Archive for commemoration

National Hunger Strike 35th Anniversary Commemoration – Derry Sunday 21 August 2016

Posted in Alex McGuigan, Commemoration, Human Rights, Hunger Strikes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars


The National Hunger Strike 35th Anniversary Commemoration leaves Rosemount in Derry at 2pm where it will make it’s way with the Red Flag of International Socialism leading the Colour Party to the Irish Republican Socialist Movement memorial in the City Cemetery.  Transport arrangements can be arranged via the IRSP HQ at Costello House, Belfast; the Derry offices of the IRSP or via your local IRSP representative

“Must we live in the shadow of the tyrant in the chains of slavery?  And must we die to shake the shackles from our limbs and taste the fruits of liberty?

Surely it is not to much to ask for freedom and lasting peace in our native land?  And surely it is not too much to be treated as we truly are – soldiers of Ireland and of the Irish People”

(INLA Volunteer Mickey Devine who laid down his life for political status on 20 August 1981)





Saoirse go deo!



Alex McGuigan, Belfast

INLA Hunger Striker Kevin Lynch Commemoration Dungiven 31 July 2016

Posted in Kevin Lynch, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 24, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

The INLA Hunger Striker Kevin Lynch Commemoration 2016

All available members, supporters, and families to assemble at 1.30pm, Main Street, Dungiven – Sunday 31 July 2016.  March leaves at 2pm.  Prominent speaker.

Please contact IRSP HQ at Costello House, 392b Falls Road, Belfast for those seeking transport or further details.  Telephone: 02890321024 or contact your local IRSP office or IRSP representative

Kevin Lynch INLA Hunger Strike Martyr


The year 2016 is the 35th anniversary of the H-Block Hunger Strikes in Long Kesh concentration camp, when 10 brave INLA and IRA prisoners gave their lives for the right to be treated as the political prisoners they most surely were. Irish National Liberation Army Volunteer Kevin Lynch was one of three Republican Socialist prisoners, along with Volunteers Patsy O’Hara and Mickey Devine, who selflessly gave their lives in the tragic Hunger Strikes of 1981. The H-Block protests saw a mass mobilisation in Ireland and overseas in support of the Hunger Strikers. The H-Block Hunger Strikers’ Five demands were:

  1. The right not to wear a prison uniform;
  2. The right not to do prison work;
  3. The right of free association with other prisoners, and to organise educational and recreational pursuits;
  4. The right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week;
  5. Full restoration of remission lost through the protest


Kevin Lynch was born on the 25th of May, 1956 and came from the Dungiven area of North Derry. Prior to his involvement in the Irish National Liberation Army, Kevin Lynch was a keen sportsman excelling in boxing, Gaelic football and hurling. In December 1977, after spending a year on remand in Belfast’s Crumlin Road prison, he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh by a Diplock non-jury court, convicted of armed INLA operations in the North Derry area. On arrival at the H-Blocks Kevin Lynch joined the ‘blanket protest’ for a period of three and a half years until he took his place of the Hunger Strike. Kevin was known for his courage and fortitude during the blanket protest, once enduring weeks of agony with a dental abscess rather than don the prison garb to seek medical treatment.

Hunger Strike 1981

Kevin Lynch joined the Hunger Strike on the 23rd of May, 1981 and took the place of his INLA comrade Patsy O’Hara who had given his life 2 days previously. Kevin was a H-Block/Armagh prisoner candidate for County Waterford in the Leinster House elections and although he was not elected like his fellow prisoner candidates, Paddy Agnew and Kieran Doherty, he received 3337 first preference votes! Kevin Lynch’s courage throughout his time on Hunger Strike is well documented and we, who were either very young or not even born in those desperate times can only imagine the pain and suffering endured by Kevin, his brave comrades and indeed his family. Kevin sadly passed away at 12.50 am on the 1st of August 1981 with his two brothers at his prison hospital bedside after 71 days on Hunger Strike. He was only 25 years old..

