the rank of staff officer in the Official IRA.  Following the OIRA ceasefire of 1972, Seamus Costello was the recognised leader of the most militant, dissident section of the Officials who opposed it’s ‘stages’ theory which led to his dismissal from the OIRA by what amounted to a kangaroo court in early 1974.

Retaining his chairmanship of Bray Town Council and his seat on Wicklow County Council, he co-founded the IRSP and INLA, becoming the chairperson of the party and the army’s first Chief of Staff.  The IRSM was largely composed of militant ex-members of the Officials, trade unionists, independent socialists and civil rights leaders whose chief ideological linkage was the Connollyite ideals of the symbiosis of the fight for both national liberation and a socialist state in Ireland.

Tragically, Seamus Costello was shot dead in North Strand, Dublin, on the 5th October, 1977, allegedly by Jim Flynn, a member of the Official IRA.  Despite his tragic murder, his influence is paramount within today’s Irish Republican Socialist Movement.  Seamus Costello’s political dynamism and adherence to Connolly’s aim of an Irish Workers’ Republic has attracted the interest of historians, trade unionists and those whose original politically allegiances were opposed to Seamus Costello’s politics.

(Seamus Costello co-founder of the IRSP/INLA)

A Tribute To Seamus Costello From A Comrade

Posted in IRSM, Mary McClure, Seamus Costello on September 29, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars


(Image created by Keitho Dunleavio Medusa)

 Seamus Costello 

I was just thinking about Seamus today.  It is coming near to your anniversary and you have been gone 36 years.  I loved you for the person you were and in your own words your “allegiance to the working class” people of Ireland.  Your passion and commitment was something to behold.  It was awesome.  Thanks to you for the dedication and inspiration that you instilled in me.  I have many memories of just how great a man you were. You could be arrogant at times but beneath that you were a gentle caring person who did so much to help people in need.

You were a man who if someone needed help you would be there to assist them in any way you could. You once said to me “I see the poverty here and I want to try to eradicate it.” You said that we were all equal and that we must use our revolutionary socialism to change the capitalist mind of this country by whatever means we needed to use.

You were taken from us before you had the chance to do the things you wanted to do.  The “boy general” was gone (you hated being called that) and we were left to carry on what you had begun.  We will never find a leader of the same calibre as you, the charisma of yourself had people in thrall to you but I keep looking and will never stop searching until the day I take my last breath. I owe that to you Seamus and we all owe it to you to make your vision a reality. You were one of the greatest Irishmen of the 20th century one of the greatest socialists and most of you were one of the greatest soldiers of Ireland. We will never see your like again. But most of all you were my friend and I still miss that rapier sharp wit and the laughs that came with it.

Rest easy Seamus one day we will succeed and wherever you are I will close my eyes and see the smile on your face. Mission completed comrade.


By Mary McClure, a beloved friend, comrade and lifelong admirer of the late Seamus Costello, co-founder of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement

Undertones, Anti-Fascism And The Far-Right In Ireland 1945-2012

Posted in AFA, Anti Fascism, Ireland, Neo Nazis, Racism on September 26, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

If one were to believe conventional histories and the media, we would be forgiven for thinking that Fascism in Ireland ended with O’Duffy’s Blueshirts with a few recent flare-ups like the self-styled ‘Celtic Wolves’ who were disrupted in their camping endeavours by a few country Gardai.  Bernardo O’Reilly’s Undertones  makes a nonsense of that myth and does an excellent job of informing us of the plethora of homegrown Fascist and racist groups that have reared their ugly heads in Ireland since the end of the Second World War to the present (and thankfully have almost unanimously had those ugly heads kicked  in by anti-fascists!)

