Tuesday 21 February 2006

The Plough Vol 03 No 17

The Plough
Vol. 3- No 17
Tuesday 21st February 2006

E-mail newsletter of the
Irish Republican Socialist Party

2)Collective Responsibility
3)Protests; Reactions and What’s That Flag?
4)The best trained Army in the World.
5) Labour news
6) Torture in Basque Country
7)From The Newspapers
a.The Left Marches On
b.Thousands would die in US strikes on Iran
8)What’s on


It is no surprise that John White; a knife-wielding butcher of women was working for the British security services. Why would the Special Branch and MI5 risk their own lives when there are low life loyalists prepared to murder, prepare to maim, and prepared to flood working class protestant areas with deadly drugs so that the so-called British way of life could be maintained. White helped set up the UFF using information from the Authorities to set up and execute not only Republicans but Catholics as the counter revolutionary forces tried to terrorise and intimidate the anti-imperialist resistance. No doubt more revelations will emerge of who was working to a British agenda now that, to all intents and purposes the British establishment have succeeded in their pacification programme.

This edition of the Plough carries a short speech from Republican Socialist veteran Willie Gallagher to a gathering of Republican socialists recently in Belfast around the theme of collective responsibility. Others have vilified Willie in a vain attempt to smash our movement. Only last Sunday a local Sunday rag carried a false story about the so-called Dark Cloud figure of the tabloid imagination. The Sunday life carried a picture of a person it claimed to be the so-called Dark Cloud. It was not. For the record, our comrade is an active member of our movement and all attempts to demonise him and our movement will fail.

We also carry a humorous piece by one of our comrades on life on the picket line. However, a serious point should be made. The class struggle is intensifying. There will be many more picketing lines and all comrades need to mobilize with the class on these pickets. The magnificent Solidarity of the postal workers in Belfast on the their three week unofficial strike was a classic case of worker resistance to management attempts to bully intimidate and cow them into submission. Similarly the attack by Dunne’s Stores on trade unionism aping that of Ryan Air and the use of the courts to jail picket workers in the South of Ireland all show the need for class solidarity. We also carry a piece on the hypocrisy of the British when it comes to their Army. It is the few bad apples theory. Well when the brits use the likes of John White as their proxy murderer then that theory falls flat. The whole system is rotten and corrupt to the core and a change of leader from Blair to Brown will make no difference.

Now is the time for Republicans to turn towards the only sure class that can free us from the grip of imperialism and that is the working class; not the catholic working class; not the protestant working class; but the working class.

Collective Responsibility

'A question many of us here today have asked ourselves is where are we ten years after Gino's death and where are we going? Gino gave his life in order to give this movement back to the membership. Much has happened since his death and the Party has seen many advances since then. It would be fair to say that just prior to Gino's death the Party was in effect non-existent and had no relevance to the working class. It was being run down politically with Torney selling off Party offices in Derry and attempting to sell off the Belfast office. Many areas that once had a strong presence went into decline and in my opinion, the movement faced extinction. Even after his death, I believed at that time, after witnessing at first hand from a leadership level, the state the movement was in, that it would slowly disappear. I'm happy to say that I was wrong in my assessment and that some of Gino's aspirations have been realised.

Since 1996, we have seen the membership taking control of this movement and democratically electing an Ard Comhairle at regular Ard Fheiseanna since then. We have seen the rise in membership and support throughout the country with new offices opening in Strabane, Derry, Dungiven and North Belfast. We took control of the welfare and representation of our prisoners, North and South, and stabilised and energised their position like never before. We also oversaw the release of the vast majority of our prisoners. We set up structures and acquired finances thereby enhancing the position of our ex-prisoners and their families. We paid fitting homage to our dead comrades by the erection of memorials and yearly commemorations as well as engaging with the relatives of our dead. We have seen the creation of memorial bands to honour our dead. We have seen a large increase in numbers attending our Easter Sunday commemorations since 1996. We have ensured that the integrity and principled positions of the movement remained intact. Many of us here today have risked our lives and liberty and have underwent sustained campaigns of demonisation to achieve what we have and even though progress has been slow and not as quick or efficient as we would all like, it has been worthwhile and something all of us can be proud of. It has been a long and difficult journey and many of us at times periodically were downhearted at the slow pace of our development. At times when we focused on our difficulties and weaknesses, we would forget about our achievements thus becoming even more downhearted but we struggled on and we are still here doing the best we can.

