Archive for the Ireland Category

Main Easter Rising Commemorative Oration [2017]

Posted in Commemoration, Easter 2016, Easter Commemoration, Fallen Comrades, INLA, International socialism, Internationalism, Ireland, Irish Citizen Army, Irish National Liberation Army, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSCNA, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

SOURCE: IRSP NEWS!

This years main oration was delivered by IRSP Ard Comhairle member and Trade Union activist Michael McLaughlin.

Michael McLaughlin reads the main oration

Comrades, supporters, friends, brothers and sisters one year on from the centenary of the 1916 rising we again gather to remember the sacrifice of all volunteers who fell in action in defence of the principles laid out in the  proclamation of the Irish Republic.

 

In particular this year we remember our young volunteers who died in defence of the Irish Republican Socialist Party’s right to exist. We owe them everything and as a new generation of republican socialists step up to continue the struggle for national liberation and socialism it’s on their shoulders we stand, united and stronger than ever.

 

Our journey to socialism was a natural progression out of necessity, the jackboot of imperialist occupation was our introduction to the class nature of society. We were failed, we all, at some point, lived with the bitter taste of poverty, our opposition to the physical manifestations of imperialism awakened a consciousness that naturally led us to socialism. As our contempt for the establishment grew so did our understanding that to be truly free, to be truly liberated, means giving ownership of the nation to its entire people.

 

We seen a society built upon inequality and exploitation of the communities we grew up in, wage slaves, everyone broken on some level all disenfranchised but not powerless, never powerless. The strength that it took to stand up against imperialism, to agitate and strive to confront our oppressors on any level possible, this is the strength that is alive in the Irish Republican Socialist Party today and this is the strength on which the socialist republic will be built.

 

Real change will come from the streets. As its only by the active participation of the masses, the dispossessed and exploited, taking control of their own interests for the good of our entire class can any change worth fighting for be delivered.

 

The time for a debate on the type of Ireland we wish to create is here. An Ireland with universal participation in real democracy for all citizens, constitutional rights to work, to rest, to leisure, the right to a properly maintained and funded state health service, care in old age and in sickness, a right to housing a right to education, a right to freedom of expression and a right to privacy, the right to the freedom of information, freedom of assembly, the right to religious worship or to choose not to, the separation of church and state, the right to artistic expression, the protection of the concept of diverse contemporary family. These things are not bargaining chips between the working and ruling classes, they should be enshrined in a progressive collective nation’s constitution, not become a construct of the capitalist toll bridge society to profit the few.

 

As the political establishments on both sides of the border continue to fail workers, as we witness the commencement of neoliberalist divorce proceedings between the capitalist states of Europe, in this climate a momentum towards an Irish border poll is slowly but steadily growing, we cannot ignore this. A cursory glance around the island points us to the conclusion of a society deeply divided and polarised by class, a border poll is just one issue that needs addressed.

 

We are serious about our political aims and objectives. We are serious about a united socialist Ireland,this process starts by dialogue between all progressive forces on what type of Ireland we wish to create. The IRSP are ready for that debate. We will never be a barrier to any serious attempts to remove partition, we will stand shoulder to shoulder with all who strive to achieve this, we are willing to share the important lessons we have learned standing outside the Good Friday Agreement though striving for a peaceful resolution of the national question.

 

All over Ireland a war is waging between bosses and workers. Corporations interests are protected by the state and the media, natural resources stolen and sold to enrich the few. Benefits sanctions attack our most vulnerable while working conditions are slowly eroded. Our trade unions are under constant attack. We stand in solidarity with everyone in their daily struggles. We cannot beg for equality from either the British state or the Irish capitalist state, asking for equality from entities built on hegemonic inequality is a futile act, we must take back what they have stolen, our nation’s wealth, our dignity, we must revive the collective aspirations of our class.

