Friday 31 October 2003

The Plough Vol 01 No 12

The Plough
-E-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
Number- 12 Date 31st October 2003
1. The current situation
2. USA Political Prisoner
3. Homeless.
4. Is this the future for Irish schools? 5. Manchester Martyrs
6. What’s On
The new Republican Socialist Forum from Derry IRSP is
Vol Neil McMonagle - New Memorial
There will be another memorial unveiling, part of the Teach na Failte campaign to commemorate
fallen republican socialists, in Derry on Sunday November 9th.The impressive new memorial is
dedicated to the memory of INLA Volunteer Neil McMonagle who was killed by the SAS on
2nd February 1983. Anyone attending is asked to assemble at Carnhill Resource Centre at 2pm.
A march will then take place across Racecourse Road and towards Leafair Park where the new
memorial will be unveiled. A function will then be held locally, details on the day. For further
information please contact:
Derry IRSP
PO Box 1981
The current situation.
The following are extracts from a speech delivered to an IRSP meeting in Belfast on Tuesday
28th October.
Comrades I’d like to spend some time to review the peace process, look at why the events of the
last week happened, i.e. decommissioning the calling of elections and the breakdown of the
sequencing events and the position that the ERPS should take towards all of this.
There are many complex reasons why the Provisional Republican Movement (PRM) went down
the peace process road. War wariness, the steady loss of volunteers, particularly in Tyrone, the
recognition of the futility of violence, a better understanding of the position of the unionist
population, the higher body count of the loyalists coming into the nineties, personal ambition,
disquiet at the increase in sectarianism are all possible reasons.
It does no one any credit if in our movement we question the sincerity or genuineness of the
PRM. After all that movement waged a war against the British for approximately 25 years and
forged the most effective guerrilla army certainly in Western Europe. It is clear that their
leadership calculated that there was more to be gained by taking the political road rather than the
military road.
Once having decided that there was a cold remorseless political logic that led to the major acts of
The engaging in the affairs of Ireland by the Clinton administration opened up the way for the
Provos to take the political road. Furthermore the collapse of the old Soviet type communism
now meant that Imperialism and capitalism were in the ascendancy and revolutionary movement
had to face the new realities.
The victory over the Soviets gave capitalism a new lease of life and it now began a concerted
attack on publicly owned resources. The introduction of public Private finance initiatives is not
just a local thing it is worldwide. The drive for privatisation is fuelled by the World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund and other international bodies.
This affects the politics of Ireland. The close relationship between the USA and the Free State
Government clearly shows how closely interwoven are the policies of both countries. The Celtic
Tiger economic miracle was announced on the same day as the first IRA ceasefire. The link
between economics and politics is obvious.
The splendid isolation of Ireland from the real economic world took some time to penetrate into
the Unionists. For years protected by the indifference of the Westminster Government the
Unionists grew arrogant and dictatorial. They used sectarian fears to bolster their rule and openly
advocated and practice discrimination against the Roman Catholic population.
When all this was blown apart by the rise of the civil rights movement and the extent of the
resistance of the oppressed they were incapable of resisting change. Direct rule, not a British first
option was instigated. The GFA was all about creating the conditions for the shared Government
of NI between Unionists and Nationalists, which with increasingly stronger cross border links
would satisfy nationalist aspirations while not encouraging unionist fears. It was also a way by
which Britain could begin a process of disengagement.
For the PRM the advantages of this approach are obvious. The isolation from the media and the
world stage that they suffered in the eighties was gone, they are now major players, they are
within sight of overtaking the SDLP as the main nationalist party they have a growing influence
in Southern politics and are attracting the support and votes of increasing numbers of young
people. Further more they have still held onto their army despite three major acts of
decommissioning. Growing disillusionment with the corrupt politics within the 26 county state
means they will attract growing support and even more votes. They may hold the balance of
power in the South which means they could be Government both North and South within the
next three years. That is what drives them; the pursuit of power because it is actually within their
reach. Is that not something worthwhile from their perspective?
Trimble and Adams have both come out of this strengthened in one way. Trimble can say he got
the IRA to decommission 3 times and that he withstood pressure from both Blair and Ahearn to
cut a deal.
Adams can say he for filled his part of the bargain, can deliver, and that the unionists reneged on
an agreed deal. Also part of the Sinn Fein strategy was to split unionism. It has now been never
more divided
There is no doubt that the war is over, that the PRM have settled for a democratic settlement
within the six county state with a view to continuing their struggle by constitutional means.
However while we may speculate and theorise the reality is that elections for a new Assembly
are now on. The elections are about electing negotiating teams not a government. Immediately
after the elections regardless of the result there has to be a review of the GFA. It is quite possible
that in the event of all sections of Unionism refusing to share Government with Sinn Fein the
British and Irish Governments could move towards making Joint Authority a viable option.
What should be our position in all this? First of all the immediate question is the one of elections.
As I see it we have only limited options. ---
In al of these there are opportunities and difficulties. It is up to the membership to make their
voice heard. But there is not enough political input to the movement by the membership. We
tend to leave others to do the hard work. There is not enough effort to develop policies that have
some relevance to the lives of working class people. I could go on and make a large number of
criticisms of our faults, but that would be negative and we need to develop a culture in the Party
of positive forward thinking as to what we can and should do. People in this room may have in
the past put their lives on the line in the struggle for national liberation and socialism. Some of
you may have been shot tortured or jailed. To make sense of those sacrifices we need to begin
now and march forward towards seriously getting involved in electoral politics. That should be
our short-term goal, training our membership to be prepared to put our politics before the people
in all parts of Ireland. While the assembly elections may not be the time to do it because I see
this as the final working out of the GFA then after that we should come out with all guns blazing
to use a metaphor and put the authentic voice and polices of Republican Socialism before the
Irish working class. What should our vision of that Republican socialism be? The end goal as I
see it is the creation of as democratic a society as possible, politically economically and socially
where each individual has the opportunity to develop their potentiality to its fullest extent.
(G. Ruddy IRSP Ard –Comhairle member)
On Friday, September 5, 2003, Dr. Abdelhaleem Ashqar surrendered himself to U.S. Marshals.
Ashqar was charged with civil contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury in Chicago
this summer and may spend up to 18 months prison as the government attempts to coerce him to
testify in what he has described as an Israeli politically motivated investigation. This will be the
2nd time that Ashqar has been jailed for refusing to testify. In 1998 Ashqar was summoned to
testify, but refused to do so out of fear that despite being given immunity, his statements would
be used against him by Israel. He was jailed for contempt and began an immediate hunger strike
that lasted for six months, winning him release, but also leaving him with permanent physical
ailments. Ashqar came to this country from Palestine on a government sponsored scholarship in
1989. Since then he has been the target of government harassment and surveillance, but has
neither been accused of, nor charged with any wrongdoing in the United States. Prior to coming
to America, Dr. Ashqar was a well-known student activist in the Palestine territories. His
political views, which are critical of Israeli occupation and mistreatment of Palestinians, lead to
his arrest and torture by the Israeli military. Dr. Ashqar has stated that he would die before he
testifies because his religious and political beliefs will not let him participate in a politically
charged investigation that may harm him and other Palestinians who have dared to speak out
against Israel's occupation.
From the Free Dr. Ashqar Committee
The North Belfast branch of the IRSP has called the eviction of a north Belfast single parent
from a Salvation Army hostel in the Cliftonville indicative of the callousness that comes from
the mis-management of the housing crisis for Catholics in the area.
The single parent of two under school age children has reached the end of his tether in regards to
being placed in totally inadequate and unsuitable accommodation by the Housing executive. This
had led directly to the dispute between Mr. Rattle and the Salvation Army, which in turn has led
to his eviction.
The IRSP recognise that the Salvation Army plays a vital role in providing temporary housing
for vulnerable families, Mr. Rattle is not vulnerable he is quite capable of looking after himself
and his family he is simply homeless through no fault of his own. He requires a home in which to
raise his family he does not require the level of in house support that Salvation Army provide. He
has found this intrusive into his privacy and feels that a judgement on his ability as a parent is
being brought into question. The Housing Executive have quite clearly abdicated their
responsibility in placing Mr. Rattle in a Salvation Army Hostel and have created this foreseeable
and preventable, eviction.
The housing crisis in North Belfast is being totally mismanaged by the housing executive who
have attempted to shift their responsibility on to Charities, and local housing associations rather
than face up to their stated role. The public money that is being spent, in this particular case over
£500 per week to keep a family in hostel is exorbitant and wide open to profiteering by
unscrupulous landlords and hostel owners.
The IRSP are stating that whilst there is a housing crisis in nationalist north Belfast because of
the sectarian allocation of houses, the points system operated by the NIHE in North Belfast is a
joke and has no real bearing on either housing need or provision.
In conclusion the IRSP are saying whilst there maybe reasons why housing in this part of the city
is allocated on the basis of religion there is absolutely no justifiable reason for the amount of
vacant property lying empty in nationalist areas some of this housing is brand new and is lying
vacant because of bureaucracy. Why is this housing not being used, the IRSP will be seeking a
meeting with the NIHE to campaign for proper resources are made available to bring these
houses into public usage.
Is this the future for Irish schools???
Teachers organise against privatisation in the Punjab (Pakistan) The teachers of the Punjab
(Pakistan) are on the move against the privatisation of the schools and the educational
institutions. The present Musharraf regime has introduced measures to privatise the school
system. According to this the schools will be privatised and handed over to NGOs which will run
the schools with the powers of dismissal, removal and terminations and also with cuts in the
salaries of the teachers.
On October 10, 2003 all the teachers’ unions of the Punjab, including the Senior Staff
Association, Headmasters’ Association and the Punjab Teachers Association, held their meeting
at the Nasir Bagh Islamia High School, after forming an alliance called the "Mutahida Mahaz-e-
Asatza" (United Teachers’ Front). Teachers in large numbers participated in the meeting from all
over the Punjab. A large number of female teachers were also present at the meeting. The
teachers were carrying banners and placards. They were chanting slogans against the NGOs and
the planned privatisation.
At 11am sharp the central leadership reached the venue. At the start of the meeting, the press
secretary of the United Teachers’ Front, comrade Shokat Kathiya, read out his revolutionary
poem. The president of the Punjab Teachers’ Association, Jameel Ahmad, said the NGOs could
only take over the schools “over our dead bodies”. He went on to say that, “We will sacrifice our
lives but we will not allow the NGOs to take over the Schools.” The secretary General of the
Senior Staff Association of the Punjab, Taukeer Butt, warned the government that if it allows the
NGOs to take control of the schools it will find itself in deep trouble.
The president of the United Teachers’ Front, Raja Zafeer Ahmad Satee, said that by privatising
the schools and by giving them to the NGOs, the government is going to make a big mistake.
“The policies of the IMF and World Bank are being thrust upon us, and this is going to cause
great harm to the workers and working class at large. No body can dismiss us from the jobs. And
if any body takes any action in this regard history will repeat itself and all the teachers of the
Punjab will come out onto the streets. We will block the roads and will go for a compete strike
and the ruling class will not find any secure place for themselves.” He gave the present
government a deadline of October 22 and said that if our demands are not fulfilled, on October
23 we will block the whole of Lahore city and organise big demonstration.
Many other teachers addressed the meeting including Rasheed Ahmad Bhatti, Farkhra Butt, Syed
Jeevan Shah, Khizar Hayat, and Comrade Ahamd Nawaz Watoo, Advocate. On this occasion
many workers and trade unions also assured the United Teachers’ Front that they would fight
against privatisation of the schools by standing shoulder to shoulder with the teachers.
New Acquisitions for Working Class Movement Library.
The library has received a unique historical document, a letter sent by William Allen, one of the
Manchester Martyrs, to his mother. It is part of small collection of fascinating Irish material
brought into the library, which seems to have belonged to Patrick Kelly, a leading Manchester
Irish Nationalist
The hanging of the Manchester Martyrs was the most important political episode in the history of
the Irish in Manchester in the C19th. On 18th September 1867 a horse-drawn police van was
attacked by a band of determined armed men as it neared the railway bridge on Hyde Road. The
two prisoners inside were leading Fenians, Thomas Kelly and Timothy Deasy, captured by the
authorities just a week before. The daring rescue bid was launched as the men were being
returned to Bellevue Gaol. Once free the prisoners disappeared and eventually escaped back to
the United States.
Tragically a policeman by the name of Charles Brett was accidentally shot dead in the course of
the raid. Enraged by this and the audacity of the raid the authorities ransacked Manchester's Irish
After a show trial three men were sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of Brett. The
letter we now have in the library was written on 27th October from the New Bailey Gaol. Just a
few weeks later on 23rd November, a grim, foggy Salford morning, Allen and his two fellow
Irishmen were publicly hanged at the front of the prison. Few doubted their innocence and they
became known as the Manchester Martyrs, remembered in the popular song "God Save Ireland."
