Wednesday 31 December 2008

New Year Statement from the Leadership of the IRSP

Special Announcement

New Year Statement from the Leadership of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1st January 2009

The IRSP send greetings to all our members and supporters as we enter 2009 . We send sincere solidarity greetings to all republican Prisoners, at home or abroad. We express our fullest solidarity with the people of the Gaza Strip enduring a barbarous assault by the pro-imperialist Israeli regime. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all those who resist the forces of imperialism and reactionary ideologies.

We are confident that the way forward not only for all the people on the isle of Ireland but also throughout the world is through the struggle for socialism. The current crisis of capitalism is leading to an attack on the living standards of millions of working class people. Unemployment will rise, more will sink into poverty and the dangers of war increase. The only viable alternative is Socialism, which will replace the anarchy of the free market with a planned economy that caters for the needs of the majority.

It is clear to many Republicans a that the current set up at Stormont is not a steppingstone to a Republic but a cementing of British rule in Ireland. The IRSP will continue to work with other republicans to expose the hollow fallacies at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement and the St Andrews Agreement. We will not be deflected by the campaign of arrests, harassment denigration and lies carried out by pro-imperialist forces north and south of the border on our membership.

We urge all republicans to work in harmony with each other to expose the weaknesses of the current constitutional set up. It is not a time for “ourselves alone” philosophy.

At the same time we urge all republicans and socialists to step up our activities in both the social and economic fields. Unless and until republican socialists take ownership and leadership of the day today class struggles then our struggle will not succeed.

Finally we salute all our former political prisoners, all our former and current volunteers who have stood loyally by the ideals and principles of republican socialism.

The Struggle continues.

Monday 22 December 2008

The Plough Vol 05 No 14

The Plough
Web Site
Vol 5-No 14

22 December 2008

E-mail newsletter and blog of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Editorial

2) Thoughts for Christmas

3) PSNI/RUC –What’s the Difference

4) IRSP Oppose Second Referendum: But Urge A No Vote

5) Back On The Plantation

6) Are We All Barmy?

7) éirígí- New Zealand interview

8) Letters


As 2008 draws to a close it is usual to reflect on what has past and make new resolutions for the New year. Much has changed and much remains the same.

Capitalism is in crisis. The so-called “credit crunch” gets the blame for the crisis. This of course is a good way to shift the blame on to the consumers who spent too much and created such debt that the system started to collapse. So ironically in order to save the system those same consumers are now being encouraged to spend! spend! spend!! Right -wing Governments are all but nationalising the banks, pouring billions into their coffers and calling on the workers to tighten their belts, accept reduced wages, and reductions in their living standards. While there are greedy bankers, investors etc the crisis is not the result of their greed. Crisis is inherent in the capitalist system. Marx was the first to really analysis the system of capitalism and today all over the world many are going back to the writings of Karl Marx to make sense of the world system.

“In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs would have seemed an absurdity – the epidemic of over production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation has cut off the supply of every means subsistence, industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? (“The Communist Manifesto” Karl Marx-

Take the car industry today. There is massive overproduction and yet the Bush administration wants to bolster the car industry by pouring billions of taxpayers money into subsidising that industry while reducing the wages and conditions of the workers in that industry. So much for the “free market” espoused by the capitalist classes for the past thirty years. Capitalism itself creates anarchy in production, sponsors wars and in pursuit of profit distorts and destroys the very world we live in and ignores the appalling poverty it causes. (See Thoughts for Christmas below)

The claims of the apologists for capitalism, that it is democratic and egalitarian, is absurd. Democracy is ignored when the results go against the interests of the capitalists .(See IRSP Oppose Second Referendum below)
Much has been made of the concept of equality particularly in relation to the Northern Statelet. The Provisionals in rewriting history managed to place “ equality” as the main focus of the armed struggle. However equality is grossly overrated. For example both the rich man and the poor man have equal rights to sleep on the streets. Do you thinks they equally exercise that right?
The full power of the media is also used to get what it wants. For example Irish News Columnist Tom Kelly was one of the key figures behind the British Government’s manipulation of the conduct of the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement. Writing in the Irish News Dec 22nd 2008 he justifies the ban on Republicans in the media imposed by Conor Cruise O’Brien in the 1970’s

No one –not even the media has the right to be complicit in advocating the rights of anarchists or insurrectionists in a democracy-

So the message from these advocates of capitalism is no free speech for those want to change systems. No chance of the likes of Tom Kelly raising awkward questions for the PSNI and its attack on political activists ( See PSNI/RUC –What’s the Difference below)
Another change has been the election of the First Black President to run the USA. Amidst all the enthusiasm for Barack Obama it should be remembered that in the words of a former President “ the business of America is business”
Obama’s mission is to reform capitalism. (See “Back On The Plantation” below) Those who place great hopes in him are doomed to be disillusioned.

Marxists analysis the world we live. That analysis explains how capitalism works. But it is not a religion. It is a tool to be used. Unfortunately the inability of many socialists to avoid making petty sectarian attacks on other socialists alienates many working class people from the ideas of socialism. There are socialist sects who genuinely belief that they and only they know true revolutionary path. They reserve their fiercest criticism for other socialists and soft pedal on their criticism of the system they are supposed to oppose.

These sectarians provide great ammunition for other republicans to take a standoff approach to working class issues. We believe that in this they are mistaken. The IRSP has always advocated that republicans must take a leading part in the struggles of the working class. Over the past few years we have increased our involvement in those struggles while never losing our radical anti-Imperialism. We recognised, before many others, that the Good Friday Agreement was a severe defeat for Republicanism. That defeat only strengthened our belief that it only through the working class that genuine liberty can be achieved.

“Seasons greeting to all our readers”

Thoughts for Christmas

In a report published on 20 October to the UN's International Network on Water Environment and Health (INWEH) stated that 2.5 billion people (a third of global population) has no access to proper toilets (ie which are free from diseases) and 1.2 billion other have no access to toilets at all and have to either relieve themselves wherever they can (resulting in 200 million tons of shit ending every year in rivers causing pollution etc) or sometimes have to queue up to half an hour to wait for their turn in collective toilets.

The health impact is considerable: diseases linked to diarrhea kill 1.8 million people every year, including 5000 children every day. 88 % percent of those deaths are related to the lack of proper toilets. The UN estimates that it would only cost 38 billion dollars to give everyone access to proper toilets. (Herve Morin, L'acces aux toilettes, enjeu mondial de developpement, Le Monde, 30 October 2008)

Terry Eagleton wrote that it would take a transformation of the political economy of the entire planet to make sure every one on it had access to clean drinking water....

Parallell to this UN estimate is that the number of people suffering from hunger has increased from 848 million in 2005 to 925 million in 2008.

PSNI/RUC –What’s the Difference

Another IRSP member from Strabane was arrested on December 17th in the morning under the ''Terrorist Act 2000'' in connection with alleged membership of the INLA and the killing of drug dealer and suspected PSNI agent Brian McGlynn. The CID took his wife into a room and proceeded to question her and put a number of propositions to her asking her to work for them and that they would relocate her and her family if she would provide evidence/information on Willie Gallagher and another IRSP man who was arrested last week. They also asked her if she had any information on the Republican Forum meetings held in Toome. She couldn't get over the audacity of them and told them to fuk off!
On Tuesday 9th DecemberWillie Gallagher was arrested at 7.00am under the same Act and same allegations and taken to Antrim PSNI station. Also on the warrant was seizure of all mobile phones and computers. During the raid they allowed his two young sons aged 8 and 5 to go to school. At the end of the raid at approximately 10.45am when they couldn't locate any mobile phones they threatened to arrest his wife if she didn't tell them the whereabouts of mobiles and stated that they were going to take the two sons out of school to search them. The school was contacted and it was stated to them that under no circumstances were the PSNI to be give permission to take them out or search them. A relative of Willie Gallagher then went and took them out of the school.

The solicitor acting on behalf of Willie Gallagher was present during all of these so-called interviews during Tuesday and Wednesday and stopped the interviews several times during both days to make a written complaint to the station inspector that nothing was being put to WG. and that there was no grounds, outside of a PSNI publicity stunt, for his arrest. At one time, during one of the suspensions, he asked the inspector if there was a Human Rights Commissioner as he wanted to make contact to complain about the nature of W.G.’s arrest. He was told to make a complaint to the Police Ombudsman to which he replied that he felt that his complaint went beyond the Ombudsman’s remit. The PSNI were also accused during these interviews of deliberately leaking the name of WG. to the local radio stations and press and they didn't dispute the fact that many people equate arrest with guilt and that was the real purpose of his arrest.

It is also worth mentioning that before each interview the PSNI gave the solicitor a written form which they call “disclosure[ and they ask questions on that particular disclosure. At one stage in one of these disclosure documents it stated that they wanted to question W.G. about his association with named individuals. In the solicitor’s consultation room WG pointed out to his solicitor that one of the names was wrong and that person was dead. They probably meant the name of a person who had arrested a fortnight before. Within 30 seconds there was the running of feet towards the consultation room and the detective in charge asked to see the solicitor and told him they made a mistake with one of the names. The solicitor then entered the consultation room laughing quite loudly stating that they weren't shy in making it obvious that the consultation room was bugged.

