Sunday 16 April 2006

The Plough Vol 03 No 23

The Plough
Vol. 3- No 23

Sunday 16th Aril 2006

E-mail newsletter of the
Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Easter statement of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement

2) IRSCNA Easter Statement.

3) Easter Statement from the Republican Socialist Youth Movement

4) What’s on

Easter 1916- Easter 2006.

90 Years on and the struggle not yet over

Easter statement of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement

Comrades and friends,

Let us first remember why every year we gather, as thousands do all over this island, at grave -yards and memorials. We stand here to pay homage to and remember all those who died in the struggle for national independence.

Since the first stirrings of the separatist movement in the latter part of the 18th century, many men and women have lost their lives in the pursuit of Irish freedom. In the 18th, 19th 20th and 21st century Irish republicans have died in the struggle for freedom.

We honour them all, regardless of which republican organisation they belonged to. No one holds the rights and deeds to the legacy of those who died. No one can claim that they can interpret the thoughts of the dead or claim that they and they alone are the sole heirs and followers of the republican dead.

Of course on this special occasion we as members or supporters of the Republican Socialist Movement and family representatives of dead volunteers remember in particular our own dead comrades and friends who devoted their lives to republican socialism. The reading out of their names on our roll of honour cannot do full justice to the lives they led nor ease the pain of their families. No one knows what they would have become or what they could have achieved if born in a different time and place.

Unfortunately, they grew up in a country partitioned and with its nearest neighbour claiming jurisdiction over part of this island. That neighbour, Britain, was and is an imperialist power.

Some might find the use of that word, imperialist, archaic, outdated, or old fashioned. After all, we live in a world of instant communications and where shopping in super and hypermarkets is the new religion. Celebrities and fashion dominate the main news. There is a rising standard of living for many of us in the European Union. Those who denigrate the Easter Rising and revise history to suit their current political direction, these revisionists and reformists, say “move on, look at the bigger picture. Forget 1916 it was a mistake anyway”

Well here is the bigger picture. Britain and the USA, two major imperialist powers, one junior and one senior, are bogged down in an imperialist war in Iraq. They threaten Iran, refuse to recognise the democratic mandate of Hamas in the occupied Palestine land, try to undermine the Bolivarian revolution taking place in Venezuela. They gave aid and arms to the King of Nepal to suppress a popular uprising. They torture political prisoners; force-feed hunger strikers and support corrupt dictators in Africa. They turn a blind eye to multi national companies using goons and murder squads to assassinate trade union leaders. They have blockaded Cuba for over forty years, and are destroying the very planet we live in.

That is imperialism and that is the enemy. Our enemy is not the British working class. Our enemy is not the protestant or loyalist or unionist working class. Our enemy is most certainly not other republicans. No comrades and friends, never, never, never fall into the trap that so many on the left fall into, of seeing those closest to us in outlook as being our main rivals and therefore our main enemy. Of course, we have differences with others. That is why we exist. We place our movement firmly within the working class and have a socialist analysis. We categorically state no socialism without national liberation and no national liberation without socialism.

But our differences we must be able to state, without rancour, without bitterness, in an open honest fashion and treating those, with whom we disagree, with respect. That is the republican socialist way. Those who lie, slander, spread gossip as fact, back bite, bitch, and try to turn republican against republican, socialist against socialist, are objectively the agents of Imperialism.

In recent times, there has been a sustained campaign to undermine and subvert Irish Republicanism by linking Republicanism with criminality. That same tactic was used 25 years. The deaths of ten hunger strikers put paid to that fallacy. No republican is involved in criminality, for no republican joined the struggle to make money.

However, an intelligence led media black operation has tried to link our own movement and in particular key members of our movement with criminality. This has allowed the PSNI to carry out a range of raids on republican socialists in an attempt to blacken denigrate and slander this movement. We utterly refute those allegations. Maggie Thatcher tried to foster the badge of criminality 25 years ago on us and failed. Republicans stood firm and united then. We are steadfast today against any effort to criminalise our struggle.

The current political impasse in the North confirms our original analysis of the Good Friday Agreement. Eight years on and the Good Friday Agreement has still not been implemented. All that has happened has been some tinkering with the system. Sadly a small return for years of struggle sacrifice and death. Some republicans now must bitterly regret going down that road-a road that increased sectarianism, solidified partition and legitimised British interference in Irish affairs.

Currently we now have far more direct British rule than we have ever had. As the British overlords prepare to introduce a wide range of punitive charges on us, privatise public companies and assets and reward the RIR with millions they must have a strong sense of satisfaction with a job well done. British right to rule in the North is now recognised internationally. Articles 2 and 3 are gone. The armed struggle is over, complete, gone.

