Volume 2, Number 46
5 August 2005
E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1) Kevin Lynch Commemoration Speech 2005
3) What's On
KEVIN LYNCH COMMEMORATION SPEECH 2005
[Delivered by Eddie McGarrigle, IRSP Ard-Chomhairle Member, 31 July
Once more we gather to pay homage to the memory of Volunteer Kevin
Lynch, a republican socialist hunger striker who gave his life in the
pursuit of political status and the recognition of the legitimacy of
Irish republican struggle for national independence. He was a soldier
of the INLA who like Connolly believed that the only freedom worth
having is one which delivers both economic freedom from capitalism
and national liberation. Although we live in ever changing times we
are a long way from achieving our objectives.
Occasions like this are extremely important for we need to be
reminded of our own history. Those of us who lived through those
dramatic days of the historic hungers strikes in 1981, whether we
marched on the streets, or lay in our prison cells waiting for the
next hunger striker to die, will never forget those days. But it is
even more important for future generations to know what it was all
For it is said that a country that loses or forgets it history loses
its soul and its freedom.
No one should underestimate the courage, determination and strength
that it took for Kevin and his comrades to embark on the hunger
strike. But their courage, determination and strength came from the
very fact that they were part of the wide republican tradition that
had long fought for the independence of Ireland. Hence they were
political activists not criminals.
Remember this when history comes to be re-written and the British
educational system tries to tell our children that the past struggle
was "terrorist inspired".
It was most assuredly not "terrorist inspired". Kevin, his comrades
and any republican worthy of the name republican, were never
terrorists - they were patriots, freedom fighters and strugglers for
justice, equality and freedom. When was it ever wrong to fight for
the things that are right?
The real criminals were the Stormont junta that had unleashed
sectarian pogroms, discrimination and violence against the
nationalist community in the North. The real criminals were
successive British governments that having ignored unionist misrule
for 50 years then joined with the unionist establishment and
attempted by brute force to suppress the legitimate aspirations of
the Irish people. The ten dead hunger strikers were making clear to
the world that not only was there a problem with the existence of
the six county state but that until there was established an
independent republic in Ireland freed from the control of the British
then this woe-begot state here would continue to be in turmoil.
The events in Garnerville in East Belfast bear witness to the
essential rottenness of this state. The so-called legitimate forces
of law and order, the PSNI/RUC, stand idly by while hundreds of self-
proclaimed members of the UVF and the UDA openly drive out others
from their homes. Hooded gunmen openly fired shots at bonfires
financed by the Belfast City Council.
A series of sectarian attacks against Catholics in County Antrim
occurs almost without comment from the so-called respectable
politicians. Unionists it seems only condemn republican violence
while silently condoning or in some cases encouraging loyalist
attacks against Catholics. Indeed unionist politicians only seem to
get excited about loyalist violence when loyalists start attacking
their fellow loyalists.
But we should not be surprised by the behaviour of the PSNI/RUC, the
Unionist politicians and their loyalist paramilitary friends. After
all it was the British security forces that helped set up the
loyalist murder gangs, following in a long tradition of imperialist
uses of pseudo-gangs wherever the British Empire extended. And who
benefits from this collusion if not the unionist politicians and
middle classes. They want back what they lost - supremacy over the
24 years on from the hunger strikes, 11 years on from the first IRA
ceasefire, seven years on from the Good Friday Agreement, and the
political leaders of unionism still will not have a Fenian about the
place. Their commitment to human rights and equality is conditional
only on Protestants getting these things.
Any and each step towards breaking down barriers has been fiercely
resisted by unionism. The Orange Order even fails to see Catholic
residents as citizens with rights and refuse to even recognise them
never mind talk to them.
Despite the wide changes that have taken place within republicanism
and the moves away from armed struggle to other methods it seems that
little has changed within the six counties. Unionism is as begrudging
now as it ever was. Sadly, working class Protestants are badly served
by their political leadership who have served them nothing but fear
of Fenians, sectarianism and bigotry.