According to his last wishes, Volunteer Kevin Lynch was buried in Dungiven on the 3rd of August 1981. Kevin died as he lived, a proud Republican Socialist and a volunteer in the Irish National Liberation Army. His last fight was against the criminalisation of Irish political prisoners, by the forces of British imperialism in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh concentration camp. Kevin Lynch was given a full military funeral by his comrades in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement with 6 armed INLA volunteers in uniform firing a final volley of shots over his coffin as it made it’s journey to Dungiven cemetery. Thirty five years onwards, INLA volunteer Kevin Lynch is forever remembered by his old comrades in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, his family, his community and indeed by the Irish working class. Kevin Lynch’s name is immortalised in his native Dungiven with sporting tournaments, teams and indeed a Republican band named in his honour. On the anniversary of his death each year Kevin Lynch is remembered by his own community and the wider Republican community with a parade in his honour. A large monument in Dungiven bears his name and bears testimony to his courage.

In the year 2016, the 35th anniversary of Volunteer Kevin Lynch’s death on hunger strike, young and old alike will be commemorating his bravery and utter selflessness. Like his fellow H-Block Hunger Strikers Kevin Lynch was amongst ‘the bravest of the brave!’

Saoirse Go Deo!


Alex McGuigan


Pics and Keynote Speech from Belfast IRSM Easter Commemoration

Posted in Easter Commemoration, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

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Source: IRSP NEWS!  Keynote speech by Comrade Michael Mclaughlin


We are here today to commemorate the events of Easter week 1916 and also to remember our comrades and volunteers of the Irish National Liberation Army and Irish Republican Socialist Party who fell in the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland. Those events in 1916 were a turning point in the struggle for Irish freedom and nationhood. The joint effort by a wide range of Republicans, nationalists, trade unionists and socialists could accurately be described as the first broad front in modern republicanism.


Our main objective has always been, and continues to be, a society free from prejudice, discrimination and exploitation, a people’s republic. A secular, stable, sovereign, sustainable, non-sectarian, socialist society, a republic organised from the bottom up, with the means of production, distribution and exchange in the collective ownership of every Irish citizen.

As we strive to create a workers republic in this vision, our current political position will never be reconcilable with either rogue State on this island. We exist solely to  bring the pillars of the 26 County Free State and the Six County sectarian northern State tumbling down, to expose those institutions as implements and apparatuses of the wealthy, designed to ultimately serve their interests.


The destruction of the society for the wealthy, the expulsion of imperialist interference in the affairs of the Irish people, the cessation of carefully fostered sectarianism ,created by an alien government to divide the Irish working class, these are the tasks the Irish Republican Socialist Party busy ourselves with in the centenary year of the 1916 rising.

The IRSPs political analyses has been correct at every major political juncture over the last four decades. But comrades we can be correct and wrong at the same time. We can be correct in continuously remaining principled, in continuously using our republican socialist political programme in the interests of our class but wrong if we fail to communicate that political programme correctly to the mass of the Irish people or fail to attract our class to our cause, ultimately their cause. We must continue Connolly’s revival.

We must continue the work of the martyrs who fought and died on Vinegar Hill. We must continue in the footsteps of the Workers who walked out on strike against exploitation, who fought pitched battles on the streets of Dublin during the 1914 Lockout. We continue to stand in solidarity with the spirit of the broad front of progressive forces who rose in 1916 against foreign physical and economic control of this island.

We stand here in the tradition of all progressive republicans and socialists who stayed the course, who remained principled, even in the darkest days of struggle. We continue to stand here on the shoulders of the giants of the martyrs of the Irish National Liberation Army who rose against imperialist occupation and lie buried in this graveyard and graveyards like it all over this island.

Republican Socialism has never had a strategic code to follow. To even try and create an authoritarian set of rules in which to pursue our struggle denigrates the journey to a people’s republic. The Irish working class are the sole instrument in which we can achieve our goals. Only by working through them, by convincing them of our political programme, that our vision is their vision, that a Republican Socialist society is in their best interests, that our Republic is their Republic, that it will belong to them. Only then will we see the fruit of our revolutionary labour.

