Volume 2, Number 44
23 July 2005
E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1) Goodbye What's Left of Irish Independence
2) Free the Rossport Five
3) International Work Brigade
4) IRSP Solidarity with the Miami Five
5) Statement given by Willie Gallagher to the Relatives of the Miami
6) Statement given by Tomás Gorman on behalf of the IRSM to the
Families of the Miami Five
7) Who Are the Miami Five?
8) UN Defends Cuban Prisoners in the U.S.
9) The Cuban Missile Crisis: How My School Taught It to Me
11) What's On
GOODBYE WHAT'S LEFT OF IRISH INDEPENDENCE
A Bilateral Instrument with the United States on Mutual Legal
Assistance and Extradition was signed by right wing Minster for
Justice Michael McDowell and the US Ambassador to Ireland, James C.
The agreement gives US authorities access to information about bank
accounts in Ireland and the right to conduct criminal investigations
on Irish soil. It also speeds up and simplifies extradition
proceedings between the two countries, and requests can be made for
the extradition of anyone suspected of a crime that carries a sentence
of a year or more.
It also formalises Ireland's adherence to agreements on combating
international terrorism between EU and US following the September 11th
However, the agreement can only take effect after legislation is
passed by the Oireachtas and all member states of the EU have signed
their bilateral agreement with the United States. The United Kingdom,
France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Finland have
already signed their bilateral agreements. Amnesty International and
Statewatch claim that various human rights safeguards such as the
right to a fair trial are compromised by US practices after September
While the agreement provides for Ireland to seek guarantees that
capital sentences will not be imposed on anyone extradited, Amnesty
International has said the EU agreement leaves an "unacceptable margin
of discretion" with regard to refusing extradition on these grounds.
Among other new provisions is enhanced co-operation with requests for
banking information on people or organisations regarded as criminal
suspects. Assistance cannot be refused on grounds of customer
confidentiality, according to the agreement.
Crime detection agencies such as the FBI and Department of Homeland
Security will be able to request phone taps and other types of
surveillance on suspects in Irish jurisdiction. The agreement also
provides for joint investigative teams to be established and operated
on Irish soil.
This agreement allows the CIA to arrest, interrogate and seize
personal documentation of people on Irish soil. It allows US Secret
Service agents the right to act as they see fit in their so-called war
on terror. It not only allows the CIA the right to arrest and
interrogate people here but also forces Irish people to foot the bill
of their operations. We already have the British intelligence services
interrogating people in the North. In Shannon over 150,000 USA troops
have passed through on their war to their imperialist wars of
aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Irish independence has gone. Neutrality has gone. Ireland is now
certainly more Boston than Berlin. This affront to the rights and
liberties of the people on this island needs to be confronted.
The IRSP call on all who oppose this to join together in opposition.
We can if united make a difference. There is much that can be done.
Write a formal letter of condemnation with petitions to the office of
the Justice Minister and Bertie Ahern. Organise demonstrations with
other left groups in Ireland at the office of the Justice Minister.
Instigate a lobbying campaign with other left groups in Ireland to
have this defeated at the Oireachtas. This is no time for Republicans
and the left to sulk in their tents and refuse to work with each
other. A unified left republican bloc can help defeat this CIA
"invasion" of Ireland.
FREE THE ROSSPORT FIVE!
Five local people (three farmers and two retired school teachers) from
Mayo in west Ireland have been jailed for blocking Shell from building
a natural-gas pipeline across their land. The five argue that the
pipeline is unsafe. Following their initial protests Shell obtained a
court injunction against the five, which the five ignored. This has
resulted in the five being jailed for contempt of court and being
imprisoned until they "purge their contempt". The five have already
spent nearly a month in prison. Please send urgent letters of support
Brendan Philbin McGrath
Micheál Ó Seighin
For more info on this story check out the following websites:
The Irish Republican Socialist Party demand the 26 county
administration immediately release from Cloverhill Prison the five
Mayo men who have become known as the "Rossport Five," Michael
O'Seighin, Vincent McGrath, Philip McGrath, Willie Corduff, and
Dublin IRSP representative Kevin Morley today said: "These men are
prisoners of the state for opposing the installation of the Corrib gas
pipeline with much justification. According to Councillor Willie
Clarke MLA, in the Daily Ireland (July 12, 2005) 'these men, their
families and neighbours, are protesting because they believe that the
pipeline is unsafe as the pressure of gas is far too high for its
proximity to homes.' This argument is, of course, absolutely correct
but in itself too shallow.