Republicanism by its very nature is non-sectarian. At present there
is a huge challenge on all republicans of whatever persuasion to live
up to that non-sectarianism. There is also a responsibility on all
republicans to respect each other; despite the differences, which are
undoubtedly present, we need to acknowledge our differences and to
engage in dialogue with each other.
No republican should ever forget that the six county state has to go
one way or another; if dialogue is to advance our objectives then we
shall engage in dialogue.
But let us be clear whichever form our struggle takes, whichever
tactics we use, the republican struggle will continue until this
state is smashed and our class and our country are free.
Unionism now faces its biggest challenge. Are unionist leaders
prepared to move out of their bunkers and engage openly and honestly
with others? Or will they whip up sectarian hatred and egg on the
bigots to wreck and destroy any chances of an interim settlement?
We believe that all republican should stand united behind our non-
sectarian stance and do nothing that will give unionism the chance to
walk away from engagement with the nationalist population.
Difficult decisions have been made by many over the past twenty
years. Decisions that have caused much soul searching and anguish for
many. But nothing stays the same in this world. Change is happening
all the time. Change is a good thing but we need to be disciplined
and mature enough to ensure that whatever tactics we deploy at any
given time advance and progress the liberation of our class and
country. Let that be our yardstick.
The Republican Socialist Movement accepts the need for changed
tactics in a rapidly changing world. But changed tactics don¹t
mean changed principles. We stand by the Republic of James Connolly
and Liam Mellows. Only when the Irish working class achieve full
economic and political freedom will we say that the struggle is over.
Let me be clear on this point, the INLA will only disarm when that
objective is met.
As we leave this place today never again will we tolerate any effort
by anyone to criminalise or demean republicanism. We will always be
proud of the revolutionary fighters of the INLA and the IRA, we are
proud that they fought for our freedom. Remember the sacrifice of
Kevin Lynch, remember the days of the hunger strikes, and on the rock
of the hunger strikers courage and fortitude we will build a republic
for all to be proud of.
The Provisional IRA's decision to surrender its weapons and disband
did not come as a surprise to us. Since Sinn Fein signed the peace
agreement in 1998 their leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness
have been eager to transform the movement's ideological commitments
from revolutionary republicanism to constitutional nationalism.
The decision of the PIRA's Army Council to suspend all military
actions, and to force their units to hand over its weapons to the
IICD, is not "historic" in any sense. It is the logical result of the
Stormont Agreement of '98, which main purpose is the disarming of the
republican movement and the normalization of British rule in Ireland.
The Provisionals has not fired a single bullet against the occupation
troops in years. Instead they have turned their weapons against
people in the broader republican movement, in its attempts to silence
the republican opposition. And for that purpose there is no need for
Armalite and semtex.
The Ireland Information Group in Sweden supports the republican
groups that continue to wage armed and political struggle against
British imperialism in Ireland, those who have not abandoned their
goals; a united republic of Ireland, built on equality and social
justice, as proclaimed by the men of 1916.
From Ireland Information Group of Sweden
Statement regarding the provisional IRA's capitulation
A. Kjellstram, General Secretary
Workers Refuse To Break Their Backs For Tesco's
The Tesco Temps Defence Committee, a group of friends and supporters
of two sacked Polish workers are asking people to distribute
information to highlight the exploitative use of agency workers by
Tesco in their plant in Greenhills. Organise! called a picket of the
Tesco's Belfast city centre store in solidarity with the Tesco Temps
Defence Committee on Thursday 4th August.
After the scandals with GAMA and Irish Ferries, Tesco are the latest
employers to be reported to be exploiting foreign workers in Ireland.
Last Friday the Tesco Temps Defence Committee staged a picket outside
their workplace in Greenhills while other workers inside downed tools
Their main grievance is that they are continually being asked to meet
higher productivity targets. Workers raised health and safety
concerns in relation to these increasing and unattainable targets.
Two Polish workers who literally refused to break their backs for the
boss in Tesco distribution have been fired.
"Usually we pick 750 (boxes), but after three months of the normal
rate our manager wants more, more, more...it's not possible picking
900. You must look after your back, and health and safety processes.
If you pick 1,000 you'll break your back, you can not work like that."
