The Plough #20
2 January 2004
E-mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1. The End of the Peace Process
2. Stormont Watch
3. Press Releases
4. Messages of Solidarity
5. What's On?
The End of the Peace Process
The year 2003 was the year that the so-called "peace process" came to
an end. For at least the past 10 years both the British establishment
and the Southern ruling class had coaxed, cajoled and bribed, with
all sorts of promises, republicans to give up, not only the then
current armed struggle, but their weapons and to accept the
prevailing ideology of neo-liberalism and welcome capitalist
The announcement of the PIRA ceasefire coincided with the first use
of the phrase "Celtic Tiger" highlighting the links between politics
and economics. The increasing involvement of United States
politicians, policemen and personalities in the Irish peace process
was not accidental. Money from both the USA and Europe was poured
into the North, ostensibly to stabilise the peace process and help
marginalised communities to raise themselves up. Indeed within the
marginalised communities some good has been done. But once the sting
of armed struggle has been removed and republicans are safely
ensconced as part of the establishment, (and be under no illusions
when Provisional Sinn Fein took their seats in the Stormont executive
they clearly became part of the establishment) then the need to
placate the marginalised will slowly disappear.
The overtaking of the SDLP by Provisional Sinn Fein and its electoral
success in the Free State has sent alarm bells ringing within the
Southern establishment. Already the signals have gone out amongst the
Free State establishment to attack PSF and move away from the
cajoling phase. Michael McDowell using his knowledge as Justice
Minister has launched stinging attacks on the "criminal" activities
of the PIRA. When a Sinn Fein TD protested in the Dail he was told in
no uncertain terms by Bertie Ahern, An Taoiseach, that Sinn Fein had
to grow up and accept the democratic rules. This at a time when the
PIRA itself was saying there is crisis in the peace process and that
both the British and Irish Governments had not lived up to their side
of the Good Friday Agreement.
Well did they really expect the Brits or Free Staters to live up to
commitments or promises? If so they were wrong. The IRSP said at the
start of this whole process - never trust the Brits. In this we have
been proved 100% correct. To watch the lies that the Blairite
Government has come out with on issues from Iraq to education is to
watch naked self-interest in action. That is what motivates both the
British and Irish capitalist governments - their own self interest -
their own desire to be returned to power at the next election in
order to keep the world safe for capitalism.
The PIRA decommissioned arms three times - that was not enough for
the Brits or the unionists. How many hoops have republicans to jump
through? Surely it is time to call a halt to the constant
negotiations and collaborations with the Brits and Free Staters. The
failure of the Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrats coalition to grant
Christmas parole to Dessie O'Hare has just shown how the Free Staters
treat republicans - with contempt.
The leadership of the Republican Socialist Movement has acted in good
faith in accepting the will of the Irish people as expressed through
the referenda in 1998. We persuaded the INLA to call a cease-fire. We
encouraged our ex-prisoners to engage in dialogue with whoever. We
encouraged a re-examination of past events and sought to
understand the views of others. We accepted finance for running ex-
prisoner projects because we did not want to see our own movement
disadvantaged compared to other republican groups. We engaged in
dialogue with a wide range of individuals and groups representing
many diverse opinions.
None of this has compromised our politics. We are today as fully
committed to the Workers Republic of James Connolly and Seamus
Costello as we were before the INLA ceasefire. We still stand by the
republican ideal. We stand four square for the liberation of the
Irish Working class from imperialism and capitalism. We have opposed
as we always have the imperialist politics of the USA and have
rejected and opposed their "war on terrorism." We stand resolutely
with anti-imperialist and socialist forces world-wide. We remain
committed republicans, socialists and internationalists.
We care not for the endless delegations to discuss how the so-called
peace process can move forward. It is dead. Gone. Finished with.
Over. The whole peace process was a con job. An illusion. A scam. The
winners were the middle and upper classes. The losers were the people
in the ghettos where sectarian attacks continue 10 years after this
whole charade started.
