- Dominic & Mary McGlinchey Commemoration – Bellaghy Easter Saturday 2015
- IRSP support the ‘Craigavon Two’ song campaign.
- IRSP To Join Tomorrow’s Strike Against Reactionary Austerity Measures
- DSD “You need to tell us” campaign is an attack on working class communities.
- End the criminalisation of LGBT people.
- Fallen Volunteers
- Hunger Strikes
- Industrial Action
- Information Stalls
- James Connolly
- Michael Campbell
- Opinion Piece
- Patsy O'Hara
- Political Prisoners
- Press Release
- Seamus Costello
- Ta Power
The Irish Republican Socialist Party notes and applauds the ingenuity of the JFTC2 committee, and Revolutionary balladeer Pól Mac Adaim who together have released the song ‘Justice For the Craigavon Two’ in an attempt to raise awareness of the ongoing travesty which has seen two Innocent Working Class lads linger in Maghaberry prison for an action not of their making.
The case against Brendan McConville and John-Paul Wootton has been discredited to a point that no rational thinker can consider their imprisonment as any more than a politically motivated stitch up akin to that of the Guilford 4 and the Birmingham 6. The fact that a Diplock Court was so willing and able to imprison two men despite the absence of any credible evidence points to a desire within the British State in Ireland to persue a ‘pound of flesh’ strategy – gaoling perceived sympathisers in retaliation for actions of armed Republicans .
It is frightening that such a blatant miscarriage of Justice can be facilitated within a judicial system that claims to be accountable, open and transparent. Yet such incidents can only go unchecked for so long as the public turn a blind eye, and it is for this reason that the campaigns attempts to get Póls song into the mainstream charts is so commendable.
For his part, Pól Mac Adaim is an accomplished and talented singer songwriter with a long history of highlighting the plight of oppressed and exposing hypocrisy and injustice in the Irish political setup. His steadfast refusal to remain quiet on matters of principle has caused him no small degree of difficulty in the past, with many venues (loyal to the mainstream political setup) closing their doors to him in reaction to his perceived political stance. Nevertheless he always remained steadfast in his ideals.
He has also been a lifelong friend to the Republican Socialist Movement, spending much of his youth on the tedious journey to Portlaoise prison to visit relatives incarcerated for the cause of Republican Socialism.
This lifelong principled stance and the novel approach to raise the case of the Craigavon Two in the public eye deserve to be recognised. As such we would ask all members, supporters and the Republican Socialist base in general to get behind this campaign.
The song can be bought on I-Tunes by following the link below.
(iPhone & iPad)
(laptops & computers)
Google Play https://play.google.com/store/music/album…
(Android tablets & Smart Phone’s)
The recent campaign, launched by Stormont’s Department for Social Development, calling blatantly for people to inform on benefits claimants, is an appalling indictment on the failure of that institution to create a decent society, and a feeble attempt to divert attention from the savage and unfair cutbacks which working class people are facing into.
Sean Carlin of the Irish Republican Socialist party continues “The crass nature of the message contained in this publicity campaign, is further proof (if any more were needed) that the Stormont government is being led by the nose by a hypocritical Tory government, doing the bidding of their Millionaire allies who seek to dodge Billions in Corporation Tax a year, while pointing a disapproving finger at poor and vulnerable families trying to keep their heads above water.”
Mr Carlin said “Throughout the course of Irish history, Informers have been castigated as morally bankrupt and belonging to the lowest rungs of our society. At a time in which families are facing into desperate hardship and are forced into desperate measures, the practice of Informing to the government should be as contemptible and condemnable to our communities as at any time in our past.
In recent days, one such poster calling on people to inform was erected on the International Wall on Belfast’s Falls Road, a space recognised as one in which activists express the best aspects of our radical and progressive past and present, in the form of slogans, paintings and murals.”
Mr Carlin finishes “The placing of such an appalling message at this junction was a snub to all right thinking people of west Belfast. We understand the frustration of such people, and call for these offensive posters to be removed immediately.”
