Archive for February, 2016

1966 Film Footage of The 50th Anniversary of The Easter Rising in Belfast

Posted in Commemoration, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 29, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars
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Correspondence between Nora Connolly O’Brien and Leon Trotsky

Posted in INLA, International socialism, Internationalism, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars
Nora Connolly O'Brien

Nora Connolly O’Brien (Daughter of James Connolly)

The Plough and The Stars is proud to re-publish correspondence between Nora Connolly O’Brien and Leon Trotsky courtesy of the Marxists.Org website.  Nora Connolly O’Brien was the daughter of the ideological founder of Irish Republican Socialism, Marxist Revolutionary and Commander of the 1916 Easter Rising James Connolly.  Nora was also an admirer and ideological ally of the founder of the IRSP and INLA, Seamus Costello.  She stated that Seamus Costello was:

the leader who would bring about an organisation such as my father wished to bring about. 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. In him, I had hoped at last after all these years, a true leader had come, who could and would build an organisation such as James Connolly tried to do.

I dislike very much to have to use a phrase that is a cliche – to say that he is “a great loss”. But there has been no greater loss to those fighting the same fight. Seamus Costello’s death was a loss to the cause of Irish freedom.

As Seamus Costello was a true disciple of James Connolly and his teachings, I can only hope that among those who were associated with him and who learned from him, there will be another disciple to take his place and build an organisation among the workers and people of Ireland that will be bound to bring Ireland James Connolly’s and Seamus Costello’s vision of freedom.

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Leon Trotsky addressing the Red Guard

Leon Trotsky, hero of the Russian Revolution, victorious Commander of the Red Army during the Civil War when 14 invading foreign armies joined with the ‘White Russian’ counter-revolutionaries attempting to strangle the epochal drive to construct the  Socialist Order.  Leon Trotsky was Lenin’s chosen successor and needs little introduction…

 

36 Belgrave Square
Rathmines
Dublin
Ireland
28 April 1936

Dear Comrade,

A comrade here has promised to get this letter to you.

First to introduce myself. I am the daughter of James Connolly, a worker in the Socialist movement all his life, and as you know, Commandant General in the Rising of Easter Week in 1916. He was executed.

I learn that you are extremely interested in Ireland, and the development of the revolutionary movements here. If you desire it, I would gladly supply you with whatever items of information you require. There is not at present any Labour paper, but there will be by the end of May. I will send you copies if you wish them. There is one paper issued by the National Revolutionaries, the Irish Republican Army, and one issued by the CP. These also I will send if you wish.

I hold an official position in the Irish Citizen Army, I am a member of the Irish Labour Party, and am in close touch with the officials of the Irish Republican Army.

The Labour Party recently adopted a new programme and constitution, the first step towards achieving the leading role in the revolutionary movement in Ireland. The new programme is not yet a correct revolutionary one, but it is such an enormous advance on the previous one, that we are not indulging in any carping or cavilling criticism. Through it they can supply an alternative to Fianna Fáil (the majority Republican party in the Irish parliament, An Dáil) as by adopting James Connolly’s doctrine of the twin ideals of national and social independence they have ended the divorce between the national and Labour movements. This programme will be ready shortly. I could also send you a copy.

This is not much of a letter, really it is only to establish contact.

Nora Connolly O’Brien

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Nora Connolly


Norway
6 June 1936

Dear Comrade,

I was very touched by your kind letter. A great deal of circumstances prevented me from writing to you immediately. I always have been greatly interested in Ireland, but unfortunately my interest remained only platonic. I never had the opportunity to study in detail Irish history and politics. Since my early days I have got, through Marx and Engels, the greatest sympathy and esteem for the heroic struggle of the Irish for their independence. The tragic fate of your courageous father met me in Paris during the war. I bear him faithfully in remembrance. I made up my mind to read your book about your father in the very next time.