Along with the demand that productivity targets be reduced to a
manageable level the workers are demanding that their sacked co-
workers are reinstated and that agency temps who work for longer than
3 three months get a permanent contract from Tesco with all the
associated benefits. A leaflet and poster designed to raise awareness
about conditions in Tesco can be obtained from the links below.
Contact Jason Brannigan
It appears that the ongoing problems of criminals, drug dealers and
social deviants continuing to masquerade as INLA Freedom Fighters is
continuing despite warnings for those to cease the lies. No matter
how many official statements are made to refute those lies made by
the INLA or the Socialist Movement, the slugs continue to shift the
blame and sully the name of all true Republicans. The press go on a
feeding frenzy if crime is associated with Republicans no matter
there is not an ounce of truth in the reports and they never correct
their mistakes. Whatever advantage the deviants get by pretending to
be INLA Volunteers escapes me!
It must be pointed out that the CIRA experience the same problems
with criminal elements masquerading as them also, mainly in Limerick
area. The way to end these hazardous lies is to show action. Deviants
have been warned time and again to stop making false claims
concerning association with Republicans in their crime acts and some
examples should be made of those who continue. There is a much bigger
struggle to be fought than having to waste time and effort on this
problem. Nip it in the bud.
Sean O Lubaigh
Please find below details of 3 events:
1. Gay Pride March
2. BBQ for everyone who supported and/or travelled to MPH/G8 in
3. Meeting on Press Distortion
1. This year's Gay Pride March will take place on Saturday 6th
August. The Anti Racism Network are organising a contingent to take
part in the march.
The pride march is a very important event. Started 15 years ago in
Belfast when only a couple of dozen people took part, it has expanded
rapidly so that there were over 3000 at last year's march. It is
especially important given the latest despicable wranglings by the
religious right to have the Parades Commission ban it and the threat
by neo-Nazi groups to stage a protest.
Levels of homophobia in the North are going through the roof. There
were 151 homophobic crimes reported in the last year. There are many
more times that going unreported. Of course we know that this is at
the same time that racism is also rocketing. Ideologically, there is
a clear link between racism and homophobia and many other prejudices -
the idea that there is a natural order and a natural hierarchy and
that therefore naturally there is a sliding scale of value regarding
a person's colour, sexuality, religion, gender etc.
In the same way that black and white must stand together to face down
the racist threat, gay and straight must stand together against
homophobic attacks and discrimination.
We are meeting at Writer's Square, Donegall Street at 12 noon. The
march will start about 12.30. Look out for the ARN banner or the huge
red WARN flags. The march is followed by stalls, music, food and
drink back at Writer¹s Square.
As people who are connected together through anti-racism work it is
important that whether we are gay or straight to show solidarity on
Saturday and march in the parade.
2. There is a BBQ organised by G8 Alternatives who organised a bus to
Make Poverty History/G8 in Edinburgh last month. The BBQ is on Sunday
7th August from 2pm in the space outside Bookfinders bookshop/cafe on
University Road (opposite Queen's) The ARN have been invited -
particularly people who went to Edinburgh, but it is open to
everyone. The BBQ will be very chilled out and relaxed and people who
took photos and collected press articles about those who travelled
from here are bringing them along. If anyone has any photos etc
please bring them along.
It will be a good opportunity for people to swap stories and reflect
on the Edinburgh experience. it will also be a good chance to meet up
again with people who went over and meet people who are involved in
other campaigns in Belfast and further afield.
Phone or text Gordon for any further details 07742531617
3. Organisers of a meeting on press bias have asked that we circulate
details to members of the ARN.
