Vol. 3- No 30
Tuesday August 1st 2006
E-mail newsletter of the
Irish Republican Socialist Party
2) Remembering 1981: Kevin Lynch
3) Statement on white line vigil
August the first 2006 is the 25th anniversary of the death on hunger strike of INLA volunteer Kevin Lynch. Kevin died in the pursuit of political status and the recognition of the legitimacy of Irish republicans struggle for National independence. Then as now those who resist Imperialism’s attack on the sovereignty and independence of other countries are deemed terrorists or criminals. Kevin like many others saw that armed resistance was the only way to pursue the legitimate goal of an independent Ireland freed from British interference. He was no terrorist. He was a patriot.
His death on hunger strike was agonising, not only for Kevin, but his family and his fellow comrades in jail. In 1981 all republicans were united in paying homage not only to Kevin but also to the nine other hunger strikers who died.
Today that is not the case. On Saturday July 29th the President of Republican Sinn Fein Ruari O’Brady spoke in Dungiven at a commemoration to honour the memory of Kevin. The following day Provisional Sinn Fein’s Martin Mc Guinness speaking in the same town said that he was honoured to speak at a commemoration for an INLA volunteer. The IRSP will hold a separate ceremony on Sunday August 6th as well as a white line picket in Belfast on August 1st.
Of course it is standard practice to deplore these divisions and issue abstract calls for republican unity. But like many abstract calls from political sectarian left groups for working class unity, such calls ignore the actual reality on the ground. Much water has flowed under the bridge since 1981 and the heady days of the mass hunger strike marches under the banners of the Smash H-Block committees.
Republican Sinn Fein split from Provisional Sinn Fein over the question of taking seats in the Dail, PSF themselves have reaped electoral benefits from the hunger strike and reinvented themselves as a slightly radical nationalist party.
The IRSP itself suffered much internal upheaval as two concerted armed attacks tried to wipe out our whole movement. It is now clear that a decision was taken at some stage by the PIRA that there should only be one group who should be involved in armed struggle. They could then claim they speak and act for all republicans when dealing with the enemy either through armed struggle or talks. And it is now clear through the revelations about the Mountain Climber contacts during the actual hunger strikes themselves that the PIRA had direct and regular links with the British establishment.
A clear policy to " "undermine and absorb” the republican socialist movement was begun after the hunger strikes. In the late 80’s the prison PIRA staff told INLA prisoners that they were no longer regarded as INLA prisoners but as civilians and would be treated as such. Geno Gallagher was also refused admittance to the Republican wings in 1989 as a punishment for INLA prisoners walking of the wings on 8th August 1998. INLA prisoners were refused permission in the 90s to read out the INLA role of honour at Easter and in that same block only seven of the Hunger Strikers names were read out. Indeed a mural in one block to the H-block martyrs had only seven names on it . INLA prisoners were denied access to educational classes and their command structure in the gaols not recognised by the PIRA. INLA prisoners were referred to as “hoods,” and “gangsters”. Sinn Fein leaders including Martin McGuiness called for the disbandment of the INLA during the armed attacks on the movement in 1987. After the attacks ended a number of those prominent in the assaults on the RSM then joined the PIRA.
This campaign of "undermine and absorb” waged by the various PIRA prison staffs against INLA prisoners entailed demonisation, marginalisation, isolation and criminalization culminating in INLA prisoners being were physically forced of the Republican wings in 1994.
The RSM itself was not blameless. A number of errors, mistaken judgments and a failure to see the primacy of politics caused the movement to almost self-destruct. Fortunately, the movement pulled itself back from the brink of extinction and re asserted its fundament republican socialist working class orientation. And in so doing we have tried extremely hard to rise above petty political bickering. That has not always been easy. Only recently, a Sinn Fein politician said that Patsy O’Hara and his comrades would in all likelihood have supported the GRA. We cannot speak for all the hunger strikers but we can speak for Patsy, Kevin and Mickey. They joined the republican socialist movement to end British rule and establish a socialist republic. That what they believed then. They were not young naive men. They were mature committed revolutionaries. Others can change their views. That is their prerogative. The RSM have not.