Working Class Movement Library, 51 The Crescent, Salford, U.K. M5 4WX 0161 736 3601
James Byrne Commemoration Committee
1st November 2003-09-11 Monument Unveiling & 90th Anniversary Commemoration
Assemble 2pm Main Entrance Deansgrange Cemetery, Deansgrange, Co. Dublin, Ireland. The
newly-commissioned monument over the grave of Trade Union Martyr, James Byrne, District
Organiser, ITG&WU, who died on 1st November 1913 following a hunger & thirst strike during
the Great Lock-Out 1913 will be unveiled by Des Geraghty, President, SIPTU. All trade
unionists, political activists and members of the Public welcome! [No Party Political Banners,
The James Byrne Commemoration Committee has organised the erection of a fitting memorial
over the grave in Deansgrange Cemetery [Co. Dublin, Ireland] of James Byrne, a trade union
martyr who died on 1st November 1913 as a result of the effects of a hunger and thirst strike
during imprisonment for his role in the Great Lock-Out of that year. James was District
Organiser of the Irish Transport & General Workers Union and held leadership roles in both
Bray and Kingstown [Dún Laoghaire] Trades Councils. In the course of James Byrne’s funeral
oration James Connolly said: ”James Byrne truly died a martyr as any man who ever died for
Ireland” The Committee believes that the monument is a fitting tribute to James Byrne and hopes
that his grave may become a place of pilgrimage and source of inspiration for trade unionists and
socialists in the future. We are particularly pleased that the descendents of James Byrne are fully
supportive of the work of the Committee. Jason Mc Lean. PRO- James Byrne Commemoration
European Social Forum Paris, St Denis 12-15 November
Question time and manifesto launch
NICVA is holding a party political Question Time for the voluntary and community sector on 14
November 2003 at 11.00am at the NICVA Offices. Representatives of all the main parties have
been invited to set out their manifestos and answer questions about what they plan to do about
the issues concerning voluntary and community organisations. The new Policy Manifesto for the
sector will also be launched at the event. To register, please contact Cathy Breslin on tel: 028
9087 7777 or
NI Anti-Poverty Network Invite you to attend our
Followed by seminar/speakers and workshops on
On Friday 28th November 2003
At NICVA, 61Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, BT15 2GB From 9.30 – 1.00pm
AGM followed by guest speakers on privatisation and the introduction of the Water tax and how
this will affect every section of our community. On low income, in receipt of benefits, if you are
a householder you will have no relief from Water tax.
Frances Dowds – NI Anti-Poverty Network (NIAPN) Manus Maguire – Communities Against
the Water Tax (CAWT) Jim Welsh – NI Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) Alisa Keane – Irish
Congress of Trade Unions NI (ICTU NI)
To Register – Fax back to 028 9087 5011 or e-mailto by 21stNovember 2003
Short of a bob or two? Seeking a new job opportunity in at the deep end?
The Department for Regional Development recently advertised the post of Chief Executive of
the Water Service.
The post was offered at £150,000 a year plus performance related bonus and they added; more
may be available for an exceptional candidate‚.
The advertisement adds that;
It has been determined that Water Service must become a self-financing organisation outside
central government‚. It further adds that this; will require the introduction of domestic water
charges‚. During the public consultation‚ the focus was on how water tax should be charged, not
if it should be charged, so what was the consultation for? Why consult with the community if
you have already decided the outcome?
The government is looking to employ an Executive on £3,000.00 per week.
If he water charges are introduced it will take more than 400 families living in poverty to make
up this person’s wage.
The gap in earnings between the rich and the poor is ever widening. Can you afford to pay an
additional £400.00-£600.00 per year for water charges– maybe you can, however many people
can’t and as ever it is the already socially excluded sections of our society that this tax will effect
most. One thing is for sure the Chief Executive of the Water Service should have no problem
paying his/her water tax bill; after all it isn’t even 0.5% of their annual salary.
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Friday 24 October 2003

The Plough Vol 01 No 11

The Plough, Number 11
24 October 2003
E-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1. Sectarian Watch
2. And the Groom Left Standing at the Altar 3. Capitalism and Health
4. Coca Cola Boycott
5. Anti Fianna Fail Posters Removed in Dublin City 6. Anti Racist Network
7. What's On
OCTOBER 28TH 7.30-9.00
(If you wish to attend either contact John Martin Or ring O28-9032-1024)
TOPIC -– THE CURRENT SITUATION: What should be our response?
Sectarian Watch
19 October 2003
Irish Republican Socialist Party
PSNI Cover-Up of a Loyalist Sectarian Murder Attack Outside Lord Mayor's Home on Saturday
The IRSP in North Belfast have publicly accused the PSNI of deliberately hushing up a sectarian
murder attempt by loyalists, probably the UVF, outside the home of the Belfast Lord Mayor
Martin Morgan on Saturday afternoon.
The IRSP's North Belfast representative Paul Little said: "The murder bid happened on the
Somerton Road on Saturday afternoon, a local builder who was in his van when a armed man
fired two shots at him. Fortunately the man was not hit but two bullets entered the van through
the rear window. The car used in the sectarian attack was found burnt out in the Mount Vernon
area, which leads us to believe that the attack was carried out by the UVF, who control that area.
The PSNI sealed off the area around the attack on the Somerton Road just off Fortwilliam on the
Antrim Road."
In conclusion the IRSP representative said: "The North Belfast branch of the IRSP in
condemning the murder bid are asking a number of questions of the PSNI and the DPP. Why
have the PSNI hushed up and blacked media coverage of the attack? Whose agenda are they
working to in hushing the murder bid up? Have the DPP authorised a general hushing up of
sectarian attacks in North Belfast? In raising these serious questions, it is hard not to conclude
that the PSNI, either of their own volition or on the direction of the British government or DPP,
are deliberately down playing sectarian attacks by loyalist murder gangs due to the sensitivity of
the current negotiations. Peace will not be built on lies and cover-ups; there is a very real need
for peace to be built from the ground upwards, with some degree of honesty. Only the cause of
sectarian division is served by state cover-ups."
Contact North Belfast IRSP on 028 90 747513.
Republican Socialist Publicity Bureau
392 Falls Road, Belfast, BT12 6DH, Ireland Tel/Fax: 028 90 330786
And the Groom Left Standing at the Altar
The carefully planned day of agreements on Tuesday the 21st of October became a farce as the
bride, David Trimble, failed to join groom Gerry Adams and his extended family of de
Chastelain, P. O'Neill, Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair at the altar of compromise. All were left
with even redder faces than Trimble's normally is. The media trotted out every cliché in the book
while the general public yawned. Those of us critical of the whole Good Friday Agreement could
be forgiven our wry smiles - we did tell you so.
But the pantomime is to continue and even the most recent events could still be part of a political
choreography that will see the pro- Agreement parties through to the other side of an election
intact. Trimble needs to fight this election as an agreement sceptic if he is to stand any chance of
being the majority unionist leader after the election. For the last two years it was obvious that he
could not enter into an election while in partnership with Sinn Fein. It was always the intention
to do as he has done. He has pocketed the already achieved PIRA disarmament without any
unionist commitment to govern. Blair's comments in Westminster show that his intention is to
achieve the public outing of the PIRA inventory. Ahern comments in the Dail that he had not
wanted to go to Hillsborough because of the vagueness of the decommissioning component
speaks volumes on the level of distrust not only between Adams and Trimble but between Blair
and Ahern. It is now clear that not only has Blair lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
but also he and Ahern have lied about what John de Chaistelain told him. It was clear that the
bottom line for the Trimble Unionists was clarity and transparency on the decommissioning
issue. Unfortunately for them the PIRA stuck rigidly to the letter of the law and allowed no
clarification of the whole weapons issue. The British and Unionists can be quite happy with the
fiasco, for they gained much and lost nothing. Also it will not do the Provos any harm going into
this election as having been slighted once again by the Brits and Unionists (the sympathy vote).
Yet they have decommissioned on a large scale without getting the real credit (if that is the
word) from so-called public or world opinion.
People are now to be asked to vote for process rather than government. The electors will be
asked not to vote for a government, not to vote for policies not to vote for their class interests but
to vote for negotiating teams. This farcical process is indeterminate and food and drink to the
political elites involved. It does nothing to protect the interests of working class Catholics or
While all this was going on the British Security Minister met with the representatives of the
UDA and offered to recognise their cease- fire within hours of them decommissioning a
substantial amount of weapons. The offer was rejected.
Capitalism and Health
George Monbiot, a leading writer on sustainability and the environment, says in his book:
Captive State (the Corporate Takeover of Britain) Chap 2: Hospital cases -Corporate takeover of
the NHS
1993-conservative introduced concept of Private Finance initiative (PFI)-Private companies
building and running hospitals and leasing them back to the state.
Labour party opposed saying: State would become dependant on short- term priorities of private
companies and NHS employees would be public servants in private companies
Labour then came to power and in 1997 said 'PFI or bust'
A few negative results of PFI
ÿ Reduction in hospital beds
ÿ Cutting corners in wages and cleaning
ÿ Sell off of land cheap to private companies ÿ Increased day procedures
ÿ Focus on specialist surgical work, thus creating specialisms, and reducing access
ÿ Green site hospitals excluding 33% of people who don’t drive
Many believe that private companies will soon have monopoly of NHS and that government will
be in debt to them
Chap 5
Economic cleansing-how the superstores conquered Britain
Big superstores enjoy more political influence than any other corporate sector David Sainsbury is
a government minister and six Tesco executives on government working parties, including one
on supermarket competitiveness!! Supermarkets create new jobs but only at the expense of lost
local jobs.
Out of town supermarkets decimate small towns through ruining social cohesion. They make
impossible demands of local farmers and force them to use dangerous chemicals to produce
'attractive' food, all same size shape and colour.
Supermarkets end up buying mostly from biggest providers, so claim that they use small local
providers is untrue
Wal-Mart, big US food giant now in UK, used forced labour of Chinese prisoners for cheap food
Tesco, Sainsbury, Safeway Waitrose and M&Ss united with food suppliers to create monopoly
and supply 75% of all food.
Poor people are charged 69% more for food because in poorer areas there is less competition and
less people mobility, also local small shops close-reducing choice.
Middle class shop at out of town supermarkets where shops buy land at knock down prices from
bankrupt farmers and government
Chap 8-A padlock on the food crisis
GM foods-no demand ever expressed by consumer for this, yet government spends millions
researching it-government directly involved with big chemical companies who stand to benefit
from gm crops
Food, which is GM, is labelled; Food that contains Gm products is not labelled, because GM
breaks down when processed.
Much of our processed food contains GM already-it is just not labelled as such.
Denmark, Sweden and Italy want all ingredients listed on label-UK opposes this
In 1999 demand for organic food exceeded supply by 200%
In 1997 government allowed increase of chemical glyphostate in Soya beans
In 1999 Us cancer society report increased danger of Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) NHL has
increased by 80% in USA since 70's.
Even if GM foods are processed, the chemicals still remain Soya is the basis for a large number
of processed foods we eat today
Monbiot says "Bio technology Corporations are still attempting to take over the food chain and
turn the genes of plants, animals and humans into private property"
Book available from
Irish Coca Cola Boycott Spreads
The Irish response to the call for a boycott of Coco Cola because of the ongoing campaign of
murder of workers in Coca Cola bottling plants in Colombia is spreading. On Saturday 11th
October 2003 the John Hewitt Bar and Restaurant one of Belfast’s best known and most
prestigious bars became the first public house in Ireland to remove Coca Cola from its shelves.
Then it emerged that the Cultúrlann McAdaimh Ó Fiaich an Irish language cultural centre and
one of the foremost tourist centres in Belfast has also stopped serving Coca Cola to its
Now the students of University College Dublin the largest student campus in Ireland have voted
in a referendum not to serve Coca Cola in any student union outlet on the campus.
Campaigners for the boycott are buoyed up by the growing success of the call to boycott Coca
Cola and are seeking to spread the boycott as quickly as possible to other drinks outlets.
The quicker Coca Cola get the message and take steps to stop the murders and ill treatment of
workers in their subsidiary plants in Colombia, the better for all concerned.
Now is the time to spread the boycott as far and as fast as possible. Individually each of us can
stop drinking Coca Cola and urge others to do likewise. Make your view known to your local
drinks outlet and ask them to withdraw Coca Cola from their shelves and stock an alternative.
Among the alternatives available are Mecca Cola ( which can be ordered
at TOPMARK, Carry and Carry distributors Linfield Industrial estate, Sandy Row, Belfast,
02890 435870.
