Archive for the Anti-IRSP revisionism Category

IRSP PRO Interviewed By Catalan Publication Diagonal

Posted in Anti-IRSP revisionism, Catalonia, Community, Diagonal, Internationalism, Ireland, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, Joan Mas Autonell, Seamus Costello, Solidarity, The founding of the IRSM with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

(Alex Mcguigan, IRSP PRO and Joan Mas Autonell reporter for the Catalan Newpaper ‘Diadonal’ at Costello House, Belfast today)

Joan Mas Autonell, a reporter from the Catalan publication ‘Diagonal’ visited Costello House to conduct an interview with the Irish Republican Socialist Party.  After formal introductions and meeting some of the Teach na Failte full time staff, the interview got underway.

The IRSP PRO outlined the politics of the party stressing the Marxist and Connollyite ideology of the party, that national liberation and the struggle for Socialism were of equal importance and at the core of the party’s raison d’etre.

 Other issues covered during the interview were:

. The failure and counterproductive nature of the Good Friday & St Andrews Agreements

. The current economic situation

. The current ‘austerity’ measures designed to screw working-class people to despair

. The fact that over 5000 British troops are still stationed in the north of Ireland

. The continued repression of Irish Republicans and the use of selective internment of those who  challenged the status quo

 . The IRSP’s recent involvement in electoral politics after a 30 year gap from fielding candidates

Other issues relating to the proud history of the Republican Socialist Movement were discussed and in the room the interview took place where framed pictures of Gino Gallagher, Seamus Costello, Ronnie Bunting are displayed amongst others, it was explained to  Joan Mas Autonell that at every juncture in our movement’s history out most able and articulate leaders have been assassinated by pro-British death-squads, which is a fair indication that our politics have always been a serious threat to the ruling classes in both the 6 counties and indeed the Leinster House regime.

It is hoped that yet another link of solidarity will have been forged and that Diagonal will have a much clearer understanding of the politics of the Irish Republican Socialist Party.



Here is a link to the Diagonal website, there is an option to translate the content to English or any other language:

Read more:




Whoop it up for liberty!

Posted in Anti-IRSP revisionism, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly on August 14, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

connolly - Copy

In the strange times we are living in, when for instance, the RUC/PSNI are being advocated as an ‘equitable police service’ by those who once took up arms against them and their vision of a unitary state is being sold as a business opportunity for corporations to employ cheap labour, the prophetic words of the ideological founder of Irish Republican Socialism, James Connolly, have the same resonance today as they did over a century ago.

Let Us Free Ireland!

Let us free Ireland! Never mind such base, carnal thoughts as concern work and wages, healthy homes, or lives unclouded by poverty.

Let us free Ireland! The rackrenting landlord; is he not also an Irishman, and wherefore should we hate him? Nay, let us not speak harshly of our brother – yea, even when he raises our rent.

Let us free Ireland! The profit-grinding capitalist, who robs us of three-fourths of the fruits of our labour, who sucks the very marrow of our bones when we are young, and then throws us out in the street, like a worn-out tool when we are grown prematurely old in his service, is he not an Irishman, and mayhap a patriot, and wherefore should we think harshly of him?

Let us free Ireland! “The land that bred and bore us.” And the landlord who makes us pay for permission to live upon it. Whoop it up for liberty!

“Let us free Ireland,” says the patriot who won’t touch Socialism. Let us all join together and cr-r-rush the br-r-rutal Saxon. Let us all join together, says he, all classes and creeds. And, says the town worker, after we have crushed the Saxon and freed Ireland, what will we do? Oh, then you can go back to your slums, same as before. Whoop it up for liberty!

And, says the agricultural workers, after we have freed Ireland, what then? Oh, then you can go scraping around for the landlord’s rent or the money-lenders’ interest same as before. Whoop it up for liberty!

After Ireland is free, says the patriot who won’t touch socialism, we 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. Now, isn’t that worth fighting for?

And when you cannot find employment, and, giving up the struggle of life in despair, enter the poorhouse, the band of the nearest regiment of the Irish army will escort you to the poorhouse door to the tune of St. Patrick’s Day. Oh! It will be nice to live in those days!

“With the Green Flag floating o’er us” and an ever-increasing army of unemployed workers walking about under the Green Flag, wishing they had something to eat. Same as now! Whoop it up for liberty!