"The fact of the matter is that Shell, and companies like them, are
transnational organisations and use countries like Ireland where the
government is too weak to resist in order to maximise profits. The
economy of Shell is likely to be larger than that of the 26 county
administration in much the same way as that of Union Carbide was to
the Indian government when the Bhopal disaster occurred back in the
early 1980s. The truth of the matter is that these companies couldn't
care less about 'national governments' like that of the Free State as
their only objective is to maximise profits."
He said: "The 26 county government would have us believe that such
companies as Shell create jobs and encourage economic growth. As far
as it goes this argument may hold water but economic growth and
employment under the capitalist system are dependent on the benevolent
transnational making huge profits, and once this is accomplished and a
cheaper source of profit can be found elsewhere then the workforce can
go to hell. In the meantime if an accident occurs on the Corrib gas
pipeline and hundreds of homes are wiped out, to say nothing of the
loss of life to working class people, Shell just shut up shop and
relocate elsewhere leaving people who live in Ireland to pick up the
"Councillor Clarke's arguments are very well founded and his concerns
equally so and as he says, 'the Rossport Five languish in a Dublin
jail for carrying out a legitimate protest.' However, where the
argument falls short from a socialist/communist point of view is there
is no direct attack on the capitalist system which allows such
activities, in fact encourages these same antics of the transnational
companies, to continue. Until such an imbecilic system is brought to
its knees such miscarriages of justice, which has occurred to the
Rossport Five, will happen again and again. Councilor Clarke is
correct to point out that 'the drive for profit in the name of
progress seems to take precedent' over people's health and well-being
but at the end of the day it's just another symptom of the overall
capitalist system where profit is the only word that counts."
In conclusion, Kevin Morley said: "If the 26 county government had an
ounce of respect for their forebears, it is not the Rossport Five who
should be languishing in Cloverhill but the profiteering exploiting
directors of Shell who are quite evidently, according to reports,
putting peoples lives at risk."
INTERNATIONAL WORK BRIGADE
As part of its growing emphasis on international solidarity, three RSM
members visited Cuba as part of an international work brigade
consisting of more than 22 other European countries. Ex-prisoners
Gerard Murray and Willie Gallagher were accompanied by IRSP
Ard-Chomhairle member Tomás Gorman on the three-week visit with the
aim of expressing solidarity with the Cuban revolution. The move to
visit Cuba was no doubt a long held ambition of all three comrades
keen to see the benefits of socialist society as well as to visit some
of the historical sites of the victorious Cuban revolution; a
revolution that inspired millions of revolutionaries struggling for
independence throughout the world. The Cuban people, who despite a
forty year undeclared U.S. war of economic blockade and terrorism,
today enjoy an incredibly high living standard with life expectancy
higher than more "advanced" countries such as Turkey, Russia, Czech
Republic and only. 2 years lower than us in Ireland. Cuba also boasts
higher literacy and numeracy rates than the U.S. In terms of real life
quality and human development, Cuban society is pushing the potential
of its citizens to their full.
