Archive for Irish Republican Socialist Movement

Vigil For INLA Hunger Strike Martyr Mickey Devine Noon-1pm Saturday 20 August Outside Costello House

Posted in Belfast, Hunger Strikes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars


There will be a vigil from 12-1pm on Saturday 20th August 2016 outside Costello House on the Falls Road in remembrance of INLA Hunger Strike Martyr’s 35th anniversary organised by Belfast IRSP.

All available members are to attend.

All freedom loving Republican Socialists are also welcome – Posters and flags will be supplied by the Irish Republican Socialist Party in Belfast.

Irish Republican Socialists will never forget the ultimate sacrifice of Mickey Devine or his 9 other comrades in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh Concentration Camp in 1981!


Saoirse Go Deo!


Alex McGuigan


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

The IRSP Women’s Facebook Page

Posted in Uncategorized, Womens' Rights with tags , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars


The IRSP Women’s Facebook page is THE focal point for Irish Republican Socialist women to take part in discussions, read archived articles, view videos and post views on a variety of issues affecting women in today’s era of austerity and sexism.  It is a well managed page and although it is mainly female-focused, men are more than welcome to contribute also.

The Irish Republican Socialist Party has a proud history of promoting women’s equality and holds the distinction as being the first party in Ireland back in the early 1970’s to campaign for (and from it’s foundation enshrine in it’s constitution) the implementation of full female reproductive rights, including contraception, divorce and abortion on demand.  At this time, this was virtually unheard of in Ireland.  As with so many of the IRSP’s revolutionary politics, they have always been the most progressive party in the country.  Furthermore, women have always played a leading role in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement and many including INLA Volunteers Miriam Daly and Mary McGlinchey paid the ultimate price for their opposition to British imperialism.

Check the IRSP Women’s Page out here via this LINK!  Although it is an IRSP page, all progressives are welcome.  Feel free to visit and find out more about the IRSP’s politics and in Facebook parlance, give it a ‘Like!’  Below is a presumably early IRSP pamphlet and well worth a read:


Women In Ireland-IRSP Pamphlet Reprint

(The author and original date of publication of this historical IRSP document is unknown, but it was part of a series of pamphlets produced by the IRSP to give the working class of Ireland a clear vision of the IRSP’s policies.)

“…The first class opposition that occurs in history coincides with the development of antagonism between man and woman in monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male.” (F. Engels: The Origin of the Family)

The oppression of women is thus directly linked with the institution of the family which emerged for the first time when there was an economic surplus in society, thus creating a material basis for class exploitation. The family became a unit of consumption, a vehicle of inheritance and a means of socialising children into the system.

The management of the family was no longer a public concern, and so the wife’s production became ‘private’, not recognised as socially necessary labour, ie. giving birth to a man’s children and looking after his house, while doing so increasingly in isolation from other wonen. Hence regardless of her status in wider society, within the family, the women’s relationship to the man became one or exploited to exploiter.


British imperialism in setting up the sectarian statelet in the six counties and through partition, has deliberately fostered sectarianism amongst the working class and fragmented the women’s movement into those who are actively involved in or support the national liberation struggle and those who are pro-imperialist.


The church, particularly the Catholic Church, has continually taught that a woman’s main role in life is to marry, have children and stay in the home. Women are seen in the image of the Virgin Mary – pure, and that the sexual act inside marriage is for procreation and not to be enjoyed. Women are positively discouraged from seeing themselves as having their own identity and their own sexual needs. This view reflects itself in the Church’s total opposition to contraception, abortion and divorce and to women working.


Contraception is now available throughout Ireland from family-planning clinics but the moralising attitude of medical staff and the unnecessary prying questions into one’s sexual habits, prevents many young people from using these facilities. The entire process becomes very humiliating when, not only the clinics, but many family doctors agree firmly with the Catholic stance and refuse to prescribe any form of contraception. When it comes to sterilisation, a wife must have her husband’s written consent before the authorities will perform the operation – the implication being that she is his property.


In the six counties, abortion is illegal except on strict medical grounds, when a mother’s life is in danger or when the child will be deformed. In the twenty-six counties abortion is illegal. It is also illegal to give advice on how to obtain an abortion and at present there are court cases pending against various groups who are giving advice an abortion. A vigorous campaign has also been mounted (DEFEND THE CLINICS) to defend the right to freely give out information on abortion.

The I.R.S.P. totally supports a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion or not.

The I.R.S.P. supports the Defend the Clinics campaign for the right to freely give out information on abortion.


In the 26 counties, divorce is unobtainable, yet another example of the indivisibilty of the Church and State. In the six counties, even with the opposition of the churches, the right to divorce exists, after two yeers with both couple’s mutual consent, or after five years without mutual consent.

The I.R.S.P. totally supports the campaign for the introduction of the right to divorce.


The Equal Pay Act has had much less impact here than originally expected. Women have traditionally been employed in “women’s work” like clothing factories, cooking, cleaning, typing, etc., so it is almost impossible for a woman to say she is paid less than a man for the same work as this situation rarely exists. Many women find they can’t make ends meet on social security and they’re forced to take on jobs without disclosing this to the DHSS ‘doing the double’. This always results in bad working conditions, low wages and the risk of being sacked at a moment’s notice.

This type-casting of women is reflected in the family and in particular in the education system where boys are steered towards science, metal-work, woodwork and are encouraged to continue their education. Girls on the other hand are trained to prepare themselves for their future lives as wives and mothers and are given no encouragement to continue their education.


