The Plough #18
12 December 2003
E-mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1. The Dublin bombings
2. Is Britain Neutral? - Responses
3. Anti Racist Network
4. European Constitution
6. The Gaoling of Fintan Lane
7. Irish Anti War Movement
8. The Curse of Employment Agencies
9. Republican Socialist Prisoners of War
10. What's On?
The Dublin Bombings
Mr Justice Henry Barron's report into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan
bombings has been criticised for its failure to reach any definite
conclusions about collusion between British intelligence and the
loyalist bomb teams that carried out the attacks. Isn't that a
surprise? While the report found no evidence of high-level collusion
between British intelligence, the RUC and loyalist paramilitaries in
the attacks, which killed 34 people, it said it was "likely" that
collusion had occurred. The failure of the British to release
relevant documentation and the loss by the Justice department of all
its files is an amazing coincidence!! Others may be reluctant to say
it but the IRSP always held the view that there were British agents
working not only within loyalist groups but also within the Garda
Special Branch and within the justice department itself.
The report also criticised the Irish government of the time for its
failure to investigate the bombings properly. Let's be clear about
this. A the time of the bombing the Free State Intelligence services
saw as the main threat to the State institutions the Official IRA,
despite the fact that that organisation had been on a ceasefire for
two years. What they really feared was the socials and economic
policies that radical sections of that movement were pushing. These
radical elements broke away and formed the IRSP at the end of 1974.
Only six weeks after the bombing the Garda ran down the
investigations, the Government failed to follow up evidence from the
Brits and a clamp down was launched, not on loyalist but on
republicans with the introduction of the Heavy Squad and torture and
beatings of suspects becoming routine within the Garda.
The victims of the bombings were working class folk. They held no
high office, had no powerful relatives and were insignificant to the
Fine Gael/Labour coalition. The Free State bourgeois abandoned the
victims and their relatives.
Many of the loyalists involved in the bombings were members of the
RUC and the UDR. The Barron report fails to recognise that the
intelligence agencies were the key players in the North and contrary
to Barron's claim only one loyalist involved had been interned and
that was on a separate charge. The rest walked the streets of
If there is any lesson to be taken from the Barron report it is that
while nationalist politicians of all persuasions pay lip service to
the solving of the national question when push comes to shove they
defend their own class interests over that of the citizens of the
state. There is only one class capable of solving the national
question and that is the Irish working class. It is only their force,
their strength, and their mass potential that will shake us free from
Is Britain Neutral? - Responses to Liam (Plough 17)
I agree with the central thrust of your article: namely that the
province is an economic drain on the British government, has been on
successive British governments, and will continue to be such as long
as they're forced to maintain a military and overwhelming security
presence, and the Province remains unstable and therefore
unattractive to inward investment.
However, I'm not so sure about your assertion that the British
political establishment is not unduly concerned about the possible
break up of the UK as a result of a united Ireland. This I think is
of major concern, particularly as a large portion of the
English/British ruling class hold many investments and properties in
both Scotland and Wales, not to mention the golden calf, albeit
rapidly draining away, of North Sea oil. In terms of tax revenue,
natural resources and labour, both Scotland and Wales contribute much
more than they receive from Westminster. One only has to consider the
speed with which Blair sought to implement devolved powers to both
countries when he came to power. This was done in order to placate
the increasing and vociferous support for independence, especially in
Scotland, and to pacify the people by giving them a paper tiger of a
parliament instead of the real thing.
And let's not forget the military and strategic aspect, which
again I think you underplay a little. In Scotland there are naval
bases at Rosyth and Faslane, which are both capable of handling
nuclear subs: Rosyth indeed is a major sub base of US navy operating
in the North Atlantic. There are also important RAF bases in Scotland
and Wales, as well as excellent natural terrain for training purposes.
The use of both Scotland and Wales for the dumping of toxic waste is
also well documented, something again, which the political elite in
Westminster is well aware of and keen to continue.