The comrades as part of their visit took offered their labour in a
small contribution to the ongoing revolution there. The voluntary work
took the form of manual labour at two agricultural colleges being
renovated by the camp whilst on other days work took place in the vast
orange plantations that surrounded the brigade camp. After work the
comrades were able to take part in many of the programmed political
events, memorials and tours. Seminars given by various Cuban activist
groups including the Union of Communist Youth, Families of the Miami
Five as well as veterans of the Cuban Revolution and Angola/Bolivia
During the warm evenings time was taken to relax and exchange
experiences and political viewpoints with Cubans and other left
activists from around Europe, keen to hear a republican socialist
point of view on the Irish struggle for national and social
liberation. All three comrades happily gave interviews to local press
interested to hear of the experiences of the two ex-political
prisoners and their feelings towards the injustice being endured by
the Miami Five and their families.
The trip had many highlights including the visit to the resting place
of Che Guevara and his comrades who fell in the Bolivian campaign in
Santa Clara. Here the comrades were afforded the honour of folding and
laying a Starry plough flag at the grave of Che. Willie, Tomás and
Gerard also had the honour laying a Starry Plough Flag in memory of
the ten H-Block martyrs at the hunger strike memorial situated in the
centre of Havana.
The three were impacted deeply by what they saw in Cuba and now hold a
clearer picture of what form Irish society could take.
IRSP SOLIDARITY WITH MIAMI FIVE
The packed hall at once stood up and applauded the uncomfortable
looking people ambling across the stage. These were the relatives of
the Miami Five who had come to give us information on the plight of
their sons, husbands, fathers. One by one they introduced themselves
and gave us some insight into their relative. The pain of missing
their loved ones was evident as they spoke but so too was their
defiance and strength. It was humbling to see their strength in times
of such adversity but the look on their faces reflected that of our
own mothers and thousands like her during the time when their loved
ones were incarcerated by another war machine here in Ireland. Willie
first got up and gave his personal oration followed by Tomás
Gorman. The IRSP representatives made a promise on behalf of the
movement and the movement intend to keep to that promise. We owe it to
the relatives whose pain we too have suffered in Ireland.
STATEMENT GIVEN BY WILLIE GALLAGHER TO THE RELATIVES OF THE MIAMI FIVE
As an ex-political prisoner from Ireland, who has spent a total of 18
years in prison, I would like to express my personal solidarity to the
families of the Miami Five. I would also like to express the
solidarity of the IRSP and that also of our own Republican Socialist
Ex-Prisoners group who I currently work for.
Some of my experiences have many similarities as well as those of my
family who ran a campaign for many years in the mid 70's to early
80's. I also know many other ex-political prisoners and their families
who experienced even greater injustices than myself. I have worked
with political prisoners, ex-political prisoners since my release from
prison in 1993.
The case of the Miami Five has touched a special chord in my heart and
I have a good understanding of your pains, concerns, desires and
hardships. I know the importance of international solidarity and I
believe that it is international solidarity that will turn out to be
the key which unlocks this great injustice. The fight for truth and
justice may sometimes be a long one, particularly when the enemy is
strong and fears you; but truth and justice will prevail and you will
be united with your loved ones again some day. May that day come
soon. We had a saying back home amongst the political prisoner
community, "keep your chin up and dont let the bastards grind you
Campamento Julio Antonio Mella, Caimito Municipality, Havana, Cuba.
STATEMENT GIVEN BY TOMÁS GORMAN ON BEHALF OF THE IRSM TO THE
FAMILIES OF THE MIAMI FIVE
The case of the Miami Five should touch the hearts of struggling
people from all over the world. The political show trial of the Five
heroes mirror those that sent thousands of Irish men and women to
years of inhumane treatment in British jails during the recent era of
our conflict. The tactics of prisoner isolation and harassment of
prisoners families were cynical tactics used then by the British
government in an effort to break the spirit of resistance. Needless to
say, comrades, the failed. They failed then just as the US government
will fail on this occasion. They will fail because the human spirit is
an unbreakable sword when forged in the fire of revolution. Arms of
solidarity from around the world will help the five carry their
sword. The Irish Republican Socialist Movement fully support the Five
heroes in their struggle for justice. We share the heartache of their
loved ones as they, too, carry the burden of injustice.