Whether we like it or not the GFA has changed the political landscape of Ireland making it more difficult for the Party to advance politically. Many of us believed that we would remain in political limbo until the contradictions that existed within the new dynamic came more to the fore and until our analysis of the process and GFA were proven correct. It is now abundantly clear that republicanism has been shafted and that it really was a pacification process in order to negate militant republicanism. I believe we are now entering into that phase were our analysis has been proved, beyond doubt, to be the correct one and we are now entering a period where we can advance and convince others of our position. In recent times I have heard a lot of criticism directed against the leadership and have even heard claims that there is no proper leadership though I don’t know what no proper leadership meant exactly in the context that the article was written. There is a proper leadership and that is the Ard Comhairle who is elected to carry out the will of the movement through motions, debated and carried at the Ard Fheis. The leadership has been democratically elected by all of the membership. Therefore, to me, there is a proper leadership but is it functioning to the best of its ability, if not, what can we as a collective do to resolve that.

Despite our shortcomings and weaknesses, it is more than clear that we are the only movement within the left and within anti-GFA republicanism who has the capabilities to enhance the position of our class. All of us here today share a collective responsibility for our present shortcomings and weaknesses, both at leadership and grassroots level. In saying all that, all of us need to grab this movement by the scruff of the neck and put more energy and commitment into this movement. We need to examine our shortcomings and weaknesses in a constructive manner, re-organise, restructure and reinvigorate both the leadership and membership. We can do this but we can only do it as a collective with an input from all and not just the leadership.'