 

A merging of two corrupt capitalist states into one corrupt capitalist state is not good enough, the struggle cannot stop there, we strive for a society grounded in Irish neutrality and in the vision of Connolly that will never capitulate to, nor serve, the interests of the most wealthy over the needs of Irish workers.

There is much talk of the re emergence of a hard border due to a British exit from the EU.This hard border already exists due to British and European Union austerity measures all over Ireland, an uncomfortable truth for some. A most dangerous yet subtle hard border than has ever existed, a hard border that unemployment, poverty, lack of opportunities, underemployment, fear of eviction creates, a hard border that exists at the front door of the majority of homes on this island.

A hard border that prevents the active participation of citizens in society, a hard border at your own front door that breaks men,women and children, a hard border at your own front door trapping people in a cycle of debt and human exploitation. A psychological hard border that destroys the dreams, hopes, imagination and aspirations of our class to collectively achieve a society which protects people, not prosecutes, a society in which no man woman or child is left behind.

This year marks the centenary of the great October revolution. A time to revisit the spirit and determination of the Soviet people who created something unique, the world’s first socialist state, it’s a time to look at the similarities between the IRSP and the Bolsheviks. Both our political parties, although thousands of miles apart we cut from the same oppressed working class anti-imperialist and internationalist cloth.

Historically the IRSP, like the Bolsheviks had no problem in working outside the perceived norms of political activity when the situation dictated it. When seeking funding for their political activities both parties were not above engaging in proletarian expropriation. When facing the might of an oppressive imperialist state both parties were not above taking up arms against it. When facing reactionary counter revolution from within, both parties were not above physically confronting it in whatever way they seen fit. When facing a changing political climate both parties were progressive enough to change with the times.

As we move towards the centenary of the great October revolution the links between the 1916 Irish rising and the Bolshevik revolution are more intertwined than modern historians would like us all to believe.

Shortly after the nineteen sixteen rising a delegation of what were to become senior Bolsheviks arrived in Dublin from exile in London to learn the lessons from the Irish fight against imperialism. What they took away from revolutionary Ireland is all academic and up for debate. But Lenin said at the second world congress of the soviet international in nineteen twenties Petrograd that he considered James Connolly to be head and shoulders above above his contemporaries in the european socialist movement. Lenin said that the easter rising was a decisive blow against the power of English imperialism.

Comrades the complete and honest truth is a powerful weapon we must not ignore when we are confronted by the false propaganda churned out from the establishment. The very curriculum in our children’s schools is capitalist propaganda to create obedient lackeys, from the pulpit, newspapers, internet articles flows capitalist propaganda, it’s an instrument of their rule.

We have to break this cycle of lies we must continue to spread the message a that stable, sustainable, shared, socialist republic is in the people’s best interests, a free Ireland that belongs to them from Ballymena to Bantry Bay.

Posted in Uncategorized
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Portraits of the '87 Martyrs are held by family members at the 2017 IRSP Easter Sunday procession.Many hundreds of the Republican Socialist faithful assembled upon Belfast’s Falls Road today (Easter Sunday 2017) to pay tribute to Ireland’s fallen martyrs and the revolutionary dead from all generations of the Irish National Liberation and working class struggles.

In particular recognition of the 30th Anniversary of the attempted neutralisation of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, pride of place was rightly given to the families of those INLA Volunteers who in 1987, gave their lives in defence of the IRSP and the primacy of revolutionary democracy.

Republican Socialist colour party salute the INLA martyrs of 1987.

Despite frivolous warnings from the PSNI/RUC a young Republican Socialist colour party emerged into large crowds congregated at Dunville Park on the Falls Road, before marching towards a small gathering of close family and comrades of INLA Volunteers; Tá Power, John O’Reilly, Mickey Kearney, Emmanuel Gargan and Kevin Barry Duffy, who had gathered with portraits of their loved ones.

Portraits of the '87 Martyrs are held by family members at the 2017 IRSP Easter Sunday procession.