BRIEFING NOTE - Coca-Cola's Bottling Companies
Coca Cola's website page on Colombia states that: "The Coca-Cola Company has bottler
agreements with independent companies that own and operate 20 bottling plants that
manufacture and distribute Coca- Cola products."
This note looks only at company ownership, let alone common branding, company policies and
practices that bind contracted bottlers to Coca Cola. Let us investigate just how "independent"
Coca-Cola's bottlers really are.
Coca Cola’s main bottler in Colombia is called Panamco Colombia; it operates 17 out of the 20
plants, and is a subsidiary of Miami based Panamerican Beverages Inc, (Panamco). Panamco was
one of Coke's strategic "anchor bottlers". In December 2002 another major bottler, the firm
Coca-Cola FEMSA announced it would buy Panamco for $3.6 billion. This acquisition was
completed six months later.
Since, according to the South Florida Business Journal "Coca-Cola owns about one-fourth of
Panamco", the buy out involved Coca-Cola Co. receiving about 304 million shares of Coca-Cola
FEMSA worth $674 million, in exchange for its Panamco shares.
While Coca-Cola Co. owned 25% of Panamco; it also already owned 30% of Coca Cola-Femsa.
The buy out leaves Coca-Cola Co. with 40% of the combined entity Coca-Cola Femsa-Panamco.
Coca-Cola FEMSA-Panamco will have revenues estimated at $4.6 billion and estimated annual
gross profits of $1 billion. It is the leading bottler of Coca-Cola products in Latin America, and
with about 10 per cent of Coca-Cola’s worldwide sales, the second-largest Coca-Cola bottler (the
largest is Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises).
The significance of the overseas bottling subsidiaries for group profits is immense. According to
industry analyst Milton Boki "Coca Cola obtains 75% of its profits outside the US, a
considerable proportion of this comes from Latin America".
The merger is seen as complementary in two respects. Geographically, FEMSA already
dominated the Mexican and Argentine markets. Panamco has brought with it a leading position
in Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Through FEMSAPanamco,
Coca-Cola bestrides Latin America.
As far as product lines are concerned, FEMSA is already strong in beer as well as soft drinks in
Mexico, where there is a high consumption of soft drinks due to lack of adequate drinking water.
With limited public services breaking down, and with service privatisations, failure to provide
drinking water from the tap is a continental issue, especially for the poor. Public services are
deteriorating, and the sale of bottled alternatives is an expanding market with the potential to
increase even more rapidly. Access to the water market is part of the attraction of Panamco, and
perhaps why FEMSA paid so much for it. As noted by Boki "the purchase of Panamco opens the
possibility of using its enormous distribution and marketing system to sell bottled water and
other soft drinks that are alternatives to the classic Coca Cola."
The Coca-Cola FEMSA Panamco takeover was completed in June 2003. On 11th September,
Panamco Colombia announced it would "stop production at 11 of its 17 plants to boost
We have seen that Panamco the bottling company is a vehicle for Coke's expansion into the
Latin American drinks market. But this expansion only makes commercial sense so long as it is
profitable for the parent company.
(From Andy Higginbottom
Coca Cola have launched a major fight back against the boycott and the organisations, which
have spearheaded it here. Their reps have been contacting the John Hewitt and the Culturlann on
an ongoing basis trying to convince them that the boycott is wrong, that coca cola is not
responsible for the problems in Colombia and that the boycott is endangering local jobs. The reps
themselves are civil and plausible local reps that it would be hard to take offence at but who
nevertheless are lobbying hard for Coca Cola and putting management in the two local outlets
under considerable moral pressure. It is important therefore that we show maximum support to
both the John Hewitt and The Culturlann to strengthen the hand of those who are arguing for the
boycott. People should talk to the management of both places and express their support. Spread
the word verbally, a letter or two to the local press supporting the boycott and the two places
carrying it out in Belfast on a human rights basis and asking the local Coca Cola company to use
its clout with the parent company to use their undisputed power to resolve the issue in their
bottling plants in Colombia, a petition on the same basis and any other methods of showing
support should be used. Try to acquaint yourself of the arguments re coca-cola, Colombia etc.
Here are a couple of sites to look at if you need to.
(From Fearghas OhIr -
Anti Fianna Fail Posters Removed in Dublin City
Posters critical of Fianna Fail, produced by the Working Class Action (WCA) Group, have
begun to disappear from part of the Dublin Central constituency.
Large numbers of the posters have been ripped down (and taken away) in the North Inner City.
The posters have now been erected, removed and replaced on two occasions across North Strand,
East Wall and Sheriff Street. The posters were produced to refute the claim from Bertie Ahern
that ordinary working class people were "spongers" for opposing the Bin Tax. The eye-catching
posters describe Fianna Fail as Criminals, Drunk Drivers and Tax Cheats. It goes on to list recent
large price rises for basic services, which must be paid by PAYE taxpayers.
VHI increased by 44%
ESB increased by 13.5%
Eircom bills increased by 6.3%
Bus Fares increased by 9%
TV licence increased by 40%
Members of the WCA have been erecting the posters in areas across the Northside over the past
week. They have also been carried by protestors on Anti-Bin Tax marches and pickets.
Campaign Co-ordination Eoin Candon said: "We accept that Fianna Fail may not be very happy
with our direct approach, but we felt it important to bring these price rises to the attention of the
public. No one from Fianna Fail has contacted us about the posters, even though the WCA phone
number is printed on the posters. Public reaction to them has been excellent and many people
have contacted us asking for posters to put up in their own communities."
(From: Subject: Anti Fianna Fail Posters Removed in Dublin City Date:
Thu, 16 Oct 2003 15:16:31 -2300 Working Class)
Subject: Anti Racist Network
The list below is continually being updated as others sign up to the statement. Please continue to
Several organisations involved in the Anti Racist Network hand delivered the statement
personally into the hands of leading members of the Ulster Unionist Party, including that of
David Trimble, Steven King, Reg Empy etc, at their party conference. TV and radio have also
interviewed us over the last few days. The Irish News and the Newsletter also covered the issue
with others hopefully to cover it later in the week.
With ICTU's welcome statement we have also now seen one of the leading churches as well as
NICVA {umbrella body for voluntary and community sector} now speaking out. We are
competing with the issue of the peace process for media access but we are doing well to date. A
number of groups that we set up from the previous meeting I think are to meet in the next day or
to and will report back at the next meeting. I will post the minutes of the previous meeting
shortly with details of the next one.
>From Davy Carlin - ARN
Statement updated.
Jeremy Hardy - Comedian
Patrick Yu - N. Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities N. Ireland Traveller Movement
Chinese Welfare Association
The Belfast Islamic Centre
Islamic Students Association of N. Ireland The Belfast Indian Community Centre
Paul Noonan - Director, Belfast Travellers Education and Development Group
Belfast Travellers Support Group
Multi Cultural Resource Centre
Paul Yam Wah Hep, Chinese Community Association, Craigavon Mel Corry, Craigavon Trades
Union Council The One World Centre
Marian Farrell - The Welcome Committee Derry All the staff of P Drinan Solicitor
The Pat Finucane Centre
Yamila Petrushansky - Women’s News
Maria Ellis - Women of the world
Brenda Torley - Co-ordinator - The Centre for the Promotion of Civil, Political and Human
Ronan Lavery Barrister at Law (PC)
Finbar Lavery Barrister at Law (PC)
David O'Sullivan Barrister at Law (PC)
Mark Mc Avoy Barrister at Law (PC)
West Belfast Economic Forum
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Democratic Dialogue
Stephen Alexander - Alliance Party
John Barry, Green Party
Irish Republican SocialistParty
Daithi McKay - Sinn Fein
Socialist Environmental Alliance
Barbara Muldoon, Socialist Workers Party Belfast Trades Union Council
Damien Wall, Chair Derry Trades Union Council E McCann - Vice Chair Derry Trades Union
Council and Journalist Strabane Trades Union Council
Jim Quinn - FBU Chairperson NI Region
Jim Barbour - FBU Executive
Brian Campfield - President Belfast Trades Union Council John McCloskey - Nipsa Section
Secretary Peter McGarrigle - Secretary Nipsa Branch 8 Ryan McKinney - Chairperson Nipsa
Branch 8 & Belfast Trades Union Council
Louise McMillen - Nipsa union rep
Brian Stewart - Nipsa union rep
Maria Morgan Nipsa Officer
Pat Torley - TGWU Union Rep
Brian Crawford - Secretary Nipsa Branch 6 Valery Guiney - Multi-Cultural Resource Centre
(PC) Dr Dara O'Hagan MLA
Sean McAughey - Volunteer Co- Ordinator Mornington Community Project Breandan
MacCionnaith - Chairperson Drumcree Community Trust Paddy Murray -Chair Rathenraw
Community Association Shane O Curry - School of Law Magee
Tools for solidarity
Michael Goodman - Lower Ormeau Residents Action Group Councillor John O'Dowd
Councillor Maurice Magill
Councillor Brian McKeown
Councillor Francie Murray
Falls Women's Centre
Globalise Resistance
Emily Kawano
Sara Boyce
Tony Longiois
Thierry Michel
And hundreds of other individuals.
What's On
Boothby Graffoe & Friends ... Stand Up for Justice!
Amnesty International is famous for making people laugh in the face of oppression. We've had
phenomenal success with our annual comedy benefit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. And now
we're taking it to the Belfast Festival at Queen's.
Amnesty supporter and award-winning Radio 4 comedian Boothby Graffoe will host this unique
comedy benefit at the Belfast Festival. "Stand Up For Justice" is the only show as part of the
Festival to offer a variety of top-quality comedians on the same bill.
Stand Up for Justice features:
Boothby Graffoe as compere
"Daftness combined with clear-headed comic thinking... Irresistible" Time Out
Adam Hills, 3 times Perrier nominee
"Hills delivers stand up so effortlessly brilliant you wonder why some comedians even get out of
bed." The Guardian
Nina Conti, the hilarious monkey-owning ventriloquist and winner of the 2002 BBC New
Comedy Award.
"Stunningly sassy...had us in stitches." (The Scotsman).
Kevin McAleer, Ireland's king of deadpan and RTE/BBC TV star "Laughter barely the safe side
of hysteria” The Irish Times
Tim McGarry star of The Hole in the Wall Gang's hit BBC TV sitcom "Give My Head Peace"
and a massive success during their recent two-week run at the Grand Opera House.
The show starts at 8pm on Tuesday 28 October at the Whitla Hall. Tickets for this unique
comedy benefit are selling quickly, so book yours now! Tickets cost from £10 (that's only £2 per
comedian!!) and are available from the Belfast Festival box office on 028 9027 2626 or online at
This show will be dedicated to Burmese prisoner of conscience U Win Tin. On the night, people
will not only have the chance to enjoy an amazing line-up of five top comedians, but also to join
the campaign for his release.
Journalist and writer U Win Tin has been imprisoned in Burma for daring to defend human
rights. For years he has suffered serious illness - made worse by ill treatment in jail.
More info available from:
James Byrne Commemoration Committee
1st November 2003-09-11 Monument Unveiling & 90th Anniversary Commemoration
Assemble 2pm Main Entrance Deansgrange Cemetery, Deansgrange, Co. Dublin, Ireland. The
newly-commissioned monument over the grave of Trade Union Martyr, James Byrne, District
Organiser, ITG&WU, who died on 1st November 1913 following a hunger & thirst strike during
the Great Lock-Out 1913 will be unveiled by Des Geraghty, President, SIPTU. All trade
unionists, political activists and members of the Public welcome!
[No Party Political Banners, please!]
The James Byrne Commemoration Committee has organised the erection of a fitting memorial
over the grave in Deansgrange Cemetery [Co. Dublin, Ireland] of James Byrne, a trade union
martyr who died on 1st November 1913 as a result of the effects of a hunger and thirst strike
during imprisonment for his role in the Great Lock-Out of that year. James was District
Organiser of the Irish Transport & General Workers Union and held leadership roles in both
Bray and Kingstown [Dún Laoghaire] Trades Councils.
In the course of James Byrne's funeral oration James Connolly said: "James Byrne truly died a
martyr as any man who ever died for Ireland".
The Committee believes that the monument is a fitting tribute to James Byrne and hopes that his
grave may become a place of pilgrimage and source of inspiration for trade unionists and
socialists in the future. We are particularly pleased that the descendents of James Byrne are fully
supportive of the work of the Committee.
Jason Mc Lean, PRO - James Byrne Commemoration Committee.