We shall take this case to Ireland an endeavour to make thoir voices
heard until they day we too celebrate the day of their freedom.
Ard-Chomhairle Member, IRSP
Campamento Julio Antonio Mella, Caimito Municipality, Havana, Cuba.
WHO ARE THE MIAMI FIVE?
After suffering years of terrorist atacks from Miami based right wing
Cuban dissident groups (backed and trained by US security agencies),
the Cuban authorities sent five agents to gather information on the
terrorist cells in a bid to prevent further attacks. In June 1998, the
Cuban authorities exchanged the information gathered by the five with
the FBI in a bid to push them away from their position of
intransigence and complicity in the terror which has killed thousands
over the last forty years.
In a matter of months the FBI used the information to zero in on the
five Cuban agents and arrest them in dawn raids. This was the
beginning of th case of the Miami five; one of the longest cases in US
history. A case that witnessed injustice and political manipulation in
the extreme. A case that makes the hypocritical US "War on Terror"
even more ridiculous.
The five were sentenced to a series of sentences ranging from two life
a sentences and fifteen years in jail to fifteen years in jail. The
charges also range from conspiracy to commit murder to acting as
foriegn agents within the US without the knowledge of the authorities.
The trial was conducted in the middle of a media frenzy and the jury
was made up of right wing Miami residents.
UN DEFENDS CUBAN PRISONERS IN THE U.S.
BBC Mundo América Latina
July 14, 2005
A CubaNews translation by Ana Portela.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The United Nations stated that the jailing of the five Cubans in
Miami, United States, under charges of espionage violate international
The Work Group of Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations Human
Rights Commission stated that the trial held four years ago was not
impartial and that sentences that go from five years to life
imprisonment were excessively severe.
The UN panel pointed out that the five had been denied proper access
to their lawyers and important evidence.
Cuba considers that the five men are heroes who were only trying to
prevent exile groups from Miami to attack the Fidel Castro government.
Our Havana correspondent, Fernando Ravsberg talked with the wives of
Gerardo Hernández and Rene González, two of the five Cubans
Adriana Pérez and Olga Salanueva have been prevented from visiting
their husbands because Washington had denied them visas to enter the
BBC: What do United State authorities claim to deny your entrance in
Olga: The visas have been denied for different reasons that change
every time we rebut them. They claim that we represent a danger for
They have been in jail for 7 years and very few family relatives have
been able to see them. It took months to establish telephone
communication with the U.S. Interest Section Office in Havana.
They give us three months for an answer but continue saying it is a
case they are not authorized to decide upon there; that we have to
wait for a decision from Washington and we would have to wait, three,
four or six months. Sometimes that has taken more than a year.
To date they have denied us visa six times.
We have a daughter who was born in 1990. She is a U.S. citizen and
does not know her father. That is very cruel.
BBC: Why do they deny being spies if they were in the U.S. gathering
information for Cuba?
Olga: In the first place, the information they gathered never
compromised U.S. national security.
The terrorist organizations are groups that walk the Miami streets
freely and they are on television every day; they own the radio
stations; own Miami politics, but are not related to the government.
You can't call someone a spy if he hasn't taken one document that
could endanger national security in a country. During the entire trial
there was no witness, no document, to demonstrate they were spies.
BBC: Why then did the court act with such severity?
Adriana: We must clear up that we are facing a political case. My
husband received life in prison for conspiring to commit first-degree
During the 7 months of the trial, they were not allowed to move venue
to another less hostile city, as the defense requested. For that
reason, and in spite of all the proof, it was impossible to uphold a
verdict of innocent.
They selected a jury that could not be totally impartial. It was
impossible in that city, to chose 12 jury member that were not in some
way linked the anti-Cuban Miami Mafia terrorists.
There is such a lack of proof supporting charges of espionage are
really conspiring to commit espionage because the prosecutor did not
have proof for such a charge.
