Volume 2, Number 48
13 August 2005
E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1) National Hunger Strike Commemoration
3) IRSP Speech at Anti-Internment Rally
4) Free Dessie O'Hare Now
5) Announcement from the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five
6) What's On
This year's National Hunger Strike Commemoration will take place on
Saturday, 20th August. Assemble 2pm, Rosemount Factory, Derry for
march and rally.
ALL REPUBLICAN SOCIALISTS TO ATTEND
Within the last week the Irish Republican Information Service issued a
statement saying: "The body styling itself 'Limerick Republican
Information Service' is not connected with the Irish Republican
Information Service (IRIS), 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1, email
firstname.lastname@example.org and has not been authorised either by IRIS or by the
body that sponsors IRIS, Republican Sinn Fein. Therefore it is totally
unauthorised and should be regarded as such."
It appears that a number of very prominent members of RSF from the
wider Limerick area have left RSF. All political organisations have
internal disagreements and disputes. Republican organisations are no
different from the many left-wing organisations that have doctrinal
disputes. We have no wish to delve into the internal affairs of RSF.
But it is clear from the position in the prisons, from our knowledge
of the organisations that once were part of the Provisional Movement
and from the lack of activity on the ground, that there is a major
crisis of confidence in the so-called "dissidents."
In a number of speeches and statements the IRSP have said there was a
crisis in republicanism. But the IRSP has been prepared to do
something about that crisis. We repeatedly called for a Republican
Forum and took part in futile talks with other republicans, that
against our wishes called itself "Republican Congress" at one meeting
and then never met again. If one was cynical one could say some of the
participants were only interested in getting electoral support.
The IRSP wrote to a number of republican and left-wing organisations
requesting a meeting but their desire for dialogue was so strong we
never even got an acknowledgment never mind a meeting. Despite this
and despite our reservations about the organisation behind the
anti-internment rally in Ballymena on August 9th 2005, the IRSP
supported, spoke at, and provided a band for that rally as well as
helping to defuse possible violent situations following the march.
The speech below from Paul Little clearly outlines our reasons for
supporting this march.
The reasons for our reservations are and were clear. We are not into
so-called "Provo bashing." We have made clear our political
disagreements about the political direction of Sinn Fein and we will
continue to make criticisms not only of Sinn Fein but of all other
nationalist and unionist parties which condone or support capitalism.
We are not in the business of yelling "sell out" and "traitor." The
IRA (P) has made their decisions. They fought a war. They called a
ceasefire. They decommissioned their weapons. That's their business.
Too many republicans, having for years accepted the leadership of the
Provisionals and their politics, are jumping up and down trying to
make sense of it all now. They think they can re-create the conditions
that led to the formation of the IRA (P) in the first place. They
can't. The world has changed and political circumstances in Ireland
have changed so republicans and socialists have to adapt to the
Our business in the Republican Socialist Movement is to radicalise the
working class and for that we need a strong working class
revolutionary party. We recognise that the republican project has
suffered a severe setback.
To all those socialists and republicans who seek a way out of the
impasse that the broad republican tradition is in, we say there is
only one clear way forward. Take the class road with the IRSP, ditch
the nationalism and put your energies and efforts into the
radicalisation of the Irish working class. Join the IRSP. It is the
only viable alternative for republicans and socialists.
IRSP SPEECH AT ANTI-INTERNMENT RALLY
[Delivered by Paul Little, Ballymena, County Antrim, 9 August 2005]
Tonight we applaud the courage of the organisers of tonight's
demonstration and recognise the historical significance of the first
ever republican rally in Ballymena.
Sixteen years ago, ten miles down the road in Antrim, same date, same
time and same reason, a small group of republicans, some of whom I see
here tonight, gathered with the Brendan Convery Flute Band to remember
the anniversary of internment. This was the first republican public
demonstration in the unionist dominated town. It took place against a
backdrop of a media frenzy and an incessant loyalist campaign of
murder and intimidation of Catholics across County Antrim.
Like tonight's demonstration is restricted to Fisherwick it was
restricted to the Rathenraw estate, the restriction did not and could
not take away from the historical significance for Antrim republicans.
For Ballymena republicans tonight's rally has the same significance.