Vol. Neil McMonagle - New Memorial
There will be another memorial unveiling, part of the Teach na Failte campaign to commemorate
fallen republican socialists, in Derry on Sunday November 9th.The impressive new memorial is
dedicated to the memory of INLA Volunteer Neil McMonagle who was killed by the SAS on
2nd February 1983. Anyone attending is asked to assemble at Carnhill Resource Centre at 2pm.
A march will then take place across Racecourse Road and towards Leafair Park where the new
memorial will be unveiled. A function will then be held locally, details on the day.
For further information please contact:
Derry IRSP
PO Box 1981
European Social Forum Paris, St Denis 12-15 November
Please feel free to comment on the contents of the Plough. If you know of anybody who might
wish to receive the Plough please send his or her e-mail address to
If you wish to receive back copies of the "The Plough" Please e-mail to stating which numbers you wish.
To unsubscribe to the Plough please send e-mail entitled "unsubscribe" to
It is the policy of the Plough to acknowledge information and articles from other sources.
Subscribe to the bi-monthly
"The Starry Plough/An Camchéachta"
Fighting Fund/Donations
To: The Starry Plough
First Trust Bank, Derry, BT48 6BU
Account No. 14986015 Sort Code No. 93-86-10 (Pairtí
Poblachtach Sóisialach na h-Éireann) (James Connolly Society) (James Connolly Archive)

Friday 17 October 2003

The Plough Vol 01 No 10

The Plough
-E-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
Number- 10 Date 17th October 2003
1. Some Sectarian Attacks
2. Left Unity
3. Maskey and Mackin did not broker INLA cease-fire.
4. Republican Socialist Alternative Economic Strategy?
5. Kadek.
6. Breast Cancer - A good deed!
7. Anti Racist Network-Fred Crowe-Unionist councillor.
Some Sectarian Attacks
9th October Protestant homes were attacked in on the Ardoyne Road and Ohio Street.
Meanwhile in Antrim town loyalists attacked the home of a Sinn Fein activist.
10th October 2002 Windows were smashed in catholic homes in Somerdale Park and
Kingsmere Avenue in North Belfast when loyalists threw paint bombs
11TH October 2003 A schoolboy was confronted by a man brandishing an iron bar in the
grounds of St Gabriel’s School in North Belfast
14TH October 2003 A catholic family was driven from her home by a mob of nationalists
who thought she was a protestant and was dealing in drugs on the Whitewell Road in
North Belfast
15th October 2003. A lone mother and her two young children living in Co Armagh had
their house at Upper Enniskeen in Craigavon attacked at around 11.30pm.
It is believed that a number of windows in the house were smashed in the attack.
The incident is just the latest in a campaign of violence against Muslim families living in
the area.
16TH October 2003. Another Muslim family were attacked in the Craigavon area
17TH October. Loyalist left a pipe bomb in the nationalist St James area. No one was
Left Unity meeting 9/10/03 Belfast Unemployed Centre
Recently there were two left unity meetings, which the IRSP attended. The first on the
second of October was a public meeting, which the IRSP only found out was on, by
accident. We received no formal or informal invitations. This despite the fact that last
year we had been part of a group called the Social Forum which had reached some
tentative agreements on possible policy areas and which involved wide strata of left
opinion including representatives of some protestant working class views. Unfortunately
those meetings fizzled out. Then the SWP, which had been involved in the Social Forum,
arranged a series of closed meetings with other groups out of which emerged the
suggested programme which were published in The Plough No. 8. At no time we
understand was the suggested programme put to a vote, nor was it agreed at the first
public meeting. But at the second meeting involving a small number of delegates when
the programme was questioned by the IRSP we were told it was not for changing. A the
meeting it emerged that Communist Party of Ireland – gave a qualified no to Left Unity
candidates but individual members of the party could get involved in a Left Unity
campaign if they wished. The Derry Trades and Environmental group a front group for
the SWP, fully supported the project and said that it should be as broad as possible both
geographically and the left political spectrum. The Workers’ Party gave a general
welcome but they were concerned that there is not enough time to do this prior to a
November election. They also brought up the idea of a socialist forum to discuss matters
of mutual interest. WP had already selected candidates for the forthcoming election and
expressed a view that the European Elections may offer a better opportunity for Left
Unity. The Socialist Workers’ Party were fully behind the initiative while the Official
Republican Movement (ORM) were in broad support, but unsure as to how it would work
and the timescale involved. No decisions were taken, No votes were taken, and meeting
broke up in an uncertain fashion with no date set for next meeting.
The position of the IRSP is very clear. While left unity is desirable it cannot be rushed
through just to satisfy the electoral ambitions of some people. How can there be unity
when there were pro and anti Good Friday Agreement Parties. For example how could
the IRSP/ Left Alternative (Anti-Agreement) call for a vote for the WP (Left Alternative
(Pro Agreement) without losing all credibility? The people are not stupid. They would
see the Left Alternative for what it is: an ill thought out attempt to cobble together an
unprincipled alliance to maximise a “left “vote. The reality is that on the ground the
left has not done the steady persistent class work that would establish its credibility
with the working class. When members of the Workers Party cannot even acknowledge
the presence of members of the ORM at a left unity meeting then the basis for their cooperation
is not the interests of the mass of the working class but the particular interests
in one sect of the left. Furthermore any alliance that tries to cover its position on the
national question and fool the masses is doomed to failure. Seamus Costello drew on both
the experience and teachings of James Connolly in his approach to the problem of
"loyalism" among the Belfast Protestant working class. When questioned in March 1975,
about co-operation with representatives of the Protestant workers on immediate issues
"which would appear to unite the people," he defined his position clearly and succinctly.
"Connolly had to face exactly the same predicament. In Belfast prior to 1916, you had
people who classified themselves as socialists and who were also interested in ending
British rule in Ireland. Their approach to the Protestant working class was on the basis of
limited and immediate issues. One of the principal issues, which affected both sections of
the working class, was the question of whether or not they could get gas and water into
their houses. "Some very militant campaigns were engaged in on these two demands - gas
and water for the houses in the working class districts. Republicans and socialists were
involved in this campaign on the basis that this was the way to unite the working class. At
the same time, these republicans and socialists refused point blank to mention or even
discuss the national question with the Protestant working class, on the grounds that if they
did, the Protestant working class wouldn't listen to them and that they would lose their co
operation on the issue of gas and water for the houses. "Connolly was totally in
opposition to this approach. He categorized them as gas and water socialists. Today in
Belfast we have what we call ring-road socialists. They are exactly the same type of
people. They are, in fact, the leadership of the Official republican movement in Belfast.
"We maintain that any co-operation with the Protestant working class must be on the
basis of a principled political position. It must be on the basis of explaining fully to the
Protestant working class what all our policies are, not just our policy on the ring
road. We must try and politicize them, simultaneously with conducting a political
campaign to get rid of Britain. It will be primarily an educational function, or an
educational campaign directed towards Protestants in the hope at least that some
significant section of the Protestant working class will understand."
We are for unity-class unity class struggle and the struggle against Imperialism. That’s
the basis the IRSP will enter into electoral alliances and only when we have established a
clear consistent record of mass work. As Bertie might say-Much done -much to be done.
Maskey and Mackin did not broker INLA cease-fire.
A biography of Alex Maskey called “Alex Maskey: Man and Major” by Barry
McCaffrey has just been published. Part of the book carries the extraordinary assertion
“Liam Maskey and the trade unionist Brendan Mackin acted as conduits between the
INLA and the British Government during discussions that ended with the Republican
Group announcing a ceasefire. and
“Throughout 1997 and the first eight months of 1998 the two men carried a succession
of messages between the INLA and the British”
This is simply not true. During both 1997 and 1998 the stance of the INLA towards the
British was summed up in the phrase “Don’t trust the British” As a result the leadership
of the INLA had taken a decision that it would not talk to the British Ministers. During
the whole of the year 1997 the INLA was not on ceasefire and indeed in December 1997
the Ard Feis of the IRSP had decisively rejected a motion recommending the INLA to
call a ceasefire. While there was ongoing contact with the priests in Clonard Monastery
no moves were made towards the British at all. However after the result of the Referenda
on the Good Friday Agreement a series of meetings of the leadership of the INLA was
held. Resulting from these meetings a number of decisions were made including ending
any co-operation with other groups and seeking talks with representatives of the Irish
Government and with representatives of the Northern Ireland Office to explain the
position of the INLA. In June /July 1998 only one meetings was held with Maskey and
Mackin with a view to set up a meeting with the NIO. They were asked to facilitate that
meeting because of their proud trade union record. This followed the RSM contacting
Brendan Mackin with a view to exploring what would be the procedure re prisoners
following any INLA cease-fire. At those meetings the representatives of the INLA
informed those they met of the INLA’s views on the consequences of the decision of the
people in Ireland to endorse the Good Friday Agreement.
For the record it should be recorded that while both Liam Maskey and Brendan
Mackin are good people of integrity they did not broker the INLA ceasefire. They
did not carry a succession of messages between the INLA and the British
Government. They did not act as conduits between the INLA and the British.
Economic Strategy.
In its latest economic review, the business advisers Price WaterHouse Coopers says the
serious weakness of the Northern Irish economy is being hidden by a “veneer of
economic prosperity”. At the same time, the First Trust Bank economic outlook and
business review says that the North is facing a situation where “there are no more free
lunches”. One of the main reasons why the local economy (North and South for that
matter) is in a fragile condition is that it is highly dependent on the investments of
multinational corporations. Those companies are not here for the “craic”, but for their
profits, and if they can make more money, they will have no qualms to move from
Belfast to Bengalore. The same could be said of local companies who closed down some
of their operations in the North. These closures have resulted in some huge job losses; the
consequences of delocalisation for the local economy have been disastrous. Various
economic experts, government agencies and business leaders tell us that this is
“inevitable” and that there are no alternatives.
What can be done? In Belgium, France, Germany and Italy, there are new laws (or
projects for such laws) to curtail cuts, closures, de-localisations and redundancies by
companies, both national and multinational, both at a European and national level. MPs
and MEPs’ have pointed that it was unacceptable that redundancies could coincide with
massive profits for those companies, showing the sharp opposition between social wellbeing
and profitability of companies. For example, in Belgium, Ford has recently made
3000 people redundant while at the same time making 1.36 billion dollars in profits for
the first six months of 2003.
What is the actual content of this proposed legislation?
First, there can be no cuts, redundancies, delocalisation or closures unless approved by
the joint management/employees corporate committee of that particular company, and a
plan to save jobs and wages has been collectively agreed. In the absence of such a
collective agreement, and until this agreement has been implemented, everybody in the
company is entitled to keep their employment and wages.
Secondly, the employer will have to provide completely, correctly, and in time the
totality of the facts and data on the basis of which the decision is taken to proceed with
cuts, redundancies or closures, including information relating to other units and
subdivisions of the group to which the company may belong. Plans for redundancies and
closures will have to be announced in advance.
Thirdly, any employer transgressing this legislation or information and consultation
procedures will have to repay any public funding or grants received over the five years
preceding the infraction. This money will be paid to a Fund for Economic Democracy,
and will serve to finance alternative solutions to cuts and closures. This Fund could also
receive additional funding from a special tax on profits, rents and dividends (a tax of a
nature similar to the proposed Tobin Tax on financial speculation).
Finally, sanctions against employers who wouldn’t respect this legislation would range
from fines to prison sentences. This could also be extended to the major shareholders of
that company.
These suggestions could be part of an all-Ireland Republican Socialist Alternative
Economic Strategy. It is a matter of time before some major company will go announce
some “restructuration” plan that will result in closures and job losses. To guarantee
continuity of employment and income, it is necessary that we fight for a legislation that
will curtail the ability of companies to make our lives insecure. It is imperative to make
the corporate world accountable to the people.
A matter of concern is the plight of the 15 million Kurdish people, scattered over Turkey,
Syria, Iran and Iraq. Of particular concern is the conflict taking place between the
Turkish state and the Maoist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Since 1984, it has claimed
over 30 000 lives, mostly Kurdish civilians killed by the Turkish army. Thousands of
villages have been destroyed, and more than two million people have been displaced.
It is very worrying to learn that the Turkish parliament has approved sending over 10,000
troops to Iraq to support the US army and to get rid of some 5000 PKK guerrillas in the
mountains of the far North of Iraq. Thousands of Kurdish civilians are likely to be killed,
injured, tortured and imprisoned as a result of this. Washington will turn a blind eye, as
this can be justified as being part of the global “war against terror”. The PKK is on the
US state department’s list of terrorist organisations along with the RIRA and FARC.