During the second day of WG’s detention the PSNI arrested another IRSP man from Strabane, Andy Connolly and during his two days in Antrim his solicitor also made similar complaints. Both of the arrest warrants were issued on the 27th November but they didn't effect them for almost a fortnight. They raided Andy's house when he was present in between those two dates. WG was released the following evening and Andy was released a day later.

The arrests cannot be viewed in isolation and that there is a wider context. It is the vilification, demonisation and marginalisation of anti-GFA republicans in general and in this instance the IRSP in particular The state forces are also using a compliant media in their strategy. Only recently the PSNI claimed that they uncovered £10k of controlled drugs connected to the INLA during searches in Strabane and Derry. They were forced to backtrack when the only newspaper, the Strabane Chronicle, challenged the PSNI for evidence and details of the find in which they refused. The IRSP later found out that steroids were seized in Derry and had nothing to do with raids on the IRSP.

Even more alarming was the case of a Strabane man called Paul Madden who on the 30th November was pulled in by the PSNI at Belfast airport when returning from Poland. He was asked to work for them, was offered £100,000 to do so and it was put to him that he had access to both A. C.'s and W.G.’s house and that he could ''plant evidence'' in both houses.
At one stage they asked him what was in his bags and he jokingly replied ''two kilos of coke'' and they stated that if he agreed to work for them they would give him ''safe passage'' through the airports with whatever he wanted if he agreed to work for them and do as they asked. He told them to fuk off and contacted the IRSP that night about what happened and appeared badly shook up by his experience.

Paul Madden and Willie Gallagher did an interview with the Strabane Chronicle on the 8th December told them his story and informed them that he was going to his solicitor to make a formal complaint and that he was also going to complain to the Police Ombudsman. The very next day Willie Gallagher was arrested. Thus does policing work in the new “reformed” Northern Ireland. Provisional Sinn Fein must be proud that they “put manners” (to quote Adams) on the PSNI.

Common practice for the PSNI now seems to be
Ø The bugging of solicitor’ consultation with clients,
Ø The planting of evidence,
Ø Turning a blind eye to drug dealers,
Ø Arresting children
Ø Harassment of political activists
Ø Lying to the Media
Ø Using the media to discredit political activists who don’t accept the current political settlement.
Ø Spying on legitimate political meetings

IRSP Oppose Second Referendum: But Urge A No Vote

The Irish Republican Socialist Party are opposed to any second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. The people have already voted on this issue last June, 2008, and rejected the advice of the establishment and their parties and kicked Lisbon out. Now because things did not go the establishments way they, and their political masters in Paris and Brussels, have decided that the people must vote again and this time, from their view point, get it right. There is one thing for certain if, last June, the outcome of the first referendum had been favourable towards the establishment parties and Lisbon was accepted there would have been more chance of finding rocking horses running at Epsom than a second referendum. The establishment are going ahead with this insult simply because they can! It can be reasonably argued that this issue, following a precedent being set after the Nice Treaty was re-run, signals the beginning of the end for the Irish Constitution. Referenda are all well and good provided they go the establishments way and when they don’t, try again. If the voice of the people is as sovereign as we are led to believe Lisbon would be dead and buried. It would appear that treaties in Ireland are similar to Brams Stockers character Dracula, the people think the beast is dead only to find it risen from the dead.

Recently our political leaders came back from Brussels with some half- baked tale about promises “of legally binding guarantees” which are meaningless. They are not even guarantees but merely “promises of guarantees” which are certainly not the same thing. Even the promises they have are not priority issues. The issue of a commissioner was sited by around 2-3 percent of respondents when surveyed as to why they voted no! Things which really matter to people, such as the possibility of public services going out to private tender, and workers rights, didn’t even warrant a “promise of a guarantee”. Any workers rights will be subject to the needs of capitalism and the bosses being served adequately first meaning, the bosses will still have the right to trample all over workers except with the Lisbon Treaty behind them. The European elite gave some vague recognition of respecting Irelands neutrality while at the same time continuing to speak of “Battle Groups”. For what it is worth at a meeting, which the IRSP attended, at the offices of the European Commission in Dublin on Monday 15th December a speaker representing the Fine Gael party, Lucinda Creighton, when questioned by a representative of the Irish Anti War Movement on Irish neutrality said Ireland “was not neutral”. Fine Gael are supposed to be the party of opposition in the Dail. However when it comes to defending the class interests of the bourgeoisie there is no opposition. When the IRSP representative questioned Joe Costello, Labour Party, at the same meeting about his party’s apparent change of heart regarding a second referendum he was unable to give a straight answer. The question was put to Joe that “the Labour Party were against a second referendum after the defeat of the first one” he answered “we are opposed to a second referendum in the same format, asking the same questions”. When the Chairperson of the forum, Kevin Rafter, pushed the labour speaker asking “if you had to vote tomorrow which way would you vote” to which the beleaguered Labour TD again could not give a straight answer.

As far as the IRSP are concerned there should be no second referendum as it has already been decided by the people. However given the fact that there is going to be one we, along with our colleagues in the Campaign Against European Union Constitution, will be campaigning for another rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. Lisbon mark one was essentially the ill-fated European Constitution, rejected by the French and Dutch electorate which was why these people were not allowed to vote on acceptance or rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. Just as Lisbon mark one was of no noticeable difference to the European Constitution, so too will Lisbon mark two be of any consequential difference to its ill-fated predecessor.

The Irish Republican Socialist Party would strongly recommend another rejection, not that there should be a re-run in the first place, of the Lisbon Treaty. We would warn people who may be undecided that any “promises of guarantees” are a far cry from written guarantees and must not be taken in the same light. Even if the government do manage to get something more concrete on the area of a commissioner how much importance would you, the people, place on this issue? Also do not be misled with such clap trap as “we have received a declaration” from the European Commission because, like “promises of guarantees”, declarations are meaningless. They are not protocols, they hold no legal weight no more than do promises.

Finally we might remind people of the words of former French President Valery Giscard d Estang on the Lisbon Treaty, in order to deny the French people a referendum, the treaty should be designed to “head off any threat of referenda by avoiding any form of constitutional vocabulary”. This was echoed by the Belgium Foreign Minister, Karel de Gucht, who said “the aim of this treaty is to be unreadable”, in other words don’t let the people have a clue what they are voting on. There will be no fundamental difference in Lisbon mark two to that of mark one, simply because it can’t be changed without rewriting the whole document and it has taken too long for the European bourgeoisie to concoct for that to happen. The bottom line is there will be no change in the meaning or content of the Lisbon Treaty, make sure there is no change in the outcome of the vote. When the time comes vote NO .

Kevin Morley

Back On The Plantation

There were two kinds of Negroes. There was that old house Negro and the field Negro. And the house Negro always looked out for his master. When the field Negro got too much out of line, he held them back in check. He put ‘em back on the plantation. --- Malcolm X

It’s truly a historic moment that a black man has been selected President of the United States, a country with a long and deep tradition of de jure and de facto institutional racism, bigotry and violence both here and abroad.

It’s also important to bear in mind however that the same mostly white Anglo-Saxon Protestant power elite (a.k.a. English-Americans) that have been running this country since 1776, and who are largely responsible for that racism, bigotry and violence, could put a chimpanzee up for the job and get most of the people to bark along like trained circus seals at a mantra mumbling show.

So although I don't expect much from this tame trimmer Obama or from any other elite tribune, I do hope American law, politics and economics don't get any worse which isn’t quite the same as saying things will get any better.

For instance, Obama is appointing Congressman Rahm Emmanel, a first class Zionist citizen of Israel and son of the Irgun, as his Chief of Staff in the White House. Jewish terrorists and oppressors of Palestine couldn’t be happier! Watch for AIPAC pardons.

Worst still, rumors are floating regularly in the usual media that Obama will also keep Bush’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on board in what surely will be a continuation of the Bush-Cheney-Exxon oil and gas land grabbing policies in the Middle East.

Ralph Nader was right! Obama must answer the question: Uncle Sam for all the people or Uncle Tom for the wealthy and powerful? Hundreds of thousand dark-skinned peoples’ lives depend on it to say nothing about all the working class white lives that will be risked to kill all those working class black and brown lives.

There is no such thing as a friendly face of imperialism or colonialism. That’s just a fraudulent mask for more of the same occupation and subjugation to extract other peoples’ natural resources.

And this imperial process, with masks or without, just generates blow back for the rest of us in the form of among other things suicide bombers and pilots. Talk about this as a clash of civilizations is just corporate financed academic and media speak to divert citizens at home from seeing the real cause for among other things the planes-into-buildings effect.

Fact is American foreign policy hasn’t changed much since the days of the Plains Indian Wars. All kinds of government excuses and lies were used then and now to eradicate or subjugate Native Americans while stealing their land and resources. And so it goes.

Even when Native insurgents successfully strike back as the Lakota and Cheyenne did in 1876 when they wiped out General George Custer’s 7th Cavalry (a 19th century US Army roving death squad), the usual business backed government and media are able to distort their own war crimes as heroic and their dead soldiers as victims of savage barbarity. The power of myth by power!

That’s why long time house negro Colin Powell was able to launch his longer than expected US Army career by making public relations excuses for the US Army’s mass slaughter in My Lai, Vietnam. He was simply lying and myth making in service to that same power as he always has ever since.

Now try and imagine what a career stopper he would have gotten had he told the truth about My Lai (that there was at least two My Lai massacres a month during the US Army’s Operation Speedy Express) or had he incinerated white people in 1989 Panama or 1991 Iraq.