It should now be clear to all that the fundamental question facing
all of the people on the island of Ireland is not the peace process
but the class question - who rules and in whose interests? That is
the question that we as republican socialists need to put before the
people and how we do it can have a fundamental effect on the future
of this isle. We sincerely hope that all those who share some if not
all of our objectives can forge a common platform, a broad front, a
unified republican socialist front that can begin to win back some of
the gains that the so-called peace process lost us.
John Martin, Political Secretary of the IRSP
Stormont Watch is a discussion site based in Derry and run by one man
called Finbar O'Doherty. Finbar is using this site to attack among
others the Republican Socialist Movement. We do not mind political
criticisms but we do object to down right lies and slanders. For
example someone unidentified and claiming to be a IRSP member said he
was silenced when questioning the funding for the memorials that were
erected, and that he was threatened with expulsion if he continued to
raise questions. We doubt if such a person ever existed. We do not
expel or punish people for holding different views. Indeed we welcome
internal debate and discussion. For the record all the funds for the
many memorials erected to dead volunteers and party members were
raised voluntarily without the benefit of funding from either state
organisations or handouts from any guerrilla organisation.
Finbar is a former member of the IRSP. Indeed he is a former member
of a lot of organisations. He is currently a member of a number of
front organisations which we believe only contain one member - Finbar
himself. We do know that no member of the IRSP who knows Finbar well
would make any financial contribution to any of these front groups.
21 December 2003
IRSP Condemn Fascist Elements for Attack
A spokesperson for the IRSP in Belfast has condemned racist attacks
in the Village area of South Belfast by fascist elements, stating:
"Racism is increasingly becoming a worry as our society becomes more
multi-cultural. We in the IRSP condemn utterly the fascist elements
who perpetrate such acts against our ethnic neighbours, some of whom
have come here to seek asylum from their native oppressive regimes.
"It is time that these fascist gangs realise that these people are
not the cause of the ills in our society. It is the system that we
live in that has failed them. They must start to question the status
quo and direct their anger and disillusionment towards the real evils
in our society, the corrupt capitalist class.
"Quality of life will not improve for working class loyalists on the
Donegall Pass no matter how many pregnant Asian women they brutalise."
27 December 2003
No 'Joined Up' Government in Free State Say IRSP Following Refusal of
O'Hare Christmas Parole
The Irish Republican Socialist Movement is reviewing its relationship
with the Free State government following its refusal to allow Dessie
O'Hare home leave over the holiday period. The movement has laid the
blame for this refusal squarely at the door of the Progressive
Democrats and the leadership of that grouping, slating them as a
group willing to use the faltering peace process as a way of
garnering votes in a selfish attempt to stave off the political
oblivion that beckons to them following the next 26 county
IRSP prisoners' representative and Ard-Chomhairle member Eddie
McGarrigle said: "Let's be clear about this, a good sense of
cynicism now exists among the membership of this movement who see our
leadership and prisoners being treated with contempt by the Free
State government, elements of which are shamelessly using Dessie as a
hostage. This puts them in serious default of their responsibilities
and obligations. Northern nationalists and republicans watch and do
not cry foul as some of the most vicious pro-British loyalists, who
have literally cut people into small pieces for no other reason other
than religion, walk the streets. This is because they recognise this
as part of the process that may one day lead to peace on this island.
They see it as worth the risk if peace is the prize.
"Risks must be taken and courage must be shown if the process is to
work and it must work for everyone not just a few or those deemed to
be acceptable to the PDs. The cases of Dessie O'Hare and those
imprisoned for the killing of a Garda during the late war encapsulate
this, if it's over it's over, you can't cherry pick who you let out
and who you keep in.
"Therefore our bottom line is this, our engagement in this process is
at risk, and we're not trying to play games here, but we have serious
doubts about the motives and actions of some segments of the Free
State government. Is Bertie and the rest of the government dog being
wagged by the PD tail?
"Either this government is serious and genuine about this process,
and proves it, or we step back."