It was Friday afternoon and there I was, outside Dunne’s Stores, my feet freezing handing out leaflets and wishing it was 2 O clock, because the protest was to end at 2pm. Then of course the guilt prangs set in, O.K. it was cold, but there were protesters all over the country standing in the same weather, we even had a few anarchists at our protest, (do anarchists not feel the cold…?) protesting for a Dublin worker who was sacked. Most people thought she must have been sacked for something she did wrong like stealing, being late once too often, lazy or something along those lines. Well I for one would not have been there if it had have been any of those things. No she was sacked for having the audacity to wear her union badge.
Even though I am not in a union, like the anarchists I don’t like things that are organised and useless …, I believed that this protest was worth going to as even I could see the injustice in it all. But there were some lighter moments; you get to meet all sorts of people at these protests, and I am not just talking about the protesters…. No, what I mean is, what politicians call the “average man in the street”, (now before you feminist lot get your knickers in a twist….Take it up with the politicians not me, I didn’t coin the phrase….) there are all sorts of weird and wonderful average people in the street. First there was Connor, he was trying to photo the protest without us knowing, and I knew his name, not because he is a popular chappie around Belfast. No, Connor, using all his brains at once as he tried to snap us “Commie protesters” forgot to take his Dunne’s Stores name badge off, wonder if he will get sacked for that and I will be handing out leaflets for him soon….
Then along came a professor of Irish history. I was handing out my leaflets talking to Charlie who had a Starry Plough, when we were approached by the professor, “What flag is that “he asked, “The Starry Plough” answers Charlie, “what does it represent” asked our educated friend, “The flag of the Irish working class, Jimmy Connolly and all of that” replied Charlie. It was at this stage I left them to it. If a professor of Irish history doesn’t know what the Starry Plough represents, and that in 1916 it was not a rebellion, but a Post Office robbery that got out of hand, what chance do our children have of an education? As I walked off smiling to myself about the professor, I heard an elderly man mumble as he passed Charlie with his flag, “if it was a Union Jack you would not be allowed it here”, changed times indeed for this old gent. Then again, like the professor, he probably did not know what it represented.
Half way through the protest we were joined by the Post Office workers, who are also on strike, some of them knew what the Starry Plough was about, and even knew Seamus Costello, that could be a Union worth joining, just wish they would get their fingers out and deliver our post on time….
When I got home later that day, I set down to watch the News on T.V. The Headlines were all about protests. Unfortunately it was not The Dunne’s Stores protests. It was Muslims that were protesting about cartoons that they said were disrespectful to Islam. Two very different types of protests, for two very different reasons. As I watched the Muslims, I couldn’t help wondering if they were not over reacting? After all, Jesus has been mocked by the press, T.V., books, films etc, some even believe he (she?) was a spaceman!! (Woman!!). Yet I don’t know of any protests by Christians that involved burning embassies, calling for peoples heads to be cut off. (Well not since the middle ages…) The Iranian government has banned “Western music” because it dilutes their culture. Now I see nothing wrong with all of this. But I was wondering, what if it was the other way around. What if a European country banned non-European music? Would that not be classed as racist? Would the Muslim world not be up in arms? Personally I could go for banning some Western music myself, remember I was brought up on the likes of “Shackin Stevens” and Alvin Stardust, (is it any wonder I ended up in prison before I was 20…) so I think the Iranian government has a point, but to ban all Western music, surely the Sugar Babes aren’t that bad…
But what really got me thinking about all of this going on in the Muslim world is this, should we support this sort of action because of religion? What about women’s rights in the Muslim world? Granted, they have too many in the West, they even “wear the trousers” in some (many!) homes, which, for me, is very disturbing in my closed world…. What is Islam’s attitude towards Gay people, (I am all for homosexuality, it means less competition with other men for the females…) what is their attitude to socialism? We can be against Western government’s exploitation and expansionism into the Muslim world, but does that mean we have to support the governments in the Muslim countries? To me the answer is no. Closed societies never work, isolation of a people, no matter how many of them there is, stifles the people. I believe the government of Iran has got it wrong. If they feel that their culture is under threat from the west, should we not feel western culture is also under threat from Islam? Why do our governments push the multi-cultural society? To embrace all people, when the Muslim governments want to keep our life style out of their countries? Is this not a double standard by them? Or are we correct to push a multi-cultural society while they close their society?
The closest I have ever got to a Muslim country was Turkey, it is a mostly Muslim country, it says its secular, but go away from the holiday resorts and you can see it is a place where it is a male and religious dominated society. They tolerate other religions because they are so small. But women are second or even third class citizens. Now no matter what I think about women, (and believe me I have some issues with them…) even I would not want to see them treated in the manner I saw in rural Turkey.
So how do we, as socialists, deal with religious leaders of countries that treat their own citizens repressively because they believe they are doing Gods will on earth? And how do we, on the left, deal with protesters in western countries calling for death of our citizens, people who dress up as “suicide bombers” then say sorry when they are recognised, ( I bet al Qaeda are glad he didn’t join them, the plane would have landed… that’s just what they need an apologetic suicide bomber… I wonder if he found Allah in jail when he was doing time for drug dealing. Just as others have found Christ in jail….?) I believe the left need to take a good look at what they are saying and doing about these protests. They have no reason to shy away from them because the are by minorities, if people are pushing religious fundamentalism they should be opposed at every turn, no matter what their background is or what ever God it is they say they speak for.
So as I ponder over all of this going on in the world, Iran wanting nuclear power, the U.S. having it and nuclear weapons, Iraq going down the tubes, more Brits for Afghanistan, Denmark annoying the Muslim world, (is this the first time the Danes ever annoyed anybody?) the Muslim world annoying cartoonists, and the most important problem of all, to me, is why is no body protesting about Speed Ramps. Yes bloody speed ramps!! They are every where; annoy everybody yet not one protest. Why to hell not….
(Gerard Foster)