However, the PKK is hardly a threat to US and NATO interests. It has renamed itself the
Freedom and Democracy Congress (Kadek). It has abandoned its Maoism and demand
for an independent Kurdish state. It demands instead “parity of esteem” for Kurdish
people within the countries with a substantial Kurdish population. One of its leaders,
Osman Ocalan has stated “We want to cooperate, not fight with the British and US
forces” (The Guardian 8 October). Recently Kadek has been forced to take up arms
because of Turkey’s failure to establish all party talks now and inclusive negotiations
based on equality. Its most prominent leader, Abdullah Ocalan is the Kurdish Gerry
Breast Cancer - A good deed
· Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Breast Cancer site is having trouble
getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of donating at least one
free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman.
· It takes less than a minute to go to their site a click on “donating a mammogram” for
free (pink window in the middle). This doesn’t Cost you a thing. Their corporate
sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in
exchange for advertising. Here’s the web site! Pass it along to people you know:
The Anti-Racist Network in Belfast have produced a letter calling on the UUP to expel
Craigavon Councillor Fred Crowe for his deeply racist remarks in the BBC special report
broadcast on Monday night.
We the undersigned wish to register our horror at the recent racist comments of
Craigavon Councillor Fred Crowe.
In an area where eight families have been forced to move after suffering racist attacks,
Mr Crowe’s remarks are a disgrace. They will only serve to increase the suffering of the
ethnic minority population in Craigavon and across the whole of Northern Ireland. His
comments are not just an insult to the ethnic minority population but also an insult to the
vast majority of people in Northern Ireland who find racism abhorrent.
To be clearly seen on Monday evening’s BBC report trying to convince young people
that they should view Muslims as people who bomb the USA and kill their daughters for
marrying Christians is a clear and chilling example of incitement to racial hatred.
We call on the leaders of all the main churches and political parties to immediately issue
statements condemning Mr Crowe’s remarks.
We also call on the Ulster Unionist Party to use their party conference this weekend to
completely distance themselves from Mr Crowe’s remarks and to expel him from the
party. This would send a clear and positive message out to everyone in Northern Ireland
that racism will not be tolerated.
James Byrne Commemoration Committee >
1st November 2003-09-11 Monument Unveiling & 90th Anniversary
Assemble 2pm Main Entrance Deansgrange Cemetery, Deansgrange, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
The newly-commissioned monument over the grave of Trade Union >Martyr, James
Byrne, District Organiser, ITG&WU, who died on 1st November 1913 following a
hunger & thirst strike during the Great >Lock-Out 1913 will be unveiled by Des
Geraghty, President, SIPTU. All trade unionists, political activists and members of the
Public >welcome!
[No Party Political Banners, please!]
The James Byrne Commemoration Committee has organised the erection of a fitting
memorial over the grave in Deansgrange Cemetery [Co. >Dublin, Ireland] of James
Byrne, a trade union martyr who died on >1st November 1913 as a result of the effects of
a hunger and thirst >strike during imprisonment for his role in the Great Lock-Out of that
year. James was District Organiser of the Irish Transport & >General Workers Union and
held leadership roles in both Bray and >Kingstown [Dún Laoghaire] Trades Councils.
In the course of James Byrne’s funeral oration James Connolly said:
”James Byrne truly died a martyr as any man who ever died for Ireland”
The Committee believes that the monument is a fitting tribute to >James Byrne and hopes
that his grave may become a place of >pilgrimage and source of inspiration for trade
unionists and >socialists in the future. We are particularly pleased that the descendents of
James Byrne are fully supportive of the work of the >Committee.
Jason Mc Lean. PRO- James Byrne Commemoration Committee.
European Social Forum Paris, St Denis 12-15 November
Please feel free to comment on the contents of the Plough. We
welcome political comments and criticisms.
If you know of anybody who might wish to receive the Plough please
send his or her e-mail address to
If you wish to receive back copies of the "The Plough" Please e-mail"
to stating which numbers you wish.
To unsubscribe to the Plough please send e-mail entitled
"unsubscribe" to
It is the policy of the Plough to acknowledge information and articles
from other sources.
Subscribe to the bi-monthly
"The Starry Plough/An Camchéachta"
P.O. Box 1981, Derry, BT48 8GX, Ireland.
Fighting Fund/Donations
To: The Starry Plough
First Trust Bank, Derry, BT48 6BU
Account No. 14986015 Sort Code No. 93-86-10 (Pairtí Poblachtach Sóisialach na h-Éireann) (James Connolly Society) (James Connolly Archive)

Friday 10 October 2003

The Plough Vol 01 No 09

The Plough
-E-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
Number- 9 Date 10th October 2003
Seamus Costello Special
1. Commemoration Speech by Pol Little
2. Statement of the IRSP's International Department
3. Fraternal greetings from the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement
4. Dessie O’Hare Campaign. Speech at Costello Commemoration
5. Democracy and the Mass Movement by Seamus Costello
6. A Tribute to Seamus Costello
7. What’s On.
Costello Commemoration 2003
(Speech by Ard –Comhairle Member Pol Little)
Comrades and friends we gather here in Bray today to not only remember our founder
and political visionary - Seamus Costello - but also to celebrate the political legacy that
he left to us, the Irish Republican Socialist Party and Republican Socialism.
Over the past few years former INLA prisoners, many who are here today, through Teach
Na Failte have embarked on a program of erecting suitable memorials to our fallen
comrades across the country. That work is ongoing and will continue until all are
recognised for what they were - Republican Socialists, Soldiers in a volunteer
revolutionary army that fought with great courage the mercenary forces of British and
international imperialism.
Over the past few years the INLA whilst adhering to its ceasefire has had to take
defensive measures in defence of the Irish working class, which has come under attack
from the reactionary sectarian campaign of loyalists. The INLA whilst not relishing this
role will not leave vulnerable working class communities unarmed or undefended.
We salute the courage of each and every man and woman who makes a contribution to
the struggle!
Today the IRSP has to face into the struggle for a socialist republic based on democratic
principles, equipped with the integrity of republican socialist politics. This alongside our
determination to achieve Irish freedom, full social equality for all, and self government
are the arms required for today's struggle. The political conditions not only in Ireland but
also internationally in 2003 demand that our response is measured and tailored to achieve
victory, not wallowing in a self righteous indignation engaged in a fruitless armed
campaign that our enemies long ago learned how to minimise and negate.
Times and conditions change, that the Republican Socialist Movement moved with those
times and conditions is a political imperative. We serve notice on our opponents today -
In armed struggle the RSM was tenacious, determined, ingenious and confident. In
peace, we are equally tenacious, determined, ingenious and confident, these were the
attributes of Seamus Costello and we are proud to have inherited them.
Whilst the political conditions and the combined will of the Irish people expressed in
1998 demand that we use only peaceful methods it would be wrong for our opponents to
see this as a defeat or weakening of republican socialism.
We listened to the combined wishes of the Irish people which is more than the current
Irish government did when it enabled the Anglo/American invasion of Iraq: An invasion
that has led to the decimation of the Iraqi people and the plundering of their countries
collective wealth, all to satisfy the lust of Anglo American capitalism.
We listen to the Irish people in regards to the morality of war not George Bush, Tony
Blair or Bertie Ahearn, hypocrites one and all. Unlike them we have no fear of peaceful
political struggle or democratic principles, indeed, armed with republican Socialist
politics it is our strength and we look forward with confidence to the future. The question
is- Can they cope with a confident and successful republican socialist program without
resorting to their old trusted methods of subjugation, oppression, exploitation and
marginalisation? We shall see!
The IRSP are determined to present a real choice to the Irish working class, the choice
between social equality and prosperity for all and the present class system, which
condemns millions to poverty and misery with the crumbs off the table of the greedy.
Have no doubt comrades we do not only want the loaf of bread but we mean to take the
entire bakery. The demolition of capitalism, exploitation and the class system was and is
our aim!
Our opposition to the Good Friday Agreement is well documented and the present
bartering of democratic institutions against long silent Provo weapons is but the latest
example of the failure of real politics in the failed entity that is the north. If the current
batch of wannabe statesmen and women‚ that represent politics‚ in Ireland represent the
future then god help the Irish working class. Sure we know they can talk the talk but
precious few if any know how to take a single step.
We recognise the new political climate that the agreement has created. It has created
space and room for dialogue that in the end can only be for the common good.
We also recognise the bad, whilst the creation of sectarianism cannot be laid at its door its
rapid development throughout society as a whole in the north cannot and should not be
ignored. Sectarianism is through society as a whole but its violent manifestation has
maximum effect in working class communities and is the cause of much secondary
discrimination in the areas such as employment, housing, education and health provision.
In north Belfast there is housing crisis for the catholic community. The statutory social
housing provider the housing executive if it was honest would admit that it has no real
strategy to combat this discrimination in housing provision, it cannot even get the
language correct it calls North Belfast an area of high housing need‚ no its not, its an area
of poor social housing provision because of sectarianism.
The IRSP are extremely concerned at secondary discrimination and its effects on
securing a peaceful future for all. We do not remember any exclusion clauses in the Good
Friday agreement and if any people deserve peace it is the good people of North Belfast,
an area in which one quarter of all the deaths in the conflict lost their lives in one square
In Coleraine this week a Catholic family was forcefully evicted from their home of
twenty years after having the audacity to fly a Tyrone GAA flag in celebration of that
counties success at Croke Pairc last Sunday. For this they had their windows smashed and
volley of shots fired into the house, they are now housed elsewhere the local media
inform us. Nobody asks why anymore? It is easier to brush it under the carpet and try and
get the big house up in Stormont working. Well we in the IRSP are asking not only why
but what the hell are they going to do about it!
The current wave of attacks on schools and school children across the north is abhorrent
and we call on them to cease immediately. Only the cause of sectarian hatred is promoted
by these attacks.
Across the country IRSP personnel are involved in working class issues that have real
effect on ordinary peoples lives from the campaign against the introduction of a bin tax‚
in the South to the campaign against the introduction of water charges in the north you
will find the IRSP. We commend socialist TD Joe Higgins for his principled stance on
the Bin Tax, but one can but wonder if he would have been sent to prison if he held an
offshore bank account! Lying, corruptions, bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion all seem
to be the passport to power in Ireland under the Celtic Tiger.
The IRSP are also to be found in the trade unions, the community associations and in
every working class issue you will find an Irps. Not bad for a group of people that our
enemies had written off as social misfits, profiteers, psychotic murderers and a rag taggle
band of braggarts whose only concern is personnel gain.
I know of no current Irp who has profited from their membership of this organisation.
Indeed personal sacrifice for the collective good has always been our way and so it shall
Seamus Costello founded the RSM, a volunteer army and a subscription based political
party, The IRSP is self funded, we are not in the pocket of any self interest group or
foreign government. We are what we say we are - a working class political party, we
serve no other interests only those of the Irish working class.
Those who see the lack of personal ambition of individual members of the IRSP for the
baubles and titles of Western democracy‚ as a weakness in our movement are wrong once
again, It is our strength. We remain uncorrupted by the lure of the easy life paid for by
the honest toil of others. Whilst we may not lust after the Baubles and titles‚ we do
possess a collective ambition and determination that by far out strips any personnel
ambition. Republican Socialism represents the opportunity for the maximum amount of
personal freedom within a collective responsibility.
Like our founder and the man we remember here today Seamus Costello, the only title
that we crave is that of all free workers in a free society, the highest accolade of all, that
of - Comrade citizen!
Comrades we have much work to do go out and preach the blessed gospel of discontent!
organise - Onwards to victory.
Irish Republican Socialist Party
International Department
4 October 2003
In Memory of Seamus Costello:
Statement of the Irish Republican Socialist Party's International Department
At the funeral of Seamus Costello, Nora Connolly-O Brien, daughter of Ireland's greatest
Marxist revolutionary leader and herself a life-long activist, republican, and socialist, said
of the fallen IRSP leader:
"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."
The greatest interpreter of the political brilliance of James Connolly alive in Ireland at the
time; the "Boy General", a man elected to the 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 Irish Transport and General
Workers Union, Bray and District Trade Unions Council (President 1976-77), the
Cualann Historical Society, Chairperson of the IRSP, Chief of Staff of the INLA, lay
dead at the hands of the Official IRA.
Just three years after founding the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, Seamus Costello
was dead and buried.
The Garda and Special Branch attacked the party's offices, assaulted its members, and
arrested 40 of its leader members. Our second chairperson and a gifted mass leader,
Miriam Daly, was stolen away from us a brief three years later, murdered by the SAS
masquerading as loyalist thugs and within months of her murder, the intelligent,
energetic, and capable Ronnie Bunting and Noel Little too were felled by SAS assassins.
In 1981 the loss of O Hara, Lynch, and Devine alone would have been a devastating to
many movements, but we lost a number of others in Shoot-to-Kill murders by the state,
death on active service, mass arrests on the evidence of Super-grass perjurers.