The revolutionary tradition of the national struggle is a precious good. Would it be possible to imbue the Irish proletariat with it for its Socialist class struggle, the working class of your country could, in spite of the numerical weakness of your population, play an important historical role and give a mighty impulse to the British working class now paralysed by the senile bureaucracy.

I take the liberty to send you in the same time my little book, In Defence of Terrorism.

Leon Trotsky

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Irish Republican Socialist Movement Easter Rising Centenary Commemoration Dublin

Posted in Commemoration, Human Rights, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

rsm easter 2016

The Irish Republican Socialist Movement will hold it’s Centenary Commemoration of the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin on Saturday 26 March.  The event will begin outside Liberty Hall at 12.30pm, making it’s way to Glasnevin Cemetery.

The Irish Republican Socialist Movement shares the values and vision of James Connolly, the Irish Citizen Army and honours all those who ignited the spark in 1916 for those who sought to achieve a 32 county Irish Workers Republic.

For further details or transport arrangements contact your local IRSP representative and/or read the IRSP NEWS , the main IRSP Facebook Page or your area’s dedicated IRSP Facebook page.

Saoirse Go Deo!

The Coming Generation by James Connolly

Posted in Ireland, Irish Citizen Army, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 16, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

 

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Last week we witnessed in Dublin the first political parade of the coming generation.

Between twenty-five and thirty thousand children turned out and walked in processional order through the streets of the city, to show the world that British Imperialism had cast no glamour over their young minds.

And that in the person of Her Britannic Majesty they recognised only a woman – no better than the mothers who bore them, if as good.

It was a great sight to see the little rebels taking possession of the city – a sight more promising for the future of the country than any we can remember.

Well, the children did their duty. Now are you prepared to do your duty to the children? Listen, my patriotic friend! Every child in that army of processionists – being the children of the poor as they all were, for it is only in the veins of such the stream of patriotism flows pure and undefiled – is destined to become, if it lives, the slave of a master, and will grow up in a world which nowhere recognises its right to life, except on the supposition that it will make a profit for a master.

You rear your child up to love its country, and you support a social system which declares that the child has no right to the country, but must pay for permission to live on it as it is the property of private individuals.

You shout for liberty, and you surrender your children to the mercies of capitalism which will seize them as soon as they leave school, and will devote their little bones, muscles and undeveloped brains to the task of grinding out profits for a boss.

Are you doing your duty? Love Ireland! Yes, if by ‘Ireland’ you mean not only the earth and the waters, but the men and the women, the boys and the girls – the people of Ireland, in fact.

Ireland without her people is nothing to me, and the man who is bubbling over with love and enthusiasm for ‘Ireland’, and can yet pass unmoved through our streets and witness all the wrong and the suffering, the shame and the degradation wrought upon the people of Ireland, aye, wrought by Irishmen upon Irishmen and women, without burning to end it, is, in my opinion, a fraud and a liar in his heart, no matter how he loves that combination of chemical elements which he is pleased to call ‘Ireland’.

If you are proud of the children who responded to the call of their country, and passed unheeded the seductions of the tyrant, then bestir yourselves to win for them a right to live in that country, a right to enjoy its beauties, and revel in its abundance, irrespective of the wishes of any employer or landlord.

When Socialism is realised every child in our Irish soil will by the mere fact of its existence be an heir to, and partner in, all the country produces; will have the same right to an assured existence as the citizen has today to his citizenship – in fact that will then be the right of citizenship, the right to live in the country, and the right to enjoy those fruits of labour the country will yield to its children.

That is the reward you should render the children for their love of country; win the country for them and leave it behind you as theirs to enjoy free and unfettered – neither under the heel of foreign tyrant, nor yielding disguised tribute to native slave driver.

You cannot be doing, you are not doing, your duty to the children while you leave them to grow up amidst such surroundings as are to be found in the tenement houses of our city.