Instead, he and Condolezza Rice got paid lots of money and tribute as the chief blacks up front to lie the US into war against more dark skinned people for Bush & Cheney & the oil companies. So don’t believe for a moment that they were set up by them.

The way of the ass kisser is easy, so easy in fact that if Robert Gates doesn’t stay on in Obama’s Cabinet then watch for Colin Powell to replace him.

To be fair though to Barack Obama, all American Presidents either hail from the ranks of the elite or bend over backwards to serve them like house Negroes on a plantation.

And any candidate who starts to even think about reading from his own script will go the way of Nixon or Kennedy fired from or fired on.

It was ever thus. Article 2 of the US Constitution and the Federalist Papers by Madison, Hamilton and Jay explaining same couldn’t have been clearer: the Presidency is the hand picked guardian of the elite hence their Electoral College. He is their step and fetch it Constitutional dictator. It has always has been this way, and always will be until most of the rest of us start copping on and stop barking along.

And that dear readers, is the only hope we can believe in.

(24/11/08 by Eoghan O’Suilleabhain)


For those who are not yet aware, the economic, for want of a better word, system we are forced to endure, is in crisis. The minority who own and control society, the bourgeoisie or capitalist class, and their puppet governments around the globe are trying to work out what to do. The unfortunate truth is they don’t know what to do and even if they did there would be no real hurry because these people, we for some reason of obscurity, refer to as ’they’ haven’t suffered any real decrease in their standards of living. They are not exactly loosing money but aren’t accumulating quite as much. To offset this, what they term as a loss, workers must loose their employment, homes and in many cases family. Those members of the large employing class who cannot offset these losses sufficient to compensate their reduction in profits through job losses simply shut up shop and in many cases retire. It is the working class and small business’s, petit bourgeoisie, who bear the brunt of capitalisms instability.

People in many areas of working class life are asking what are they going to do?, once again whoever they may be, the question should be when are WE going to do something about it? This system even when it is working, if that is the correct term, is in a permanent state of instability. Gone are the old maxims of ‘a job for life’, ‘security of tenure’ and many other what seems like ancient confidence boosting orations which would appear now condemned to the dustbin of history. The modern equivalent of laissez faire economics, known affectionately as the unfettered free market is in fact exactly that, unfettered. There would appear to be no hands on economic policies by various governments as the market is allowed to find its own level. The result of such political folly is precisely what we are witnessing on a daily basis every week and month. This imbecile system could be likened to driving a car, or more to the point not, using the clutch, gears and accelerator and not using the steering wheel and brakes!!! Yes you would be asking for trouble wouldn’t you? Particularly if you were on a motorway, you may even wonder why and how, if you survive, you’ve managed to crash into a juggernaut lorry. Liken this scenario to the hands off policies regarding the economy pursued by various governments on behalf of their indigenous ruling classes and the picture may become a little clearer. Even though recently such fancy jargon as “re-capitalisation” have been mentioned it does not substitute a more hands on approach to economic policy.

Of course there is an alternative to this mayhem and its called socialism. Under this system the economy would be planned, goods and services to be produced for the needs of the people and not the greed of the minority capitalist class. A hands-on approach to the economy would replace the “free market” and the only employer would be the state with the means of production under workers control. Instead of our imaginary car careering along the motorway with no brakes or hands on the steering wheel it would be under competent control. Under socialism there would be only one bank, in the case of Ireland it could be the State Bank of Ireland again with a hands on approach. Peoples jobs, homes and in many cases families, which under capitalism is no more than an economic unit, would no longer be subject to the uncertainties of the ‘market’. The car would have a driver capable of steering it in the correct direction, thus avoiding the dreaded juggernaut lorry.

The issue is that capitalism would have to go. Socialism, not to be confused with labourism, can not co-exist with capitalism. It is one or the other and as capitalism doesn’t work for the majority of us, unless my imagination is playing tricks and the news reports are just one big party game, it is that system which must become our dearly departed preferably through peaceful means.

Disposing of capitalism, which I doubt will go away voluntarily, will only be achieved through the harnessed power of the organised working class hopefully dragging the progressive elements of the petit bourgeoisie with them. To anybody within these ranks who naively believe that capitalism still works or, that they owe the boss class something ask yourselves, is a system where the security, happiness and health of the majority is dependent on the wealth accumulation of a tiny minority really worth hanging onto? If after this examination people still think the present system is the best attainable then the sanity of us all must be seriously in question.

Kevin Morley

Irish Republican Socialist Party Dublin

We came across the following interview in the web site of the Workers Party in NewZealand. We thought it might be useful to share with our readers