The six counties, in 30 years of civil war, have also proved an
invaluable training ground for British troops and medical personnel.
The much-vaunted British ability in peacekeeping operations around
the world is a direct result of Brit troops patrolling the streets of
Belfast, Derry, etc. I'm sure it is a situation, which the British
military wouldn't want to change in a hurry either.
So while I do agree that the six counties is an economic drain, and a
political nightmare, I do not agree that this translates into the
British government wishing to extricate but unable to do so due to a
Unionist majority (Blair hardly needs the Unionist support in
Westminster given his overwhelming majority in the house anyway).
This is undoubtedly a major factor, but certainly not the only one. I
think it would be more accurate to say that a portion of the British
political establishment favours a withdrawal but is tied to the
province because of the Unionist hegemony. However, an equally
influential portion of the same political elite wants to stay due the
reasons that I have given.
I think there are a few flaws in this article. The general idea is
going in the right way but there are points that I don't see. I
agree much more with the analysis of Marx and Lenin on the Irish
national question. Lenin's contention was that the nationalist v
unionist conflict was class struggle, expressed in a bizarre way.
England isn't even remotely neutral. There are several instances
of members of the English ruling class saying publicly that no matter
what the unionist/protestant communities desire, they will never
allow Ireland to be reunited. Perhaps this would change if they were
assured it would be in the neo-colonial set-up via Dublin. The fact
that the ruling class has been trying to create island wide
institutions now possibly signals this.
I doubt England is reluctant to face down the unionists; they created
them and have continued to arm them. If the English decide to dump
the unionists in the future they'll arm the Provos instead, as
long as someone administers their rule and the tactic of divide and
However, the contention that England has lost money in the north (due
to changes in industry and global economics) is true, and what could
happen is that Ireland would be reunited as a united neo-colonial
state. They won't crack heads for speaking Irish but try to speak
it fluently while being forced to speak English in a multinational
If the English weren't scared of the break up of the UK, they
wouldn't say flat out they refused to discuss the Scottish
There is one more factor to be considered, and that is cultural.
It's easy to think that the ruling class does everything out of
pure rational class interest, but there's evidence to the contrary.
In the same way that some criminals choose to rape rather than rob,
the English truly love domination and go out of their way to violate
the Celtic people. There is a documented instance of the Cromwellian
army faced with the choice of looting an unguarded treasure or
massacring a village. They chose to massacre the defenceless.
The vigil organised by the ARN on International Human Rights day was
a great success. Well over one hundred people attended from over
twenty organisations. They included many minority ethnic support
organisations, trade unionist representatives from various unions,
trades union council members, political parties and leaders,
solidarity campaigns, human rights organisations, law firms, peace
organisations, community leaders, student and youth groups and more,
from across the religious and cultural sphere of society. It has been
many, many years since such a representative and collective voice has
spoken out in such a visual way against racism and we should be proud
of our collective achievements to date.
The vigil also received a lot of media coverage on television, radio
and in the written press making the ARN a more recognisable group. On
that day many also left their details to get involved in the network,
which shall be added to the network list. The ARN has agreed also to
hold music gigs after Christmas with the possibility of larger events
being discussed also. In our short time together we have had positive
results with both our statement and now the vigil. Through each we
are putting the issue of racism at the forefront and with that are
providing a collective avenue from which to speak out against racism
and in doing so are reaching wider layers of society. Much more has
been discussed and much more needs to be as to how we continue to
move forward. The next meeting of the ARN is Jan 14th at the MCRC at
7pm and in the mean time the various sub committees will be working
on their specific tasks.
Under the proposed New European Constitution, which may now be
decided, when Ireland holds the Presidency from January to July 2004
the EU shall have 20 official languages. Gaeilge (Irish) will not be
included. This is an insult to the people of Ireland and an erosion
of yet another part of our national identity. It is a clear example
of how globalisation erodes local cultures languages and traditions.
