Sunday 3 October 2004

The Plough Vol 02 No 07

The Plough
Volume 2, Number 7
3 October 2004

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party


Seamus Costello Commemoration

Assemble 1pm, Sunday, 10th October, Town Hall, Bray for March to
Little Bray Churchyard.

Organised by the Irish Republican Socialist Movement.



1. Editorial: 36th Anniversary of the 1968 Civil Rights March
2. Sectarian Murderer is Former District Master of Orange Order
3. Residents Against Racism
4. Letters
a. Republican Unity?
b. The OECD Review of Early Childhood Education
c. Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Belfast
d. 32 County Sovereignty Movement Condemns Israeli Assassination
5. What's On



36th Anniversary of the 1968 Civil Rights March

Over 200 people attended the Civil Rights anniversary march held at
the weekend in Derry. The original suspects of the '68 protest march
-- Eamonn McCann, Dermy McClenaghan, and Johnny White, returned to the
Guildhall Square a little greyer, a little wiser and a little more out
of breath 36 years on. This time there were no baton charges from the

This time the march brought together many more organisations that
cried out in one voice against injustice, racism, homophobia, and war.
As Eamonn McCann pointed out, it was a civil rights march for a new
time, when communities have become more diverse.

"36 years ago, there was no marches for the gay community, there were
no marches for Muslims, for the black community, but we marched then
for the rights of people who were oppressed. In today's land, we have
new peoples who are being oppressed and we march today for them".

He called for the setting up of a civil rights organisation to
safeguard those who were represented today by the Rainbow Project, the
IRSP, the Derry Trade Unions, and by the South Belfast Anti-Racism.

The IRSP in Derry will be actively participating in any new civil
rights organisation and look forward to co-operating with any and all
progressive organisations there.

But while we will be keeping our eye on the issues around civil
liberties we will, like the left republicans during the civil rights
struggles of '68-'72, also keep our eye on the social and economic
issues that affect working people north and south. The South of
Ireland has the widest gap between rich and poor in Europe. The top
20% of Ireland's top earners receive 4.5 times more than the bottom
20%. This is despite the fact that wages in Ireland are 121% of the EU
average. More than a fifth of Irish people are at risk from poverty
which in comparative terms is defined as earning 60% or less than
average earnings. Republican socialists need to keep these class
issues to the fore and not get caught up in the politics of what
aboutery with other republicans over issues such as decommissioning or
the Good Friday Agreement. We need to remember the flag we march
behind at Easter is the Red Flag -- the symbol of the freedom of the
world's working class from poverty, exploitation, and starvation --
the flag of socialism.



Harry Speers from Newtownabbey was recently sentenced to at least 15
years of a life sentence for the murder of Trevor Lowry, a 49-year-old
Protestant father of two who was mistaken for a Catholic. Speers is a
former councillor for the Ulster Democratic Party, which was the
political front for the Ulster Defence Association, which forced the
closure of its own political wing. Speers is also a former district
master in the Orange Order in Carnmoney.



Thousands of Irish children and their families are threatened with
deportation. Although these children are Irish citizens, born and
reared in Ireland, the government is refusing to let them live in
their own country with their families.

Up until 2003, thousands of asylum seekers had been told that they
should apply to live in Ireland on the basis that their children were
born here. But in January 2003 the Supreme Court overturned the
existing position, and ruled that Irish children didn't have a right
to have their families live here with them.

The response of Minister for Justice Michael McDowell has been to
deport as many of these families as he can. Although the court's
decision doesn't affect the right of Irish children to live here, he
has been forcing children out of the country along with their parents.
Despite the court saying that each case should be decided on its own
merits, he has adopted a policy of mass deportations.

These families have done nothing wrong. They have followed the rules
and procedures laid out for them. They are being made victims of a
sudden change in the law that was made after they had applied to live
here. All they want is to live in Ireland with their children, and be
allowed to work and make their contribution to Irish society.

The thousands of people affected by the Supreme Court decision are in
a terrible situation. Through no fault of their own, they have been
left not knowing what future lies ahead. Thousands of Irish citizen
children, who have as much right to live here as anyone, face being
kicked out of Ireland by an Irish government.

Michael McDowell should call off his deportation squads, and tell
these Irish children and their families that they will be allowed to
live in Ireland. Anyone who wants a fair and just Ireland will support
this demand.

What you can do?

* Write to the Minister yourself: Michael McDowell TD, Department of
Justice Equality and Law Reform, 72/76 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2,

Phone: (003531) 618 3491 or (003531) 498 8084.


* Get your local representative to raise the case with the Minister
for Justice.