BBC: Why are you so sure that your husband did not have a hand in the
downing of the small planes if he was there to watch those groups and
inform on their activities?
Adriana: All the Miami organizations brag about their actions. They go
on television, on the radio and report what kind of action they are
going to commit.
It wasn't difficult to find out about these actions. Also, the day the
Cuban government downed these small planes, José Basalto, head of
the organization, Brothers to the Rescue, on board one of the planes
declared to the television that he would fly to Cuba.
It wasn't necessary to count on Gerardo to learn that the planes were
going to enter Cuban airspace.
BBC: What is their situation in prison?
Olga: They are separated in five states, five different jails. They
can't communicate although they can with their families by telephone
or in letters.
We cannot call them. The other way is through weekly and monthly
visits, but most of their family is in Cuba and we need visits to
BBC: How do your husbands see the future? Do you really think that
they will return to Cuba as the Cuban government assures?
Adriana: The Work Group of Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations
Human Rights Commission issued a statement affirming that it was a
case of arbitrary detention.
We are supported by hope that other organizations have heard our
request and can come out in our favor. We are not going to rest until
we have them here in Cuba.
The Atlanta Appeals Court has the opportunity to uphold the law. They
are innocent and we have the law on our side. When public opinion
learns of these irregularities, justice will be done.
BBC: What has been the most difficult moment for you?
Olga: Everything. Nothing is easy when a person is put in jail. The
family abandoned, hurt, even more so if doing jail time defending a
just reason; then it is still more difficult.
But strength grows from that very same difficulty, that which is with
THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS: HOW MY SCHOOL TAUGHT IT TO ME
It was the 27th of October 1962, and two very important things were
happening that day. The "Cuban Missile Crisis" was at its peak and the
world watched in fear as the worlds two "Super Powers" went toe to toe
with each other. And it was during this entire global crisis that I
took my first breath of air in the Royal Victoria Hospital. Granted,
of the two events my birth was not up there with the missile crisis,
but it was very important to me!!!
Not too far from the R.V.H. there is a wall mural with the words "It's
the winners that write the history" attributed to Miriam Daly. I am
not sure if it was Miriam that first said these words, and not being
disrespectful to the words, it's the Cuban missile crisis that made me
disagree with them.
At school I was taught about the Cuban Missile Crisis and learnt how
Jack Kennedy faced down communist aggression and saved the "Free
World" from this godless terror. I was too young to question this
version of events, nor did I want to, Khrushchev "blinked first."
Historical fact. J.F.K. was a hero, Khrushchev a villain. I never
thought about why the Russians woke up one morning, and for no reason,
decided to up the nuclear ante, nor was I told at school. So for years
I believed this was fact, all I read about the "Cuban Missile Crisis"
had this spin on it. The U.S.A. won, so it was their version that we
got to hear about.
Years later when I learnt the truth about this crisis, it was not the
U.S.S.R. that was the aggressors, but the U.S.A. and it was not
Khrushchev that "blinked first", but Kennedy. At school there was no
mention of Turkey in this crisis, all I ever heard about was Cuba, the
U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. Turkey was seen as the Russian "soft
underbelly" by the U.S. and as such thought it would be a good idea to
place some nuclear missiles in that country. Russia seen this as an
act of aggression, and in response to this thought it would be a good
idea to put some nuclear missiles in the U.S. "soft underbelly", Cuba.
So now you see the start of the chain of events that led to the
As the Russian ships sailed towards the blockade that the U.S. had put
around Cuba, both countries said they would not back down. To the U.S.
Cuba was a communist country in its "own backyard". They had already
invaded Cuba once before, but that ended in failure at the Bay of
Pigs. No doubt they would try again. Cuba was in danger from the
U.S.A. On the 26th of October Khrushchev sent a letter to Kennedy
saying he would pull the missiles out of Cuba if the U.S. pulled its
missiles out of Turkey and guaranteed it would not invade Cuba. The
U.S. jumped at this offer, but asked that the missiles being pulled
out of Turkey be kept from the public so as to save face, that's why
we never got to hear about it, to this the Russians agreed. On the
28th of October the Russians announced they were pulling their
missiles and bombers out of Cuba.