And a good thing to. Let us be honest. In the current local national and international context, the continuation of armed struggle is not merely futile but is counter-productive to the aims and objectives that republicans seek. To those republicans who sincerely believe that armed struggle is the only way forward at this time we say; look at the meagre gains that the struggle from 69 to 98 achieved, when it had the full backing of many working class nationalists. Do you really think that you can achieve more especially without the support of working class nationalists?

It is time for republicans and socialists to sit down together without grandstanding and chart a new way forward for radical democratic republicanism. We don’t care who convenes such talks or where they are, or if its in a forum, a federation, a congress, a seminar, a conference, a workshop or a summer school. We are prepared to play our part in a politically non-sectarian way without pre-conditions.

For friends and comrades be in no doubt there is a growing sense of frustration especially among young people at the direction mainstream politics is going. There is still a place for those who still have beliefs, not interests, integrity not opportunism, principles not pragmatism.

We must reach out to channel that frustration into positives politics. In the language of the business world there is a market out there for republican politics but only if we adapt.

For Irish Republicanism itself is in crisis notwithstanding the electoral gains of Sinn Fein. If anyone doubts that then ask yourself how many organisations now exist claiming to be republican and how closer to the republican ideal have those organisations brought us? We say this not in bitterness but in a spirit of realism. Claiming to be the true, the real inheritors of 1916 and carrying on as if nothing has changed from say 1916, or 1969, or 1974, or 1986, or 1997 is plainly not on. It ignores not only reality but also shows some contempt for the mass of the Irish people.

If that is the case then it is unfortunate for it is the mass of the people who we need to win over to the struggle for our Republic. And comrades and friends that mass of people include those brought up to consider themselves British or Unionist.

If republicanism is to be relevant, it has to renew itself and adapt to the times that are changing. And in changed times we also change. If republicans are not involved in the everyday struggles of the people, in the struggles of the tenants, of the trade unionists of the political prisoners of the migrant population, of the low paid exploited worker, of the old, of the sick, of oppressed women and oppressed gays and don’t fight for the dignity and liberty of all, then republicans are irrelevant to our society.

We are republican socialists. We see the relevance of the class struggle and the importance of taking an internationalist perspective on issues. Daily Irish neutrality is whittled away while USA planes use Irish airspace to move weapons of war and tortured prisoners around the world. Meanwhile the EU continues to move towards a centralised bureaucracy, undemocratic in reality while on the face of it answerable to the people. It is the bureaucrats who rule and who push forward economic liberalism that will see the selling off of national and publicly owned assets to the private sector.

1916 kick started the struggle for national independence and sovereignty. In 2006 90 years on we see that independence, limited as it is, and that sovereignty, limited as it is, handed lock stock and barrel over to the bureaucrats of Brussels who act not in the interests of the people but in the interests of the multinationals or corporate world.

Was it for this that the greatest of the men and women of 1916 James Connolly gave his life?

We abhor and condemn attempts by mainstream political parties to use the names of the hunger strikers for strictly party political purposes. They did not die for political parties. They died for political status; for the right to be regarded as political combatants and not criminals. No one but no one had the right to bargain away gains made by their deaths. We call on all republicans no matter from which organisation to support the continuing struggle for political status.

It is sometimes argued that Republicans are obsessed with the North and ignore what goes on in the 26 counties. If that is so then that attitude is wrong. Republican and socialists should be actively involved in the many struggles going on. Not because it will win kudos for republicanism but because it is right.

It is right to stand with the migrant workers exploited in both fields and factories by the modern day gombeen men who pay low wages and treat migrants as no better than slaves.

It is right to expose and highlight the brutality, lies and corruption that are part of the culture of the Garda. They needed no lessons from the RUC. We need to channel the resentment of working class youth towards the Garda into a positive political direction.

It is right to campaign against partnership deals with employers that tie the vast majority of trade unionists to relatively low wage increases, while profits continue to rise.

In short, it is right to stand with the weak against the strong with the protester against the multinationals, and with all those who strive to save our planet from destruction.

In honouring the men and women of 1916, we must remember they had no mandate. Wolfe Tone had no mandate. Robert Emmet had no mandate. Liam Mellows had no mandate. Seamus Costello had no mandate when he helped set up our own organisation.

However, what they all had was a burning sense of indignation against injustice and oppression. And friends they acted on it. Their actions covered the full gambit of political action from the party meeting; the committee room.; the picket line; the handing out of leaflets; the mass meetings; the political discussion to convince ; and ultimately the taking up of arms when no other alternative was available to them.