But despite difference with other republicans it is to the great credit of the RSM and serving INLA prisoners and ex-INLA prisoners, that they were able to rise above the injustices perpetrated against their prisoners when they allowed all republican prisoners, including PIRA ones, a safe haven in Portlaoise Gaol in the late 90s – and early 2000’s when they were refused permission to go on to any other political landing.
The RSM also introduced a Charter in Portlaoise, which enshrined the sovereignty of each grouping ensuring rights as political prisoners and their separate affiliations.
The RSM also support the struggle of segregated republican prisoners in Maghaberry gaol for their five demands. It is ironic that the improvement in the conditions of the blanket men following the ending of the hunger strike was lost in the negotiations for the Good Friday Agreement. Once again republican have to protest against criminalization.
The RSM is also gravely concerned at the issues arising from the publication of Richard O’Rawe’s ‘Blanketmen’ which argues essentially that the deal on offer from the Mountain climber before Joe O’Donnell’s death was the same deal eventually implemented after ten deaths and the ending of the hunger strike. In other words 6 men including two INLA volunteers died needlessly. Neither the INLA leadership inside the gaol or outside was ever informed of the offer from the Mountain Climber. Eventually we believe that the truth pertaining to these allegations will emerge.
Whatever the truth we still marvel at the resolute courage, will power and determination of Kevin lynch and his nine comrades who made the supreme sacrifice to reassert the right of Republicans to political recognition. We salute the 10 hunger strikers.
Remembering 1981: Kevin Lynch
The death on hunger strike of INLA Volunteer Kevin Lynch after seventy one days occurred on 1 August 1981, Kevin had been lapsing into frequent periods of unconsciousness in the last four days, having already lost his sight, hearing and speech. His family were at his bedside throughout the last days until the early hours of Saturday morning when he died.
His funeral took place the following Monday in his home town of Dungiven in County Derry. Between the return of his body to his home and the removal of the body for Requiem Mass on Monday afternoon, a constant stream of mourners queued outside the family home to pay their respects. The road was decorated with tricolours and black flags along with posters of Kevin lynch.
The RUC and the UDR made every effort to disrupt the funeral, holding up cars and forcing buses to park so that the passengers would have to make their way on foot into the town. Ulsterbus in Belfast cancelled bookings at the last minute. Nevertheless mourners came in convoys of cars and black taxis. At midday the coffin bearing the Tricolour, Starry Plough, gloves and beret was carried to the nearby church. The procession was led by a lone piper and followed by the Lynch family, relatives of other hunger strikers and senior representatives of the IRSP and the broad Republican Movement along with the National H-Block/Armagh Committee.
Five British army helicopters flew overhead as the coffin entered the church grounds. Applause broke out momentarily as an eighteen-strong INLA guard of honour marched up to escort the coffin to the church door. The priest who celebrated the Mass, Fr John Quinn expressed outrage later when the INLA Volunteers escorting the coffin fired three volleys after the coffin had left the church. So enraged was he that he refused to wear his vestments at the graveside. This same priest had failed to refer to the suffering of the hunger strikers themselves and failed also to condemn British intransigence. He also tried to imply that the family had been opposed to the military funeral, an opinion later refuted by family members who criticised the press and those who had made unsolicited comments on their behalf.
At the graveside the piper played I'll Wear No Convict's Uniform. The last post was played and wreaths were laid including ones from the both INLA and IRA Army Councils.
A uniformed INLA Volunteer then read a statement on behalf of the INLA Army Council stating regret at the death of Kevin Lynch and applauding his heroism. "Kevin Lynch has made the greatest sacrifice and he has done it in the face of the repressive machinery of British imperialism and in the wake of the greatest gesture of defiance against those who control the prisons and those who rule and ravage our country."
A short oration was given by Councillor Sean Flynn from Belfast, vice-chairperson of the IRSP:
"Kevin epitomised all that is good in a young Irishman, playing our national sports of hurling and football. He excelled at both, and in 1972 captained his native county to win an All-Ireland medal at hurling."
He went on to contrast Lynch's Gaelic spirit with the performance of the Gaelic Athletic Association leadership off the field.
"Yesterday the Derry county board and South Antrim County Board asked for a minute's silence before the All-Ireland hurling semi-final between Limerick and Galway. It was no surprise to me when Croke Park refused. President MacFloinn last week declared that no clubs, grounds or units were to be used for H-Block activity as it contravenes rule 7."