éirígí- New Zealand interview-

Building an alternative movement in Ireland <>
The Spark December 2008 - January 2009
The organisation is called éirígí; its chairperson, Brian Leeson, was interviewed by Philip Ferguson for The Spark.
Philip Ferguson: Could you tell us how you first got involved in political activity?
Brian Leeson: I suppose I first became politically active in the summer of 1989 when I attended a large protest in Dublin that was demanding a British withdrawal from occupied Ireland. It was called to mark the 20th anniversary of British troops being re-deployed onto Irish streets back in August 1969. For a few months before the demonstration I had been becoming more politically conscious, particularly with regard to the war that was then raging in the occupied Six Counties. What struck me most about that day was the contrast between the sheer size of the protest and the tiny amount of media coverage it received. Despite the fact that more then 20,000 marched that day, it hardly registered on the political landscape at all. Of course, this was at a time when state censorship by both the London and Dublin governments excluded republican spokespeople from the airwaves. Within a couple of weeks of that demonstration I had taken a decision to become politically active. I applied to join Sinn Féin, but at 15 years of age I was too young. Instead, I started to sell the An Phoblacht newspaper each Saturday morning outside of the General Post Office on Dublin’s O’Connell Street - a building which fittingly had served as the headquarters of the 1916 Rebellion. From then on I became ever more involved in the republican struggle and the Provisional Movement, which I remained a part of until early 2006. PF: How and why did éirígí come into existence? How would you explain your pretty rapid growth?
BL: éirígí was formed as a socialist republican campaigns group in April 2006. Initially, there were just seven members and the organisation was based solely in Dublin. In May 2007, at our first Ard Fheis (national congress), the decision was taken to constitute éirígí as a political party. Since 2006, éirígí’s membership has grown steadily, to the point where we now have ciorcail (branches) all across Ireland. As to why éirígí came into existence; what was then a small group of people thought it was time to make a new beginning in terms of socialist republican politics. We believed there to be the political space for a new socialist republican organisation. The growth of the party since then has confirmed that our original analysis was correct. There is clearly a significant number of people who were basically waiting for a credible vehicle to emerge for them to join or support. I think this fact, along with the hard work of our activists, explains our relatively rapid growth.
PF: What is éirígí’s view of the current situation in the north?
BL: The British occupation of the north of Ireland is as real today as it ever was. In July 2007, there was much fanfare surrounding the ending of the British Army’s 38-year-long Operation Banner campaign in the Six Counties. What wasn’t mentioned was that, on the very day Operation Banner ended, a new British army campaign began in the north - Operation Helvetic. Under Helvetic, 5,000 British troops remain garrisoned in the Six Counties. These troops can be deployed at will by the British Government. In addition, much of the “temporary” repressive legislation that the British Government introduced to suppress the republican struggle had now been made permanent. Also in 2007, the British Government’s spy agency, MI5, was appointed as the chief gatherer of intelligence on Irish republicans. To facilitate this, a massive MI5 base has been built on the outskirts of Belfast. This facility will also serve as the main headquarters for MI5 in the event of an attack on their London headquarters. On the front line of the occupation is the PSNI - formerly the RUC. The PSNI remains a highly sectarian, paramilitary police force. Since its name change the PSNI has added CS gas and tasers to its arsenal of lethal plastic bullets. These “less lethal” new weapons are in addition to the standard issue handguns and assault rifles routinely carried by members of that force. On the socio-economic front, nationalists remain two-and-a-half times as likely to be unemployed as unionists and, in some areas, nationalists make up 83% of those on the housing waiting list. All of this compounds a deeply unequal society where working-class people generally, and working-class Catholics in particular, are exploited and denied basic rights. In short, the Six Counties remains a highly abnormal state and necessarily so in order to maintain the British occupation.
PF: The south of Ireland, the Twenty-Six County state, is often held up in New Zealand as a model of “social partnership” between the state, the bosses and the unions. What are things really like for workers in the south?
BL: That may be so, but it should be also noted that the Twenty-Six County state was the first in Europe to enter recession earlier this year. Socially and economically, the Twenty-Six County state now rates second only to the United States in terms of inequality within the ‘developed’ world. This fact is a massive indictment on the class of politicians and business people who have decided policy in the south to the detriment of the majority of the population. The Twenty-Six Counties, Ireland as a whole and the rest of Europe are now in financial meltdown due to the manner in which our economies have been structured and mismanaged by political parties and corporations that have only their own interests at heart. Fianna Fáil (the main and near permanent party of government), their coalition partners and their friends in big business are at the top of the guilty list in this regard. They have allowed a chaotic, greed-fuelled auction to take centre stage in this country over the last 15 years and labeled it the finest economy in the world. Yet, as soon as this “fine economy” implodes, the hundreds of thousands of people who actually work to generate the wealth are expected to foot the bill to save those who mismanaged it. Instead of harnessing the wealth of recent times to create first-class health, education and transport systems, the Dublin government has provided us with rising unemployment, mass privatisation and endemic child and fuel poverty.
PF: Is there much of a challenge to the class collaborationism of the union leaderships? What role does éirígí see for itself in challenging this collaboration?
BL: The whole carefully-manufactured “consensus” that lauds “social partnership” as a panacea for all our ills in now beginning to fall apart. It is falling apart because the brutal realities of the capitalist economic system are becoming ever more obvious. According to the “social partnership” narrative, everyone was a winner - workers, bosses and the state. This narrative cannot survive the utter failure of the system that “social partnership” was designed to protect. Now that the economy is in crisis, it is clear that everyone isn’t a winner. Once again, it is working class people who are being told to tighten their belts, while the wealthy secure their gains and are supported by massive government bail-outs. éirígí has stated from day one that there is an alternative to this dog-eat-dog economic madness and it is one based on cooperation, solidarity and participatory planning, i.e. socialism. It is the job of every left-wing organisation, including éirígí, to fill the vacuum of ideas that exists in terms of how to deal with the economic crisis with socialist politics.
PF: One of the key things that has bedevilled Irish republicans, including socialist republican’s since Connolly’s time is the relationship between the class and national questions or, put another way, the class and national aspects of the Irish revolution. How do you see that class and national relationship in Ireland being linked?
BL: Connolly believed that the relationship between the class and national questions is fundamentally indivisible. What has bedevilled Irish republicans since that time is how to build a movement that effectively deals with both. éirígí shares Connolly’s analysis that the Irish revolution has two aspects - the national and the social. To resolve one, you have to resolve the other. The key to socialist republican thinking is to understand that the military occupation of Ireland and the denial of political democracy that it represents is just one aspect of what Connolly referred to as the “conquest of Ireland”. The social aspect - the replacement of the collective ownership laws of the native population with private property relations, particularly with regard to the land - was what provided the material incentive in the English invasion of Ireland. Any successful re-conquest of Ireland must remove the social and economic system that the English imported to Ireland. In éirígí’s opinion, any revolutionary movement in Ireland must have the resolution of the national and social questions as its core objectives.
PF: The other issue that has bedevilled the movement in Ireland is the relationship between military and political activity, or party and army. How do you view the issue of armed republican activity?
BL: Any population that has the misfortune to find itself under foreign occupation has the right to use armed force to remove that occupation. Whether it was the French resisting the Nazi occupation or the Vietnamese resisting Franco-American aggression, the principal is the same. And that principal also extends to the Irish context. However, while any people may have a principled right to use armed struggle, it may not always be tactically or strategically the correct option. We believe that there are other, more effective ways to challenge and defeat British rule in Ireland today.
PF: What possibilities are there for uniting anti-imperialists, at least around particular projects and maybe into some kind of ongoing coalition? Is éirígí working along those lines or do you have a different view?
BL: Since its foundation, éirígí has been working with anti-imperialists and other progressives on a number of issues. The first of these was the “Shell to Sea” campaign which is resisting Shell Oil’s operations in County Mayo. This was closely followed by éirígí joining the Irish Anti-War Movement, which is made up of a broad coalition of groups opposed to Irish collaboration in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, éirígí has worked within the Campaign Against the European Union Constitution, which was one of the lead organisations in the recent defeat of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. We believe the building of a new progressive social movement to be an essential step on the road to transforming Ireland’s socio-economic system. Such a movement will need to encompass trade unions, political parties, community groups, campaign groups, residents’ associations and non-aligned individuals. Similar movements have played an important role in the recent move to the left within a number of South American countries. éirígí believes there are lessons to be learned from these countries that could be applied to the Irish context.
PF: There are also a number of explicitly socialist-republican currents, such as the Irish Republican Socialist Party. What is éirígí’s attitude to the idea of trying to regroup all the socialist-republicans into a single organisation?
BL: While, theoretically, the ideal situation would see a single socialist republican party we have to recognise that the conditions for such a party do not yet exist in Ireland. The reality is that there are a number of organisations, including éirígí and the IRSP, that profess a left republican analysis. These various organisations have come into existence for a range of different historical reasons, some of which still exist today. While, at a superficial glance, these differences may seem surmountable, a more comprehensive analysis reveals much deeper tactical and ideological separation. To prematurely attempt a merger or coalition of these groups and parties may well damage the tentative growth that radical politics in Ireland is currently enjoying. In éirigi’s opinion, a better option at this time is for groups of similar outlook to work together on single-issue campaigns, similar to those outlined above. Over time, the conditions for a single socialist republican party may well emerge.
PF: How does éirígí see things in Ireland developing over the next, say, decade? How do you see éirígí developing in that context?
BL: The discourse in Ireland, both north and south, over the last decade has been dominated by an “end of history” type analysis. The aim of this propaganda was to promote the idea that all forms of popular struggle were finished. According to this view, the economy, although fundamentally unequal, was fundamentally sound and needed nothing but minor tinkering with. Meanwhile, the national question was settled, with the British occupation continuing indefinitely. In éirígí’s view, the next 10 years will be about exploding these myths. The truth remains that the economy is not fundamentally sound - it is on the point of collapse due to the way it was managed in the interests of the wealthy few. Already, we have seen tens of thousands of people taking to the streets of Dublin to protest about government cuts. The Six County state is not functioning as it was supposed to under the normalisation agenda of the British government and it never will. The communities that always opposed British rule are witnessing the failure of British rule on a daily basis. In light of this, I think the next 10 years are going to see a rejuvenation and popularisation of the struggle for an independent, socialist Ireland. It won’t be easy, but we’re determined to get there.
PF: Is there anything you’d like to add?
BL: I’d like thank you for giving éirígí the opportunity to explain its ideas to people in New Zealand. Communication and solidarity between peoples involved in struggle is essential in the fight for a better world, and long may it continue.

An IRSP Response to “Building an alternative movement in Ireland”

Whilst it is certainly heartening to see a small resurgence in radical politics though groups such as Eirigi; it is equally demoralising when they hold demostrations on issues that are collectively agreeable and ask other groups/parties to leave their banners at home.
Brian also mentions ideological and tactical separation in a throwaway manner without divulging to the rest of us what exactly these are.
One difference that i can think of is that the IRSP has always rejected the GFA as a blueprint for Irish National self determination and socialism and didn’t adopt this stance after an inevitable decision by PSF to support and endorse the PSNI/RUC.
There are real moves being made by the IRSP and 32CSM as well as the Republican Network for Unity to come together and find commonality of purpose that allows us to by pass “ideological and strategic differences” to co-operate on single issues to greater effect.
Eirigi have consistently been invited to take part in the Republican Forum to debate commonalities and differences but have as yet to take part citing the ideology strategy line.
Tomas Gorman IRSP


Political Prisoner.

For the release of Mustafa Atalay

Mustafa Atalay is one of the five accused in the §129b trail in front of the higher regional court in Stuttgart. “I`m a journalist and a socialist- no terrorist.” was his response to the charge of membership in a foreign terrorist organisation.
Mustafa Atalay is 52 years old and lives in Germany since 2000 as a political refugee. Since November 2006 he is non- stop in detention awaiting trail. Most of the time he was isolated and he has a strict special conditions arrest.
Mustafa Atalay is suffering from a heart condition. 2006 h. He had a bypass-surgery in which he got three new bypasses. He was arrested out of hospital. Two bypasses are occluded again. During the imprisonment more cardiac-surgeries would have been necessary. He takes 8 till 10 drugs because of cardiac and circulation problems and other diseases.
Mustafa Atalay was in Turkish prisons for over 15 years. He was tortured and suffers from bodily diseases now. An expert who was called by the court made out a stress disorder. Mustafa has to be released now!
Signatures are very welcome and can be sent to <>
via e-mail or to Gefangenen Info Neuer Kamp 25 20359 Hamburg via letter

Marxist Education

Tuesday 11 November 2008

The Plough Vol 05 No 13

The Plough
Web Site
Vol 5-No 13

Tuesday 11th November 2008

E-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Editorial

2) Belfast Agreement Revisited-Ten Years On

3) Capitalism, The Curse of the Working Class

4) From the media

5) Letters

6) What’s On


Sunday November 2nd saw a march past by a British Army regiment through the centre of Belfast supported by cheering crowds of unionists and loyalists. The overwhelming impression created was of triumphalism. Union jacks waved, the unionist city councillors took the salute and the army band played its music. Truly this march marked the defeat of republican armed struggle, the consolidation of British rule in a part of Ireland and a slap in the face to those nationalists and republicans who backed the Good Friday Agreement.
The huge turnout could be partially explained by the decision of provisional Sinn Fein to organise a protest march in opposition to the parade. Many unionists and indeed many nationalists could not understand their decision. After all they, provisional Sinn Fein, supported the British police force, the PSNI, accepted MI5 having control of political policing, sit on policing boards and local partnerships with the police and in the words of one of the leading figures, Francie Molloy
“Republicans are prepared to work an executive. We are really prepared administer British rule in Ireland for the foreseeable future. The very principle of partition is accepted, and if the Unionists had that in the 1920’s they would have been laughing” (Sunday Times [Irish Edition] March 28 1999)

In truth provisional Sinn Fein only called their rally when other republicans announced that they would protest. Fearing too be outflanked on their ‘republican’ side PSF forgot about reaching out to Unionists and went for confrontational politics. This resulted in a huge rise in sectarian tensions in Belfast.
There were three other protests held. The smallest was that held by the Workers Solidarity Movement (Anarchists) who hoped for a cross community protest against the militarist celebrations.
“We ask anyone who opposes sectarianism, nationalism (either British or Irish) and imperialism, to join us in opposition to the parade this Sunday 2nd November at 11am sharp”
At least, unlike the anti war movement controlled by the Socialist Workers party the WSM were prepared to organise on the day. Unforunately for them they lost the run of themselves before the demonstrations by attacking those others who were also preparing to demonstrate against the RIR parade in Belfast.
“WSM have nothing in common with rival republican organisations seeking to ‘outgun’ each other over the reactionary mantle of nationalism”.