So “the best trained Army in the world” has been caught at doing what it does best, beating unarmed and defenceless civilians. Being Irish, this will be nothing new to us; we always knew that they were the best trained army in the world at beating civilians; on this occasion it happened to be Iraqi youths.
But just as we will not be surprised at the fact they beat people to a pulp. We are also not surprised at the people who have thrown themselves into the media, to support “the best trained army in the world”. It is these people that I want to talk about, because talking about the British Army and the people they beat, is old news to anybody, in any country, who has come across these jolly bunch of Brits as they “keep the peace” in their own strange way.
We are already getting the usual faces of ex-Brit servicemen, though never women, and politicians who row in with all sorts of excuses for these uniformed thugs. They range from “they are young, most only teenagers who are under great pressures”, “it was a few years ago, we have learnt since then” or the one most familiar to us, “it’s only a few bad apples, don’t let this reflect on the military as a whole, who are doing a great job for us and are an example to other armies all over the world”. It is easy see what other armies. Usually from former colonies of Britain and as the British Army showed them all they needed to know about oppression, is it strange they learned so much from their former masters?
Everywhere Britain has sent her uniformed thugs they have disgraced themselves. But they don’t have to worry too much about it, back home the great and powerful will enlighten us as to why it was necessary for their army to act the way it did. Plus the media will soon weigh in behind “our boys and girls”. They will role out the usual experts like “Andy Mc Nab”, whose utterances are so unreal he won’t use his own name; he says it for security, but who he is hiding from is still unclear, lets face it, he is no Salmon Rushdie. He says that there is a major difference between what Britain’s “boys” are doing to civilians and what Americas “boys” are doing to P.O.W.s. Well to me battering some one inside or outside prison is still torture. I think our anonymous “Andy” should stick to writing books for people like himself; those who have the I.Q. of a dead cockroach….you don’t need to be Einstein to get into the British Army, from my experience of them in Belfast, a lack of even a standard education seems to fit all the requirements to join it.
So for generations we have had British uniformed thugs disgracing themselves all over the world, backed by the British establishment who think we should be grateful to them for it. Do these politicians and so-called experts believe what they say, or do they just expect us to believe it? They blatantly talk about their military in glowing terms, as if they actually care about what their “boys” are doing in other countries, as a matter of fact, they are annoyed that their “boys” actions are being questioned at all. Blair says there will be an investigation, if British investigations in Ireland are anything to go by, we know the out-come of it already. Media military “experts” will spin out the usual rubbish to a square eyed audience, who would believe anything their “betters” tell them. The British establishment have to back their troops, even if they commit mass murder, as we have seen with Derry, or they will not even have an investigation, as we have seen with the mass murder their soldiers committed in the New Lodge and Springhill.
But as these soldiers return to Britain, the T.V. crews will be out in force to show them tearfully reunited with their families and loved ones, we will get interviews with wives and children, who will answer questions about how good it is to have them home etc. But no interviewer will ask them “what about the beatings that were handed out to civilians and prisoners?” No these interviews at the airports are meant to convey a feeling of a job well done by the boys in uniform. Not the dirty, messy things soldiers do to people they see as less human than themselves.
So as we watch British soldiers doing what they are trained to do, and the establishment rowing in behind to support their every action, my anger is towards a system that turns a blind eye to their own injustices and human rights abuses, yet will use lies and story’s of human rights abuses to invade another country. The invasion of Iraq is illegal, but so what. What Britain, and other countries, are doing in Iraq is illegal, but so what. The world is not a safer place since the invasion, but so what. Certain people are making billions of dollars out of the invasion, but so what.
So long as the likes of Bush and Blair tell us everything is going to plan, it will be soldiers and civilians who will suffer the effects of this illegal invasion, not the high and mighty, but so what….

Labour news

10 February 2006 16:55
Three bricklayers from Ballybrack in south Dublin have been jailed after refusing to undertake to obey a court order to stop picketing a building site in Ballybrack.

The men, all from the Ballybrack/Sallynoggin area, were part of a group who placed a picket on the Collen Construction Limited building site where 77 local authority houses are being built.

Today the three men, Andrew Clarke of Cromlech Fields, Keith Kelly of Ashlawn Park, Ballybrack and William McClurg, Sallynoggin, told the High Court they would not obey the court order.

They were then jailed by Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, who told them they could come back to court and purge their contempt at any time.

Supporters in the courtroom gave the men a round of applause and some shouted that it was a disgrace, these are three family men.

The men had claimed that they live in the community where the construction is going on and are unable to obtain employment at the site.

Thousands of people demonstrate against torture in Basque Country

Organized by Askatasuna
The protesters, which marched through the streets of Donostia-San Sebastian, were headed by a banner showing a photograph of Joxe Arregi, killed 25 years ago after being tortured at a police station.

Thousands of people turned out for a demonstration to protest against torture in Donostia-San Sebastian Saturday called by the group in defence of the rights of the Basque political prisoners Askatasuna. Two Basque dancers lead the march carrying a banner that showed a photograph of Joxe Arregi, a Basque militant that was killed tortured at a Spanish police station.