O’Brien, a member of Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) Ireland and other contributors have done considerable research into Ireland’s murky fascist underground,  many of which have used the cloak of Irish Nationalism to conceal their true fascist and racist ideology.   They correctly describe how Ireland was seen as a safe haven for many wanted SS officers in the post war flux, many of their escapes facilitated by the Catholic Church and on at least one occasion by the Quakers!   Mosley, of the British Union of Fascists sought refuge in Ireland during the post-war era, buying several grand properties, some of which had an ‘unfortunate’ susceptibility to fire damage:

“Understandably , his presence in Ireland did not please everyone and in December 1953, IRA members , in an unsanctioned operation , burnt down his house in Count Galway.   Mosley lost his papers, many BUF and UM internal documents and three family portraits in the fire that left Clonfert Palace as an uninhabitable shell….Up to now, the fire was described in Mosley’s biographies, as an accident

Undertones does an admirable job in chronicling the numerous Fascist groups in Ireland since 1945, some were overtly neo-Nazi such as the National Movement while others using the cloak of ‘anti-abortionists’ and Irish culture, were more insidious.  Thankfully, none of these far right groups ever gained the foothold of respectability, although this can be explained by the 26 county parties playing their own ‘race card’ when it was politically expedient to do so.   There is also the argument that bears some validity that the disaffected  working class youth of Ireland, who in other countries would be targeted by Fascists groups are much more likely to be become involved in the various Republican groups and movements who traditionally would be militantly opposed to the far right.

It is heart warming to hear of the many more contemporary confrontations with these neo-Nazi cabals, where invariably the extreme right wing groups, often modelling themselves as Teutonic warrior types, quickly turned into instant pacifists when coming face to face against experienced AFA stewards.   Undertones makes the highly valid point that only anti-fascists with strong ties to working class communities can effectively counter Fascism/Racism when it attempts to flex it’s so far usually puny muscles.

The fact that there has never been a mass fascist movement in Ireland since the days of the Blueshirts, is not an excuse for complacency, especially in the current economic climate and anti-immigrant diatribe being encouraged in the media.  The following quotes from Germany’s Nazi leaders should be taken as a watchword by anti-Fascists everywhere:

“Only one thing could have broken our movement – if our enemies had understood its principle and from the first day had smashed the nucleus of our movement with extreme brutality.”

(Adolf Hitler, 1933)

 “If the enemy had known how weak we were, it would probably have reduced us to jelly. It would have crushed in blood the very beginning of our work.”

(J Goebbels, 1934)

Undertones: Anti-Fascism and The Far-Right In Ireland 1945-2012 is available at a price of 6 Euros and makes invaluable reading for those concerned with the history of Fascism in Ireland and it’s present day manifestations.  More importantly, it gives the reader sound examples of how these Nazi deviants are best dealt with.

Links: Anti-Fascist Ireland Website

Anti-Fascist Ireland Facebook 

Alex Mcguigan

The Irish Political Mural Phenomena

Posted in Community, Human Rights, Hunger Strikes, INLA, Internationalism, Ireland, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSCNA, Loyalism, Murals, Uncategorized, Unionism on September 23, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

Ireland’s political wall murals are now world famous and they receive thousands of visitors every year. In more recent years some of the most memorable murals have been replaced by less militaristic imagery, due at least in part to British government grant funding conditional on a ‘toning down’ of the murals, in keeping with their present normalisation policy. In the Loyalist areas of the north of Ireland, murals were a feature for many years, even previous to the Troubles. However, they were not on the same scale as they would have been in later years and generally took the form of a simple representation of King William of Orange or similar royalist imagery.

In Republican areas of the North of Ireland, political wall mural painting has mushroomed over this past 35 years and some, such as the renowned Free Derry corner in the Bogside proclaiming that You Are Now Entering Free Derry , have become local landmarks and world famous sites of historical interest. Several books and academic studies of political wall murals in the North of Ireland have been published, perhaps the best known being those by local academic and human rights campaigner, Bill Rolston.