Basically the agreement meant that Russia got what it wanted; the U.S.
missiles out of its soft underbelly, and Cuba would not be invaded by
the U.S. For this reason I believe the U.S. lost the Cuban missile
crisis, yet they got to write the history that we are taught in our
There are other examples of this distortion of history were the losers
got to write what they wanted because they were not defeated, but had
to back down from their aggression because they had either met their
match and faced defeat or they had misjudged a situation politically
and give away more than they got. To me the U.S. gave more than they
got out of the Cuban missile crisis, but our history lessons or the
media have never reflected this. Hence my problems with the words
attributed to Miriam on a wall mural in West Belfast, near where I
took my first breath as the world held its breath, and history was
written, but not by the winners.
[By Gerard Foster]
Please sign this petition:
Women in the Middle East are rising up to demand equal rights. In Iraq
women are mobilizing to end the rape, abduction and killing of
females. We can help by getting the U.S. out of Iraq. We have a
responsibility to our Iraqi sisters and brothers to clearly oppose the
U.S. government and its support of reactionary Islamic fundamentalism.
Sign this petition and send it to everyone you know! Deadline for
signatures is August 15.
Anne Slater, Radical Women
In Defense of Iraqi Women
For solidarity with our sisters and an immediate end to the
To President George W. Bush and U.S. Congress:
Whereas the only weapons of mass destruction in Iraq belong to the
U.S. and its allies, and the U.S. government's profit-driven military
policies are killing U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi
civilians, we, the undersigned stand in solidarity with those hardest
hit by the occupation: the women of Iraq.
The situation facing females in Iraq is dire. In the name of spreading
"democracy," U.S. support of reactionary Islamic fundamentalists has
resulted in widespread femicide – including the beheading of
feminist activists and "honor killings" – compulsory veiling,
kidnapping, and torture. Iraqi women are imprisoned in Abu Ghraib and
other jails and have been raped and brutalized by both U.S. and Iraqi
guards. Economically, they are hit hardest by the nearly 70% rate of
unemployment. And as casualties of the war, women and children are the
overwhelming majority of those wounded and slain by "precision" bombs.
Iraqi feminists, such as groups like the Organization of Women's
Freedom in Iraq, stand as courageous leaders in the movement to take
back their country but we recognize that their efforts need urgent
support by all those opposed to this racist war.
Therefore, we demand the following actions be taken at once:
Reparations to Iraq paid by U.S. war profiteers, from Halliburton to
Bechtel! Restoring the economy is essential to restoring public
safety. Release all women in custody of the occupation or the puppet
Iraqi government! Their safety cannot be guaranteed. Stop U.S. support
of Islamic fundamentalists! For a fully democratic, secular government
that ensures complete freedom for women. U.S. out of Iraq now! No more
invading, bombing, or occupying under the guise of liberating women!
Go to http://www.radicalwomen.org/iraqipetition.html to sign the
petition or download a copy to gather signatures in your area.
Issued by Radical Women
For more information, please call 415-864-1278 or email
INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST COCA-COLA
MAKE YOUR FEELINGS KNOWN - SEND MESSAGES OF PROTEST TO COCA-COLA
Two years ago SINALTRAINAL (the Colombian Food and Drink Workers
Union) launched an international boycott of Coca Cola and all its
products, in response to a brutal policy of terror and repression that
Coca Cola had unleashed against their own workers in Colombia. Since
1994, 8 Coca-Cola workers and SINALTRAINAL union leaders have been
assassinated by paramilitaries, who the evidence suggests, were hired
by Colombia's Coca-Cola management. Hundreds of other workers and
union members have been imprisoned, tortured, threatened, disappeared
or forced into exile.
