Sunday 30 January 2005

The Plough Vol 02 No 22

The Plough
Volume 2, Number 22
30 January 2005

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Speech by IRSP Ard-Chomhairle Member Martin McMonagle at Unveiling
of Memorial Plaque to Red Micky Doherty
2) On Sectarianism and War Crimes
3) What's On



Delivered in Derry on Saturday, January 29, 2005

It is a personal honor for me to be standing here today speaking at
the unveiling of this memorial. No words or fine speeches will do
justice to the memory of Red Micky. What I can say, with all honesty
and certainty, is that Micky was and is an inspiration to all those
who aspire towards an Ireland which is free from foreign interference
and free from both foreign and domestic exploitation of ordinary
working class people.

It is our duty and indeed an honour that we acknowledge and pay
tribute to Red Micky's lifelong contribution to the ongoing struggle
for justice, socialism, and freedom on this island.

At the onset of the present phrase of struggle in the late '60s and
early '70s Micky was, in common with all other republicans in this
city, a member of the Official IRA.

It was Micky's political beliefs and convictions that led him to join
with others in the formation of the IRSP and the Irish National
Liberation Army. His conscience would not allow him to follow any
other path. Micky was a political activist and his heart lay with the
working class, the people who have nothing but their dignity, he
understood what it was to live from hand to mouth, day by day, under
the repressive British regime, he also understood that nothing would
change as long as our people live in a capitalist society whether or
not that capitalist was under the control of British or Irish
capitalist masters. That is why Micky fought. He was one of the few
who would go that extra mile; he put himself on the line time and time

Micky was a much loved and respected member of the movement and always
conducted himself with dignity and humility. He was not someone who
was filled with hatred or bitterness but as a true revolutionary Micky
was motivated by a love of his class and his country and above all by
the love of this community.

Micky's analysis was not that of narrow republicanism or nationalism
but of the class analysis of Connolly and the marriage of the class
struggle and the national liberation struggle.

What flowed through the veins of people like Red Micky Doherty? The
answer is simple, it was the love of his community, the love for his
people and the working class people of Derry, both Catholic and

Even when suffering with ill health just a short time before he died,
Micky never forgot his imprisoned comrades of the INLA. Indeed he
made regular financial contributions towards the welfare of republican
socialist prisoners and, as an ex-prisoner myself, I am eternally
grateful to people like Micky, who despite all their own problems,
continued to stand by us. In good times and in bad times Micky was a
friend of the prisoners, people like Micky stood by us. We will never

I am proud to have followed people of the caliber of Micky. We in the
movement today salute Micky and his contribution to the struggle and
we shall always remember Micky with love and fondness. If we can
continue today with the dignity and humility that Micky showed through
every aspect of his life, we are indeed on the right path.

Dignity and humility are noble traits and each of us would be the
better if we had an ounce of what our friend Red Micky had. Did he
make mistakes? Was he perfect? Of course not! He was human. Was
the Irish Republican Socialist Party and the Irish National Liberation
Army perfect? The simple answer is no! We do not hide from the
mistakes of our past, we are dignified enough, humble enough, and
disciplined enough to acknowledge this publicly.

Let me make this clear, and I make no apology for saying it, the class
based analysis of Red Micky was and is the only correct revolutionary
way forward for the working class people of Ireland.

Tomorrow marks the 33rd anniversary of the premeditated attack on the
people of this city. Regardless of the outcome of the Saville
Inquiry, the people of Derry know that Bloody Sunday was planned and
sanctioned directly from 10 Downing Street. No amount of political
spin, no amount of media manipulation, no amount of whispering
campaigns can alter that indisputable fact.

It is ironic today that since the murderous assault by the
paratroopers on the people of Derry the only person to be punished is
a Derry republican who had no part in any incidents that day. Nothing
has changed in over thirty years. Republicans will never get justice
from any British administration in Ireland. We call for the immediate
release of Martin "Ducksie" Doherty. This is the very same British
establishment that Micky opposed and all republicans should oppose.

I would just like to finish today by saluting once again Micky's
contribution to the struggle for Irish freedom.