Today friends and comrades we are building the alternative. Over the last 10 years, this movement has gone from strength to strength. Our politics have matured, our membership has increased and our commitment is as strong today as when Seamus Costello founded this movement. Republican socialism is on the up and although much work has still to be done, we walk away today firm in the belief that each and everyone of us will renew our commitment to the revolutionary struggle for the socialist republic. Down with Imperialism. Up the Republic.

(Delivered by Willie Gallagher, IRSP)

IRSCNA Easter Statement.

On Easter Monday ninety years ago, men and women of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army marched into the streets of Dublin to confront the British occupation forces. Their shared goal was the liberation of Ireland once and for all from British control. The ICA, led by Marxist trade unionist James Connolly, had the ultimate goal of creating an Irish Socialist Republic, a republic of and for the Irish working class. The great revolutionary V. I. Lenin later recognised the ICA as “the first Red Army in Europe.”

The Irish national liberation forces held out against the British for a week before they were forced to surrender. The leaders of the Rising, including Connolly, were executed but the spirit of the Rising was an inspiration for the continuation of the national liberation struggle. Although this struggle won partial independence in 1921, six northern counties remained under direct British occupation while the twenty-six southern counties formed the comprador Irish Free State. As Connolly had predicted in 1914, the partition of Ireland led to a carnival of reaction in both statelets.

Today, both statelets continue to exist, and the southern twenty-six county statelet is even more of a comprador state, administering capitalism for the benefit of the foreign and domestic ruling classes while allowing US imperialists to use Shannon Airport for their criminal war in Iraq. In the northern six county statelet, the so-called “peace process” and the Good Friday Agreement are proven farces. The republicans turned constitutional nationalists of Provisional Sinn Fein have given up on the national liberation struggle for a place at the table administering British rule, a place that’s being denied to them by the reactionary bigots of the Democratic Unionist Party who are unwilling to share power with ex-republicans. There is a great irony that ex-republicans wishing to administer British rule are being blocked from doing so by fanatic advocates of British rule.

Ninety years after the Easter Rising, the members of the Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America, continue to be inspired by the example of the Irish working class, marching into battle under the banners of the Irish Citizen Army and the Starry Plough flag to join with others, bent on ending foreign domination of Ireland and ultimately to press forward for the greater liberation that socialism means for our class, the working class.

We deplore the antics of Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, who holds up the Irish Defence Forces as the true inheritors of the Easter Rising tradition of resistance and has organised an IDF parade through Dublin to mark the Rising. What have these “defence forces” ever done to defend Irish sovereignty from British occupation? What have these “defence forces” ever done to defend Irish people in the North when they were murdered by the British occupation forces and their loyalist death squads? What have these “defence forces” ever done to defend Irish workers from the bosses who exploit them? What are these “defence forces” doing now to defend Irish sovereignty and neutrality while an Irish airport is used by American forces engaged in a criminal war of occupation in Iraq? Indeed, what has the Prime Minister done but bend his knee to US and British imperialism? He’s a lackey of the ruling class and the working class of Ireland should be under no illusions of whose side he’s on—or whose interests the Irish Defence Forces really defend.

The true inheritors of the Easter Rising tradition are those republicans and republican socialists who continue the fight against British occupation and those republican socialists who continue to fight for James Connolly’s dream of an Irish Socialist Republic.

As the North American section of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, the IRSCNA send our greetings of solidarity to our comrades in Ireland and restate that we remain committed to the Irish Republican Socialist Party and to the movement as a whole. We send our greetings to the republican socialist prisoners of war and we once again call for the immediate release of our comrade, Dessie O’Hare. We also commend the recent actions taken by the Irish National Liberation Army against drug dealers.

The IRSCNA is justly proud of our twenty-two years of service to the movement and we pledge ourselves once again to continuing our efforts to build recognition of and support for the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, the national liberation of Ireland, and the liberation of the Irish working class from the shackles of capitalism.
Onward to the Irish Socialist Republic!

Easter Statement from the Republican Socialist Youth Movement

The leadership of the Republican Socialist Youth Movement would like to take this opportunity to extend solidarity greetings to all political prisoners both at home and abroad. We extend greetings to our comrades in the Irish Republican Socialist Party, to former Republican Socialist Prisoners of War, to the supporters of the IRSM abroad and to the Volunteers of the Irish National Liberation Army.

We would like to highlight the case of Aidan Hulme ˆ a man whose rights the British government are prepared to infringe by refusing to grant Aidan the medical treatment he urgently requires. We also should like to see the 26 county administration fulfil their promises in regards to the case of Dessie O’Hare and to make this year his last in prison.

In Europe, there is a general offensive to criminalize the struggles of those who seek to secure a decent living for their people and the working class. It is a part of the world offensive against those who refuse to renounce their sovereignty to any foreign power. The European Union have replaced May 9th, the day on which the people of the Soviet Union mark their victory over Fascism with ‘Europe Day’.