Fast forward 16 years, half a dozen ceasefires and the Good Friday
Agreement and what is the wider backdrop of tonight's demonstration?
A media frenzy and the ongoing intimidation and sectarian attacks
against Catholics in Ballymena, Ahoghill, Rasharkin, Antrim and
Cloughmills. Catholics still remain twice as likely to be unemployed
as their Protestant neighbours. Discrimination in public housing
allocations is rife, with Catholics unable to get homes in certain
areas despite there being empty houses. In Ballymena today, it's still
a case of keeping your heads lower than a Larne Catholic.
Having stated that, it would be wrong to classify all unionists and
Protestants as supporting the above repression, we recognise those
from the unionist tradition who wish to represent the face of modern
unionism and engage in positive dialogue in an attempt not only to
achieve peace but also to improve the lot of their own community.
Those from the unionist tradition who recently offered and indeed did
help to clean up the chapel after another sectarian attack in
Ballymena are to be applauded for their courage and decency.
The IRSP considered carefully the request for a speaker from the
organisers of tonight's demonstration, we are not strictly a
nationalist political party, we have very little in common with the
'Hibs' and chapel gate politics, so speaking at what the media have
dubbed a 'nationalist' demonstration caused some debate within the
We are however Irish republican Socialists with a proud history of
standing shoulder to shoulder with the oppressed, marginalised and
censored among the Irish working class, this is a demonstration for
rights: human rights, civil rights and national rights. No more second
class Irish citizens, whether it's in Dublin or Galway, Antrim or
Ardoyne, Ballymurphy or Ballymena.
If the issue of rights is to be addressed, it has to be for everyone
and not a geographical lottery where isolated communities are left at
the mercy of reactionary British forces. That is why we decided to
accept tonight's invitation to speak.
The anniversary of the introduction of internment by the British at
the behest of Faulkner's government is nothing to celebrate; the date
is carved into the collective memory of the oppressed of the occupied
six counties, as the date when republicans, socialists, trade
unionists, nationalists and dissenters were dragged from their beds by
the British Army to face torture, imprisonment and an uncertain
future. Indeed no one returned from internment unaffected by its
As republican socialists we don't celebrate the 9th of August, as
republican socialists we remember this as the date when the Brits
tried to smother the struggle for Irish freedom. They failed! The
struggle continues today and will continue as long as Britain
continues the occupation of the six counties. The struggle as we know
it has changed and those who refuse to acknowledge those changes and
adapt their struggles to engage with the modern manifestation of the
British occupation in Ireland, no matter how well intentioned and
historically valid, will fail.
But let us be clear, whichever form our struggle takes, whichever
tactics we use, the republican socialist struggle will continue until
this state is smashed and our class and our country are free.
The Republican Socialist Movement accepts the need for changed tactics
in a rapidly changing world. But changed tactics don't mean changed
principles. We stand by the Republic of James Connolly and Liam
Only when the Irish working class achieves 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.
Internment continues in modern Ireland today, both north and south.
Whilst we join with others to welcome home Sean Kelly and the Colombia
Three, their freedom remains a concession to a political party, there
are other 'internees' in Ireland. The continued detention by the Free
State government and Michael McDowell of republican socialist Dessie
O'Hare is a disgrace and a direct denial of his human rights. We call
on the Dublin government to release him to his family immediately.
Elsewhere, the jails in Ireland are filling up with asylum seekers who
come to these shores fleeing persecution and seeking work and shelter.
Instead they end up detained indefinitely in detention centres having
committed no offences.
In Mayo we have five Irishmen detained at the behest of a
multi-national oil company for trying to protect their land - our
land, Ireland - from exploitation. What price now for Rockall? Free
the Rossport Five!
Internationally the illegal detention by the USA of thousands of
detainees from across the Middle East at Guantanamo Bay is immoral and
an affront to human rights. Across Iraq and Afghanistan ordinary
working men and women are imprisoned without trial or evidence by the
hands of an illegal occupying power that is the Anglo-American axis in
the Middle East. These detentions continue as the West murders its way
through these sovereign countries, plundering their oil resources or
stealing land for oil pipelines.