He added that work would be done to encourage support for the five demands amongst the GAA.
On Kevin's courage and determination Sean said
"It must be remembered that if Kevin had conformed to the British authority he would be a free man today; but to Kevin, Kieran Doherty, Patsy O' Hara, Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Raymond McCreesh, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson and the continuing hunger-strikers, they knew if the political prisoners were criminalised then the British government would attempt to criminalise the struggle on the outside."
He added that Kevin Lynch knew the consequences of going on hunger strike.
"Deprived of every other means of defending his political integrity, he defended it with his life. Those who imply that he might have been ordered to do so, or could be ordered to cease to do so, fail to understand the depths or the personal integrity, the individual courage and the dedication to the principles he believed in, that made Kevin Lynch the person he was."
Statement on white line vigil
Daly/McNamee Irish Republican Socialist Party Cumann have called a white line vigil to honour the sacrafices of 1981 hunger striker and INLA Volunteer Kevin Lynch. The vigil will commence at 5 pm sharp outside the IRSP national headquarters at 392 Falls Road, Belfast on Tuesday 1st of August.
It is paramount we do not forgot the sacrifices our comrades made twenty-five years ago to be recognised not as criminals but as political prisoners. The only genuine way to honour our hunger strikers is to struggle for the political status our comrades are deprived of today.
Republican prisoners were no less criminals in 1981 than today, political offenses should treated by the British Government as such as long as Irish men and women are prepared to fight against capitalism and imperialism. The IRSP call without reserve and without compromise for the reinstatement of the political status signed away with the Good Friday Agreement.
Daly / Mc Namee Cumann
Irish Republican Socialist Party
KEVIN LYNCH COMMEMORATION SUNDAY August 6thrd at 2.00pm Dungiven County Derry.
All comrades to attend.
The Power/O`Reilly cummain would like to invite everyone to the unveilling of the Micky Devine mural in the Short Strand. The unveiling will take place on Sun the 27th aug at 4 pm and the cummain would be greatfull if everyone that has time to attend would please do so..
The unveiling will take place at the shops on the Mountpottinger road and there will be light refreshmentsafterwards.
Thank you Comrades
Remember Des Warren
Out of the pickets jailed at Shrewsbury, following the national building workers strike of 1972, Des Warren served the longest sentence. His trial on conspiracy charges was part of the attempt by the Tory government of the day to destroy basic trade union rights.
It is now 30 years since Des was released from his three-year prison sentence. Des suffered permanent injury to his health from drugs administered in jail, and this ultimately led to his death in April 2004.
3pm, Saturday 5 August 2006
at the Casa, Hope Street, Liverpool Contact details: 0151 709 9948 Justice4pickets@yahoo.co.uk For further information see: www.billhunterweb.org.uk
Please find attached info on Annual Royal Hospital/Féile lecture -this year's lecture is 'Good health- Where there's a will there's a way! A unique look at ethnicity, health and healthcare by Dr. Rafik Gardee Director Nataional Resource CEntre for Ethnic
Minority Health Scotland. Will be looking at issues and concerns relating to the needs of the multi-ethnic communities in our multi-cultural society, including keeping pace with rapidly changing political agendas and the diversity agenda.
It’s on Tues 8 Aug at 5pm in St. Mary's College. Falls Road Belfast
Details of the funeral of Ted Grant –Marxist Internationalist.
Here are the details of Ted's funeral arrangements
It will take place at the South Essex (Corbett's Tey) crematorium in Ockenden road, Upminster RM14 2UY on Tuesday 8th August at 1.15pm. It can be reached by public transport from Upminster Station (Tube/Overground)b y getting the 370 bus going to
Gray's or Corbett's Tey.
A memorial meeting will take place on Sat afternoon. 9th Sept at the friends meeting place, Euston London - more details later.
The Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee are holding a 25th
Anniversary Dinner on the 12th of August, 2006 in memory of those who
died on hunger strike in 1981.
We will be producing a unique commemorative journal for this event and
would like to offer you the opportunity to have your business or club
featured. We are expecting over 100 attendees, including several
prominent Irish-Americans, and we will feature two special guest speakers,
plus an arts & crafts raffle.