The smoke from the cordite slowly cleared and the IRSP and INLA were still standing.
Bruised and bloodied, but with head unbowed; we were still standing.
The sight of that must have been quite vexing for some. It must have driven some
malignant mind within the pack of snarling dogs the system of capitalism maintains to the
limit of his patience. Because then a collection of ex-members of our movement, who
generally couldn't stand the sight of each other, were seized up and brought together, for
no good purpose, christened the IPLO, armed and sent to destroy this movement by equal
parts senseless violence and shameless misrepresentation. If the death of comrades of the
stature of Ta Power and others had not done damage enough, the droning chant of the
word "feud" in the capitalist media and by erstwhile Irish republicans now dressed up in
the ill-fitting clothes of politician and statesman served to besmirch the proud name of the
Irish Republican Socialist Movement to such an extent that reactionaries and curs felt
capable of attempting to take away from us our association with our founding chairperson
and tireless leader.
We saw to it, comrades that they did not succeed.
But we did reel in a prolonged and bleak period of darkness. Fear kept comrades behind
locked doors, party stalwarts formed external discussion groups and took brief sabbaticals
from party activism. What was left of the movement was chiefly the prisoners of war and
the supporters abroad, assisted by a mere handful of party members and prisoners
relatives, who leaned heavily on the volunteers of the INLA to ensure that the very name
of our party did not disappear from the annuls of Irish republicanism.
Out of that darkness stepped yet another intelligent, brave, and charismatic individual the
latest in a list far too long for such a tiny party, struggling to remain alive on the
revolutionary margins of Irish politics. And once again, the party comrades and the
INLA's volunteers, the prisoners of war and the recently ex-prisoners, the scattered
supporters abroad returned to raise our standard, the Starry Plough, once again. I recall
that a good comrade of mine said to me, "once more into the breech, my old friend."
And as surely as any keen observer of Irish history might have predicted, a handful of
wasters seized the blood money offered by the enemies of our nation and our class and
killed yet another leader of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, but this time that
movement did not waver, not even for a moment. This time, despite the lies and slander
spewed forth in the press, despite the deliberate efforts to re-tar our movement with the
charge of feuding, despite the blood of yet another martyr who had restored our pride and
determination, despite all this, we did not stagger and we did not reel. We did not bow
our heads, but kept marching forward. This time we did not allow ourselves to be bullied
by lesser men with more weapons and we did not retreat to the safety of the political
sidelines. And we have not done so yet. We continue to march forward, sure in our
allegiance to the working class; sure in our commitment to the class war which is its right
and duty to wage; sure that we are following in the footsteps of giants and that we are
forcing ourselves to grow with every step so that we might fill those footprints.
Reactionaries and cowards killed Seamus Costello, comrades and friends. Ever since that
day, their allies have sought to destroy Seamus's legacy, which is the Irish Republican
Socialist Movement. But we who have been orphaned more times than we can count have
come of age. There has been a fitting memorial built to the founder of our movement and
that memorial is that very movement which he helped to forge. We have come through a
baptism of fire and blood and wind and storm and as we stand here today, we serve as a
living commemoration of Seamus Costello's memory.
We have openly admitted our mistakes. We have found the courage to mend those parts
of our movement that had, in haste, been constructed poorly. We have had the courage of
our convictions sufficient to stand not on the trappings of a heroic but at times ill-guided
history of struggle in arms, nor in the glittering ornaments of bourgeois respectability.
No, rather we have found our strength in the reality of the honour and justice inherent in
the struggle of our class for its liberation, as women and men. We have found our footing
by keeping our feet firmly on the earth, our heads proudly in the air, and our eyes fixed
upon the goals of equality, justice, liberation, human dignity, cooperation, mutual
concern, and genuine compassion and concern for all those who suffer and languish
under the heel of oppression.
Look around us here today; see the comrades that you have around you today. That we
are here at all is a worthy tribute to Seamus Costello. That we return each year to honour
the memory of this leader and champion of the Ireland's working people, testifies to the
accomplishment of this heir to the tradition of Connolly. And, comrades, remember as
you leave this graveyard today, that this grave may contain the flesh and blood of Seamus
Costello, but that his spirit soars in every corner of this island where the Starry Plough
ripples in the breeze. We will not simply respect the memory of Seamus Costello; we will
live it. We have come to this grave-side today to say to the world at large, we are the
children of Connolly, of Larkin, of Costello, but we are now grown and standing on our
own feet. But, as long as the IRSP continues its fight to liberate its nation and its class,
Seamus Costello yet lives and breathes.
Long Live the Spirit of Connolly!
Long Live the Spirit of Costello!
Long Live the Irish Republican Socialist Movement!
Fraternal greetings from the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement
There is little that could be said about Seamus Costello that has not been said before. Be
it as a trade unionist, a republican, a socialist. Be the field of struggle be local, regional,
national or international. Working with tenants groups, small farmers, women, trades
councils or prisoners. Seamus Costello stands apart as the personification of the class
struggle and the struggle against British Imperialism and Capitalism
Nowhere is this better represented in his simple statement that ‘I owe my allegiance to the
working class’. Eight simple words but what they represent is the embodiment of our
struggle. The embodiment of our struggle internationally be it in the slums of Gaza, the
prisons of Istanbul, the Coca-cola factories of Colombia. Everywhere our class is in
struggle you will find the spirit of Seamus Costello.
Many socialists declare that ‘we have no heroes’. But this abstract position fails to reflect
the almost super-human contributions of certain individuals to the fight for the
emancipation of the world’s workers. So Costello deserves to take his place alongside the
likes of Connolly, Larkin and MacLean. Not as iconic figures of reverence but as
symbols of resistance, symbols of struggle and symbols of the coming day when we, the
workers of the world, take back what is rightfully ours. And when we do then Costello
along with all the other martyrs of our class will be remembered with the pride and
respect that they are due. We can think of no more fitting tribute.
All Hail the Irish and Scottish Workers Republics.
Donnie Fraser
Secretary SRSM
1148 Argyle St
G3 8TE
Dessie O Hare Campaign
Statement on behalf of the Free Dessie O Hare Campaign, delivered at the Seamus
Costello Commemoration By John Murtagh, Ard –Comhairle member IRSP
Desmond O’Hare was born on 26 October 1956 and comes from a staunch Republican
family. Dessie’s Grandmother did six months in Holloway Gaol for “keeping
Republicans”. His father and six of his uncles were interned between 1940 and 1944. One
uncle died while interned on the Isle of Man.
Dessie became active in the Republican struggle from the age of 16 and one of his
Officer Commanders in the IRA was John Francis Green, later assassinated by Captain
Robert Nairac.
Dessie was jailed for life in 1988 and is currently the O/C of the INLA prisoners in
Castlrea Prison. He has endorsed and fully accepted the INLA ceasefire. That statement
said among other things:
“That the conditions for armed struggle do not exist”. “We acknowledge and admit
faults and grievous errors in our prosecution of the war”. “Innocent people were killed
and injured and at times our actions as a liberation army fell far short of what they
should have been. For this we as Republicans, as Socialists and as Revolutionaries do
offer a sincere, heartfelt and genuine apology”.
Organisations, which are on ceasefire, are entitled to the early release of its members
under the Good Friday Agreement, which says that all political prisoners convicted of
offences committed before April 1998 should be released. Dessie O’Hare was not
released on that date.
The Irish government has refused to free him in contravention of the Good Friday
Agreement even though Dessie was a leader of the INLA at the time of the kidnap.
Indeed the former Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr John O’Donoghue,
has publicly stated, “He is a qualifying prisoner”.
The GFA in its entirety includes the early release of ‘qualifying prisoners’ meaning those
prisoners whose organisations are ‘maintaining a complete and unequivocal cease-fire’.
Dessie O’Hare is such a prisoner who has been denied the benefits of the early release
scheme as laid down in Annex B, Section 2 of the Agreement which the Irish electorate
voted for.
Dessie has been demonised by the media and by certain politicians who labelled him the
“Border Fox”. He has been seen by experts at the request of the Irish Government in an
attempt to keep him imprisoned on the grounds of his mental state. They could find no
such grounds for his continuing incarceration but this was an attempt to emulate the
tactics of Stalinist USSR in labelling opponents of that regime ‘mad’.
Dessie’s “crime”, if ‘crime’ it was, was to be an active Republican.
His co-accused, Edward Hogan and Fergal Toal, have already been released under the
Agreement even though they were convicted of the same offence.
Dessie is being victimised, discriminated against and demonised by the state authorities.
And yet his activities were no different from those of hundreds of others released under
the GFA. We will, over the coming weeks be stepping up our Campaign, where pickets
and protests will be placed on constituency offices and private residences of those
Politicians those who are charged with enacting the Agreement in its entirety but who
have failed to acknowledge the democratic will of the people.
Dessie O’Hare is no different from hundreds if not thousands of Republicans. He played
his part in the struggle. It is now time he was released. The Governments started releasing
the first POWs under the terms of the GFA four years ago and Dessie is beginning his
24th year behind prison bars. Dessie has been in jail continuously since 1979 (with one
years exception 1987) and in all of them 23 years he hasn’t been given a single days
temporary release despite many family tragedies including the death of his father (RIP)
The case of Dessie raises issues over and above either the personality or deeds of Dessie
O’Hare. Fundamentally it goes to the heart of the Good Friday Agreement. We in this
campaign have been sceptical about that Agreement but we say now implement not just
the spirit but also the letter of the GFA. Carry out the wishes of the Irish People and
Release Dessie O’Hare now!!!
Democracy and the Mass Movement. A lecture delivered by Seamus
Costello at a Sinn Fein education conference in Sheelon Sharrock Hotel
held on 23 February 1969.
Mr Chairman, Comrades,
1.My intention is to demonstrate during the course of this lecture how the working
of democracy at both local government and national government level can be
related to the work of mass movements.
2.I will deal first of all with the experiences to our Movement at local level, showing
the effects of our activities both inside and outside the local authorities.
3.I then propose to relate those experiences to our Movement at national level,
showing what I believe would be the likely effects of our involvement in
parliamentary action.
In order to understand the present position of the Movement in Wicklow it is
necessary to first of all trace the history and development of the Movement in that
area since 1954. You may ask why 1954 ? The answer to that is that the first attempt
made in modern times to re-establish the Movement in Wicklow was in 1954. At that
time there was absolutely no Republican organisation in County Wicklow. In fact
the last period during which organised Republicanism existed in Wicklow was
during, and for a short period after, the Civil War.
This meant in effect that when the Movement was reorganised, and indeed right up
to the present moment, that none of our members were drawn from traditional
Republican backgrounds. We had to start with completely new people who had no
experience of, or preconceived ideas about revolutionary political action. I feel that
this point is worth mentioning because of the effect it has had on our methods of
operation. The main effect as far as I am concerned is that we have being able to
approach every phase of our activities with a completely fresh outlook unhindered
by any adherence to unnecessary taboos, except those imposed upon us by belonging
to a Movement that has in the past and indeed to a certain extent in the present,
being guided in its activities by past history, rather than by completely different
circumstances of the present. The first Sinn Fein Cumann was started in Bray in
May of 1955. At that time, we had 6 or 7 members, mist of whom had been members
of the Cumann in Dun Laoire for a couple of months before that date. From the
time the Cumann was formed until the end of 1955, our only activity was the sale of
the United Irishman in the town of Bray.
The position in Wicklow remained the same up to the end of 1957, except that we
had a slight increase in membership, and we managed to spread the sale of the
United Irishman into most of the other populated districts of the county. This was
done by groups of 3 or 4 people in cars who managed to cover about 75 percent of
the public houses in the county between 8pm and closing time on Saturday nights.
In this way we managed to get the paper sold and build up our finances out of the
profits after having paid our petrol expenses.
There was no significant change in that position between 1957 and the end of 1959
except that a small number of our members were imprisoned and took part in the
campaign. We still only had one Cumann in the county, and the campaign was
simply a new topic for discussion in the pubs on Saturday nights. The only effect the
campaign seems to have had on the public during this period is that they seemed
more anxious to buy the United Irishman. I often suspected that they did this in
order to keep themselves informed of the sensational happenings in the North, in the
same way as they bought the News of the World to read about other sensational
happenings in London or Glasgow.