Up until more recent times, there was a strong military theme to most Irish Republican political murals, with paintings of armed Republicans being extremely common. Memorial type political murals were and still are also popular, with many examples remembering the sacrifice of the ten Hunger Strikers, who gave their lives in the struggle for political status in 1981. Other Republican memorial type political murals commemorate Irish Republicans who lost their lives on active service during the recent conflict.

Irish Republican Murals

The Provisonal IRA’s murals are by far the most numerous in Republican areas of the North, due to their fairly successful attempts at achieving near hegemony within Republican communities, especially in West Belfast.  Murals in support of other groups do exist however and there are several striking murals sponsored by the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM) which includes the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), the Irish Republican Socialist Party(IRSP) and the Republican Socialist Youth Movement (RSYM.) Three IRSM prisoners gave their lives in the 1981 Hunger Strike and many IRSM murals commemorate their sacrifice.

The Republican Network for Unity (RNU), 32 County Sovereignty Movement, Eirigi and other Republican groups also have political murals in Belfast and elsewhere.  Other Socialist murals commemorate the volunteers from different religious denominations in Ireland who joined the International Brigades to fight Franco’s Fascism during the Spanish Civil war The Socialist mural in question was placed strategically on an old factory wall on Northumberland Street, a road that runs between the Protestant Shankill and the Catholic Falls Road and it’s poignant message appeals for class solidarity once again. A new mural on the same ‘peaceline’ which divides the Falls and Shankill Roads, painted by the IRSP, on the ‘Republican’ side of the interface is dedicated to Republican Socialist prisoners.

Other anti-Stormont Republican groupings have fairly recently been painting murals in Republican areas, most recently being Eirigi, the 1916 Societies and the Republican Network for Unity’s (RNU) new murals, some of which are painted on the world famous International Wall at Divis Street. To the best of my knowledge the Official Republican Movement (ORM) have only one mural in Belfast. The ORM mural is painted on the gable wall of their Falls Rd office, it commemorates Liam McMillan, a former Official IRA leader. (McMillan was allegedly shot dead by a youthful Gerald Steenson, who later became a leader of the now infamous but defunct, IPLO. Steenson himself was shot dead by the INLA.)

Many Republican murals are non-party based, for instance, commemorating the Hunger Strikes of 1981 or the 1916 Easter Rising. Some murals are heavily laden with images from Celtic mythology and are widely acclaimed because of their intricate design work. The world famous International Wall on the Lower Falls Road/Divis Street celebrates international solidarity with Liberation Struggles in Palestine, Latin America and the Basque Country.

The Mural Tour Industry

Tours of the murals and areas of historical significance in the Irish conflict are often conducted by ex-political prisoners and are extremely good value for money for students of the Irish conflict and so-called “conflict resolution”. Backpack bearing visitors from all corners of the world are a common sight in West Belfast on guided tours around the various murals dotted throughout the district. Community groups in west Belfast also paint murals as an alternative activity for teenagers, to counter grafitti and their work can be seen in many districts often warning of the dangers of street drugs and alcohol abuse.

Loyalist Murals

In Loyalist areas, many of the wall murals are militarist orientated, although there has been a recent trend in displaying less threatening images. During soocer legend George Best’s funeral from his parents home in the staunchly loyalist Cregagh estate, overtly militaristic and extreme right-wing murals were covered up. The ‘clean-up’ followed a quick cash injection from the Democratic Unionist Party-controlled Castlereagh council to tone down militaristic murals in the area, in preparation for the anticipated arrival of Manchester United soccer fans, who had come over from Britain for the funeral of their soccer hero.

Murals of masked paramilitaries from the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Red Hand Commando (RHC) are still prevalent in Loyalist areas, some disturbingly depicted scenes of sectarian murders. Loyalist murals are widely seen to be reactionary and of less internationalist appeal, due to their ideological links to fascist and racist groups in Britain and Europe. Some Loyalist murals include scenes from heavy metal band Iron Maiden album covers, which is a fairly good barometer of their political sophistication.  In recent times some of the more bellicose Loyalist murals were toned down in some areas, such as the notorious UDA/UFF mural in Sandy Row.  Yet in other areas brand new murals of masked Loyalist gunmen have appeared.  One of these recent Loyalist gunmen depicted murals bears bizarrely bears a quote from Dr Martin Luther King which sits rather uncomfortably with the supremacist subject matter.