There is a clear distinction between the nationalism of an oppressed nation and the nationalism of an Imperialist nation. Do the WSM really believe there is no difference between the nationalism of the BNF and republicans in Ireland? To even pose that question brings out the lack of theoretical understanding the WSM spokesperson has of Irish Republicanism. The IRSP sees itself as an internationalist organisation based firmly not only on the internationalism of James Connolly but also the universal principles of the United Irishmen based on the revolutionary ideals of the French Revolution. We are not nationalists but we very firmly support the struggle for national liberation from imperialism. That struggle is essentially progressive despite errors and mistakes in its pursuit. The nationalism associated with British imperialism is reactionary. The WSM may say a plague on all your houses but the essence of this position is to end up in the camp of the reactionaries.

The protest organised by éirígí was hampered by the fact that they would not allow any other banners but their own on the protest. (Shades of their origins in the PSF-ourselves alone or –should it be we are in control?) In a direct challenge to PSF they organised a march but refused to apply for permission to march. This no doubt was to appeal to the more macho of the Provisional support base.

The IRSP leadership met coming up to the parade to discuss our options. One strongly favoured was to organise a separate protest the day before the RIR march thus avoiding any sectarian clashes. However in the end as part of our commitment to the Republican Forum we decided to support the picket organised by the Network for Republican Unity in the Markets area where about 150+activist gathered for a peaceful picket.

The irony of so many protests involving republicans only indicates the divisions and differences. That of course is the inevitable consequences of the defeat of the armed struggle. It took many republicans a long time to realise that the Adams /McGuiness leadership had caved in to the British establishment. Disillusionment demoralization set in. The mass of the people remained indifferent. So it is good that many now recognize that a new direction is needed. We believe that direction has to be socialist.

The IRSP supports the Republican Forum for Unity. It is a political forum to discuss republican ideas and options and to try to place back on the political agenda republican objectives. The IRSP recognises that there are strong differences within the Forum but we see no problem in putting forward our arguments, our ideas, our positions, to other republicans. We will continue to put forward our class analysis in each and every forum we participate in.

Belfast Agreement Revisited-Ten Years On.

The IRSP position is very clear. In 1998 the I. R. S. P. opposed that Agreement mainly on the basis that it institutionalised sectarianism in the political institutions of the North.

“After thirty years of conflict, civil rights agitation and death destruction and mayhem the end result is that we have now got a more sophisticated head counting exercise. There is now no incentive for people to move away from entrenched sectarian positions”(Political Secretary’s Report to Ard-Feis 1998)

We also pointed out that the issue of sovereignty was so ringed around with pre-conditions and confusions that unionists and nationalists could interpret the issue of sovereignty in the agreement to suit their own political stance. We pointed out clearly that

"Northern Ireland in its entirety remains part of the United Kingdom"
(Article one of Annnex A of the agreement)

We queried whether the so- called equality agenda would in fact be implemented.
10 years there is still no Bill of Rights, no Irish Language Act and the DUP resisting anything that smacks of a nationalist agenda.
We also pointed out that
“The cross border bodies are not moves towards unity. They are simply pragmatic responses towards the need for capitalist economic efficiency within the context of the European Union. Does any one here think that improved co-operation on issues such as
’animal and plant health.. teachers qualifications and exchanges, waste management social security fraud control, aqua culture accident and emergency services’ (GFA)
was what the last thirty years was all about.?” (ibid)

We also did not believe that the RUC would be abolished or essentially reformed. The RUC became the PSNI and many young catholics are now joining the PSNI with the strong encouragement of provisional Sinn Fein.

At that time we tried to tell the strong republican base that existed in
1998, that in essence the GFA was a defeat for republicanism and that rather than try to work the new institutions by jointly running the north with unionists, (in effect administering British rule,) republicans should form a legitimate opposition within the new assembly and oppose from both a republican and socialist positions the right wing policies being implemented under British direction whilst upholding the republican base positions.

Unfortunately few were prepared to listen to us. They were prepared to put their trust in the ‘republican leadership’. In the intervening 10 years many who once scorned our arguments have since come to realise that they were fooled by that same republican leadership and that our initial position was correct. There have been at least two splits from Provisional Sinn Fein since then and a fracturing of republicanism.

From a Republican perspective the republican position has suffered a serious defeat.
Ø MI5 now have a strong physical presence in North Down,

Ø British regiments are still stationed in the North of Ireland at the level they were in 1968,

Ø British troops can march through the streets of Belfast

Ø a regime still operates from Stormont administrating British rule

Ø and the British Treasury dictates the economic policies that regime implements

Supporters of the Good Friday point out the gains they claim made since the GFA. They point out that it covers a wide range of areas from

“constitutional issues, political matters, institutional arrangements, human rights, equality, policing, justice, language and culture issues.” (Gerry Adams Irish Times April 2nd 2008)

and that progress has been made on these fronts.
Yes. There have been changes. Now we have a vibrant catholic/ nationalist middle class now on an equal basis with protestant/unionist middle classes. In Adam’s own words there is now a “level playing field” (ibid)
The mantra of “equality” is rarely away from the lips of Provisional Sinn Fein leaders. But what kind of equality? Is it equality for the middle classes? Is it the equality of poverty? Is it economic equality?

In the early days of the Civil Rights movement those of us on the left pointed out that one of the consequences of calling for equal rights on issues such as housing and jobs, under the current economic system would be to create less job and housing opportunities for protestants thus further feeding sectarianism within those thus disadvantaged.

Equality under capitalism meant taking from one group and giving to the other. That simply facilitated the old Imperialist tactic of divide and rule.

The Unionist Aristocracy and bourgeoisise in collaboration with sections of the British ruling class argued forcefully against Home Rule at the turn of the 20th century on the grounds of religion, the economy, the interests of the British Empire, strategic military grounds and racism.

They created an all class alliance that linked the protestant proletariat to their industrial masters. Despite the fact that the unionist bourgeoisie was extracting as much surplus value from the protestant proletariat as they could possibly exploit, the protestant masses identified with their exploiters and with the reactionary British Empire fearing a loss of, in many cases, imaginary privileges they had, compared to the catholic masses.

When the first Northern Government was set up in 1921 the first Cabinet looked
“ -like an executive committee of Northern industry and commerce”
(page 68” Northern Ireland ; the Orange State” Michael Farrell Pluto Press 1990)

Protestant workers who either opposed partition or preached socialism were described as “rotten prods” and driven out of their workplaces.
Thus was created an enormous block to Irish independence, a block it must be said, greatly underestimated and misunderstood by republicanism

As the 20th century progressed many Protestant workers formerly ‘privileged’ by easy access to jobs in heavy industry, found their sector in decline. Resentment, hatred, bitterness based on years of indoctrination about the privileges of being British made many easy prey to bigotry and sectarianism. It took courage to stand up to sectarian hatred and there were many trade unionists workers and socialists who did so.

James Connolly, Ireland’s outstanding Marxist writer in the early part of the 20th century had argued strongly against partition on the grounds that it would create a reactionary bulwark against socialism. And so it has proved.

The Good Friday Agreement, far from being but a stage on the road to a united Ireland that its supporters argue, has in fact re-enforced the sectarian nature of the 6-county state by pushing its inhabitants into being either “unionist” “nationalist” or “other” for the purposes of forming an administration.

Adams has argued that
“The British policy in Ireland has changed dramatically… British policy was about repressing republicanism; British policy in the last decade, or so, has been about trying to find some accommodation with republicanism.” (1)

The price to be paid for the inclusion of republicans in talks was the exclusion of republicanism. This means dialogue with Republican leaders and organisations but on the basis of an agenda that excludes the political objectives of Republicanism.

Central to the political objectives of Republicanism was

Ø that there would be no internal settlement,

Ø that the Irish people have a right to self-determination

Ø and it's not dependent on the agreement of a majority in the north.

The whole peace process may have included Republicans, but from the 1993 Downing Street Declaration to the final 1998 Belfast Agreement, was always based on the British state’s political alternative to Republicanism since 1972:

Ø an internal solution (a power sharing assembly in the North which includes Nationalists)

Ø with the externality of an Irish dimension (cross border bodies) grafted on it.

The longstanding Republican demands were never serious runners for all party talks, and none of them appeared in the final Belfast Agreement.

Instead we now have political parties based on communal interests. It is in the political interests of the mainstream political parties to maximise their votes within the protestant or catholic sections of the population. So it is in the direct interests of PSF, SDLP, DUP, and UUP to maximise the turn out from their “side of the house”. Now as the administration is a coalition there is absolutely no chance of radical measures, never mind socialist measures, being introduced. After all the budget is allocated from Westminster and must be allocated in accordance with the wishes of the Westminster Government which means implementing neo -liberal economic policies.