Between 1959 and 1962 the organisation in Bray began to show signs of
disintegration. We were reduced to about 4 or 5 active members and the sale of the
paper in other parts of the County outside Bray was discontinued. At the end of
1962 we were selling about 14 United Irishman, all in the town of Bray. The morale
of our members seems to have declined in direct ratio to the progress or otherwise of
the military campaign. When the campaign ended in February 1962 we again set
about putting the organisation on its feet, and by the middle of 1963 we had
recruited about a dozen very active people, and had succeeded in re-establishing the
sale of the paper throughout the county. In June of 1963 Joe Doyle was released
from prison in England, and we availed of the opportunity to publicise the existence
of our organisation in Bray. We did this by having a torchlight procession and a
rally afterwards. I have always felt that this was the first occasion on which the
people began to develop an interest in our existence. We had a number of new
recruits following Joe Doyle‚s return, and for the first time since 1959, the national
collection was carried out on a county basis. We had already had a very successful
year with Easter Lilies sales, and our financial position was quite sound.
Our activities between the end of 1963 and February 1966 were the same was in
1963, except that we re-established the Easter commemorations for the first time
since 1924. We also established our first links with the trade union movement
during this period and managed to get one of our members selected as a delegate to
the Bray Trades Council, representing the Workers Union of Ireland. There seemed
to be a growing awareness on the part of our own members at this time of the
necessity for involvement in the work of other organisations. This was due in the
main to the creation of new policy in the Movement as a whole.
This new policy was brought a step forward in February 1966 when the local Sinn
Fein Cumann called a public meeting of all Council Tenants in Bray for the purpose
of forming a Tenant‚s Association. The immediate result of this meeting was the
formation of a very active association with 4 or 5 of our members in key positions on
the committee. It also had a very favourable effect from our point of view on the
course of the local elections in the following year. I will explain how this came about
later in this lecture. We also strengthened our links with the Trade Union movement
in 1966 by inviting the Bray Trade‚s Council to officially participate in the 1966
Easter Commemorations. They agreed to march and they appointed Roddy
Connolly, the son of James Connolly, to speak on their behalf from the platform.
Their participation in the commemoration served to link the organised working
class movement with our movement in the eyes of the people, and subsequently
helped us in the local election of 1967. By the beginning of 1967, our organisation in
Bray was well poised for the local government election contest. We were still the
only Sinn Fein Cumann in the county, however we were in a very strong position
both from the point of view of finance and influence with the working class people.
The latter was due mainly to our contacts with the Trades Council and the Tenant‚s
Association, both of which represent large number of working class people. The
Tenant‚s Association represents about 800 families in the town and the twenty
unions affiliated to the Trades Council represents approximately 1500 workers in
Bray and the surrounding area. We managed to acquire the support of the Tenant‚s
Association by holding a meeting of our own members who were on the Tenant‚s
Committee and drafting a questionnaire which was to be circulated to all candidates
in the election by the Tenant‚s Association. The Association also informed each
candidate that their answers to the questionnaire would be circulated to every
tenant in the town and that the people could draw their own conclusions.
The questionnaire dealt with a number of problems about which most tenants had a
genuine grievance, and our people on the committee took steps to ensure that the
Sinn Fein candidates were the only ones who could give answers that were
favourable to the tenants. The result was that the tenants received copies of the
answers from all candidates and large numbers of them supported us because of our
policy on housing matters. At this stage it may be of benefit to give an outline of the
main points from our Election Programme and indicate briefly how the election was
fought. The main points from our programme were as follows:
1.That all building land would be brought under the control of the local authorities
and that they would be the sole agents for the purchase and sale of such lands at
prices related to its agricultural value.
2.That housing should be treated as an essential social service and financed on a
non-profit making basis.
3.We stated also that we would organise the homeless people (about 300 families) to
pressurise the council into building more houses.
4.That we would fight for the introduction of a purchase scheme for all council
5.That we oppose the introduction of differential rents.
6.That we would seek to have repairs to all council houses done through a direct
labour scheme.
7.We advocated the completion of a flood prevention scheme for the Dargle River.
8.We also pointed out the necessity for such things as local bus services, phone
boxes, dispensaries, etc.
9.We strongly condemned the Managerial Act, and called for more direct
participation by the people in local government matters.
10.We had to explain very clearly in our Election Manifesto that we would take our
seats if elected. We had to do this because of the fact that the other parties were
telling people that we would refuse to sit if elected. It was also quite obvious to us
that no matter what the people thought of our Election Policy they could see no
point in supporting us unless we were prepared to sit on the council.
We opened our campaign about four weeks before polling day by setting up a full
time Election Headquarters, complete with telephone. During the campaign we gave
out approximately 75 000 pieces of literature made up of National Election
Manifesto, Local Election Manifesto, Candidate Literature, Voting Cards and hand
outs at polling stations. We used 3000 posters. We also had an average of 15 people
working every night, either canvassing or distributing literature and we were able to
provide transport and man all polling stations on voting day. We were the only
party in town that managed to canvass every house, and also to hold numerous
public meetings. Our total expenses came to £360.00, and we made a profit of
£50.00. The net result was the winning of two seats on Bray Urban District Council
and one seat on Wicklow County Council. Having outlined the type of Election
Campaign we fought, I feel it is essential that we examine the reasons why the
people voted for us. I think the reasons would be as follows:
1.Bray had experienced a long period of particularly bad administrations, resulting
in a generally run-down town, and the existing parties were either unwilling or
unable to take appropriate action to remedy the situation.
2.Most members of the outgoing council had been at least 20 or 30 years involved in
local government and there seemed to be absolutely no difference between one party
and another.
3.We had established a good relationship with the people through our involvement
in the Tenant‚s Association, the Trades Council and the Credit Union movements.
4.We made no secret of the fact that we were a revolutionary socialist party and that
we were prepared to give leadership both in the local council chamber and on the
5.We made it obvious that we were radically different from all the other parties and
that we had no time for any party that existed by putting the people under a
compliment for things that are theirs by right.
6.We made it plain to the people that if we were elected we would make sure that
Bray Urban District Council would be democratised and that they would be able to
make their presence felt in the council chamber on any issue that affected their
7.We fought a better campaign than any other party and people were impressed by
the dedication and unity of our members during the campaign.
8.All of the other parties were suffering through internal rivalry between their
candidates and we benefited from this.
After the local elections of June 1967 we had to lay down new rules of behaviour to
deal with the following situations:
I. What would be the relationship between our elected representatives and our own
II. What would be the relationship between our elected representatives and
individuals or organisations?
III. What would be the relationship between our elected representatives and the
representatives of other parties?
IV.What would be the relationship between our representatives and the Council
I. In order to maintain proper contact between our elected representatives and our
own members we set up the machinery for the holding of regular meetings. We hold
a general meeting twice a month on the nights before the local council meets. At our
own meeting we discuss all matters on the agenda for the council meeting and
decisions are made by the meeting regarding the attitude to be taken by our
councillors. We also discuss at these meetings any items that our own members feel
should be raised at the council meetings. We decide whether these matters will be
raised directly by our own councillors, by the Sinn Fein Cumann through direct
correspondence, or through agitation in the mass organisations. Whenever possible
we adopt the last course of action in order to build the confidence of the people in
their own organisations. It also helps to establish our members within these
organisations, and ensures that their leadership is accepted.
II. The contacts created between individuals or organisations as a result of our
election presented us with a completely new situation. We found that suddenly large
numbers of people and organisations were approaching our councillors for
assistance, and we set up a Citizen‚s Advice Bureau in order to meet them. The
people we meet in this way can usually be broken into three categories:
a. Individual people who require assistance from someone with knowledge of local
government procedure, so that they can overcome some problem that applies to
them alone. They are usually people who are entitled to some particular service but
don‚t know how to proceed about obtaining it. In these cases our local
representatives simply approach the appropriate Council Department and iron out
the red tape. We usually find that those people have already approached councillors
from other parties, and we are under the impression that we are doing them a
favour. We always avail of the opportunity to impress upon them that what they are
seeking is theirs by right and that they don‚t owe us or anyone else anything for it.
We find that this approach serves to create a spirit of independence on the part of
the persons concerned. It also helps to establish our integrity and demolish the
hypocrisy of the other parties.
b.If an individual approaches us with a problem that happens to be common to a
number of other people we usually refuse to act on his behalf unless he first of all
agrees to bring the other people together so that they can all fight together. I can
best illustrate what I mean by giving an outline of one particular case. In August
1967 we were approached by a particular individual who had no water supply in
this house and who had been trying for 25 years to get Wicklow County Council to
give him a connection from a nearby water main. During the course of discussion
with him it emerged that there was a total of 13 houses in his locality without water
and that they had spent 25 years approaching other councillors without avail. The
other parties had simply said “leave it to us and we will look after it”, but had done
nothing about it. This man agreed to organise a meeting of his neighbours which we
attended. We pointed out to them that if they were prepared to organise themselves
they had a good chance of pressurising the Council into giving them a water supply.
They agreed with our suggestion, and formed an association. The association went
on 2 or 3 deputations to council meetings and after threatening to withhold rates etc.
they succeeded in getting the council to agree to install a water supply. Work will
start on the scheme in about two weeks time. These people could not understand
why none of the other parties had suggested the same tactics as we had. Again we
availed of the opportunity to explain the difference in policy between our
organisation and the other parties. The result is that we now have the whole-hearted
support of these people, and they in turn have developed a new sense of
independence. If other examples of similar cases are required I can give them
during question time.
c.The third category in this group is an approach by some existing organisation
requiring assistance. Existing organisations are different from individual cases in so
far as they rarely approach one party only. They usually contact all parties at the
same time if the problem is connected with local government. If they have a long
standing problem that could not be solved the conventional manner we usually
suggest some form of agitational activity, and we offer whatever technical
knowledge which they may require. We have found when dealing with organisations
that all conventional means must have failed them before we can suggest other
methods. We have established very good relationships with the following
organisations was a result of these approaches:
- Bray Trades Council
- Bray Tenant‚s Association
- Bray Housing Action Association
- County Wicklow N.F.A.
- County Wicklow Macra na Feirma
- West Wicklow Development Association
- Greystones-Kilcoole Housing Action Association plus numerous other smaller
We find that most organisations exist in order to improve the living standards of
their members, and that a solution to their problems can be found by reference to
the appropriate section of the Sinn Fein Social and Economic Policy. Every
opportunity should be availed of in order to let these organisations know that the
solutions advanced by our local representatives are in fact part of Sinn Fein policy
and not just the opinions of individual councillors. If a solution can be found within
the existing framework of society so much the better. If solutions can only be found
through a completely new type of social and economic structure, then this should be
made clear to the organisations concerned and every possible effort should be made
to create a head on collision between these organisations and the forces opposed to
them. In this way, we will help to create a desire on their part for fundamental
changes in the structure of society. This in my opinion should be one of the primary
functions of Sinn Fein councillors. If we succeed in this objective the organisations
concerned will be prepared to give us political support when we advance the same
solutions from our political platforms.
III. The next matter that we had to decide upon was the relationship between our
representatives and the representatives of other parties. We decided at the
beginning that we would adopt a completely independent stand on all issues, and
that if our views happened to coincide with the views of other parties w e would cooperate.
In turn if our views were different we would oppose them. In practice we
have found that in most cases we have been opposed by the other parties,
particularly on issues that require fundamental changes in the structure of society
before they can be solved. The result of this is that we have succeeded in exposing
the other parties as groups who are only interested in maintaining the status quo.
We have been particularly successful in exposing the Labour Party in Wicklow as
such a group. This arose because of their attitude in connection with a recent
housing scandal, which I can elaborate upon during question time if necessary. The
Trades Council in Bray have co-operated with us in this particular case, and we
have publicly condemned the Labour councillors for their anti-working class
attitude. It should be of interest to note that most of the delegates on the Trades
Council are either members of supporters of the Labour Party. The attitude of Sinn
Fein councillors should be to avail of every possible opportunity to demonstrate that
we are fundamentally different from all of the other parties, and we should not yield
to the temptation to let up on the attack either from some short term advantage or
because some of them just happen to be nice people.
IV. The relationship between our representatives and local authority officials needs
to be examined at this point. Our experience of Wicklow has shown that most of the
officials are reasonably honest and dedicated workers and that some of them are
quite progressive in their attitudes. However, they are restricted in their activities
by the rules laid down by the central authority for the running of local government.
This means in effect that in cases where we advocate policies that cannot be
implemented through the framework of existing legislation we run the risk of head
on collision with the officials. The effect of this can and should be minimised by
pointing out at all times that we are opposed to the system as such and not to the
officials that are forced to work within the confines of the system. In this way we will
succeed in gaining the support of the progressive minded officials, and at the same
time we will help to create grave dissatisfaction on their part with the whole local
government system. They will gradually become disillusioned and frustrated, and it
will therefore be easier for us to in their support for our ideas in the future.
The Wicklow by election was held in March 1968 and at the time we still had only
one organised Cumann in the whole county. The election was fought in basically the
same way as the local elections except that it cost us approximately £1200 as
opposed to £360. As a direct result of the election we were able to form nine new
Cumann in the county. This was about the only advantage gained from the contest.