Our core principals, our tolerance, our fairness, our tradition of resistance, our uniquely Irish socialism, these are the things that will keep us on the correct path. We don’t claim to be perfect, yes mistakes have been made, but all done in the best interests of our class at any given time. We hold no romantic notions of martyrdom, like the men and women of the 1916 Rising, we are just as prepared to do what has to be done, when it has to be done.

As the struggle against foreign interference in our affairs, the fight for national liberation and socialism has evolved over the last century it has gone through many eras. From armed rebellion to civil war, from social and political activism to the dark years of the Long War from 1969 to 1998, the key for survival and growth is in identifying the transition from one era of struggle to another.

Today, 18 years after the Good Friday defeat, and after numerous treaties aimed at solidifying the peace, after the entrenchment of sectarianism in the north, after the absurdities of greed and gluttony during the boom and bust cycle of capitalism in the south, and the un-flinching implementation of cruel unjustifiable austerity, we are on the threshold of a new era of struggle and like those who have gone before us, we must embrace it and thrive. The stakes are too high to ignore the realities.

As the young capable comrades of the IRSP position themselves for leadership of this organisation, how will we be judged in 100 years time. As future generations gather at this very spot to commemorate the sacrifice for a workers republic, what will they say about the new era of struggle we are moving into? What will the history books say about us? Who knows? But it’s up to us to write that chapter of struggle, our struggle against imperialism and oppression and for national liberation and socialism.

Like the men and women who rose in 1916 we have a clear vision, we have the same motives.. To address our national sovereignty denied and to create a nation worthy of a people who have never known a nation, a nation waiting to be born, that exists today in the hearts and minds of young Republican Socialist’s.

The primacy of our political project will bring us towards the Workers Republic. It will abolish the physical border partitioning our island, from North to South, and it will destroy the economic border partitioning our island from East to West. The primacy of our political project will redistribute the wealth of the nation collectively and equally giving ownership of the nation to its entire people.

As we enter this new era of struggle it’s important to remember the words of Liam Mellows as he was led out of a battle scarred Four Courts in 1922 to see uninvolved and apathetic workers cleaning the rubble from the streets after the republicans garrisoned there were attacked by the Free Staters. The ordinary worker didn’t care for the fate of the Republicans being escorted to prison or execution, Mellows commented that “the workers are not with us”, meaning the republican side in the Civil War. We must be vigilant that we do not repeat those mistakes, we must learn from history, any future actions must lead towards the Workers Republic; there can be no backward steps. It’s only by standing shoulder to shoulder with workers in their daily struggles can we attempt to fight against the powerful forces lined up against us. We must always act in the interests of the working class.

In 1994, twenty two years ago, in the interests of our class, our armed wing adopted its “no first strike” policy in response to the changing political climate of the day. Our entire movement had an intense period of internal political discussion which led to the collective decision to move towards total cessation of armed actions in 1998.

Although we supported the peaceful resolution of the national question we could not support the Good FridayAgreement in 98. The GFA contained nothing to further advance the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland. It was a defeat for the wider republican struggle. But our path had been chosen, the primacy of our political project had been ratified by the entire movement and our support base.

The ensuing years of political struggle led to the IRSPs calls in Bray 2005 for “ all anti-GFA republicans need to take a step back and engage with each other, those not on cease-fire need to call a cessation to their campaigns. Put simply it is not working; there is no support within the working class community for armed struggle to defeat imperialism, at this present time”.

Dialogue did eventually take place in 2008 which eventually led to the formation of the Irish Republican Forum for Unity, which had the potential to politically unite all strands of anti-imperialist republicanism, predictably it failed, due to the influence of British intelligence and the hidden agenda by elements within the IRFU to use it to create a new IRA, aimed at continuing failed tactics, tired rhetoric and the zero-sum political programme of the past.