Unai Romano, Nekane Txapartegi, Julen Larrinaga or Amaia Urizar's mother, all of them Basque militants that have denounced being tortured, carried a banner reading "Torturarik ez! Inoiz eta inon" (No to torture, nowhere and never ever).

Protesters paid tribute to Joxe Arregi on the 25th anniversary of his death and called for the eradication of torture.

The protest was attended by members of the Basque trade unions ELA and LAB, the nationalist parties Batasuna and Aralar and Etxerat, an organization which defends the Basque prisoners serve their sentences in Basque prisons.


In Volume3. No.16 of The Plough you editorialised on the two main articles of the edition. In your comments on the articles you described Hamas as “Anti-Semitic “. This is factually incorrect. The dispossessed Palestinian Arabs are a Semitic people people in the same way that those who have dispossessed them are Semitic. However the term ‘Semitic’ has been hijacked by the Zionists to perpetuate the myth of racial difference as well as, in my opinion, superiority. What differences there are are based on religion rather than race. While I take no exception to your description of Hamas as anti-women etc. I find it disturbing that a Socialist paper should allow such a factual inaccuracy to appear in its pages. The fact that most of the ‘mainstream’ media - I use the term advisedly - use Semitic so loosely is not really an excuse for a paper like The Plough which sets itself such high standards, to fall into the same error. Yours
faithfully F. R.

(Mea Culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Editor Go on correct the latin!!)

From the newspapers
The Left Marches On

Havana, Feb 4 (Prensa Latina) Cuba's President Fidel Castro and
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez coincided that Latin America is currently
living a change with the rise of progressive forces and failure of
the neoliberal model.

In a ceremony held Friday night at Havana's Revolution Square in
which the Venezuelan president was presented with the International
Jose Marti Award, Fidel Castro said there is a new Bolivarian dawn in
the region.

Among the Latin American changes, stated the Cuban leader, are the
strengthening of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and Evo
Morales' arrival to the Bolivian presidency.

"Nothing and no one could impede the glowing future of the Latin American and the Caribbean peoples," pointed out Fidel.

"These changes are indispensable for survival of the human race," he said, and criticized how the US government squanders billions on world aggressions. He jabbed that country for the torture and extrajudicial murders committed by the George W. Bush administration.

From the same podium Chavez asserted that only the socialist model could build a fair and equal society.

The Venezuelan head of state rebuked White House-proposed neoliberal
integration, the so-called Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, which has been rejected by nations throughout the region.

The Venezuelan leader said that integration, instead, should be based on Simon Bolivar and Jose Marti's principles, and referred to the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas as a model to follow.

Chavez also demanded the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, extradition of confessed Cuban-born terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela and release of five Cubans unfairly imprisoned in the US for trying to thwart terrorist actions against the island.

The Venezuelan president donated the sum of his award to Bolivia, to help aid flood victims of recent rain storms or for any other program of the new government.

Over 200,000 Cubans, students from several nations and members from
social organizations attended the rally that ended in the early hours
of Saturday.

Thousands would die in US strikes on Iran, says study

· Report warns of effects of American or Israeli strikes
· Military operations would mean long confrontation

Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor
Monday February 13, 2006
The Guardian

A surprise American or Israeli air strike on Iranian nuclear sites could cause a large number of civilian as well as military casualties, says a report published today.

The report, Iran: Consequences of a War, written by Professor Paul Rogers and published by the Oxford Research Group, draws comparisons with Iraq. It says the civilian population in that country had three weeks to prepare for war in 2003, giving people the chance to flee potentially dangerous sites. But Prof Rogers says attacks on Iranian facilities, most of which are in densely populated areas, would be surprise ones, allowing no time for such evacuations or other precautions.

"Military deaths in this first wave of attacks would be expected to be in the thousands," he says. "Civilian deaths would be in the many hundreds at least, particularly with the requirement to target technical support for the nuclear and missile infrastructure, with many of the factories being located in urban areas."

The death toll would eventually be much higher if Iran took retaliatory action and the United States responded, or if the US took pre-emptive military action in addition to strikes on nuclear sites.