Joint Loyalist/Republican Mural Tours

Loyalist ex-combatants, like their Republican counterparts, conduct tours of their murals and there are now joint tours where tourists can visit murals in both Republican and Loyalist areas and retain the same tour guide or have guides from both communities. During the recent conflict, joint tours where a Republican or Loyalist would take visitors across the ‘peaceline’ to view the other community’s murals would have been impossible due to serious security considerations. Perhaps there is the spark of hope for working class unity, somewhere within ventures such as those..

The North’s political murals are a must-see for tourists to Belfast and Derry. There are various ways to see them and links are included to the various groups and agencies offering political tours, mural tours and generalised tours of places of historical significance within Belfast and Derry’s vast working class ghettoes. There are walking tours conducted by ex-political prisoners which are highly reccomended, they are relatively cheap and great value for money as your guide will be intimately familiar with both the area and the nature of the conflict in the North of Ireland. There are also black taxi tours and mini-bus tours available, usually from the same source.

Open top tour buses leave the city centre regularly and these are popular too with visitors to Belfast. It is also entirely feasible for visitors to conduct their own unassisted tour of Belfast’s political murals and visitors will be completely safe, despite the troubled history. Local people will be only too happy to provide local knowledge and visitors will find that local people are walking encyclopedias on the Irish conflict and local culture. Visitors often call into some of the local parties’ offices in search of directions and places of interest to visit. Many visitors have reported that exploring Belfast and Derry’s murals has been the high point of their trip to Ireland and many have become extremely fond of the rich local culture.

International Brigades Mural, Belfast

Alex Mcguigan

The Command Economy by Tj O’Connor

Posted in Internationalism, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSCNA, IRSM, IRSP, Karl Marx, Solidarity, The Command Economy, TJ O'Connor on September 20, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars


TJ O’Connor‘s ‘The Command Economy’ is a well presented and educational introduction to central planning and Marxist economics. The author successfully manages to present the fairly dry discipline of Marxist economics in a manner that is readable and understandable to the non-academic.


The Command Economy’s introduction section gives an overview of the benefits of a planned economy:

“A central planner can achieve an economy that is more efficient, more just and with faster growth than the free market with the correct information and computation 

Without going into the often confusing competing interpretations of the Soviet system within wider Marxism, the author simplifies the subject for the reader by pointing out that that the Command Economy has been the only real alternative to the Capitalist economic system:

“An important and defining feature of the USSR that has often been neglected in favour of political critiques and sectarian point scoring, is the command economy that it operated on. This remains the only alternative economic model to the market to be practised on a large-scale and for much of its history was remarkably effective”


The Workings Of The Command Economy And It’s Flaws

The author then analyses the workings of the command economy and its flaws, notably inadequate politicisation and information. Concrete examples of logistical flaws in the production of commodities within the Soviet system and how they therefore were unable to develop high tech industries, are given in a highly readable, understandable manner. With examples of central planning difficulties that effected both Cuba and the USSR:

“The biggest failure of the command economy has been in farming. Even after largely phasing out small peasant plots, and collectivizing much of Soviet agriculture, the economy continued to depend on those small private plots for much of the country’s food. This was partially because of the ham-handed and crude way collectivization was implemented from above, also because the peasants who were the most successful tended to often (but not always, of course) resist collectivization, and also because infrastructure to deliver goods to market often lagged behind..”