* Get your trade union or community organisation to support the

24-hour helpline: 087 7974622 or 087 6662060
c/o 12A Brunswick Place, Dublin 2




{We received the following letter this week. Although marked private
we decided to publish it, as there was no name, in the interests of
opening out discussion. If any one feels like responding please do

Dear IRSP Leadership,

I am writing to you at this crucial and fragile time in Irish
republicanism as an extremely concerned republican worried about the
future of the movement. I and yourselves both know that Sinn Fein and
the Provisional movement are the current leaders of Irish
republicanism as far as recognition and support goes and I am not
really against the Provisional republican movement but I am worried
that Sinn Fein are going to turn into an SDLP like party and sell the
Irish people out. I believe that the current ceasefire from all Irish
republicans is welcoming although I am strongly against any
decommissioning or ending of the armed struggle and it is clear that
if Sinn Fein and the Provisional decide on doing this there are no
winners because I believe although many Irish republicans will be
outraged and leave or no longer support that movement the majority of
people will still support it and therefore the Adams leadership will
still control Irish republicanism. I believe that it could be
progressive and helpful for Irish republicans if the different
sections of the republican movement could meet and discuss the future
of Irish republicanism and the best way to continue the struggle for
Irish independence. I believe the best outcome of this meeting
would-be some bonds made between Sinn Fein, The IRSP, Republican Sinn
Fein and the 32 County Sovereignty because in all honesty it is going
to be extremely hard to get Ireland united if we can't even get Irish
republicans united! This mail may same somewhat outrageous to you but
I am talking truthfully about my concerns and would ask you to read it
a few times and take in what I am saying. Thank you.

P.S I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading
this mail and would appreciate any sort of response about any of the
issues I have raised at


Statement by John Carr, General Secretary, Irish National Teachers'
Organisation on the OECD Review of Early Childhood Education

24 September 2004

The INTO is seriously concerned at a number of proposals in the OECD
"Thematic Review of Early Childhood Education and Care Policy in

The recommendations of this report, if implemented, will do nothing to
reduce class size in primary schools. If the recommendations of this
report are implemented there will still be thirty children in Irish

A golden opportunity to recommend fundamental change that will have
real educational benefits has been missed. Because of this major flaw
many of the other changes recommended will have little or no impact.

Class sizes for the under nines must be brought down to less than

This means no more than twenty children and one teacher in the same
classroom. The INTO has demanded this reduction in addition to the
appointment of a classroom assistant to all infant classes.

The government has committed to class sizes of less than twenty in

'Programme for Government'

Today's report recommends leaving Irish class sizes at the second
highest in Europe. It calls for the appointment of a Child Assistant
to all infant classes and then goes on to talk about child-staff
ratios of 15:1.

This proposal will still leave child-teacher ratios at 30:1. Thirty
children of four and five years of age will still have one teacher.
Child Assistants are necessary and proposals to appoint are welcome
but talk of 15:1 is misleading and unacceptable. The teacher will
still be responsible for thirty children.

This approach will not allow for more active and experience based
learning in classes. Parents and teachers will not be fooled by this
proposal. It has been tried in England, the only country with higher
class sizes than Ireland. It also fails to recognise that huge numbers
of Irish four and five year olds are in multi class situations with
older children.

Government must keep its promise to reduce class sizes to less than
twenty pupils. Every infant class should have a classroom assistant.

Child Assistants cannot be used as a cover for failing to keep
promises to reduce class sizes.

For too long early childhood education has been a privilege and not a

Those who can afford pre-school can provide for their children. Most
children whose parents cannot afford to pay have to do without. This
is because Ireland spends less than one percent of the education
budget on early childhood education.

The INTO is concerned that proposals to develop a partly fee paying
system will perpetuate this disadvantage.

Government spends a third of the total education budget on the twenty
percent who go to college. Many more could make to college if they got
the right start. One fifth of the money now spent on third level would
provide a year of free early childhood education for all.

Quality early childhood education has been proven to lead to better
intellectual development, a reduction in behavioural and learning
problems, improved physical health and, over time, a reduction in


Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Belfast

The Belfast Palestine Solidarity Campaign was set up in 2001 by
voluntary and community workers, trade unionists and academics
concerned at the plight of the Palestinian people and wishing to help
promote peace and justice in the Middle East. It is affiliated to the
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which is a broad based,
independent, non-party political, non-sectarian campaign. It has
branches throughout the island of Ireland and is linked to the
International solidarity campaign for Palestinian rights. The Campaign

* aims to raise awareness about the plight of the Palestinians.

* supports a comprehensive, peaceful and just settlement based on the
full implementation of the United Nations resolutions on the Middle

* calls for an immediate International action to end to the racial/
religious discrimination and human rights abuses against the
Palestinian people and to provide protection for Palestinian
civilians and in particular, Palestinian children.

* stands by the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people
and the right of return for the Palestinian refugees.