Che Guevara once said: "Revolutionaries should be motivated by
feelings of true love." This quotation sums up our friend and
comrade, Red Micky Doherty.

Rest in peace, Micky.


By Gerry Ruddy

The uproar over the remarks of Mary McAleese, the Irish president,
detracted a great deal from the political chaos the North of Ireland
is now in. Provisional Sinn Fein and the Provisional IRA are being
blamed for knowledge of and participating in the £26 million
Northern Bank robbery. An ongoing feud between the UVF and the LVF
has led to attacks on taxis and on individuals and the firing of
shots. Two random sectarian attacks were carried out on Catholics.
Political commentators speculate that no deal can be done to get
devolved government before 2006 and possibly 2007. Mitchell
McLaughlin, the chair of Provisional Sinn Fein, revealed the contempt
for the democratic process when he stated that he recognised the IRA
as the legitimate government of Ireland. Such a position is untenable
for a party that parrots on ad nauseum about their electoral mandate
and yet fails to recognise the results of all previous elections on
the island of Ireland. That position is symptomatic of a special
breed of republicans who think that being republican makes one
superior to others. It eventually leads to the position that whatever
one's army does is legitimate and excuses the most heinous of war
crimes. I have no doubt that war crimes were committed during the
conflict in the North. These crimes were committed by all the armed
organisations including the INLA. In its ceasefire statement the INLA
acknowledged as much when it apologised for its errors.

"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."

The kidnapping and killing and secret burial of Jean McConville was in
my opinion a war crime. The arrogant denial of this fact by
McLaughlin is clear evidence that the whole political process in the
North has been demeaned, corrupted, and soiled.

The Good Friday Agreement is dead in the water. The loyalists of the
UDA want to be bought off for over £70 million. Nobody seems to
speak the truth anymore and if they do they are castigated.
Provisional Sinn Fein play the victim because Bertie Ahern for once in
his life stops equivocating and speaks out about the activities of the
Provisional IRA.

What did the Provos expect? More tea and buns? If you lie down with
dogs you get up with fleas.

Too many cosy chats in Stormont, the Dail, Westminster, the White
House, and God knows how many fine houses in the English countryside
has dulled the republican instincts of some Irish.

Republicanism was always about more than fighting a war. It was about
the right of the Irish people alone to determine their own destiny.
It was about the ownership of Ireland belonging to the people of
Ireland. It was about uniting all the differing denominations under
the common name of Irishmen and women. It was and is about liberty,
equality, and fraternity. And for those of us on the republican left,
it was and is about the freedom of the Irish working class from both
political and economic domination.

Mary McAleese's remarks were clumsily worded but they also were true.
Sectarian hatred has been bred into some children from the
Protestant community. One has only to think of the protests at
Harryville, in Ballymena, and the Holy Cross School in Ardoyne to see
that. But republicans especially should be able to acknowledge that
sectarianism exists also within the nationalist/Catholic population.

Our claim as republicans to be non-sectarian must be more than just a
pious declaration to be made in Bodenstown every year. We must face
up to it wherever we find it and challenge it.

In the face of the increasing sectarianism arising from the imposition
of the Good Friday Agreement, there is a responsibility on republicans
to coolly and objectively examine our own sectarianism before
preaching to others. Are we up to the task?




Tuesday, 1 February

Next meeting of the North Belfast Anti Racism Network will be on
Tuesday, 1 February in Intercomm - Antrim Road (opposite police
barrack/above Antrim Road Ulster Bank) at 7.30pm.


Tuesday, 15 February at 7pm

The next meeting of the West Against Racism Network will be on
Tuesday, 15 February at 7pm in the Grosvenor Community Centre. The
WARN is launching a Welcome Pack for Black and Minority Ethnic
Communities on Monday, 21 March, international day against racism, in
the Royal Hospital, more details closer to the date.


Tuesday, 8 March

Rural Community Network are currently organising our second annual
event for International Women's Day for Tuesday, 8 March. This will
take place in Omagh (venue to be confirmed) and the theme is again
centred on diversity in rural areas. If you wish further info or
would like to participate please contact Marion Weir or Anna Clarke at


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