So when Gerry Adams of Provisional Sinn Fein argues that,

“The fierce opposition from within unionism and the British system to the Belfast Agreement has stemmed from the recognition that the agreement is a powerful instrument for change.” (Gerry Adams Irish Times April 2nd 2008)

he is being less than honest. The Agreement is an instrument of British policy. It has stabilised the Northern state. And did not the most formidable opponent of change and of opposition to nationalism and Catholicism, Ian Paisley point out that Adams had revised every republican position he ever had and that PSF were now administrating British rule?

‘I did smash them [the Provos] because I took away their main plank. Their main plank was that they would not recognise the British government [in Ireland].
“ ‘Now they are in part of the British government. They can’t be true Republicans when they now accept the right of Britain to govern this country and take part in that government.’
(Interviewed on BBC radio One “Andrew Marr Show” on March 9 2008)

When Paisley agreed to share limited power with Provisional Sinn Fein he knew that the Union was safe.

The 1998 Belfast agreement amounts to the following:
1) The British state has repeated its 1973 Sunningdale declaration of intent to remain in the North until a majority in it asks it to do otherwise;

2) The British state has made it clear that the unionist veto shall remain in place and has strengthened the partitionist ethos underlying that veto by having it enshrined it in the revised Southern constitution;

3) The British state has ruled out any transition to a united Ireland by refusing to state that by a certain date - no matter how far in the distant future - it will no longer have a presence in Ireland.

4) The fact remains that the unionists will determine when the north will join a united Ireland.

This represents the best deal unionists could possibly have won. In the words of Anthony Blair, the British Prime Minister:

'This offers unionists every key demand they have made since partition eighty years ago...
The principle of consent, no change to the constitutional status of Northern Ireland without the consent of the majority of the people, is enshrined.
The Irish constitution has been changed.
.A devolved assembly and government for Northern Ireland is now there for the taking.
When I first came to Northern Ireland as a Prime Minister, these demands were pressed in me as what unionists really needed.
I have delivered them all.'
( Blair’s Dawn Call kept the heat on Trimble, Sunday Times, 4 July 1999)

The IRSP has advanced the argument that in the current climate there is no basis for republicans engaging in armed struggle. There is little or no popular support, organisations may well be infiltrated with people hostile to the national struggle and the prospects of any successful conclusion to an armed campaign practically nil.

Republicans need to take a different direction and we have argued consistently that that direction is the class struggle. Needless to say the mere mention of class struggle has the politically sectarian jumping up and down frantically shouting ‘economists, “reformists” “anti republicans” and whatever suitable insult they can think up without having to make up a suitable sensible argument. Worst of all, in their eyes, are those who put forward clear arguments based on a socialist understanding of modern Irish society. They are accused of being trendy middle class intellectuals living in theoretical ivory towers.

Such anti-intellectualism has no place in any revolutionary movement.

It is almost impossible to think of one revolutionary leader from the 20th century who was not also simultaneously a writer and thinker; Lenin, Trotsky, Gramsci, James Connolly, Padraigh Pearse, Liam Mellows, Mao tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara.

Also in the IRSP itself many of our own leaders including Seamus Costello, Ronnie Bunting, Johnny White, Miriam Daly, Ta Power and Gino Gallagher were critical thinkers, writers and doers, basing themselves on the class struggle.

The IRSP has argued from its inception that without national liberation there can be no socialism and without socialism there can be no national liberation. So in deepening and developing the class struggle we are in actual fact deepening and developing the struggle for national liberation.

Republicans need to remember some wonderful phrases of Wolfe Tone, a founder of Irish Republicanism,

“To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, and to assert the independence of my country--these were my objects.
To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissentions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in the place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter--these were my means."
"To unite Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter under the common name of Irishmen in order break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, that was my aim".
"If the men of property will not support us, they must fall. Our strength shall come from that great and respectable class, the men of no property".

We republican socialists need to remember that it is not “our community” we owe allegiance to but to our class.

The Northern economy is heavily dependant on the public sector, services and retailing. Large numbers of people are economically inactive in the North with nearly 40% of the working age population. The education system is socially divisive class based and not fit for purpose. Every year over 1000 pupils leave school without basic qualifications and over 12000 without GCSE passes in Maths and English.

Gas bills are going up. Electricity bills are going up. Water charges are being introduced. Public sector jobs are being axed and replaced by the private sector. Working class families can now not afford mortgages and the state refuses to increase substantially the supply of social housing to meet current needs. There is a slump in the building trade and energy prices are rising dramatically.

In the South of Ireland the economy is now in recession and unemployment is expected to rise to 5.5%or 6% this year. House prices are falling rapidly and as in the North some working class families now find themselves with negative equity. Many now face the prospect of either selling their homes or having them dispossessed and moving into rented accommodation to be at the mercy of landlords. The recent budget was a vicious attack on the living standards of the working class but let the wealthy off almost scot free.

Capitalism worldwide has suffered its greatest shock since the great depression in the1930’s. That Depression aided the rise to power of fascism with the subsequent world war. What happens in the world economy directly affects workers in both parts of Ireland. Neither of the two administrations can protect the working class from the effects of a recession even if they were so inclined. Administrations that include the right wing PD party in the South and the right wing DUP in the North will have as their first priority defence of capitalism and their cronies in the business world. For all Sinn Fein’s professed “radicalism” they are the party that introduced Public Private Initiatives that essentially is privatising the educational system.

For capitalism, that has been one of the outstanding successes of the Belfast /Good Friday Agreement. Sinn Fein is now working the capitalist system with a gusto and enthusiasm that would turn the stomachs of those who once believed in their left wing posturing.

We say to those republicans shed away your illusions and work towards republican aspirations by joining with growing sections of the working class in taking up explicit anti-capitalist stances. There is now an opportunity to rally working class forces in a fight back against the cuts now being imposed. Are republicans prepared to join in that fight? And be under no illusion when fighting for the working class in these day to day struggles we are also pushing forward the anti-imperialist struggle.

Gerry Ruddy


“Capitalism is not intelligent, it is not beautiful, it is not just, it is not virtuous and it does not deliver the goods” (John Maynard Keynes, economist whose theories included a mixed economy which influenced the post war labour government under Clement Atlee in the UK, far from a revolutionary or Marxist).

There is a nasty rumour flying around telling people that the global capitalist economic system is in some kind of crisis. Some irresponsible people, masquerading as politicians and others as economic experts are trying to claim that the wonderful capitalist system is in its worst state for ‘one hundred years’. These so called people of wisdom must have completely overlooked the events of Wall Street, 1929-30, and what led to the “Great Depression” of the 1930s because according to my maths and political history the 1930s are less than a hundred years ago and the events of Wall Street make what is happening now look little more than a blip.

There are however some people out there, not economists or would be politicians, but ordinary every day people who can see a bright side to this terrible abyss which we are supposed to believe is second only to the bubonic plague. These are the people who for the first time in their lives can actually afford goods and services without accumulating massive debts. One young woman reportedly said ‘I hope this goes on for ever’ for the first time I can afford a house ‘if this is recession bring it on’. Of course this woman will be in a minority because things are not so bad, or good, that everybody can afford a house unless thy have won the pools or the lotto even at reduced prices and those who may be able to are in constant fear of redundancy.

The economic situation we are in merely means that the profits of the capitalist class, bourgeoisie, are down on previous years, it does not mean they are making no profit at all. Of course this is more than that greedy class of parasites can bear so, as a consequence, and to offset their profit reduction they lay off the workforce thus making sure it is the working class who take the brunt of capitalist irresponsibility and instability. This in turn leads to many people being unable to meet their mortgage demands consequently leading to house repossessions by the mortgage companies, meaning in the case of many no job no home. Equally because house prices are falling, which is not too good if you are trying to sell a property, many mortgage companies are reluctant to give mortgages in case the applicants manage to pay the mortgage off before their dying day thus denying the lenders huge profits in interest.

For years now some working class people living in denial have been masquerading as bourgeois. Now it is about time some of these upstarts who for some time have been walking around with their noses in the air claiming to be property owners realised that they are not, no more than a corporation tenant is, because the mortgage company own the house and let the occupier miss one weeks repayment, which is happening, and they will see who the real property owners are! The fact is, in these times the corporation tenant is far safer, as far as security of tenure goes, than the would- be property owner. Corporations tend not to evict without good reason and certainly not for missing one week’s rent.

One of the most grotesque spectres about this whole messy affair is the way the bourgeoisie manage to convince people that lower, affordable, housing and other goods and services is a bad thing and, the irony is that the very people who benefit from lower prices are easily convinced it is a bad thing. The reality is that for some people who, through no fault of their own, have lost employment and home of course this ‘credit crunch’ is a bad thing. For those who the mortgage companies will not give a mortgage to because they cannot debt laden them for eternity it is actually a good thing, though they are among the ones who are convinced it is a bad thing. However for those who can afford to buy a property at a much reduced price, probably out of their nest egg, or at least put a good deposit down without a mortgage and pay the rest of the installments out of their wages, as long as they have wages, the present situation may be seen as a good thing.