Oppression, occupation, exploitation, corruption, murder, internment -
these are the tools of western democracy, of capitalism. The tools
that they use with abandon against the poor, the defenceless and the
starving across the globe.
The IRSP and the working class from across Ireland will not be
lectured and moralised at by national governments whose hands drip
with the blood of those who cannot defend themselves. They bring shame
on the very democracy they talk about defending. From Ballymena
tonight we send this message: to Britain, to America, our message is
clear - out of Ireland out of Iraq no war but the class
On the 28th of January 1994, a crisp Ballymena morning, I stood in
Fisherwick Gardens outside the home of Cormac McDermott. Cormac had
been murdered the previous night by the UVF. I stood with his
father-in-law, Councillor Willie Cunning, waiting to for the RUC
forensics to leave. They left after awhile leaving behind them spent
ammunition, fragments of Cormac's hair, blood and bone still clung to
the bullet, evidence if any was needed that there would be no
comprehensive RUC investigation into this sectarian murder. Cormac was
murdered because he was a Ballymena Catholic, who was not prepared to
keep his head down, his 'crime' to sell republican newspapers. Murder,
the ultimate form of censorship!
Ten years on from Cormac's murder, they have failed. We stand in the
same street, delivering the same message that he lost his life for:
Irish unity, Irish freedom and no more second class citizens.
Onwards to the Socialist Republic - Brits Out!
"FREE DESSIE O'HARE NOW"
Recently Monsignor Denis Faul, never a friend of republicans, has
called for the immediate release of INLA prisoner Dessie O'Hare from
Castlerea Prison in Roscommon. Monsignor Faul is one of an increasing
number of people who support the immediate release of Dessie, who was
given a 40-year prison sentence in April 1988 for offences including
the kidnapping and mutilation of Dublin dentist John O'Grady. The
sentence was the longest in the history of the Republic for any
offence other than capital murder. It was also a sentence that showed
that attacks on members of the middle class even when they were not
killed deserved stiffer sentences than the killing of working class
"The man has served his sentence and I don't believe that he should be
left in jail. There are so many people that are part of the forgotten
wreckage of the Troubles and while Dessie O'Hare is not so much
forgotten, he is part of that wreckage," said Monsignor Faul.
He went on to criticise the media, saying that the Dublin media should
leave him alone.
Eddie McGarrigle, of Teach na Failte, which provides support for
republican socialist ex-prisoners and their families, has been
spearheading the campaign to have Dessie O'Hare released.
Eddie McGarrigle, who is also on the Ard-Chomhairle of the Irish
Republican Socialist Party, said: "The Prison Service have basically
washed their hands of Dessie and say that it is up to Michael McDowell
when he gets released. Michael McDowell agreed to release Dessie in
April and the prison service is now saying that the decision lies with
The IRSP say release Dessie now.
ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE NATIONAL COMITTEE TO FREE THE CUBAN FIVE
On August 9, after more than one year of weighing the evidence, the
11th Circuit Court of a Appeals vacated the trial court's ruling
against the Cuban Five and ordered a new trial with a change of venue.
This is a sensational victory for the Five, the Cuban people, and the
international people's movement that supports them! The Five will now
receive a new trial in a place other than Miami. This blow to the U.S.
government undeniably was made possible by the hard work and growing
support of progressive, justice-loving people in the U.S. and all over
the world. The Five are one big step closer to freedom. Let's continue
the struggle and ensure total victory.
Free the Cuban Five!
U.S. Hands Off Cuba!
Volverán! They will return!
National Committee to Free the Cuban Five
For more info call 323-464-1636 or email@example.com.
(See WHAT'S ON below as to how to support the Cuban Five)
Friday, 10 August
Teach na Failte (North Belfast) Fundraiser in the Crumlin Star,
Ardoyne, Friday August 19th 2005 from 8.00pm till late admission
The Irish Republican Socialist Party will be hosting a fundraiser on
the 17th of September 8.30pm in the Ardee Public House (off Cork
Street) Dublin. Admission is 5 euro and will be strictly ticket only.
There will be a benefit draw on the night concisting of a selection of
prison craft with proceeds going to Republican Socialist POWs. For
more details contact DublinIRSP@hotmail.com.
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'.
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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