In an addendum to this, another IRSP Ard-Chomhairle member, Terry
Harkin, condemned the response of some members of the media in
turning this into a 'ceasefire only issue'. Speaking from Belfast,
Harkin said: "The fact that some segments of the press are becoming
hung up on the implications to the INLA ceasefire of the O'Hare case
is symptomatic of what is going wrong in the entire process. Scare
mongering is replacing good old fashioned investigative journalism.
"The PDs have long been involved in an unholy trinity with Garda
Special Branch and certain elements of the tabloid, and other gutter,
press to tip off the British government to developments in the south
of the island in pursuance of their own political ends. For the last
few years they have in effect been the eyes and ears of the British
regimes in Downing Street and have continually undermined the concept
that Ireland is a sovereign nation and just as continually retarded
the process. Now they are attempting to use Dessie O'Hare as a
hostage to bolster up their flagging support in the run up to the
next southern election.
"The Irish Republican Socialist Movement have historically seen the
likes of the PDs before. They sold flour at inflated prices during
the Famine, they supported the likes of Martin Murphy during the
Great Lockout, they jeered the Citizen Army and Volunteers on their
way to execution, they wear their British poppies with pride every
November (with Bertie's son-in-law) and now they hope to hold what is
left of the 'Peace Process' to ransom.
"Let journalists investigate that and not be falling into the pit dug
for them by the PDs, we have an inclusive process or we don't have an
inclusive process. That is the issue, and I for one hope that the PDs
disappear up their own right wing rhetoric before they pull what's
left of the one we've got down around all our ears."
From: "ILPS info Bureau"
Subject: Militant greeting from ILPS and happy New Year in 2004!
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 19:53:23 -0000
We take this opportunity to wish you and the workers and oppressed of
your country a happy new year and look forward to more successes in
the common struggle to build up peoples' resistance against
imperialism and all reactionaries.
On behalf of the ILPS General Secretariat and staff we wish you a
successful and fruitful year in your struggles in 2004.
ILPS General Secretariat
31 Dec 2003
ISOLATION OF PRISONERS-message
From: C D
Subject: after the conference
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 15:06:10 +0000 (GMT)
Seasonal and solidarity greetings
First of all it was a pleasure to meet you all. There was a great
emphasis for all organisations to work together, and for us to
highlight isolation of all our prisoners. It has also been asked by
the Turkish representatives to develop a strategy so that prisoners
could write to each other and use PO Boxes for example.
PLEASE BE IN CONTACT AND MAY NEXT YEAR BE MORE POSITIVE.
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.
The Men's Health Forum in Ireland will launch its new report, Men's
Health in Ireland, on 15 January 2004 in Buswell's Hotel, Molesworth
Street, Dublin. Registration will begin at 10.30 am. The launch
will begin at 11.00 am. This report provides the most comprehensive
overview of statistics on men's health on the island of Ireland ever
collated. It also highlights key issues on men's health men die, on
average, six years younger than women do; poorer men have poorer
health; men are four times more likely than women to die from
suicide; men take more risks with their health; men are reluctant
users of Primary Care Services and often present too late for
effective treatments to be delivered; men's health is under-
researched - both clinically and in terms of health promotion.
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children in the
Republic of Ireland, Mr Ivor Callely, will launch the report. The
event will include an overview of the main issues and recommendations
within the report, as well as a keynote address from prominent
broadcaster and journalist Tommie Gorman.
All attendees will receive a hard copy of the report. Further copies
will be available for free downloading from the internet at
www.mhfi.org from 16 January 2004. Please RSVP to Kay Houlihan by 5
January 2004 on tel: 00 353 1 462 5364 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Democracy Commission Seminar
NICVA, Community Foundation NI and WEA will be holding a session with
the Democracy Commission, an independent body set up in response to
widespread concerns about the capacity of political institutions on
the island of Ireland, North and South. David Begg, General
Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and Chair of the
Commission, will chair the session, which will be held on 12 January
2004 at 2.00 pm at NICVA. To book a place contact Cathy Breslin
on tel: 028 9087 7777 or email: email@example.com.
Full details are available from:
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
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