This is the FF/PD government, yet again, giving the fingers to
380,000 of Ireland's citizens (who for the most part are incidentally
are located in the north and west of Ireland). They pay lip service
to both the national question and the language. There is only one
class capable of both saving the language and solving the national
question and that is the Irish working class. That will happen when
the workers take control from the parasitical capitalist class and
build a Workers Republic.
In the meantime sign and forward this petition.
To: Dáil Éireann - Irish Parliament
Is é ár n-éileamh go ngairfear teanga oifigiúil oibre de
chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh den Ghaeilge. Le meas, Muid, a chuir ár
n-ainm le seo.
We demand that the Irish language be declared an official working
language of the European Union.
On the 8th of November 15 Swedish comrades gathered to found the
organisation Irland-Information. We formulated the intention of the
organisation, in short to support the organisations in Ireland that
has as their goal to liberate Ireland from British rule and establish
an Irish republic. We see that this struggle is firmly linked with
the struggle against social injustice.
Irland-Information will spread information about the struggle for
freedom, keep in contact with and give support to the republican
prisoners and spread Irish republican organisations' point of view to
a Swedish audience.
We where happy to have received greetings from both Republican Sinn
Fein, Republican Forum as well as Irish Republican Socialist Party,
these greetings where read to the delegates and were greatly
The meeting ended in a truly positive atmosphere, there is a strong
will to work for our goals and support the struggle in Ireland.
After the meeting the pub opened, we listened to two Swedish comrades
who played rebel songs, had a few beers and raised approx. 130
dollars to the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association. (I
informed the comrades that the IRPWA does not support INLA POWs and
they will raise the matter at the next meeting of Irland-Information
and push to have funds directed to support INLA prisoners as well.)
Next step for us now is to broaden our base in Sweden, on the 30th of
January we will hold a public meeting in the city of Uppsala, 80 km
north of Stockholm, where we will show Paul Greengrass movie "Bloody
Sunday", have a debate forum and a pub to raise money for the
organisation and the republican POWs.
The Gaoling of Fintan Lane
60 Days in Jail for Peaceful Protest! The jailing of Fintan Lane is
in stark contrast with the treatment of US military that use Shannon
Airport as a stopover on the way to Iraq and Afghanistan where the US
is engaged in two brutal occupations. These occupations have resulted
in the murder of tens of thousands of civilians. Given the fact that
over 100,000 US troop have transited Shannon in the last 12 months,
it is highly likely that a large proportion of the troops and weapons
involved in these killings have used Shannon as a stopover. Recently,
US troops went on an illegal walkabout in Ennis town centre in combat
uniform but no charges were made for that trespass.
Before being jailed Fintan commented, "Innocent people are being
killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by the war machine that is being
facilitated at Shannon airport. What is happening is an outrage, and
it is no exaggeration to say that Fianna Fail and the PDs have blood
on their hands."
More details on
What you can do! Fly post the "Release Fintan Lane" poster available
for download at
Organise a statement of support/call for release from trade union
branches, from branches of political organisations in your area, from
councillors, from student unions, from campaigning groups, from anti-
war groups, or from any other group/organisation/individual you think
might add their voice to the call for Fintan's release. Already, the
Cork Trades Council, the Irish Anti-War Movement and Joe Higgins TD
have called for the release of Fintan Lane. We need to add to this
list as quickly as possible. Statements should be sent to the media
(newspapers, radio, etc.) and copies sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Send a fax, e-mail and letter to government ministers/ TD's
calling for the release of Fintan Lane. Write a letter to a
newspaper, local or national Organise a white-line picket in the high
street of your town or city. Send messages of support and letters to
Fintan. Please keep messages/letters straightforward and post in an
envelope to Fintan Lane, Limerick Prison, Mulgrave Street, Limerick,
Irish Anti-War Movement
Afghanistan American forces admit that fighter jets have bombed
six more children.