You are neglecting your duty as long as you allow your City Hall to be in the power of men who as landlords derive their living from the rents they extort out of the poisonous slums in which they are slowly murdering the children of the working class – those very children you professed to admire on Sunday.

You are traitor to your duty as long as you elect to Parliament the members of a political party which, like the Home Rule Party, is officered, managed and financed by that same class – the landlords of our city slums.

Ah, be true to your class, to your duty, to our children, and you cannot fail but be worthy of your country, and when next the non-Socialist politicians, or the municipal wirepuller solicits support:

Think of the children who swarm and die
In loathsome dens where despair is king,
Like blackened buds of a frosty spring
That wither sunless, remote they lie
From the love that nurtures each quickening sense,
While Vice, and Hunger, and Pestilence,
Breast-poisoned nurses, the babies drain dry.

And so thinking, take your place in the ranks of the Irish Socialist Republican Party.

James Connolly, Workers’ Republic, 15 July 1900.

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Stay Left Comrades!

Posted in Alex McGuigan, Anti-Austerity, INLA, Internationalism, IRSCNA, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 14, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

 

12363015_1562241910687018_1146856534871442585_oIrish Republican Socialism as a distinct movement embodied by the Irish Republican Socialist Party has been, since it’s inception in 1974, the most progressive force in Republican politics. Until the splintering of traditional Republicanism post-Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and post-PIRA ceasefires, it was the single principled voice of Republican Socialism in Ireland. Unlike every single one of the present day myriad of anti-GFA Irish Republican groups, parties and ‘societies’ who are all derivitives of the Provisional movement, the IRSP ‘tendency’ first emerged as the most revolutionary section within the Officials.

The IRSP’s key ideologues, such as Costello, Bunting and Power stood head and shoulders above the one dimensional Nationalists/Defenderist leaders of the nascent Provisionals like O’Bradaigh, MacStiofain and McKee. Likewise, the IRSP were an uncomfortable reminder to the stageists, reformists and ring-road socialists of the Official Republican Movement. The IRSP’s primary premise has always been that the class struggle and the national struggle are inseparable, in keeping with Connolly’s “the cause of labour is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland is the cause of labour” (Workers Republic,8 April, 1916).

In present day Ireland, with the Pythonesque fracturing of the Provisonals grassroots into a plethora of personality-led ‘super-provo’ entities, which seem to multiply in number almost weekly, it is not surprising that political opportunists have sought to adapt the mantle of ‘Republican Socialism’ . Thankfully, their concept of ‘Republican Socialism’ is more often than not a backwards glance towards a vague notion that ‘Socialism is a good idea’ but as with all one-dimensional Republicans, there is always the proviso that ‘labour must wait. ‘

Nevertheless, the reality is that the political waters of Irish Republicanism are heavily populated with groups offering ‘radical’ politics masquerading as a generic ‘Republican Socialism’ . For the IRSP to survive intact, retain it’s distinct identity, prosper and not become a bit-part player in the post-ceasefire alphabet soup of so-called ‘dissidents,’ it’s Republican and Socialist politics, in equal magnitude, is it’s ultimate salvation!  At no time in the past has Republican Socialism sought or felt the need to ‘out-Provo’ the Provisionals and likewise it would be folly to ever attempt to ‘out-super-Provo’ the ‘super-Provos!’ Thats not to say that there are not many issues that the IRSP share a platform with fellow Republicans on and it would be equal folly to imitate an ‘ourselves alone’ attitude, which conversely, is still a key tenet and hangover of many anti-GFA parties/groups. Sadly, in practice, history has proven that many of these traditionalist groups retain their previous movement’s ‘undermine and absorb’ attitude towards the IRSP.

In the present political climate, where the conditions for widespread popular armed struggle are not yet a viable option, revolutionaries will gravitate towards Republican Socialism’s politics where the economic liberation of the working-class has equal emphasis to national liberation. One dimensional ‘Republicans/Nationalists’ will gravitate towards the super-Provo group that makes the biggest bang; have the ‘greenest’ flag and shout the loudest about post-86 or post-97 ‘Shinner heresy’.