We now have a total of ten Cumainn, all of which are reasonably active as outlined
during the course of the lecture. In terms of votes we received approximately 2000
first preference votes which I consider to be a poor return for the investment in
time, labour and money involved.
During the course of the by election we found that the greatest single objection to
voting Sinn Fein was the existence of the abstentionist policy. I stated at the start of
this lecture that I proposed to relate our experiences on local councils to the likely
effects of our involvement in parliamentary action at National level. Involvement in
parliament can be usefully compared in a number of ways with our involvement in
Local councils. As I have already demonstrated during the course of my lecture
there is two things that we can achieve through our involvement in local government
1.We can achieve some short-term results within the existing framework
2.We can use it as a forum from which to advance our revolutionary ideas thereby
creating a lack of confidence in the whole system. Of course we can only do these
things by operating both inside and outside the Council Chambers in a disciplined
manner as I have already referred to.
I suggested the same tactics could be usefully employed by even a small group of
well-disciplined TD’s at National level working both inside and outside Parliament.
I believe that the Republican Movement is capable of producing the proper type of
person for this job. And I also believe that we could establish the necessary
machinery to control our TD’s. The people of Ireland are clever enough to recognise
the fact that effective power lies in the hands of Parliament at the moment, and in
my opinion they are not going to give their support to any party that refuses to
recognise this fact and act accordingly.
Before the Republican Movement can achieve power, we must succeed in breaking
the confidence of the people in the existing Parliamentary institutions, and I would
suggest that this should be one of the main functions of our TD’s. They should also
be full time Revolutionary Organisers in their own areas, thereby demonstrating to
the people who elected them the fundamental difference between ourselves and the
other parties.
In conclusion I would like to give an example of the possibilities that could have
been availed of by such as group of T.D.s in the recent past. The discussion on the
ESB Special Provisions Bill in 1966 provided a glorious opportunity to demonstrate
the effectiveness of revolutionary tactics within parliament combined with action on
the streets. If the opportunity could not have been availed of at that time it could
certainly have been used during the subsequent ESB strike. During this strike
approximately 50 ESB workers were imprisoned and almost 100 000 workers, most
of whom were in sympathy with the ESB men were walking the streets of Dublin for
the best part of a week. I suggest that the opportunities thus presented as a result of
these circumstances could have been used with effect by well-disciplined
revolutionary movement acting in consort with its Tads in order to smash the
Special Provisions Bill.
The present discussions on the Criminal Justice Bill presents similar opportunities
for any party in opposition to avail of them, and with that provocative suggestion
which I feel sure raises more questions than it answers, I will now conclude my
An Appreciation by Fionnbarra O'Dochartaigh (former member of the IRSP) written in
"Our foes are strong and wise and wary: but, strong and wise and wary as they are, they
cannot undo the miracles of God who ripens in the hearts of young men the seeds sown
by the young men of former generation. And the seeds sown by the young men of '65 and
'67 are coming to their miraculous ripening to-day. Rulers and defenders of Realms had
need to be wary if they would guard against such processes. Life springs from death; and
from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations. The defenders of this
Realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have pacified
They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think
that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything: but
the fools, the fools, the fools! - they have left us with our Fenian dead, and while Ireland
holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace"
P.H. Pearse at the grave of O'Donovan Rossa, August 1915
On October 8th, 1977 another Fenian was laid to rest, his tricolour and Starry Plough
draped coffin being carried by comrades and friends to St. Peter's Cemetery, Little Bray,
County Wicklow, where full military honours were observed in the age-old republican
tradition. Like that of O'Donovan Rossa he was cut down in the prime of his life and had
many more years of service to offer, before an imperialist agent gunned him down on a
Dublin street shortly before noon some three days earlier.
When one reads through history and comes across the names of former revolutionaries,
the distance of time makes it easy to speak or write about their times or contribution.
However, when the person of whom you speak is not only a contemporary but a
revolutionary comrade and friend of some sixteen years standing, the task of writing or
speaking about their contribution, is an emotionally daunting experience. For this reason,
it is now only after seven weeks since the assassination of Seamus Costello, and after
days of thought and research, this article by way of a personal farewell may find itself in
print, as it is the end product of several attempts to pen a worthy tribute.
October 5th 1968 witnessed the first ever civil rights march in Derry, and the brutal
batoning of peaceful demonstrators at Duke Street. It was an event often referred to by
Seamus Costello, both on the platform and in his writings. The last time he spoke
publicly in Derry was on February 6th following a demonstration from the Creggan shops
to the Bloody Sunday Monument in Rossville Street which was organised by the Irish
Front to highlight the plight of political prisoners at home and in British jails. Sharing the
platform with Anthony O'Malley Daly, Sinn Fein, Frank McManus, former Westminster
MP and other prominent anti-imperialists, Seamus again referred to the events of Duke
Street; "This is one of the most historic and important gatherings because for the first
time many groups have got together since 1969."
He went on to call for the withdrawal of British troops and the British presence. He said
that the Irish revolutionary groups must unite so that they could decide what
establishment could replace the British. The meeting that day he described
thus….."Today is as historic as October 5th 1968 or Bloody Sunday. For the first time in
a number of years people are coming together. The Irish Front is being watched as an
example of what can be done, because it has got over many difficulties that have divided
people for so long and it has showed a large degree of political maturity on behalf of
those it represents." Costello was to end his life at the hands of an imperialist agent, at the
age of thirty-eight.
His close connections with Derry City and County Derry date back to the 1956-62
Resistance Campaign when at the age of 17 he commanded an active service unit in
South Derry, joining Sinn Fein two years earlier and the republican army shortly
afterwards. His ASU's most publicised actions were the destruction of bridges and the
successful burning of Magherafelt Courthouse. It was during the campaign that I first met
him, and although only five years older, he was already a veteran of armed struggle.
Members of the ASU found him to be strict, radiating with confidence and his mild
manner and sense of humour were positive aids in providing leadership. During a period
of lying low in safe billets, a grenade exploded and set of the full magazine of a
Thompson sub-machine gun, luckily killing no one, but knocking Seamus unconscious,
and left him with back injuries. He also lost half a finger, and as a result left the action to
return to a hospital in Dublin for treatment. On his release he was immediately arrested
and lodged in Mountjoy as a guest of the state for six months. Once again on his release
he was re-arrested and interned in the Curragh Concentration Camp where he joined the
escape committee which sprang Ruairi O'Bradaigh and Daithi O'Connaill among others.
In later years he was to refer to his Curragh experience as "my university days".
Following the end of the resistance campaign in February 1962, he was involved in the
critical analysis of the previous six years, and believed, like many others, that the reason
for failure was the lack of deep involvement with the ordinary people of Ireland in their
day to day struggles. In the same year he took up employment with Walden Motors in
Dublin as a car salesmen, and remained there for some years before he became totally
committed to political life. He was a member of Wicklow County Council, Bray Urban
District Council, County Wicklow Committee of Agriculture and a transport union
official, and an office bearer in Bray Trades Council, which Gave some idea of his
involvement to class politics following the mid 1960s. On these bodies he was to remain
active up until the time of his death, holding office for as long as three and four terms
which when we consider his national involvement in addition to this high degree of local
involvement, gives us some idea of the energy and degree of commitment possessed by
the man.
Within the republican movement he held many important positions, as Vice President of
Sinn Fein, as well as holding top ranks within the Army Council of Oglaigh na h-Eireann.
At the Ard Fheis of 1970 Seamus remained with the Officials but the four years following
were to be stormy ones for himself and others who supported his stand on the national
question. These struggles were to result in the formation of the Irish Republican Socialist
Party in 1974 and a bitter feud. In 1972 many of Costello's closest comrades broke from
the Officials following their 'truce' with the forces of occupation, and believed that there
was no chance of changing the leadership of the Officials. Some time before his death he
was to agree with them, saying that he too should have broke with them at that time,
instead of remaining to fight a rearguard action.
Seamus often quoted Connolly, but more importantly followed the policies of Ireland's
greatest republican socialist. On more than one occasion he remarked, "Connolly told us
partition would be a hey-day of reaction", and went on further to quote, "I can not
envisage a subject nation with a free working class, nor, can I envisage a subject working
class in a free nation." He argued repeatedly that the national and social questions were
not two separate issues, but that both were inter-related, and that what must be aimed for
was a republic in which the means of production, distribution and exchange were in the
control of the working class people of Ireland. To these ideals he was to work with
terrific energy until that fateful day, October 5th 1977, when the Irish revolutionary
forces were to loose one of its greatest sons. My last meeting with Seamus was on St.
Patrick's Day this year in the Bogside which had been marked as prisoners day and after a
very successful demonstration we gathered, not to discuss political theory, but to enjoy
the company of other comrades and sing revolutionary songs. On that occasion he gave
the assembled company a rendering of Charlie Kerins, who was hanged by the Free State
during the 1940s which was his favourite ballad. Little did we know then that soon his
own name would join that of Kerins on the Republican Roll of Honour. Farewell
Comrade, Farewell.
"My father told his court martial that the British had no right to be in Ireland. Seamus
Costello felt the same way. He was the greatest follower of my father's teachings in this
generation and I hope that his example shall be followed and that his vision for Ireland
will be realised in this generation."
Nora Connolly O'Brien, at the graveside
of Seamus Costello, October 8th 1977
The Dubbeljoint play on the life of Peadar O'Donnell will be shown in Belfast at
Amharclann na Carraige on the Whiterock Road from Thursday until Saturday (9th-11th
11 October - Demonstration at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis in Killarney Demands
a.. US Military out of Shannon
b.. No Irish troops for the occupation of Iraq
c.. Drop all charges of civil disobedience
This is our chance to bring it home to FF party members that we hold Bertie Ahern, Brian
Cowan and the government accountable for the Irish participation in the US war effort in
Iraq. We reject the escalation proposed by Ahern that Irish troops are sent to reinforce the
brutal US/UK occupation of Iraq. We demand instead that the Irish government
drops all charges against those activists who committed acts of civil disobedience and/or
non-violently disarmed a US warplane at Shannon.
Time and date 2 pm, Saturday, 11 October 2003
Location National Events Centre
Gleneagles Hotel
Muckross Road
Co. Kerry
Directions When reaching Killarney follow signs for Kenmare N71. The Gleneagles
Hotel is approx. 1.6 km (1 mile) from the town centre on the left hand side.
Anti Racist Network, from Davy Carlin
The second meeting of the Anti Racist Network is to be moved to Oct 15th and is to be
held at the Chinese Welfare Association at 7pm. The change has been suggested by a
number of persons due to George Monbiot speaking in Belfast and persons had asked
would it be possible not to clash with this. A proposal will be put forward for a visual
representative action to be held in the near future. Such as various parties, organisations,
trade unions etc with their banners outside city hall showing a collective stand against
Racism where the media can be invited along.
Amnesty International Annual Lecture 2003
Xanana Gusmão,
President of East Timor
Peace, justice and reconciliation
Queen's University Belfast, G06
Thursday 16th October, 7pm
All welcome
Admission free but by ticket only
Supported by QUB Human Rights Centre
To book tickets, tel 028 9064 3000 / email:
James Byrne Commemoration Committee >
1st November 2003-09-11 Monument Unveiling & 90th Anniversary
Assemble 2pm Main Entrance Deansgrange Cemetery, Deansgrange, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
The newly-commissioned monument over the grave of Trade Union >Martyr, James
Byrne, District Organiser, ITG&WU, who died on 1st November 1913 following a
hunger & thirst strike during the Great >Lock-Out 1913 will be unveiled by Des
Geraghty, President, SIPTU. All trade unionists, political activists and members of the
Public >welcome!
[No Party Political Banners, please!]
The James Byrne Commemoration Committee has organised the erection of a fitting
memorial over the grave in Deansgrange Cemetery [Co. >Dublin, Ireland] of James
Byrne, a trade union martyr who died on >1st November 1913 as a result of the effects of
a hunger and thirst >strike during imprisonment for his role in the Great Lock-Out of that
year. James was District Organiser of the Irish Transport & >General Workers Union and
held leadership roles in both Bray and >Kingstown [Dún Laoghaire] Trades Councils.
In the course of James Byrne’s funeral oration James Connolly said:
”James Byrne truly died a martyr as any man who ever died for Ireland”
The Committee believes that the monument is a fitting tribute to >James Byrne and hopes
that his grave may become a place of >pilgrimage and source of inspiration for trade
unionists and >socialists in the future. We are particularly pleased that the descendents of
James Byrne are fully supportive of the work of the >Committee.
Jason Mc Lean. PRO- James Byrne Commemoration Committee.
European Social Forum Paris, St Denis 12-15 November
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