The families of the ’87 Martyrs were then invited to form up at the immediate rear of the colour party, followed by wreath bearers representing the many families of INLA and IRSP fallen from all decades of the modern Republican Socialist movement.

A new appearance from the recently formed ‘Jemmy Hope Republican Socialist Flute Band’ Belfast, was met with enthusiasm from all in attendance, while columns of IRSM ex-Prisoners and veterans from around Ireland formed up at intervals, interspersed with other attending Republican Socialist and Republican Flute bands from around Ireland and beyond.

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Comrades from as far away as Sweden and France also joined in the procession which made its way up the Falls Road and into what can only be described as appallingly wet conditions and onto Belfast’s Milltown cemetery.

Upon entrance to Milltown it became apparent to all those in attendance that numbers had swelled to what may well have been record levels for a Belfast IRSM gathering, a fitting recognition of the determination of the ’87 Martyrs and all the INLA & IRSP fallen, who over the years imbued the wider Republican Socialist family with a spirit of eternal resolve and commitment to always bounce back, stronger than before.

Despite appalling conditions, flags are lowered at the home of IRSP founder, James Connolly

With proceedings chaired by Belfast IRSP activist John Nugent, this theme of resolve was touched upon by main speaker Michael McLaughlin from Strabane, who (in reference to the ’87 martyrs) reminded all those in attendance that ‘we stand upon their shoulders’.

Comrade McLaughlin then went on to touch upon the resounding political themes currently emanating from the Stormont establishment and mainstream nationalist politicians, reminding those in attendance of the ‘hard border at the door of all working-class families’.

Michael McLaughlin reads the main oration

He stated ‘This hard border already exists due to British and European Union austerity measures all over Ireland, an uncomfortable truth for some. A most dangerous yet subtle hard border than has ever existed, a hard border that unemployment, poverty, lack of opportunities, underemployment, fear of eviction creates, a hard border that exists at the front door of the majority of homes on this island.’

Confirming that the IRSP would get behind any progressive efforts to end partition, he continued however ‘A merging of two corrupt capitalist states into one corrupt capitalist state is not good enough, the struggle cannot stop there’.

Ex IRSM prisoner Jimmy McCafferty reads the INLA, IRSP & H'Block, roll of honour.

For Republican Socialist POW Jimmy McCafferty also gave what was a quite unique and personal rendition of the IRSP, INLA and H-Block roll of honour, paying attention to the individuals and how they died.

Comrade Canice Millen of the Republican Socialist Youth movement read out the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, while Comrades Danny Morrison (Derry IRSP) and Gerard Murray (Belfast IRSP) read out statements of solidarity from both the Republican Socialist Associations of North America and Republican Socialist Prisoners in Maghaberry and Portlaoise.

John Nugent (Belfast IRSP) chaired proceedings while the 1916 proclamation was read by Canice Millen

Wreaths were also laid on behalf of IRSP and INLA structures from across Ireland.

In what was a deeply moving and personal gesture, long term Belfast Republican Socialist activist Fra Halligan also read his own tribute to the fallen INLA martyrs of 1987, addressing both the personal loss of the families and friends of the fallen, but also the counter revolutionary dynamic which lay behind the events of that dark period, stating firmly that (contrary to media spin) what occurred was not factionalism in any form, but a premeditated attack upon the structured of Costello’s Irish Republican Socialist Movement, an attack which has had failed and which (should similar circumstances arise) would surely fail again.

Fra Halligan (Belfast IRSP) gives a deeply personal and moving tribute to the INLA martyrs of 1987

Fra Halligan (Belfast IRSP) gives a deeply personal and moving tribute to the INLA martyrs of 1987

Overall, Easter 2017 was a special occasion for the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, a living tribute and testimony to the spirit ideals and resolve of their fallen comrades and all of Ireland’s revolutionary dead.

Belfast IRSP activist John Kearny, proudly poses with family members and a portrait of his brother, INLA Vol Mickey Kearny.