The boycott campaign has been a success in many ways. Individuals and
social and trade union organisations all around the world have pledged
their support of the boycott (including UNISON, PCS and many others
such as VER.DI in Germany). However Coke have refused to abandon their
hard line, have refused to negotiate with SINALTRAINAL, and the
repression against the workers has continued. Since the boycott
started on 22 July 2003,
·Coke workers in Colombia had to go on hunger strike to fight mass
·Union Vice President Juan Carlos Galvis was injured in an
·Union leader Luis Eduardo Garcia's son escaped from a paramilitary
·4 members of union leader Efrain Guerrero's family were
slaughtered in their beds by paramilitaries
·Coke launched their seventh libel case against a SINALTRAINAL
When the union launched the boycott campaign, they knew there would be
a price to pay, and are relying on international support and
solidarity to see them through to the end of their fight for justice.
We have a moral obligation to support the workers of SINALTRAINAL.
SEND PROTEST MESSAGES
Please send messages of protest to Coca-Cola (an example is included).
Fax, email or telephone (or all 3) to make your feelings known.
Send messages to:
Tim Wilkinson, Director of Public Affairs and Communications Coca-Cola
Telephone: 0800 227711 or 0208 237 3000
Fax: 0208 237 3700.
The International Boycott of all your products has been going for two
years, and people across the world now know about Coca-Cola's crimes
in Colombia. However, I am very worried that instead of negotiating
with SINALTRAINAL, Coca-Cola seems to have increased the repression
against their Colombian workers. I will continue to boycott all your
products, until Coca Cola has
·mitigated the pain of the victims by making reparations for damage
·publicly recognised that it benefited from crimes carried out by
paramilitaries against Coke workers.
·committed itself to not making any new attacks on the workers, and
hand over to justice those criminals who carried out attacks on their
·negotiated with the union, a code of conduct to safeguard workers'
lives, in the presence of international observers.
Friday-Sunday, 26-28 August
Seventeenth Desmond Greaves Summer School 2005
A weekend of political thought and discussion from Friday to Sunday,
26-28 August 2005, at the Irish Labour History Society premises,
Beggars Bush, Haddington Rd., Dublin 4.
Friday August 26th at 7.30pm: The Prospects for the Left in Ireland
Eugene McCartan, General Secretary, Communist Party of Ireland
Chair: Robert Ballagh
Saturday August 27th at 2.30 pm: Desmond Greaves as an historian
Mary Cullen and Brian Hanley will evaluate Desmond Greaves's
historical writings and his contribution as an historian
Mary Cullen is an historian and research associate at St Patrick's
College Maynooth, and TCD
Dr.Brian Hanley is a Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Modern
History, NUI, Maynooth, and author of The IRA 1926-36 and other books
Chair: Kevin McCorry
Sunday August 28th at 11.00 am: The Politics of the Peace Process
Owen Bennett will examine the current position of the Northern peace
process and the views of its supporters and critics, and will
consider its relevance for the future of Irish Republicanism
Chair: Finian Mc Grath TD.
Sunday August 28th at 2.30 pm: A forum on C. Desmond Greaves -
personal reminiscences by some who knew him
Gerard Curran, who has been a member of the Connolly Association
since 1952 and is former Literary Editor of the Irish Democrat,
London, which Greaves edited from 1948 to 1988;
Helga MacLiam, Dublin, with whose family Greaves used often stay
when visiting Ireland;
Bernard Morgan, long-time member of the Connolly Association,
Liverpool, Greaves's native city;
Sean Redmond, Dublin trade union official and general secretary of
the Connolly Association in the 1960s;
Chair: Anthony Coughlan, Desmond Greaves's Literary Executor
Full School E15; Individual sessions E5; Unwaged half-price;
Enquiries to Frank Keoghan, School Director, at 25 Shanowen Crescent,
Dublin 9; Tel.: 00-353-1-8423076
How to get there: Buses 5,7,7a or 8 from O'Connell Bridge, Dublin,
alighting at the first stop in Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge.