The IRSP totally opposed these moves to use progressive dialogue for regressive aims and eventually withdrew our support for the IRFU over the “cloak and dagger” tactics being used.  Culminating in our current political position that support for armed struggle is one of the biggest barriers to creating an anti-imperialist broad front in the interests of the working class and for the building of socialism in Ireland. The IRSP will never condemn those who engage in armed struggle, although we ask those engaged in it to analyse their actions further than the maxim “Ireland un-free shall never be at peace” or smashing normalisation.

Since 2010 to entire movement has moved forward in the spirit of the Ta Power document, continuing our ideologically principled political struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland whilst implementing the Ta Power principles of politics in command and collective leadership.

I will finish with an excerpt from comrade Powers analysis document which states:


“What we must do is examine the above statement by Seamus Costello and draw all the necessary implications from it. A revolutionary party must have a revolutionary ideology, an ideology that enables us to analyse the world, the motive force at work in the world, and plan a campaign based on the analysis.”

“A campaign that is consistent, principled, and bold in its implementation, maxims as a guide to action is an ideology; it represents the historical interests of the working class, which through the medium of a revolutionary party, aims to overthrow the capitalist order and begin the construction of communism.”

Comrade Power continues:

“We must make no secret of the fact that we are such a party, make no secret of what we stand for and aim for. We cannot try to fool the Irish people, we must recognise that it is fatal to confuse and deceive them. “

 “We must define our socialist republic, explain exactly what it entails; innuendoes, vagueness and good intentions are not enough: The road to hell is paved with good intentions! We must define all this with the utmost clarity so that the Irish people are under no illusion of what we are fighting for. “

“A revolutionary socialist party means that we must engage in revolutionary politics throughout all of Ireland, both on the streets and in the elected chambers.”

Comrade Power finishes

“It means that we must first identify the major contradictions in Ireland today, which is the continued occupation by the British of the six counties, the resulting denial of our right to self-determination and sovereignty, the resolution of the national question, partition and all the evils and divisions that spring from it, it entails a struggle against imperialism, it entails the mobilisation of the mass of Irish people in the struggle for national liberation, but it doesn’t mean confining ourselves solely to the national question.”

“As we said before, there are many strands to the anti-imperialist struggle; it means involvement in campaigns against unemployment, emigration, repression, involvement in trade unions, action groups and EVERYTHING! “

“We must agitate, propagandise and organise around these issues (but not a reformist manner). There is no easy road to a socialist republic, no short cuts; we must strive towards uniting and politicising the working class no matter what obstacles confront us in our task, for we cannot win our struggle without the working class.”

Comrades in this centenary year of the 1916 Rising its imperative that the party of Connolly, the Irish Republican Socialist Party, continue and accelerate our growth and struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland.”

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

Keynote Speech from the Gino Gallagher 20th Anniversary Commemoration

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


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!



Gino Gallagher 20th Anniversary Commemoration

Posted in Gino Gallagher, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

gino wreath laying


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Gino Gallagher 20th Anniversary Wreath Laying – Belfast 30 January 2016

Posted in Commemoration, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

gino wreath laying

All available members of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement in Belfast are expected to attend.

Family members, contemporaries of Gino, Republicans, Socialists and all freedom loving people are welcome to attend the commemoration and the function afterwards.  Those who are interested in the life of the murdered INLA Chief of Staff, Gino Gallagher and/or the politics of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement are especially welcomed.