A relative of INLA Volunteer Emmanuel Gargan rests at the Milltown Republican Socialist plot

Danny Morrison (Derry) reads statement on behalf of Republican Socialist prisoners.

Gerard Murray (Belfast) reads solidarity statements from comrades around the world

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British Internment in Ireland in 2016

Posted in Internment, Ireland, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 6, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

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As the 45th anniversary of internment without trial, termed by the British State as ‘Operation Demetrius’ looms, we must remind ourselves that this tactic is still used by the British State, and enforced by their proxies in Ireland today.

The most recent and serious case is without doubt that of Derry Republican Tony Taylor, who was arrested by the PSNI in March and returned to Maghaberry Prison on the instructions of then Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

Tony Taylor was arrested and incarcerated for the apparent crime of ‘posing a risk to the public.’ In reality, what the British Government were stating was that due to Tony Taylor’s political activism, they had him put back into a prison cell, taken away from his family and friends on no charges whatsoever.

This sinister situation cannot be dressed up in any other way. It is clear that Republican Activists can be lifted off the streets when they become too much of a headache or threat to the ficticious ‘peace process.’

With this in mind, who will be the next family to miss out on having their Father, Mother, Son, Daughter, Brother, Sister, Grandfather or Grandmother around for a considerable amount of time? All on the orders and say so of a British overlord who holds no mandate whatsoever in Ireland.

We keep hearing from the State media and the establishment Party’s at Stormont that we have moved on from the ‘dark days’, that all is rosy in the garden. Yes, that’s true for those who tow the line of the apparent great and the good.

For Republican Activists who still fight against the injustices of the British Government in Ireland, this is certainly not the case. It is open season on Republican Activists when the British ‘Secretary of State’, Mi5 and their puppets at Stormont deem it necessary.

British internment in Ireland may not be as in your face and transparent as it was in 1971, however the cases of Marian Price, Martin Corey and now Tony Taylor prove that this draconian tactic was never dropped and will never be dropped by the British State as long as those principled Republicans who expose this rotten, unchanged and unchangeable statelet remain.

The call of ‘SMASH INTERNMENT’ continues for Irish Republicans in 2016.

Michael Kelly
Belfast IRSP.

Operation Gladio in Ireland “Project Echoes”

Posted in Collusion, Imperialism, Ireland, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars
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Operation Gladio Emblem

For those not familiar with Collusion and State sponsored murders in Ireland, Project Echoes was an alleged Operation Gladio linked secret joint venture involving Apartheid South Africa’s notorious Vlakplaas unit, Civil Co-operation Bureau (C.C.B), the RUC Special Branch, Armscor, Loyalist paramilitaries and members of the British security services. Some of the key players will be fairly well known, for instance Brian Nelson, British military intelligence’s Force Research Unit’s top agent and UDA chief intelligence officer. Project Echoes was just one of a series of Gladio-related operations in Ireland.

Other Project Echoes’ players from the South African Apartheid regime, such as ex-pat Loyalist, Charlie Simpson, Leon Flores, Eugene De Kock and Pamela Du Randt, will not be household names but they were key players in a murky world of collusion, torture, murder and international intrigue.  Former Tory MP, for Basingstoke, turned Paisleyite Democratic Unionist Party member, Andrew Hunter, who had long been in the pay of British intelligence, also figures prominently in the Project Echoes story.

An important part of the Project Echoes story, are the joint operations that resulted in the murders, or attempted murders, of exiled opponents of the Apartheid regime.  Arguably at the top of their hit-list was Dick Coetzee, a former hit-man for the Vlakplass unit, who ‘defected’ to the ANC in the late 1980s. Although, it should be stressed that Coetzee’s defection was more for self-preservation reasons, than any ideological conversion to anti-racism or multi-culturalism!