All ads will be black and white. Ad rates are as follows:
8” x 10” Inside Front/Back Cover - $200
8” x 10” Full Page Ad - $100
5” x 8” Half Page - $50
3” x 5” Quarter Page - $25
The Deadline for ads is August 1st, 2006.
Any Group or Organisation can place an ad by following the directions
in this e-mail, The monies raised go to the prisoners dependants so
please make a very important contribution.
Forms are available at www.wemustbeunited.com and if you need any
assistance you can contact us at (708) 655-2078 or (312) 560-9311, or by
Go raibh maith agat,
Coiste na nIarchimí Summer School/Scoil Samhraidh 2006
Tí Chulainn Cultural, and Heritage Centre, Mullaghbawn, Co Armagh
16-18 August 2006
Admission to the full school, including accommodation and all meals (breakfast, lunch, and 3-course evening meal) - £40.00/€60
Admission to one day, including accommodation and all meals - £20/€30
Admission to one day, including lunch and evening meal - £10/€15
Limited spaces available:
book now on 028/048 90200770
Wednesday 16 2.00 p.m. The future we give our children
- Community Relations Council
- NI Human Rights Commission
- Louth African Women’s Support Group
- Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
- National Youth Council of Ireland
8.30 p.m. Keynote speaker Mary Lou McDonald MEP
Thursday 17 10.00 a.m. Children of the '60s - Raising a radical voice
Former civil rights activists
2.00 p.m. Children of the conflict - a generation imprisoned
former republican prisoner
former republican prisoner
former loyalist prisoner
former loyalist prisoner
Friday 18 10.00 a.m. A new generation - following tradition or breaking new ground?
Toireasa Ní Fhearaiosa
- Sinn Féin councillor, Kerry
- Sinn Féin MLA, North Antrim
- Sinn Féin councillor, Derry City
- Sinn Féin councillor, Carrickmacross
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST AGAINST WAR SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 23;
IRELAND: 1PM NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION
GARDEN OF REMBRANCE PARNELL SQUARE DUBLIN
No to War-End the occupation of Iraq-Stop Israel‚s war mongering
Don‚t attack Iran-US troops & torture flights out of Shannon
International Day of Action-Demonstrate
Saturday 23rd September 1pm -Garden of Remembrance Dublin
Called by Irish Anti War Movement; Peace and Neutrality Alliance; NGO Peace Alliance
September 23 has been designated International Day of Protests against War. Huge numbers of people around will be protesting that day. In Ireland the Irish Anti War Movement; the Peace and Neutrality Alliance and the NGO Peace Alliance has called a National Demonstration on that day for Dublin.
Posters and leaflets will be available from next week. We need to use the platform of the events over the next few weeks to build the biggest possible demonstration on that day.
Contact the IAWM office and visit the website for posters, leaflets and updated info.
info@irish anti war.org www.irishantiwar.org
Continuing with our celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Spanish
Civil War we are pleased to offer a reproduction of the Spanish
Republican flag with the International Brigades logo. The flags are 3
feet x 5 feet costing £10 each + postage and can be located on our home
page.We also have copies of the 'Connolly Column' a book by an Irish
International Brigadier, Michael O'Riordan who recently died. RRP £14.99
our price £12.99 + postage
Both items available on our website: www.socialistproductions.org
don't forget you can also purchase our International Brigades badge and
Catalan Solidarity: Ireland Committee
Catalan Solidarity: Ireland Committee was established to provide practical support and solidarity to Catalan political prisoners, their supporters as well as information on the continuing struggle for self determination and socialism in Catalonia to challenge the media portrayal on political militants that are being fuelled by a regime, its media, its paramilitary forces, and mounting repressive laws and legislations.
In order to assist these goals we have established an online news and information service to comment on the current political situation within Catalonia, from within the prisons and on the streets.
As part of our work we aim to provide information events, pickets and solidarity protests etc to highlight various campaigns and activities and to raise awareness of the political situation in Catalonia.
We urge both Catalans living in Ireland and other non-Catalans across Ireland to write to Catalan Political Prisoners, offering them both continued solidarity and support.
We intend to issue regular news, comments & activities via email by Llibertat! ˆ Saoirse!
At present our website is under construction however, we hope that our work will inspire you to find out more!
Llibertat! ˆ Saoirse!
E-news service of the Catalan Solidarity: Ireland Committee
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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
- 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
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