Facebook users, who  wish to know more about the commemoration or like many others are increasingly interested in joining the party can also contact the Mid-Falls IRSP, The Vol. Matt McLarnon IRSP (L/Falls) and cumainn from many other areas in Ireland and the main IRSP party page by contacting the admins or by visiting the IRSP website.   Contained below is the funeral oration for Gino Gallagher, gratefully posted online by a long term Irish Republican Socialist via this link


irsm plot

Funeral Oration for Gino Gallagher

(Delivered by IRSP Ard-Chomhairle (National Executive) member Michael McCormick at Milltown Cemetery, West Belfast – 2 February 1996)


Comrades, it is our sad and painful duty to gather here by this graveside to bury our friend Gino. We do so with regret, pain and anger. With regret; for a life cut short as it moved into such a promising phase; for Gino, belying the media caricatures of him was an astute thinking revolutionary, determined to forward his movement into a new phase of working class activity and development. There were no airs and graces about Gino, he was almost diffident in putting forward his views, but his quietness hid a thoughtful and determined man.


He was unshakeable in his Republican Socialism and in his belief in the eventual liberation of the Irish working class. With pain; for our own loss, for each of us gathered here today, have their special memories of this man. His energy and commitment were unequalled and acted both as an inspiration and example for us to follow. We each of us will miss some little aspect of Gino but in our pain let us remember the good memories of this man and ensure we never forget them or him. It is our solemn duty as revolutionaries to exorcise our pain by taking up Gino’s standard, and moving forward with the Irish working class towards liberation.


With anger; for we carry as great an anger towards those who directed, arranged and ordered the political assassination of Comrade Gino as much as we have anger for the fool who carried out this foul deed. Small minded people, self interested and self serving, they act as the objective agents of the British no matter how they may wish to portray themselves. Those who assassinated Gino Gallagher carried out the work of the foe. Let there be no doubt about that. If they think that his death will throw this movement off course, they may think again. Our response will be calm, measured, considered and at all times political. For while personally our hearts may cry for immediate vengeance, our heads tell us that this is exactly what those who planned this deed want.



Gino knew exactly the risks he was taking, but he took them, not for glory, not for high office, not for crumbs from the rich man’s table, but for the betterment of his class, and for the betterment of his people. That must be the criteria that we ourselves use as we continue the struggle for socialism. Gino’s politics were the politics of the movement which he devoted his life to and for which he died. He was determined that the Republican Socialist Movement should return to its roots, as a socialist organisation and when he assumed leadership position he quickly established open democratic discussions in the movement, and waged a political campaign against elitist, militaristic and non- political attitudes in the movement. Within a few short months he, along with others, revitalised the Republican Socialist Movement. He identified with the working class, was unashamedly republican and socialist, and was determined that his class should not once again be sold out. He saw the current peace process as fatally flawed, for even if all party talks are convened will there be sufficient gains to justify the sacrifices of the past 25 years?


But Gino was no oppositionist posturing from the sidelines. Although more accustomed to the rough and tumble of republican activism, he set out on a path to explore the full limits of the peace process. He led delegations of the IRSP in meetings with many bodies and individuals who themselves supported this peace process and he patiently explained the movement’s reservations. However, he fully accepted that there could be no unilateral return to violence. As a socialist, Gino had no desire to see working class communities at each others throats and he fully supported moves to open up channels of communication with representatives of Protestant working class opinion. Lest there be any doubt about it, this movement stood unashamedly for the establishment of an Irish Socialist Republic, and Gino saw as part of his mission to revitalise that ideal. He wanted to place firmly back on the political agenda the struggle for a unified socialist Ireland. His death may be a set back and it is a tragedy for his family and all of us who knew him, but it will not stop us from moving on. As we stand here in this graveside once again, our thoughts turn to his family. No words of ours will ease their pain, but if it is any consolation to them, Gino Gallagher’s spirit will live on. Wherever there is resistance to injustice, wherever there is a striker, wherever there is a picket line, wherever there is a freedom fighter, that’s where you will find the spirit of Big Gino.


Comrades, Volunteers and friends, let not black despair cloud your thoughts and dreams, or hatred pierce your heart. What would the Big Fellow, Gino, have done? He would have gone the path he laid out, organising, agitating and preparing this movement for the long hard slog for socialism. Finally, as we lay this Volunteer and Comrade in the soft green soil of his native land, remember him each time you gaze into the stars and see there etched across the sky the Plough and the Stars.

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