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Dulcie September, ANC Paris rep murdered by ‘Project Echoes’ operatives

Dirk Coetzee survived several assassination attempts, including one very near miss in London by a joint RUC/Loyalist paramilitary hit squad. Many others were not so lucky, including the ANC’s representative in France, Dulcie September, who was murdered by a similar squad in March 1988. A South African born academic, Adrian Guelke, who was a lecturer at Queens University, Belfast, was shot and badly injured by a pro-British loyalist hit-squad, in September 1991.  The unsuccessful murder bid occurred at his Fitzwilliam Street home, just off the Lisburn Road, in South Belfast. This attempted murder was a payment in kind to the Apartheid intelligence services by Loyalist paramilitaries based in Belfast and Mid-Ulster.

Another Irish academic, this time at the Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster, was also targeted several times by Loyalist paramilitaries at the behest of the Apartheid state. British military intelligence spooks linked to Project Echoes planted false stories in the media, wrongly linking the unfortunate lecturer to armed Republican groups in an attempt to primarily sabotage his career. Their other intention was to further raise his profile as a prospective target for assassination by pro-British Loyalist death squads.

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Paul Larkin in an expose on ‘Collusion’ and State sponsored murder in Ireland, has a chapter on the subject of Project Echoes in his book, A Very British Jihad. The Pat Finucane Centre and the Troops Out Movement also have some material on Project Echoes, which was available on their respective websites.

A name that constantly crops in all areas of this phase of the British Collusion project with Loyalist paramilitary terrorists is Irish born ex-pat, Charlie Simpson. Simpson, was a Loyalist paramilitary and British intelligence asset who served with units of the then Rhodesian Special Forces and later in Apartheid South Africa’s dirty world of state sponsored murder. In many respects, Simpson seems to have been the link man during key stages of Project Echoes, having accumulated years of specialist military training and indoctrination into the far-Right values of the various organs of the Apartheid state.

At some stage, hopefully, there will be a more in depth, comprehensive insight published into the foul and murky world of British state collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries and the murders of Irish citizens, often at the behest of foreign intelligence agencies. These brutal sectarian murders often occurred at the behest of reactionary, true Rogue States, such as Apartheid South Africa and Israel or as payment in kind for receiving military ordinance or training.

Paul Larkin’s book mentions assassination attempts on Apartheid South African dissidents and even London Mayoral candidate, Ken Livingstone, by joint RUC/UVF death-squads exported to London and guaranteed safe passage back to the North of Ireland. These contract murder attempts, at the behest of Apartheid South Africa, involved the late Loyalist Godfather and British security service asset, Billy King Rat Wright and Mid-Ulster RUC Special Branch members. The attempted hit on Ken Livingstone, was planned to take place as he made his way to work on the tube, to the then Greater London Council’s Headquarters.

Project Echoes remains an element of state-sponsored collusion that has largely escaped the glare of publicity and for many in this supposed era of so-called ‘new dispensation’, it will be an inconvenient truth.  Mid-Ulster, since the first years of the post-1969 period of conflict referred to as The Troubles, has always been at the heart of collusion between British state agencies and Loyalist paramilitaries. In many ways, that particular area of the north of Ireland, with it’s blurred lines between policing, British military intelligence and Loyalism, functioned as an open air, counter-insurgency laboratory.  It can therefore be no surprise, that some of the North’s most prolific and most protected Loyalist serial murderers originated in Mid-Ulster, for instance, Robin the Jackal Jackson and Billy King Rat Wright. The details of Project Echoes may never be fully exposed and like all dirty state secrets concerning British collusion in Ireland, the British government although clearly culpable, will censor, obstruct and frustrate those who seek the truth.

(I originally published a shorter version of this article in 2010 under the pseudonym ‘Iskra’ which was later shared by the Revolutionary Communist Party of Great Britain/Marxist Leninist’s website)

Alex McGuigan

dirty wars

 

 

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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Class Struggle Growing in Ireland!