The meeting is on Friday night at 7pm in St Mary's College Falls Road
Belfast (opposite the Royal). It forms part of the West Belfast Feile
Festival The title is "creating the news they like". Organisers say
they particularly want to see people there from the ARN to contribute
on what we think of the press handling of the London bombings -
particularly regarding the depiction of Muslims. The meeting is
definitely topical. This week two of the biggest selling newspapers
in Britain pictured a woman in a Hijab (Muslim veil) with headlines
on the theme of "veiled threat". Both newspapers were no
doubt "outraged" by the statistics that showed race hate crimes rose
in London by 650% in the last month. The meeting is introduced by a
panel of speakers and then open to comments from the floor. The
meeting is hosted by Fourthwrite - a magazine written by loyalist and
Hope to see you all at some or all of these events.
(Anti Racism Network - firstname.lastname@example.org)
Friday, 5 August
Fourthwrite magazine sponsors...
Creating the news they like
St. Mary's University College,
7 PM Friday 5th August 2005
Film star Atta Yaqub, Arab Media Watch chairman, Sharif Nashashibi
and Daily Ireland's Seán Maguire discuss attempts by various
governments to manipulate news of current events and shape public
Please note that this event was originally advertised for An
Culturlann Feile An Phobail - West Belfast Festival
More details from: email@example.com
Friday, 10 August
Teach na Failte (North Belfast) Fundraiser in the Crumlin Star,
Ardoyne, Friday August 19th 2005 from 8.00pm till late admission
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.
Thursday, 25 August and Friday 26 August
Coiste na nIarchimí
Scoil Samhraidh/Summer School
Ti Chulainn Cultural Centre
25/26 August 2005
Irish Republicanism: can it be militant without being militaristic?
Thursday 25 August
7.00 p.m. Official opening of the summer school by Pat McGinn,
Mayor of Newry and Mourne Council
7.30 p.m. Martin Ferris Sinn Féin TD, Chair: Mike Ritchie
Friday 26 August
10.30 a.m. Mary Lou McDonnell Sinn Féin MEP, Tommy McKearney former
IRA prisoner, Gerry Kelly Sinn Féin MLA, Chair: Laurence McKeown
1.00 p.m. Lunch
1.30 p.m. Historical walk and talk
3.00 p.m. Agnes Maillot lecturer at Dublin City University, Denis
O'Hearn lecturer at Queen's University, Mike Ritchie Director of
Coiste na nIarchimí, John Gray curator of the Linen Hall Library,
Margaret Ward political historian, Chair: Rosie McCorley
I am delighted to invite you once again to south Armagh to the third
summer school organised by Coiste na nIarchimí. The summer school
offers you, the participants, an opportunity to reflect on, discuss
and debate topical issues and explore the opportunities and obstacles
to building a nation rooted in respect for diversity and committed to
justice and peace.
The theme of the summer school, Irish Republicanism: can it be
militant without being militaristic? is very much a live topic at the
moment, viewed much differently depending upon your political outlook.
As an organisation working proactively on behalf of former republican
prisoners, their families and displaced people, you could say we have
been 'militant' in our refusal to accept the status quo and the
discriminatory barriers that currently impact upon the constituency we
represent and deny them full citizenship. In that sense we are
carrying on the tradition from the prisons where republicans displayed
their militancy, as opposed to their militarism, in a host of ways
the burning of Long Kesh, the blanket protest, the hunger
strikes, the escapes, the education programmes, the handicrafts, the
lobbying, the legal cases. This was not militancy for its sake alone
but to challenge oppressive regimes, strive for intellectual and
physical freedom and to create a better way to live with one another.
Our challenge today is to continue that work at a societal level in an
equally militant, but not militaristic, manner.
I look forward to seeing you in Mullaghbawn.
Director Coiste na n-Iarchimi.
Coiste na n-Iarchimi is the umbrella organisation of the republican
ex-prisoner network throughout Ireland. Since its establishment in
1998 it has played a key role in highlighting and lobbying against the
social, economic, legal and societal barriers faced by political
ex-prisoners and their families.
Coiste na n-Iarchimi has gained a reputation for developing radical
and challenging projects which foster greater interaction between
republican ex-prisoners and all other sectors of Irish society. This
summer school is organised under one such project entitled
'Processes of Nation Building'.
Saturday, 30 August
This year's National Hunger Strike Commemoration will take place on
Rosemount Factory, Derry
For march and rally.
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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