Now, my friend, I also am Irish, but I’m a bit more logical. The capitalist, I say, is a parasite on industry; as useless in the present stage of our industrial development as any other parasite in the animal or vegetable world is to the life of the animal or vegetable upon which it feeds.

The working class is the victim of this parasite – this human leech, and it is the duty and interest of the working class to use every means in its power to oust this parasite class from the position which enables it to thus prey upon the vitals of labour.

Therefore, I say, let us organise as a class to meet our masters and destroy their mastership; organise to drive them from their hold upon public life through their political power; organise to wrench from their robber clutch the land and workshops on and in which they enslave us; organise to cleanse our social life from the stain of social cannibalism, from the preying of man upon his fellow man.

Organise for a full, free and happy life FOR ALL OR FOR NONE.

(James Connolly 1899)


Are We Witnessing a Leftward Shift Within Irish Republicanism?

Posted in Anti-IRSP revisionism, Ireland, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, Other Republican groups on August 7, 2013 by The Plough & The Stars

On the surface there are are least 5 Provisional movement splinter groups claiming to be ideologically and very publicly adopting the mantle of ‘Republican Socialism’. No bad thing, the less cynical of us would say but how much is this a tactical oppositional stance, is it a similar stance used by the Provisonal movement when it was politically expedient to do so?

The proof of the pudding will very much be in the eating, further down the line.  The RNU’s recent position paper made interesting reading and on face value, it is a genuine attempt at adopting a concrete Republican Socialist programme.  While it must be mentioned that experienced members of the irish Republican Socialist Party allegedly detect the authorship and ‘consultancy’ of an embittered ex-member of the latter party.  Personalities aside,  ‘Revolutionary Republicanism’ was a refreshing change, offering an alternative as opposed to the negative Shinner-bashing much beloved by the plethora of the Provisional movement’s former comrades.

However, it is the experience of every genuine Republican Socialist party, since Connolly’s ISRP to the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the present day inheritors of that Connollyite Marxist tradition, that one-dimensional Republican parties, irrespective of Leftward swerves, will always settle for much less than National Liberation and Socialism, in other words , readily adhering to De Valera’s dictum that “labour must wait.”

James Connolly

Connolly faced similar difficulties amongst a sea of one-dimensional Nationalists, unlike the author he could articulate the position of real Republican Socialism in an infinitely more articulate and decisive manner.  In Socialism and Nationalism (1897) there is a sense of de ja vu when he states:

“In Ireland at the present time there are at work a variety of agencies seeking to preserve the national sentiment in the hearts of the people.These agencies, whether Irish Language movements, Literary Societies or Commemoration Committees, are undoubtedly doing a work of lasting benefit to this country in helping to save from extinction the precious racial and national history, language and characteristics of our people.

Nevertheless, there is a danger that by too strict an adherence to their present methods of propaganda, and consequent neglect of vital living issues, they may only succeed in stereotyping our historical studies into a worship of the past, or crystallising nationalism into a tradition – glorious and heroic indeed, but still only a tradition.  Now traditions may, and frequently do, provide materials for a glorious martyrdom, but can never be strong enough to ride the storm of a successful revolution.

Connolly obviously saw the limitations of the wrap the Green flag around me adherents and ‘national revolutionaries’.  Only the symbiotic nature of national liberation and economic freedom ie Socialism was, and is the real threat to the status quo in Ireland and beyond:

“The Socialist who would destroy, root and branch, the whole brutally materialistic system of civilisation, which like the English language we have adopted as our own, is, I hold, a far more deadly foe to English rule and tutelage, than the superficial thinker who imagines it possible to reconcile Irish freedom with those insidious but disastrous forms of economic subjection – landlord tyranny, capitalist fraud and unclean usury”

All Socialist, Marxist and revolutionary socialist uptake by the Provisonal movements’ myriad of splinter groups has to be welcomed at face value .  The Irish Republican Socialist Movement unlike it’s nouveau fellow ideologues originated from the most radical elements of the Official Republican Movement and it’s sacrifices to retain it’s integrity and  raison d’etre are well documented.  The Red Flag of international socialism has rightly played the most prominent symbolic role in IRSM commemorations and events for many years.

Lets hope others ‘keep the red flag flying’ in years to come?

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)

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,
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