Pre-school child care has been and continues to be grossly inadequate in Ireland. There are only four day-care nurseries in the six counties and places are few and far between and usually cater for what they call ‘problem families’. Play-groups exist in most areas, but the majority of these are only morning or afternoon care for any one child. This does not suit a working mother.

The I.R.S.P. supports the demand for the provision of free childcare facilities for all those who wish to avail themselves of it.


The recent government cutbacks in health, both north and south, have had detrimental effects on women’s health. Cervical cancer which relies on early detection through regular smears is on the increase, due to long delays in getting results back and long waiting lists for hospital appointments. Breast scanning facilities are almost non-existent. Addiction to nerve tablets is on the increase with doctors prescribing Valium as a cure for all ills.

The I.R.S.P. is actively involved in the campaign against the cutbacks and against increasing government privatisation of health care.


Society has created many myths surrounding rape such as: rape is due to sudden uncontrollable sexual urges unleashed in men by the slight of a provocatively dressed woman; no woman can be raped against her will; ‘women secretly enjoy it’.

Rape is a violent crime often carried out under threat of, if not actual use of force, such as beating, maiming and the murder of victims. 90% of all rapes are planned in advance. Rape is man’s physical expression of his power to dominate women. The victim is humiliated in court and made to feel that she is on trial, her own private sex life will be displayed to the court. Many judges openly sympathise with the rapist, illustrated by the nominal sentences handed out, often less than a motoring offense. Because of the way women are degraded by the courts, many women will suffer rape and not report it, and so the official figures on rape are considered by many to be just the tip of the iceberg.

The image propagated by the capitalist media and the widespread distribution of pornographic literature increases the view of women as sexual objects to be ‘had’ and ‘conquered’. On a wider level it is a reflection of the wider use of repressive values in the capitalist system to make the man/woman relationship one of domination and not of equality.

The I.R.S.P. supports the demand that sentences for rapists should reflect the serious nature of the crime.


Since 1982, when strip-searching was introduced for women prisoners, on the pretext of security, there have been over 3,500 strip-searches. A strip-search entails a prisoner removing all her clothes and having her body inspected in full view of prison staff. Sanitary towels must also be removed. Refusal to comply results in beatings and the forcible removal of clothing. Nothing of any consequence has ever been found a prisoner and its sole purpose is to degrade and humiliate the women prisoners.

The I.R.S.P. totally supports the campaign to end the degrading practice of strip-searching.


We believe in a woman’s right to define her own sexuality, either as a lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual. Lesbians experience discrimination especially in areas of child-custody, where a lesbian must often face a really hard legal battle for her children. She also faces the possibility of losing her job if she works in such areas as teaching or nursing.

The I.R.S.P. demands an end to discrimination against lesbians and a recognition that women have a right to define their own sexuality.


Alex McGuigan

Public Talk – Connolly and Present Day Austerity Measures Against The Proletariat

Posted in James Connolly, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars


Date: Thursday 12 May 2016

Time: 7pm

Venue: Conway Mill, Belfast

All Welcome!

Please Share!




Video of IRSM 2016 Belfast Easter Commemoration

Posted in Easter 2016, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: Clonard Marxist

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.”

Soviet, Leftist & Republican Socialist Memorabilia Collectors Facebook Group

Posted in Memorabilia, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

(Left-Right: Metal Bust of Karl Marx writing; Aluminium Bust of VI Lenin; Limited edition Bust of Che Guevara; Silver Metal Bust of VI Lenin; Porcelain Bust of ‘Iron Felix’ Dzerzhinsky; Bust of Karl Marx; Plaster Bust of VI Lenin)

The Slideshows below are just a miniscule example of the plethora of items displayed in The Soviet, Leftist & Republican Socialist Memorabilia Facebook group

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Since 2015, a successful ‘Soviet, Leftist and Republican Socialist Memorabilia’ Facebook group has been steadily attracting a plethora of new members.  There is a wealth of knowledge among the membership who come from Ireland, Russia, the Americas, the Balkans, Poland, Scotland, Wales, England, China, to mention but a few and it has remained a non-party political page devoted to collectors and memorabilia.  The collective of Administrators mission statement has been articulated by one of the co-founders,

This is not a group for contemporary policy documents, articles or manifestos, I created this group for the display and discussion of Soviet, Leftist and Irish Republican Socialist memorabilia. It is not a trading page per se but if you have an item that you wish to sell, send me a message or to our collective of administrators to consider if the post is valid. (Any right-wing, Fascist/Loyalist, neo-Nazi or reactionary items posted will obviously be deleted and the posters banned. I’m quite sure there is a Facebook group for trash like that – also, this is not the place for trolling obviously). Apart from that, the ‘rules’ are few and just common sense, comrades.

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It is a credit to this Facebook page that internecine strife or sectarianism, in both it’s political and religious forms, has ever raised it’s ugly head to date.  It is a great place for networking with other memorabilia collectors and there are some very knowledgeable people in the group who can give very accurate opinions on various pieces such as pins/badges, sculptures, flags and militaria, etc.

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While the group’s rationale is not as a trading site, however members are permitted to make personal sales, ask other members to source memorabilia for them or ask members for valuations.  If you wish to join The Soviet, Leftist and Republican Socialist Memorabilia Collectors group to display any memorabilia or just to learn more about the items on display, please feel free to register here!


Alex McGuigan
Glengad, Ireland

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