 The Benefits of The Planned Economy

TJ O’Connor in the third section of ‘The Planned Economy’ accurately specifies examples of a state-controlled economy’s multiple benefits using the Cuban, the Peoples Republic of China and the USSR. Included in this section is a quote from Che Guevara’s speech to the Inter-American Economic and Social Council in 1961. Guevara outlined the immediate benefits from the nationalisation of the economy as the starting point in building a Socialist society in Cuba, where previously it had been the international brothel of imperialism:

“In all these areas we carried out a revolution, and we also carried out a true revolution in education, culture, and health care. This year illiteracy will be eliminated in Cuba.”

Quite clearly, the command economy addresses human need in a way that would be impossible in a free market economy. In essence, the command economy utilising the current advances in technology etc has more chance of succeeding now than previously.


The Command Economy Will Succeed in The Future

TJ O’Connor’s final section in The Planned Economy acknowledges the limitations of previous attempts at implementing a Socialist economy in the likes of the USSR where circumstances beyond their control frustrated their success. The stark choices faced by the USSR following the unsuccessful Socialist revolutions elsewhere, the zero option of ‘Socialism in one country’ and the massive economic leap that the fledgling Socialist state had to make from Feudalism are explored. The author makes the final point that a planned economy in this era, harnessing all the resources of previous Capitalist production can and will succeed.

About The Author

TJ O’Connor is a senior member of the Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America (IRSCNA), the Irish Republican Socialist Movement’s representative body in the USA and Canada.  TJ has been a lifelong political activist, not limited to Irish/American issues but to revolutionary socialist campaigns and issues effecting the working-class in North America   The Planned Economy by TJ O’Connor is available to read in it’s entirety on Google Documents or by contacting the author directly via the IRSCNA website contact form. The Command Economy is an excellent and educational introduction to the dynamics of Socialist economics.

Alex Mcguigan


Miriam Daly Irish Republican Socialist Martyr

Posted in 'The Troubles, Alex McGuigan, Armed Struggle, Belfast, Class Solidarity, Collusion, Commemoration, Community, death squads, Dublin IRSP, Fallen Comrades, Feminism, History, Human Rights, Hunger Strikes, Imperialism, INLA, International socialism, Internationalism, Internment, Ireland, Irish National Liberation Army, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSCNA, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Long kesh, Loyalism, Miriam Daly, Murals, Police brutality, Political prisoners, Primacy of politics, Proletariat, PSNI/RUC, Ronnie Bunting, RUC/PSNI, Seamus Costello, Sectarianism, Socialism, Solidarity, State sponsored murder, Thatcher, The founding of the IRSM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

Miriam Daly, an Irish Republican Socialist activist, was callously murdered in her home in Andersonstown, West Belfast, shot dead by a pro-British death-squad on the 26th June, 1980.  She was a founding member of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement a dedicated Republican activist and a highly qualified academic who at the time of her brutal murder by the armed agents of imperialism was a much respected lecturer at Queens University Belfast (QUB) Department of Economic and Social History.

Miriam’s Background

Miriam Daly grew up in Dublin in the South-East of Ireland, attended University College Dublin (UCD) as both an undergraduate then a postgraduate student and subsequently became a member of the academic staff, lecturing in Economic History. Miriam’s first husband, Dr Joseph Lee died tragically of a heart attack aged only 37, leaving Miriam a young widow. Some years later she met and eventually married Jim Daly, a fellow Republican Socialist, university lecturer and lifelong partner. By 1968 both Miriam and Jim Daly had secured lectureship posts at Queens University Belfast (QUB) just as the Civil Rights movement was gaining public momentum. Miriam Daly became active in the struggle for civil rights and as a gifted orator became a publicly prominent spokesperson. Ironically, due to the very real threat of assassination by Loyalist paramilitaries the Daly’s had to move from their home in the then largely Unionist Stranmillis area of South Belfast near QUB, to the perceived safety of Andersonstown in Republican West Belfast.