The US military has admitted that it has killed six more children at
the weekend in an attack on a compound used by a militant to store
arms' near Gardez in Paktia province. This is addition to the nine
children killed by its fighter jets on Saturday. Children obviously
continue to be a legitimate target for the US war machine.
Iraq - A new Vietnam for the USA?
As opposition grows in Iraq, more and more people are asking is Iraq
the new Vietnam? Some of the facts point very strongly towards that
viewpoint. The attrition rate among US forces (the percentage of
soldiers killed or wounded) is 9.25%, already higher than in Vietnam.
There were, of course, many more US troops in Vietnam at the peak
than are in Iraq. However, it took three years (1962-1965) in Vietnam
for the death toll to reach the level it has already reached in Iraq.
Remembering that only 30,000 soldiers are in the front line', it's
clear that these troops face a very high risk of becoming a casualty.
No wonder then that 14 soldiers have committed suicide and dozens
have maimed or injured them to avoid active service.
The Pentagon's tactics and its use of the term 'Iraqification' is
reminiscent of the Vietnamization that was a clear sign of weakness
and desire in the late 1960s to withdraw as soon as possible. One
tactic that strikes terror into the population is the bombing of
villages where suspected terrorists' live regardless of the danger
to innocent men, women and as is clear in Afghanistan, children. A
frightening article has been posted on the IAWM website on the
Israeli-style tactics now being used in Iraq.
Shannon 300 protesters blockade the main dual carriageway
leading to Airport
Gardai use overwhelming force and intimidation
The Shannon blockade was characterised by the non-violent, peaceful
approach by all the protesters. Unfortunately, before we even got
near the airport the Gardai upped the ante by searching' the buses
from Dublin, Cork and Galway, ostensibly looking for weapons'.
They confiscated all placard-sticks, flagpoles and even 1,000 'Free
Fintan Lane' posters. It seems that ideas are deemed to be weapons by
the Gardai. Despite this provocation the protesters behaved in a very
restrained manner through out the day. The plan agreed at the
steering committee was that if we had a critical number (400) of
protesters we would attempt to blockade both the main entrance and
the route through the Industrial Estate. Given that the number on the
day was about 300 we marched in one block to the main entrance, which
the Gardai had closed with barricade. We then returned to the
roundabouts leading to the industrial estates and the protesters
split into two groups, one at each roundabout. At both there were sit-
down protests. However, the overwhelming force of Gardai (Tim
Hourican estimated about 700 in the airport and vicinity) managed to
keep the various roads leading through the Industrial Estate open.
A letter of protest from the IAWM calling for the return of Shannon
to purely civilian use was handed in to the Aer Rianta Director of
Operations by protesters who had evaded the Gardai guarding' the
airport. After the blockade, the buses from Dublin and Cork stopped
outside Limerick Prison for noisy 'Free Fintan Lane' protests.
The Curse of Employment Agencies
Temporary employment means nowadays a regression of many years of
workers' struggle for a proper wage and working conditions.
1/ Temporary employment means no holiday or sick entitlements,
2/ An uncertainty due to temporary contracts that doesn't allow
workers to organise any type of future, as they never know just how
long they are going to be employed for.
3/ Temporary employment suits the bosses down to the ground as they
have total impunity of dismissal at any time.
4/ That's why they pay a certain amount of money out to the
recruitment company and that's why the temporary worker often
works for far less money than the rest of the workforce who do the
Work is a right of each and every citizen. The IRSP oppose the
growth of this modern day slave trade.
Republican Socialist Prisoners of War
Declan Duffy [9 years-20 August 1973-Armagh/Dublin-April 2008]
Dessie O'Hare [Life-N/A-South Armagh-No Fixed Date]
Number 2, The Grove
Castlrea, Co. Roscommon
Gerry Burns [5 years-7 October 1962-Dublin-May 2005]
Cathal Gartland [4 years-N/A-Dundalk-May 2007]
Kevin McLaughlin [4 years-13 November 1965-Belfast-August 2004]
Portlaoise, Co. Laois
Letters, cards, birthday greetings, and so forth are welcome.