Prof Rogers, of the University of Bradford's peace studies department, says: "A military operation against Iran would not ... be a short-term matter but would set in motion a complex and long-lasting confrontation. It follows that military action should be firmly ruled out and alternative strategies developed."

US and other western critics of Tehran say the government there is intent on securing a nuclear weapons capability. The Iranians deny this, saying they are pursuing civilian nuclear energy. The issue could still be resolved diplomatically, but both the US and Israel have said the option of air strikes remains open.

Prof Rogers says the aim of an attack would be to set back Iran's nuclear programme by at least five years. He says Britain could be drawn in as US aircraft would probably use UK bases.

He lists the expected targets as the Tehran Research Reactor, a radioisotope production facility, a range of nuclear-related laboratories, and the Kalaye Electric Company, all in Tehran, and facilities in Isfahan and Natanz.

"The new reactor nearing completion at Bushehr would be targeted, although this could be problematic once the reactor is fully fuelled and goes critical some time in 2006," he says. "Once that has happened, any destruction of the containment structure could lead to serious problems of radioactive dispersal affecting not just the Gulf coast but west Gulf seaboards in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates."

He adds: "All the initial attacks would be undertaken more-or-less simultaneously, in order to kill as many of the technically competent staff as possible, therefore doing the greatest damage to longer-term prospects."

Iran would be unable to prevent such an attack, as it has only limited air defences. But Prof Rogers says it has a large arsenal of responses. It could:

· withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty and pursue speedy development of nuclear weapons capability;
· encourage retaliatory action against Israel by the Lebanese-based Hizbullah group, which has missiles capable of hitting Haifa and several other Israeli cities;

· close the Strait of Hormuz, one of the main access routes for oil from the Gulf;
· send Iranian paramilitary units into states such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates;
· or order Iranian Revolutionary Guards to step up links with insurgents in Iraq.
Prof Rogers says a US or Israeli attack could also help al-Qaida by increasing the anti-US mood in the region and beyond.


Concerned citizens and activists are planning to hold a vigil next Thursday, 23 February at 5.30pm at The Diamond, Ranelagh, Dublin (and, if possible, also outside Justice Minister McDowell's constituency office) in a bid to force him to implement the law regarding aircraft landing at Shannon Airport. Those planes MUST be searched for suspected torture victims and radioactive weapons. Furthermore, there will be a call to stop the harassment of peace activists who monitor Shannon.

Cosantoiri Siochana invite people to join them for this candle-lit vigil which will terminate by walking in single-file procession to Rathmines Garda Station to hand in a signed letter to the Superintendent commemorating the event.

Candles will be supplied but please, if possible, bring a along a jamjar or other suitable receptacle in case of breezy weather!


THURS 23 FEB @ 5.30pm

Feb 23/24th 2006

Charlie Donnelly Winter school

The winter school programme commences on Thursday 23rd February with the theatrical production of Brian Moore's musical comedy 'The Session', staged at CRAIC Theatre in Coalisland. The Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone Cllr Francis Molloy will officially open the event on Friday 24th, readings of Charlie Donnelly's poetry will be presented by Mairead Mullan (direct relation of Charlie Donnelly) and the programme will continue with a panel discussion with esteemed historian, newspaper columnist and author Brian Feeney. An evening of musical entertainment with a Poets and Pints session will conclude the programme on Saturday evening at 8pm.

The winter school offers a cultural experience and night out with a difference with poetry, debates and musical entertainment - something for everyone.

Look out for further details of the winter school in the press in the forthcoming weeks. This event is supported by the Return of the Earls initiative.

For further information on the programme contact the Marketing and Events Officer on 877 20342

PDF of the programme flyer is available on: http://www.connollycolumn.org/wintersch.pdf

What’s Online:

Official website of the International Brigade Commemoration Committee in Belfast is now online and can by viewed by clicking on: www.connollycolumn.org
No Pasarán Online:

You can visit the project online by clicking on: www.nopasaran.netfirms.com


International Women’s Day Wednesday 8th March 2006
Day and Evening events
Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Spanish Anti-Fascist War 1936-1939

The Clarion Call; Women & the Spanish Civil War: A talk and photo/poster presentation will be given by Angela Jackson, in the Central Hall, Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education on Wednesday the 8th March 12.30pm to 15.30pm. (Refreshments at 12.30pm:)Edwina Stewart will introduce Angela Jackson and question time/debate will be chaired by Myrtle Hill.