Haddington Road is first on the left, parallel to the canal.
C. DESMOND GREAVES (1913-1988)
C. Desmond Greaves, whose work and writings inspired the foundation
of this annual Summer School, was one of Ireland's leading labour
historians. He was author of The Life and Times of James Connolly,
Liam Mellows and the Irish Revolution, Sean O'Casey: Politics and
Art, Wolfe Tone and the Irish Nation, History of the Irish Transport
and General Workers Union: the Formative Years, The Irish Crisis, and
two books of verse, Four Letter Verses and the Mountbatten Award, and
Elephants Against Rome.
Desmond Greaves held that the peaceful way to end the partition of
Ireland was to secure maximum equality between Protestants and
Catholics in the Six Counties, thereby removing any rational basis
for unionism as an ideology that justified domination over Catholics,
and opening a way for northern Protestants to rediscover in time the
political implications of the common Irishness they share with their
Catholic and non-Protestant fellow countrymen and women.
As an activist in the Connolly Association, London, and editor from
1948 to 1988 of its monthly newspaper, The Irish Democrat, he
pioneered the idea of a campaign for civil rights as the way to
shatter unionist political domination, which was taken up by the
1960s northern Civil Rights Movement. He held that it was essential
for Ireland to win allies internationally for any moves to end
partition and that organised British public opinion, especially as
embodied in the British labour and trade union movement, which the
Irish community in Britain could significantly influence, was the
most important such potential ally.
He believed that in the era of the EU and the near-global domination
of transnational capital, the most important political task for
democrats and the labour movement was to join in an international
movement in defence of the nation state as the fundamental locus of
political democracy, and the only mechanism which history has evolved
for imposing social controls on private capital.
Camp Havana Glencolmcille
From Friday 16th to Sunday 18th September 2005 over 100 men, women and
children from every corner of this island - and indeed from much
further away - will gather in Glencolmcille / Donegal. They will
come in busses, by car, bicycle or on foot.
They will erect CAMP HAVANA and walk to the top of Slieve League.
Some will take the challenging hike across the whole ridge,
accompanied by a trained mountain guide. Some will use a more relaxed
walking route and some will only go as far as the bus can take them.
All of them will enjoy Europe's highest sea - cliffs which are
surrounded by scenery incomparable to anywhere else on this earth.
Of course we are not just gathering to admire spectacular scenery. We
will get together in what is going to be the biggest show of
friendship with people from another island, Cuba, ever to happen on
We are making this effort mainly because five young men are serving
lengthy prison sentences in the USA, guilty of nothing but the attempt
to stop terrorism; murderous and destructive acts which have killed
over 3,500 civilians in Cuba - more than the troubles in Northern
These men went to Miami to try and stop the people who orchestrate
this terrorism and ended up in US prisons. They have spent months in
isolation cells; their wives, kids and relations have been denied
The Miami 5 are victims of one of the most brutal human rights
violations in recent history, victims of breaches of both
international and US law.
We want freedom for these innocent men!
With our sponsored mountain walk and the large meeting / concert on
the evening of Saturday September 17th we will achieve;
- Massive publicity and increased awareness about the case.
- Pressure on political representatives (TDs, MPs, MEPs) to act
as opposed to talk.
- Raising of much needed financial support for the campaign and for
another urgent aid project in Cuba
- Pushing forward the world-wide campaign to free the Miami 5
and strengthen the links between campaigners from various countries
(At this very early stage we already know that there will be people
from England, the USA, Austria, Germany and Denmark coming to show
We can and we will free the Miami 5!
Nobody in this world is going to do it for us!
Lend us your support!
Join Camp Havana Glencolmcille 2005!
Get in touch with us now!
On behalf of the organisers of Camp Havana
Phone us at: 028 77742655 (from Republic of Ireland: 04877742655)
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