As a founding member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party Miriam Daly was elected chairperson of the IRSP following the murderous assassination of the IRSP’s co-founder,Seamus Costello. Miriam and her husband Jim were very active in the burgeoning H-Block/Armagh Committees and were tireless workers on behalf of all Irish Republican prisoners. Miriam Daly would have been particularly prominent in the H-Block campaign and would have become a household name as one of the campaign’s most articulate spokespersons and advocates on behalf of the H-Blocks’ Republican POW’s.

 The Murder of Miriam Daly

The brutal murder of Miriam Daly by a British military death-squad can not be viewed in isolation, as her particularly callous assassination was part of a very definite state-sponsored murder campaign targeting Irish Republican Socialist Party members and H-Blocks campaigners. Articulate IRSP leaders and/or Republican prisoners’ campaigners such as Miriam Dally, Ronnie Bunting, Noel Lyttle and John Turnley were all brutally murdered within a short period of time. IRSP co-founder and H-Block campaigner, Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey and her husband were also critically wounded by a pro-British death-squad. Countless other activists were targeted in concerted attempts to silence the most able advocates of Irish freedom.

The British death-squad gunmen who callously murdered Miriam Daly bound the mother of 3 and then waited at her home in Andersonstown hoping to also murder her husband Jim who they were expecting to return from work. However, on that tragic day, June 26th 1980, Jim was in Dublin attending a German language course and it is assumed that when the British death-squad realised that he would not be returning they shot Miriam dead before making good their escape. The Daly children discovered their murdered mother when they returned from school and it can only be imagined how traumatic and heartbreaking an experience that was for the young Dalys.

Just as with the murders of Miriam Daly’s comrades Ronnie Bunting and Noel Lyttle, the death-squad’s modus operandi was that of a British military undercover gangs. They murdered M/s Daly in the heart of Belfast’s largest Republican area, Andersonstown and even waited for some time in the Daly home hoping to murder her husband, Jim. The British death-squad carried out their foul deed in the safe knowledge that, at the very least, the uniformed British military who would normally have been very much in evidence in West Belfast were giving them safe passage both in and out of the area.

Jim Daly, Miriam’s grieving husband, was certain of collusion and the hidden hand of British military involvement in her murder. Jim said of his beloved wife and comrade:

“She came very much to the notice of agencies that were poking their noses in here, for sure. That’s why she was targeted. She had a tremendous energy and never stopped. People called her in the middle of the night to come to an RUC station to help out, while relatives would phone her to find out where their loved ones were. She never stopped. It was amazing how much dedication she had. She was always upbeat and confident and optimistic. If there is an opposite to demoralise, she moralised people.”

As her funeral cortege passed her home in Andersonstown four members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) fired a volley of shots in tribute to Miriam Daly, the Irish Republican Socialist Party activist, the Irish National Liberation Army guerrilla, the H-Block activist, the university lecturer, the wife and the mother!

Miriam Daly is buried in Swords, County Dublin. Irish Republican Socialist martyrs like Miriam Daly who made the ultimate sacrifice will always be remembered and commemorated by her comrades. Miriam Daly’s image appears on IRSM commemorative plaques, murals and her name is inscribed on the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM) memorial stone in Milltown cemetery, Belfast. One of West Belfast’s best known and most striking wall murals on Oakman Street in the Beechmount area commemorates Miriam Daly and was actually painted by her son, Donal, along with others.

Many people who often pass the striking mural dedicated to Miriam Daly, the author included, will think of one of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement’s most outstanding comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle for national liberation and socialism. It should be remembered that Miriam Daly had a successful career as a university lecturer and she could quite understandably have chosen to immerse herself solely in the infinitely safer world of academia but instead Miriam chose to fight for human rights and the Irish Socialist Republic envisaged by James Connolly. Being a Republican Socialist activist in those intense and dangerous days was not an easy path to choose as the full weight of the murderous British military industrial complex was ranged against those who dared oppose imperialism. Miriam Daly was one of those courageous Republican Socialists who defied Britannia’s iron grip on Ireland and she sadly and tragically paid for her brave resistance with her life. Today’s Republican Socialist activists are determined that Miriam Daly’s sacrifice will not be erased by the historical revisionism, currently being pushed by imperialism’s lackeys and it’s fellow travellers. The Miriam Daly mural prophetically bears the inscription:

“History is written by the winner.”