The revolutionary socialism of Marx, Connolly, Costello, Bunting and Power defined the ‘Irps’ in the past and it is surely their ideological anchor for the future. In simple terms, many groups now carry the Starry Plough flag, invariably as just another ‘Republican’ symbol amongst many, but the Irish Republican Socialist Party are the only party to give the ‘plough’, the revolutionary flag of the Irish proletariat, it’s prominent and proper place, side-by-side with the Red flag, the symbol of international Socialism.

“If you remove the English army to-morrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation 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” (James Connolly)

Alex Mcguigan

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Keynote Speech from the Gino Gallagher 20th Anniversary Commemoration

Posted in Commemoration, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 3, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

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During the Gino Gallagher 20th Anniversary commemoration on Saturday, 30 January 2016, at the Irish Republican Socialist Movement plot in Milltown Cemetery, Belfast, IRSP spokesperson, Micheál Ó Ceallaigh, (pictured left) delivered the following powerful keynote speech:

Comrades, today marks the 20th anniversary of the murder of one of the finest Republican Socialist revolutionaries to ever grace the struggle for National Liberation and Socialism in Ireland.

Gino Gallagher was a giant of a man, both in physicality and mentally. He oozed qualities that are so badly needed to lead a revolutionary Movement.

Soft spoken and quiet, highly intelligent and full of passion and motivation, he had a clear plan of how to turn the Republican Socialist Movement back onto the steady path, while possessing the vision that would see it stay there and flourish.

As a young Republican Socialist and member of the IRSP, Gino Gallagher is someone who I aspire to, and along with other young Party Activists, he is someone we can learn a lot from on our political journey. Although too young to have known the man, the stories about him are told on a regular basis, giving the younger members the visual picture of who Gino was, and what he stood for.

Gino believed strongly in the implementation of the Ta Power Principles, a document he had read over and over again while in jail, and had worked so hard when released from prison to have put into action within the R.S.M. He recognised the importance of working towards building the IRSP into a respectable and serious force.

The first thing Gino done in his new position as INLA Chief of Staff, as well as IRSP National Organiser, was to make sure Costello House was put back in action. Rallying other members together, he helped with cleaning up the Party HQ’s, painting it, paving it and making sure other maintenance work which was needed, was carried out.

He was feared by the enemies of Republicanism. Whether that be the British Army, RUC or counter revolutionaries and criminals. He was a proven, seasoned and committed Volunteer and Activist.

Gino recognised the increasingly reformist approach of the Provisional Movement and warned against jumping into bed with the British Government. He knew that entering into a ‘diplomatic war’ with the Brits would be catastrophic for the wider Republican struggle. He has been proved right on this.

He believed the IRSP and INLA needed to be ready to fill the political vacuum which would be created when it donned on the Irish working class that the path taken by the P.R.M was not one which would see anything close to a worthwhile political outcome after so much death and bloodshed. It was on the back of these events which Gino dedicated every wakened hour of his time to building the Movement both in Belfast and nationally.

On that January day in 1996, our Movement lost one of its brightest lights. Just like Seamus Costello, Miriam Daly and Ta Power before him, a cruel blow was struck at the R.S.M once again. However, just as before, the Movement survived and took the example set by the likes of Gino onwards.

His ideals and vision for our Movement still remain strong today in each and every young member of the IRSP. We hope we can live up to what Gino expected from Republican Socialist Activists. We strive to help build the Party into the formidable and respectable force he envisaged.

There is a lot of work to be done, but we are confident of succeeding on the long and arduous path laid out for us. And it will be the memory and stories of Gino Gallagher which will help carry us through to that certain day.

The Party of Connolly, Costello and Gallagher is organised, and is here to stay!

Comrades – let the fight go on!

 

 

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