Seamus Costello 36th Anniversary Memorial Event
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.