Having briefly, very briefly, looked at this comedy of errors called capitalism which we are constantly told is the finest way of managing our affairs (god we must be dead from the neck up) and that the capitalist system is the only way forward (I beg to differ), which for the capitalist class who seldom, as a class loose, it probably is. As far as the working class is concerned, if they could only see it, this imbecile system is probably the worst possible way of their affairs being managed. What is needed is not a bit of tampering with an already corroded economic system but the entire dismantling of the capitalist mode of existence, production, to be replaced with a new competent dependable system called socialism based on the common ownership of the means of production control and exchange, a planned economy and one state run nationalized bank, one employer, the socialist state with the working class in control of the means of production, full democracy both at the point of production and elsewhere e.g. within the communities, and an end to the profit, profit, profit mentality which has gripped society since the industrial revolution and before.

Those who once argued and agreed with head cases like the then US President Ronald Reagan that the former Soviet Union was “evil” should take a look in the mirror and a quick glance around themselves and ask what is so godly about capitalism. Despite the many grotesque distortions in the former USSR who ever heard of the State Bank of Moscow going bust? A Socialist political and economic system would guarantee housing for all, yes Corporation housing with some modifications. An example of these modifications on what we know as corporation housing presently could be perhaps the right, if a tenant wished, to build small extensions or patios provided these improvements to the property do not completely decimate the local environment. People would have security of tenure and be able to sleep comfortably at night without the worry of the bailiffs turning up to evict them the following morning. This kind of political and economic system would not suit the bourgeoisie but then again it is not supposed to. The fact is for the majority of people, the working class, capitalism is unstable, offers no long term security and as far as deliverance of goods and services are concerned, well only if it is profitable.

The moral to this story is that society does not have to be constructed in this unsafe, unreliable semi-imbecile way. There is a better competent method of conducting our affairs, which is not dependent on a small minority making huge, mega, profits on the backs of the majority. That system is socialism.

Kevin Morley
Irish Republican Socialist Party, Dublin


In response to “Forty Years On . Civil Rights in the plough Vol 5 -12 (
Excellent article. Interesting points raised about SP and SWP too. Left sectarianism is clearly alive and well. Those two organisations have no foundations within the class they claim to represent and yet remain resolute in their arrogance toward republicans!

The IRSP stance on the subject of housing is totally correct and admirable. It is great to see socialist republicans tackle issues affecting all sections of the working class from a principled political position and without discrimination. I believe reps of protestant workers were approached about the march}. Long may it continue.

The fact remains that while an imperialist force remains in this country sectarianism will continue to exist, it is only when a socialist republic is established that we will see sectarianism finally ended and our class can go about organising a nation free from such social ills. It is important to recognise the source of sectarianism in Ireland and of course avoid drifting into reformism. We must tackle immediate issues like this that effect the working class while fully standing behind and promoting with pride our revolutionary politics and never distancing ourselves from our goal to make allowances for anyone.

Sligo Reader

Marxist Education

Friday 17 October 2008

The Plough Vol 05 No 12

The Plough
Web Site
Vol 5-No 12

Friday 17th October 2008

E-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Editorial

2) Forty Years On

3) Falling apart at the seams.

4) Aidan Hulme

5) What’s On

Forty Years On

The fortieth anniversary of the historic October 1968 civil rights march in Derry took place recently on October 5th. While some of the veterans of those days were swanking around the Guildhall in Derry that weekend mixing with Presidents, Noble Peace Prize winners and getting insulted by DUP Minister, Gregory Campbell, two protests took place that put the so called gains of the past forty years into perspective.

On the Saturday at lunchtime outside the Guildhall (where I joined them) a small group of Republicans held a protest as the President of the 26 counties Mary Mc Aleese arrived for the civil rights celebrations. The republicans, who are referred to as “Dissidents” by those who have bought into administering British rule in Ireland, were protesting about the abuse of power by the political police in the 26 counties against four Derry republicans. I did not see any of the so-called veterans of the civil rights movement come out to join in the protest. This despite the fact that draconian laws still exist and are still used by the political police north and South of the border. Nor was there any sign of the so called socialist groups in Derry who are so quick to organise a picket, march or protest if Imperialism acts in far off countries the way it does in Ireland.

But then that is not surprising. The respectable wing of the civil rights movement never wanted any thing to do with anything that smelt of radicalism. People like Brid Rogers did not want either republicans or communists on the civil rights committees in the late sixties. John Hume advised against both the October the 5th March 1968 and the Bloody Sunday march January 30th 1972 and stayed away from both marches. However when the catholic middle classes saw the angry of the catholic working class, against the injustices suffered from even before the founding of the northern Ireland state, expressed on the streets they jumped on the band wagon before the wagon left them far behind. There were also some republicans who advised against taking part in the civil rights movement. It was a distraction from the national struggle. They went on to split the republican movement and founded the provisional republican movement. Some of them today have now false memory syndrome of the “leading role” they played in the civil rights struggle.

Those of us who argued then that the civil rights struggle was not just about the discrimination against the catholic /nationalist population but also needed to campaign against the economic barriers that bore heavier on the working classes whether unionist or nationalist, were derided as ultra –leftists. Those who denounced us were sections of the republican movement, that later took the Official Republican movement into the Workers Party, and the Communist Party of Northern Ireland who saw the political process as a linear movement going from one stage to another but only after all of one stage had been reached. So the struggle for democratic rights should not be distracted by either the struggles for national or economic rights.

Such a stance meant that the Unionist establishment could paint the civil rights movement as only a catholic front that threatened the privileges of the protestant working class then benefiting from first preferences choices of jobs in heavy industry and housing. Yet four of the five main demands of the civil rights movement were conceded fairly rapidly. The repressive Special Powers act was kept and then a whole series of repressive laws replaced it.

And yet forty years from October 5th 1968 over four hundred people took part in the second protest that weekend in 2008 when the North Belfast Civil Rights Association took to the streets on the same issue of housing that was so relevant to the civil rights movement forty years ago. (pictures

There was a large turnout of members of the IRSP and other republicans from a variety of groups as well as anarchists and those most directly affected by the lack of available housing in North Belfast. Unfortunately there was also no sign of those socialist groups such as the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party who it seems only want to protest when its safe. i.e. they don’t get identified with republicans or associated with issues that may be perceived as sectarian.

Three years ago the SDLP disclosed that people from a nationalist/catholic background made up 75% of those on the Housing Executive’s waiting list in North Belfast but only had 36% of the social housing allocation.

Today the figures for those on the housing list are nearer to 84% Catholic/ Nationalist. Areas like Ardoyne are bursting at the seams. Yet there is ample housing in North Belfast Rows of empty houses exist in North Belfast.

They are however in North Belfast nearly 25 interfaces with so-called peace walls and the empty houses are in areas that are perceived as protestant. There has been an outflow of protestant families from North Belfast. But because of the sectarian nature of politics in the North even the Housing Executive recognises these areas as “protestant” and refuses to allocate homes to Catholics. Unionist politicians have whipped up protestant fears of a catholic takeover and encroachment into “protestant” areas and created a climate of fear that inhibits genuine progressives within the protestant working class from identifying with the aims and objects of the N.B.C.R.A.

The Housing issue in North Belfast is the litmus test by which we judge if the Unionists who say they have embraced power sharing and other aspects of the Good Friday Agreement are really sincere. As yet no elected unionist has raised the chronic housing problem in North Belfast. The nature of the northern state dictates that politicians only have to cater for those “on their own side of the house”, ie catholics or protestants but not both. That is the essential reason why the IRSP rejected the Good Friday Agreement. It cemented sectarianism into the body politic. We maintain that only by the establishment of a Socialist Republic can the sectarianism that divides the working class be begun to be broken down.

But we are not afraid to take up causes that may appear to “offend” sections of the working class. The essential belief we bring to the housing issue is “need not creed.”

Communities groups working within nationalist communities have publicly expressed support for people on the Shankill campaigning for social housing in opposition to property speculators. No socialist or republican should hesitate to support working class people who are oppressed. We don’t ask their religion or the colour of their skin or what their sexual orientation is. Wherever there is injustice we should fight it.

Forty years on from the start of the civil rights struggle the same type of issues that confronted people then still exist today. It is not a time for self-congratulations as to what anyone did forty years ago, or award us medals, or plaques or badges for doing then what was right. The place for any republican or socialist or self-proclaimed Marxists is outside the Guildhall in Derry, in solidarity with political prisoners, protesting and marching against housing discrimination. On the streets in protest at the many injustices that still exist in this society. That is the real spirit of 68’.

Gerry Ruddy

Falling apart at the seams.

Last weekend the Euro politicians put together the biggest bank bailout in history. Just three days later and everything’s falling apart at the seams again. European shares tumbled. Falls of up to 7% took place in the value of shares. The $250bn from the Euro banks seemed to be of no value in stopping the collapse of the money markets. While the system is far from collapse it is now clear that we may be moving towards a worldwide recession. It is undoubtedly the worst recession since the great depression in the 1930’s. Nine out of ten of the shares to fall the most are in resource stocks. Rio Tinto the mining company saw shares drop 17%in one day.

Rather than be grateful to Governments pouring money into the banks the bankers are now demanding that they be allowed to pay out dividends to their share holders. The British Prime Minister sunk £37bn into three banks to keep them afloat. The Irish Government guaranteed the survival of all the Irish based banks. The USA Government is handing over vast sums of money to financial firms virtually free.
And the bankers want more. That is the reality of capitalism. Having demanded for years a free market economy without any restraints or Government controls, the banks, when the shit hits the fan, want Government intervention in terms of money, ie taxpayer’s money but still want no Government regulation.
It is easy for the British prime Minister to blame "irresponsible" bankers. Yet it was he who for ten years presided over a period of cheap credit. Low interest rates may have been to stimulate the economy but a major affect was the creation of mountains of debt not only for financial institutions but also for the ordinary person in the street.