Sat. 13 December iBby Ireland Conference
Fighting for Writing Children's Book in Areas of Conflict
International Board for Books for Young People Ireland (iBby) is
holding a conference on bringing books and stories to children in
conflict situations. Speakers include Mary Robinson, Jehan Helou
(Ramallah, Palestine), Tom Hyland (East Timor SC).
Location: Marino Institute of Education, Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9.
More details from Máire at email@example.com or iBby,
c/o ILE, Irish Writers' Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
Saturday 13 December 1-4pm opposite Downing Street
Public Rally Justice for detainees now!
Afghanistan. Iraq Belmarsh prison in the UK.... with speakers and a
petition calling for an end to imprisonment without trial! For
details contact CAMPACC on 020 7586 5892
Saturday, 13 to Monday 15 December
Major Women-only demonstration and blockade, Menwith Hill
THE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM AGAINST ISOLATION - CONFERENCE ON
It is an INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POLITICAL PRISONERS and is being
held on Dec. 19th, 20th and 21st.
WHERE: The symposium will take place in Palazzio Vecchio in Salone
COMUNE DI FIRENZE,
Palazzo Vecchio P.zza Signoria
50122 - FIRENZE
HOW: The order is speakers is divided geographically. So, for
instance, the first day speakers from Asia, America, Africa will
speak, the next day from Europe and the final decisions will be made.
WHO: A list of organisations and persons, who have so far confirmed
their participation in the symposium:
* Ahmet Kulaksiz, he lost his two daughters Canan and Zehra during
the death fast in Turkey
* Ex-political prisoners from Turkey (and Europe)
* Wainer Burani, a lawyer from Italy, who will speak about the
prisons in Italy and the Anti-Terror-Law
* Gianfranco di Maio, a doctor from Italy, who will speak about the
* Mohammed Safa, a representative of the Al Khiam Rehabilitation
Centre for Torture Victims, he will speak about the Lebanese
prisoners in the Zionist prisons.
* Ibrahim Mahajna, a lawyer who lives in Ramallah and is member of
the Palestinian Human Rights Commission. He will speak about the
situation of the prisoners at Ansar 3.
* Marcella della Donne, professor at the La Sapienza University in
* A representative of the Cuban Embassy in Rome and probably a lawyer
who is the brother of one of the "Cuban 5", who are imprisoned in
* Representatives of the Austrian Committee "Free the Cuban Five"
* Haidi Giulani, mother of Carlo Giulani, who was killed by police
during the demonstrations in Genoa
* Representatives of Behatokia, the Basque Observatory for Human
* Rote Hilfe (Red Help)
* A representative of the London-based Irish Political
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Call 0031-20-675 09 26
or 0032-2-280 2228;
A new 2004 full colour glossy calendar is available now on the RSM
It celebrates the brilliant work undertaken by the Teach Na Failte
Memorial Committees this past year throughout the six counties with
full colour photographs on each page.
Just in time for Christmas and the New Year this calendar can be
viewed online by clicking the link below
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to receive back copies of the "The Plough" Please e-mail
to email@example.com stating which numbers you wish.
To unsubscribe to the Plough please send e-mail
entitled "unsubscribe" to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
THE VOICE OF REPUBLICAN SOCIALISM!
To: The Starry Plough
First Trust Bank, Derry, BT48 6BU
Account No. 14986015 Sort Code No. 93-86-10
http://www.irsm.org/irsm.html (Pairtí Poblachtach Sóisialach na
http://www.wageslave.org/jcs/ (James Connolly Society)
http://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/ (James Connolly Archive)
The new Republican Socialist Forum from Derry IRSP:
Republican Socialist Online Merchandise - New Website
A new website that offers a central place to go on the Internet to
find good quality items with a distinct Republican Socialist theme.
Proceeds from sales from this effort go towards the IRSM and it's