In Czechoslovakia, there are attempts underway to outlaw the Communist Youth Union, the red star as well as Nazi insignia thereby equating the two polar opposites.

Lukashenko is referred to as “Europe’s last dictator” by the Irish media, a phrase they borrowed directly from the Washington. Now that it has emerged that those who opposed Lukashenko in Belarus had planned to cry foul of his election victory weeks before the ballots were counted the claims of Washington do not hold much merit.

In Ireland, too, we have our own domestic saboteurs. From the sadists of the Gardai Special Branch, prepared to harass and arrest Republicans at will to 26 county officials at the highest levels. Here in the 6, there are those who recently have attempted to harass members of the IRSM in Derry and Strabane as well as make the business of Teach na Failte more difficult. They will not succeed for one reason only ˆ we will not let them. Greater resilience and restraint is needed now more than ever, the IRSM must not yield an inch to these people for they are attempting to provoke a response of disproportionate action from our movement. They have their agenda and we have ours.

Today there will be a military ceremony in Dublin headed by Fianna Fail. Fianna Fail are the very organisation which practically outlawed the sale of the Easter Lilly and still to this very day prevent Republicans from selling them. Republicans rightly refuse to apply to the 26 county administration for permits to sell their lilies, their actions are based on a solid and principled Republican stance. We gather each Easter to remember our martyred patriot dead in doing such today we remember that under Fianna Fail more Republican POWs were executed in Mountjoy than when the British controlled the prison. Fianna Fail will forever be regarded as the party of De Valera, a name which in Irish history connotations of Quisling have been reserved.

An invitation to the ceremony was extended to the Love Ulster organisation.

Perhaps the 26 county ruling class has not learned from previous events, sectarian marches are not tolerated on the streets of Belfast, Derry or Dunloy in any such case, the people of Dublin should not be expected to tolerate bigots either. The events in Dublin gave a clear prediction to those who proposed that the Queen of England should visit Ireland on a state visit.

We will oppose any such visit, just as we opposed the Love Ulster march. We will remain steadfast to our principles and beliefs despite what instruments the state may utilize in opposition to us. The coming years will give the IRSM great opportunities to expand its influence into new arenas. They will also give us the chance to grow and consolidate ourselves. The opportunity must be seized.

Beir bua.
Republican Socialist Youth Movement Ard-Comhairle




The RSYM is selling tickets for a raffle which will be held at a funraising

event in Belfast on 28 April which will include a ballad group with disco


The prizes are a Hunger Strike commemorative bodhran, a Portlaoise prison

craft, Portlaoise bodhran and a selection of Republican CDs.

Tickets are priced as - 2 euro, 1 pound and 3 dollars each. Available from

the usual outlets.

The funds raised from raffle ticket sales will help RSYM to acquire a

banner, pins and to cover finances for the coming year. It's important work

in establishing the IRSM's youth wing and all sales are greatly appreciated!

As part of the celebration for the 90th Anniversary of the execution of James Connolly the Communist Party of Ireland has organised a weekend of events on the 12th-13th-14th May. On Friday we have booked Liberty Hall to have a celebration of Connolly's Life & Times with visitors coming from India, Venezuela, Cuba and Britain. On Saturday will be an all day conference dealing with contemporary Ireland. On Sunday we have plannedan International wreathe laying ceremony in Arbour Hill.

For further details visit our website , .

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It is the policy of the Plough to acknowledge information and articles from other sources.

The Republican Socialist Youth Movement have re-launched their website.

It can be viewed at

An Glór / The Voice

News sheet of Belfast Republican Socialist Youth Movement

January 2007

Circulation: 400

- Brit police never acceptable

- Maghaberry Prison protest continues

- Assets Recovery Agency, a question of money

- Support the Turkish death fast

- Ard Fheis rejects any move towards INLA decommissioning

- Volunteer Davy McNutt RIP

The Republican Socialist Youth Movement have produced a short video on the situation concerning Shannon airport and its continued use by American troops and the CIA. The video can be viewed at

Subscribe to the bi-monthly “The Starry Plough/An Camchéachta”

P.O. Box 1981, Derry, BT48 8GX, Ireland.



The Starry Plough

IRSP: Pairtí Poblachtach Sóisialach na h-Éireann

James Connolly Society

James Connolly Archive

The Republican Socialist Forum from Derry IRSP is

Republican Socialist Online Merchandise - Website

A website that offers a central place to go on the Internet to find good quality items with a distinct Republican Socialist theme. Proceeds from sales from this effort go towards the IRSM and it’s various projects.

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