The BIFHE are hosting this event in the College Square East, as part of their Centenary celebrations. On show for the first time will be a photographic exhibition “A HUNDRED YEARS OF WOMEN AT THE TECH” contrasting women who attended the college in the early part of the 20th century with women who attend the college in the present day. (Leaflet will be available shortly).

Angela Jackson, a doctor of History from the University of Essex, now lives in the Priorat, Catalonia. She moved there in 2002 after visiting the area to research for her book, British Women and the Spanish Civil War. (Routledge, London, 2002) Her interest in the history of the cave hospital near the village of La Bisbal de Falset led to the publication of a further book in Catalan and English, Beyond the Battlefield (Warren & Pell, Pontypool, 2005). She continues to be involved in the subject of memory and remembrance of the war though her work as president of the association ‘No Jubilem La Memòria’. The work of the group so far has included the production of a documentary based on interviews with International Brigaders and local people, the organisation of commemorative events and lectures, and the collection and exhibition of photographs taken in the area during the civil war.

Edwina Stewart was a teacher in Ashfield Girls School and Comber High School. Following in her parents footsteps (they were founder members of the Communist Party of Ireland) Edwina continues her membership of the CPI, and it is in this capacity that she knew some of those families whose relatives went to fight in Spain against fascism. Her mother Sadie Menzies was involved in the International Women’s Day events in the late 1940’s. Edwina was also honorary secretary of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association from 1969 until the late ‘70’s. And as she says “I joined practically every peace and solidarity organisation and I’m not finished yet.” (Cited by Marilyn Hyndman in Further Afield: Journeys from a Protestant past 1996) In 1962 as a serving teacher, Edwina was a student in Commercial Studies at the ‘Tech’ in Belfast.

Myrtle Hill, who returned to study as a housewife and mother, is currently Director of the Centre for Women’s Studies at Queen’s University, Belfast. A senior lecturer in social, religious and women’s history, she has published widely in these areas; her most recent book is Women in Ireland: A Century of Change, Belfast, 2003. She continues to work on various aspects of Irish, particularly northern Irish women’s history, focusing more recently on the complexities of how events are recorded and remembered. As coordinator of the University’s Access Programme, she maintains a strong interest in the promotion of opportunities for mature students.
Social Event: 8th March: In the evening there will be an IWD event held in the John Hewitt pub in Donegall Street 7.15pm to late. “Into the Fire” a film about American Women’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War will be shown, followed by musicians/singers/poets, Geraldine Bradley, Paul Bradley; Chad Dughie, Victoria Gleason & others plus a poem sent by Sinead Morrissey. All proceeds from this event will go the International Brigades Commemoration Committee who intends to establish a memorial to those Belfast people who died fighting with the International Brigade in Spain. (£6 waged & £2.00 unwaged)
Relatives of the International Brigade, who went to Spain from Ireland will invited to the events which are supported by the International Brigades Commemoration Committee; BIFHE; Belfast & District Trade Union Council; and partly funded by the Northern Ireland Women’s Rights Movement. These events should appeal women’s organisations, students, historians, trade unionists, academics, & political activists.
All People Welcome

For further details

Tuesday 21 March, 8 p.m.

Public meeting

“Pearse and Connolly: their influence on each other”

Speaker: Mícheál Mac Aonghusa
Ireland Institute (27 Pearse Street)

Organised by the James Connolly Education Trust

Baile Átha Cliath
Máirt 21 Márta, 8 i.n.

Cruinniú poiblí
“Pearse and Connolly: their influence on each other”

Cainteoir: Mícheál Mac Aonghusa
Institiúid na hÉireann (27 Sráid an Phiarsaigh)


The RSYM is selling tickets for a raffle will be April 17th, 11am at Costello House. The prizes are a POW-made bodhrán (traditional Irish drum), DVDs and assorted IRSM merchandise valued around 15 euro. The price of each ticket is 2 euro, 1 pound or 3 dollars.

The funds raised from raffle ticket sales will help RSY to acquire a banner, badges, pay for their website and so on. It's important work in establishing the IRSM's youth wing and all sales are greatly appreciated!

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