* is open to all individuals and organisations, who believe in the
principles of equality, justice, freedom and human dignity and are
willing to play a role in ending the unbearable suffering of the
Palestinian people

* --


Date - 27/09/04
CONTACT: Sean Burns

32 County Sovereignty Movement Condemns Israeli Assassination.

The International Department of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement
(Ireland) condemns the assassination of a top Hamas official in
Damascus by Israeli agents on Sunday 26th September.

Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil was murdered by a booby trap device, which
was planted inside his automobile. This is the first time a
Palestinian leader has been targeted in Syria and raises further
serious concerns over the intentions of the Israeli secret services in
carrying out its bloody operations in contravention of the rights of
other sovereign states.

It is well known that Israel had tried to pressure the Syrian
government into extraditing the popular Hamas figure, but all to no
avail. This murder therefore must be seen as a direct consequence of
the Israeli state's failure to push Syria into accepting its unjust

We pass on our condolences and prayers to the family, friends and
comrades of the martyr Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil. We say that the only
thing Israel can now be sure of is that a hundred more will be
prepared to take his place among the ranks of Mujahdeen and give their
lives for the liberation of Palestine.




10.30am - 12.30pm, Friday 8 October 2004

Falls Community Council: ASBOs/Anti-Social Behaviour Orders/'The Good,
the Bad and the Ugly'

Conway Mill
Falls Road, Belfast, BT 12

Phil Scranton - Queen's University, Belfast
Paddy Kelly, Children's Law Centre
Other speakers to be confirmed

The speakers will explore the possible implications for West Belfast
and ways to respond to the recent introduction of the orders

RSVP: or phone 02890 20 20 30


Friday October 8th at 7.00pm at the Gasworks Café in the Gas Yard
Centre, Lecky Road, Derry.

Organised by the Cuba Support Ireland

Noel Carillo, a representative of the International Department of the
Communist Party of Cuba and a member of its Central Committee, will
speak and answer questions about Cuba. All are welcome.


Saturday, 9 October 2004

Young Women Talk Participation and Power

Call for Participants and Facilitators To a Young Women's Political

St Columb's Park House, 4 Limavady Road, Derry/Londonderry, Northern

What it is about:

The event will provide the space for you...

To meet and share your experiences of being a young woman interested
in local and global issues.

To discuss the barriers that prevent you from participating in public
and political activities.

To explore the different methods employed by organizations and
political parties throughout the world to promote the inclusion of

To identify and develop strategies to achieve the full participation
of young women.

To put forward practical proposals to decision makers to achieve this

Who will be there?


Will be aged between 16 and 30.

Will come from minority ethnic communities and the majority

Will be lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or heterosexual.

Will have a disability or not.

Will have children or not.

Will share an interest or an involvement in political activism,
community work, NGOs, local and global issues.

Female elected representatives who share, listen and want to support
younger women into leadership and decision-making.

What does it cost?

NOTHING -- the event is free of charge and includes lunch. We will
subsidise travel expenses and childcare/care allowance. There is a
bus going from Belfast to Derry/L'Derry.

Are you interested in volunteering your skills to facilitate small
group discussions in the afternoon?

We invite young women who enjoy facilitating discussions and who have
some experience in this to please tick the appropriate box in the
attached registration form. We will get in contact with you for
further information.

Interested in participating?

Please return attached registration form to St Columb's Park House or
contact Charlotte, Tel: 028 7134 3080, Email:, or
Carola, Tel: 028 9024 3363, Email:


10.30am: Registration, Tea and Coffee

11.00am: Welcome by Carola Speth, Women into Politics

11.15am: 'Women in Decision-Making: An Overview of the Situation in
Europe,' Cecile Greboval, European Women's Lobby

11.25am: 'Quotas & Votas: Engender's Role in the 50/50 Campaign,'
Lorna Ahlquist, Engender Scotland

11.35am: 'If you can't see a space for yourself, build one of your
own,' Barbary Cook, Queer Activist

11.45am: Question & Answer Session

12.00 noon: WORKSHOPS

1.15pm: Lunch

2.00pm: Feedback from workshop groups

2.25pm: Discussion and Dialogue, Chair: Susan McReynolds, Presenter
on BBC Radio Foyle

3.25pm: Evaluation and Action Points

3.55pm: Closure by Charlotte Cox, St Columb's Park House

Who we are.

Women into Politics (WiP) is a cross-community project which actively
encourages the full participation of women in public and political
life by providing and promoting dialogue, advocacy and training. WiP
is independent of all political parties and works with women in all
their diversities. The project is based on feminist principles and
grounded in a community development ethos.

St Columb's Park House runs a number of projects promoting peace-
building, political dialogue, active citizenship, political literacy
and human rights. The Political Youth Forums programme brings
together members of political parties and youth wings aged 18-30
from across the UK and the island of Ireland to discuss policy issues
of common concern.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the Community Relations Council NI
via Peace II and Atlantic Philanthropies.


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