Posted in Class Solidarity, Ireland with tags , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

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With every week passing, there are a growing number of workers’ feet on the streets in Ireland, angry with the excesses of Capitalism.  The increasing draconian so-called Austerity Measures, whether it be the despicable screwing of ordinary folk by enforced Water-charging, vile evictions, workfare slavery, health care cuts or the deprivation of welfare provisions from the most vulnerable of people.  The Irish people are on their feet, rightfully angry and they will not be forced down by Monopoly or Gombeen Capitalism’s lackeys whether they be corrupt politicians or the armed heavy squads of the ‘police’ in their role as zealous defenders of the wealthy elite.

 

Workers are becoming more class conscious on a daily basis and correctly view the long departed, supposed Celtic Tiger as having a very sharp tail.  There is a growing awareness that even if there was another boom, there would inevitably be another cyclic crash and more misery ad infinitum.  The only answer for ordinary working-class people is to take control of the means of production and exchange to negate the spiral of misery based on profit known as Capitalism, a system that rewards the few and punishes the vast majority by it’s dynamic.

 

Increasingly, Irish working class people, whether they be in employment, under-employed or unemployed, through harsh lessons have come to understand the true insidious nature of Capitalism.  If Capitalism was personified as an individual, it would be undoubtedly diagnosed by psychiatrists as a dangerous Psychopath, devoid of empathy or conscience.  This diagnosis also says a lot about the individual Capitalists, corporations and their tamed or bribed politicians who do their bidding both above and more often, ‘under the table.’

 

It is the view of The Plough and The Stars that Irish Republican Socialism in the form of the politics of the IRSP can provide an acceptable, proactive alternative to the politicians who have miserably failed us all and build on the justifiable anger at Capitalism’s abject failures as a socio-economic system.  Unlike ‘ring road’ socialists who ignore the impact of Imperialism in Ireland or one-dimensional nationalist parties, the Irish Republican Socialist Party in the tradition of James Connolly and it’s co-founder, Seamus Costello, view the class struggle and the fight against Imperialism as inseparable and have been at the forefront of the fightback against the victimisation of the Irish proletariat.

 

Join The Fightback!

 

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Alex McGuigan

Belfast IRSP Join with Today’s Anti-Austerity March in the City

Posted in A Pay Rise For All, Anti-Austerity, ICTU, Ireland, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSM, IRSP, Solidarity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: IRSP News 18/10/2014

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The Irish Republican Socialist Party in the Belfast joined with over a thousand fellow Socialists and Trades Unionists at a Congress organised rally against austerity measures at Writers’ Square in the city before marching through the city centre, around City Hall then finishing off at Donegal Street.  The very positive march was well received by the general public in Belfast City Centre on a busy shopping day.  The only minor incident was when right-wing Loyalist ‘flag protesters’ from the safety of the gated grounds of City Hall shouted sectarian comments at the march in general and the IRSP in particular.  However, they were roundly ignored by all.  Needless to say none of the pro-establishment parties or their ginger groups, who are facilitating and rubber stamping cuts and austerity measures, saw fit to join with the organised working-class today..

It is a goes without saying that the IRSP whose politics are anti-capitalist, pro-working-class and anti-imperialist will continue to fight against Westminster’s, Stormont’s and Leinster House’s draconian offensives against ordinary working people.  The IRSP concurs with Republican Socialism’s ideological forefather, James Connolly, when he stated over a century ago, words that are are as applicable in today’s unequal society,that,

“Yes, friends, governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class”

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Saoirse go deo!

By Alex McGuigan

A Tribute To Seamus Costello

Posted in Amherst, Imperialism, INLA, Ireland, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSCNA, IRSM, IRSP, Noel Browne, Seamus Costello with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

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Every 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.

 

 Politician and Soldier

Seamus Costello was first and foremost a Republican Socialist, a revolutionary who broke with and rejected the reformist political chicanery and Stalinist stage-ist, ‘two-nations’ 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,
 Belfast

 

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