Miriam Daly’s widowed husband Jim Daly elucidated further on the well known quote at a commemoration remembering the 25th anniversary of Miriam Daly’s murder:

“This year, on the 25th anniversary of Miriam’s death I feel there is at least one thing I can do, and that is to restate an important message she never tired of repeating. It was: to beware of and shun so-called “conflict resolution” the alleged academic discipline which is in fact an imperialist confidence trick.” 

Miriam Daly the INLA Volunteer, the political activist, the esteemed academic, the loving wife and mother who was gunned down by the forces of British imperialism will never be forgotten by her comrades in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement and even in death remains an exemplary model for today’s young activists who follow bravely in her footsteps!

miriam daly


Alex McGuigan

The Primacy Of Politics by Garry O’Ciánain

Posted in Garry O’Ciánain, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, Primacy of politics, Ta Power, Ta Power Document on September 11, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

Thomas ‘Ta’ Power

(This article was written by comrade O’Ciánain in 2011 and just like the subject matter it explores, it retains it’s resonance today and acts as a guide for future Irish Republican Socialists)

This year marked the twenty fourth anniversary of the assassination of Volunteer Thomas Power and his comrade, Volunteer John O’Reilly. The ‘Ta’ Power document highlights the political intellect of Ta Power. Power spoke of the need for the primacy of politics for greater internal democracy within the Irish Republican Socialist Movement. Thomas Power’s assassination by counter-revolutionaries who espoused the idea that:

“….Republicanism in Ireland is adequately served by Sinn Fein and the IRA… a new organisation at this time is premature”.

This theory was an old one going back to Eamonn De Valera’s statement that “Labour must wait.” Republicanism is not adequately served by Sinn Fein. That is evident by their acceptance of the Good Friday Agreement, which is built on an Apartheid basis of an elite minority taking precedence over the will of the working class people on this island. Sinn Fein whilst hypocritically condemning public service cuts in the 26 counties, are quite prepared to implement them in the North. Similarly in the 26 counties when Labour was asked to wait, it did and it is still waiting! The wait has resulted in a dictionary-definition republic which is controlled by corrupt and capitalist politicians. This is why the primacy of politics is vital to the Irish Republican Socialist Party. Labour will not wait any longer.

The Irish Republican Socialist Party have an obligation to the working class people of Ireland to ensure that their interests are not passed over or ignored. When we talk about the primacy of politics, we do not mean Armani suits at Stormont or the Dail. We mean the politics of the street which are created by hunger in the belly and anger in the head. Street politics means our involvement in community action, public demonstrations and self-education. Placing politics at centre stage also means that there is a need for self-education that destroys the myth that victory for our political cause can only come through force of arms. The Irish Republican Socialist Party states that their can be no military solution to a political problem Ireland’s problem was not a military one in 1922, 1969 and it is not a military problem in 2011. The evil social and economic effects of partition must be challenged by the working class people as a whole.

The primacy of politics means that the IRSP must have a high level of commitment and activism from its members. This means involvement in community issues and a continual presence on the streets. The IRSP must be active and relevant to the ongoing social, political and economic issues in West Belfast and beyond. We live in an era now where conditions have changed. This means our response must change. This does not mean our objective has changed our ultimate goal remains the end to imperialist rule in Ireland and the establishment of a 32-county socialist republic with the working class controlling the means of production, ownership and exchange.

The primacy of politics is essential not just for the Irish Republican Socialist Party but for the Irish working class!

“Understand the past so that we may analyse the present in order to influence the future!”
(INLA Volunteer Thomas ‘Ta’ Power)

By: Garry O’Ciánain

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