Credit cards were given out hand over fist to people who had no way of paying back the debts they accumulated. Every week homes were bombarded with gloss leaflets encouraging people to sign up to the latest offer from the credit card companies. TV and films pushed the consumer life style down people’s throats. Three foreign holidays a year was the norm, women should live like the WAGS and the men emulate the life style of the David Beckam’s of this world. Trade union values of solidarity and brotherhood and equality were derided. The individual consumer was king. Working class areas lost their sense of solidarity as the values of the free market were embraced by unemployed youth turned on the glorification of drug culture. Crime soared in working class areas and anti social behaviour drug taking knife culture and a callous disregard for our fellow humans took hold.

In the meantime it is the taxpayers in the main who will bear the main burden of the collapse of the system and the on set of recession. The budget introduced this week by the Irish Government will lower disposable incomes by 1%. VAT has been increased and a 1% levy on all incomes under Euros100, 000 is introduced and 2%for incomes over euros 100,000. Naturally there is no change in corporation tax.

Those set to experience the greatest losses in the coming year are those who lose their jobs, and have difficulty in finding new employment. Changes in the jobseekers allowance mean that the unemployed will now be worse off.

On top of that there has been a cull of Government agencies. One of the most prominent is the Combat Poverty agency now to be merged into the Department of Social and Family Affairs. A thorn in the side of the Government in the past with regular critiques of policy the agency now loses its independence and one doubts any more criticisms of policy. There were tax increases across the board, on income, Vat and duty rates. There were cutbacks in public services. One commentator speaking of the budget said

“If you leave aside the elderly, the women and the children, no-one else feels any pain.”

Two years ago the Republic’s economy was booming and the government had more money than it could spend. Now it is bust.
House prices in the south are down more than 10 per cent in the past year.
Meanwhile in the North the unemployment numbers have raised by 1200 the biggest increase in 22 years. Most of the job losses are from the construction industry. However the North’s economy is relatively better off in comparison with both the 26 counties and Britain due to the high number of public sector jobs. However the % of people, who are economically inactive, is a staggering 26.7 % the highest of all UK regions.

What is happening to European economies has to be seen in an international context.
“Over the past year, the number of hungry people in the world increased from some 850 million to 925 million, as a direct result of higher food and energy prices. Since early 2007, protests about high food prices and general living costs have occurred in almost 60 countries, with violence occurring in more than 20 of these. The current crisis will push the number of hungry people to well over one billion, about one-sixth of the world's population.”

The costs of hunger are not sufficiently widely known. Half of the almost 10 million children under the age of five who die annually do so from a combination of malnutrition and easily preventable disease. Tens of millions of children suffer from physical and mental stunting as a result of chronic malnourishment of pregnant women and children under two years. The costs in terms of lost human potential and economic development of countries are enormous. (Tom Arnold is chief executive of Concern Worldwide)

The poorest of the poor spend 50-70 %of their income on food and live on less than 50 cents a day. Very few of the promises made by richer nations to help the hungry have translated into action.
That is why it is so important for republicans in Ireland to not only examine and understand the reasons for the current crisis in capitalism but also to take, a view point not from a narrow nationalist perspective, but to look at the whole issue from an internationalist perspective.
Long derided and almost forgotten about by the intelligentsia of the world because of the failure of Stalinism and the collapse of the totalitarian Eastern regimes the ideas of Karl Marx are now once more coming back to prominence.

“The history of all hitherto existing society [2] is the history of class struggles”.

“The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.”

“Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other -- bourgeoisie and proletariat.”

“The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers.”

“The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation into a mere money relation.”

“The bourgeoisie has, through its exploitation of the world market, given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. “

“Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.”


Aidan Hulme

The following leaflet was handed out in Derry on Behalf of Aidan Hulme recently. As a result of that and pressure by a wide range of organisations and individuals an assurance was given by the authorities that Aidan will have a consultant assessment before the end of month and there will be a consultant led care management plan in place. Gangrene is not present in his foot and an agreed care package is now put in place. The OC of the wing will have access to all visits by the doctor as well as visits by the Governor, which gives an opportunity to monitor the progress over the coming weeks.

The working together of all those who aspire to a different kind of Ireland than exists today show what could be achieved when we unite in action. While we all have our differences there are many things we can and should unite on in the spirit of the Broad Front advocated by Seamus Costello.

Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association
Alarming concern has been expressed for the continuing medical condition of republican prisoner Aidan Hulme in Portlaoise Prison. Following a visit from a Doctor it was observed that Aidan’s toes on his injured leg had turned black giving rise to fears of possible gangrene. The Doctor relayed to the Prison Governor that Aidan should be seen by a Consultant in this field as a medical imperative. The Governor has stated that Aidan’s case would be prioritised but as of yet no decisive action has been taken.

Aidan is currently on twenty-one tablets a day and requires the use of Morphine Patches to alleviate pain. His complexion has turned yellow which may indicate liver damage as a result of the high dosage of medication. He is currently confined to bed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

The Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association urges all republican and socialist groups to campaign vigorously to ensure Aidan’s medical needs are urgently met. We will be petitioning Minister Dermot Ahern to intervene immediately so that Aidan can receive the proper medical attention in a proper medical facility.

Why was Kevin Murray allowed to die?

Irish Republican POW Kevin Murray (48) had been serving a 12-year sentence at Portlaoise Prison, Ireland; when early in 2001 he began to complain of severe headaches and dizziness. Repeated visits to the prison doctor did not alleviate his increasingly severe headaches, or lead to proper medical attention to his very rapidly deteriorating physical health. In mid-September of 2001, after a great deal of protest by fellow POWs and family and friends outside of the prison, Kevin was finally moved to an outside hospital to receive desperately needed medical attention for what was found at that late stage to be a massive brain tumor. By this time, however, his condition had become inoperable; and he was transferred almost immediately from Beaumont Hospital to a hospice care facility near his family in Dundalk.

Kevin was administered last rites in early October after suffering a stroke, which left him blind. Several weeks later, on Tuesday, November 13th, Kevin lost his long struggle for life. Kevin Murray died a few short weeks after finally being released from Portlaoise prison for the emergency hospital care, which had been requested, by himself, his family, and his fellow prisoners for several months prior to his death.

Duty of care:
We firmly believe that the Irish Government and the Irish prison service have failed in their duty of care to ensure the basic human rights of adequate medical treatment to Irish Republican POW’s, resulting in the death of Kevin Murray and the deteriorating health of Aidan Hulme. We would urge people to express their concern and contact Department of Justice, Dermot Ahern, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform,94 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2 Phone: + 353 1 602-8202 Email: Issued by Derry 32csm on behalf of I.R.P.W.A

Trade union Notes
New rates will be implemented from 7 October 2008 as follows:
National Minimum Wage
Adult rate - £5.73
18-21 year old rate - £4.77
Under 18 rate - £3.53.

Marxist Education

What’s On?

Tuesday October 21st at 7 pm.

Belfast Salon explores the new politics of Northern Ireland.

“Arranged marriage or meeting of minds?”

The transformation of Provisional Republicanism from anti state insurgency to partners in Government is often described as a form of political rehabilitation, where, through skilful management and against all the odds, those at the margins are brought into the fold of mainstream politics.

Rejecting the so-called ‘great man’ or ‘betrayal’ approach to history and locating Irish republicanism in a global political context, a new book- The New Politics of Sinn Fein- draws parallels between the movement’s accommodation with the British state, its embrace of identity politics and the broader decline of universalist forms in contemporary politics.

The Belfast Salon will discuss these ideas with author Kevin Bean, looking at the redefinition of republicanism in the context of ideological changes that have taken place across the political spectrum over the past 20 years.

Tuesday October 21st at 7 pm.

Upstairs at the Spaniard, Skipper Street, Belfast

29 October, Wednesday 5-6,

‘Writing the history of the Official Republican Movement Dr Brian Hanley (QUB) Seminar Room 1, Governance Building, 53-67 University Road Belfast

Wednesday 29 October7:00pm
The Future Together is hosting a public debate on in the Lansdowne Court Hotel, Antrim Road. Belfast This will be an opportunity to have your say and discuss the educational arguments on the future of education.

This is a public event that commences at and will finish promptly at 9:00pm.

Sir Ken Bloomfield and Professor Tony Gallagher will be contributors to the debate. All political parties will also be represented.

WITH ANTHONY MCINTYRE - Ausubo Press celebrates its New Book Good Friday: The Death of Irish Republicanism by Anthony McIntyre is an indispensable book for anyone wanting to understand the Sinn Fein peace process from an Irish Republican perspective. Anthony McIntyre and Ausubo Press look forward to the pleasure of your company at a congratulatory gathering celebrating the publication of his new book, Good Friday: The Death of Irish Republicanism.

SAVE THE DATE! Please join us on: WEDNESDAY, 5 NOVEMBER 2008 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. The Linen Hall Library, The Northern Room 17 Donegall Square North Belfast BT1 5GB, Northern
RSVP by contacting publicity@ausubopre - no later than 29 October.
"McIntyre's book should be read by anyone with an interest in modern Irish republicanism. " Richard English
An Ausubo Press book www.ausubopress. com