The Irish Republican Socialist Party condemns the DUPs proposed bill which would allow discrimination against LGBT people under the guise of “religious conscience”, and we condemn the Catholic hierarchy’s support for this hideous assault on LGBT people. When Ashers Baking … Continue reading
Irish Republican Socialist Partys Dublin Secretary John Roche, reacting to the arrest of party colleague Tommy Kelly, has condemned his arrest and the recent spate of politically motivated raids in Dublin. Mr Roche was speaking after Tommy Kelly was released following his arrest as part of the state’s response to the protest last month in which Joan Burton was delayed for a number of hours.
Mr Roche reacting to the news of the arrests said, “Twenty four people, including IRSP member Tommy Kelly, were arrested during the past week in a series of politically motivated raids which some have likened to the actions of the Gardai’s so-called ‘Heavy Gang’ of the 1970s. The nature of the arrests and the fact that those opposed to the introduction of unfair and unjust water charges were targeted clearly shows the political nature of the operation. Republican Socialists are no strangers to political policing and politically motivated internment we have encountered it since the formation of the Republican Socialist Movement in 1974. Its a sign of weakness it means they are scared of what you represent and thats a good thing, they should be scared.”
He continued, “In reality these arrests were nothing to do with the protest which affected Joan Burton. They were in fact the response of a desperate state which is terrified of losing control over the people. They were an ill-judged attempt at intimidation and as such will lead to failure. The fact remains that those who stand with the marginalised and poor were targeted for special attention by armed and aggressive representatives of the state during early morning raids. Two children were among those who were subject to the actions of the police state during that operation in what was clearly an attempt to silence opposition to water charges within working class communities who have begun to.”
He went on, “These arrests and associated intimidation of anti-austerity activists will not succeed in breaking the will of the people as they were designed to do. The Irish working class have had enough of paying for the extravagances of those who wilfully gambled away the nation’s resources and finances. We stand with the people and will continue to act in solidarity with those under economic attack from the state.”
“Welfare to Work” program Steps to Success have 900 free workers on its books in Strabane alone.
The Irish Republican Socialist Party is calling for people to have greater awareness of what’s happening with the Steps to Success program currently being forced on people all across the northern occupied counties. Unemployed workers are being targeted as a source of free labour for the private sector, subsidized by public money. Being forced onto these “Welfare to Work” schemes prohibit the opportunity for finding meaningful employment with no real jobs created only a conveyor belt of publically funded workers for private profit.
Michael McLaughlin of the IRSP continues “Essentially what we have here is a vast pool of labour to be exploited by the private sector. Although the program is currently facing problems getting placements for participants some of the stories we are hearing from people currently on placements are degrading. What will also happen is that unemployment figures will fall drastically giving an unrealistic picture of real unemployment which will be spinned by Stormont political parties as a reduction when in actual fact is anything but?”
Mr McLaughlin said “Put yourself in the place of an unscrupulous large corporation only interested in profit margins. Do you create a full time position for a worker, with all the benefits of full employment, or do you get a worker in on a “welfare to work” scheme that is subsidized by the public purse, essentially free labour for your business? I know of many large corporations who would only be too glad to exploit young unemployed people in this way, with no chance of real employment at the end of it. Once you have served your 12 month sentence for “steps to success” your back on the dole and the next scheme participant is sub-contracted in your old position.”
Mr McLaughlin finishes “Since the IRSP launched its campaign to expose the “steps to success” program on social media we have been inundated with personal stories from people currently on the scheme. Everyone we have spoken to has had a negative experience. One 40 year old woman was forced to commute a 30 mile round trip to a McDonald’s fast food restaurant for which she was given £1.62 per hour. In another case a 28 year old was threatened by the private company Rutledge ,delivering “steps to success”, that if he didn’t attend the highly unsuitable placement they provided for him he would lose his Jobseekers and Housing Benefit for 6 months, effectively driving him into abject poverty and homelessness.. We need to continue to raise public awareness of how Stormont are not only letting this happen but are culpable in the administration of it.”
Several hundred people braved wet and windy conditions to attend the 40th anniversary march and commemoration of Comrade Hugh Ferguson, chairperson of Whiterock IRSP and Volunteer in the Peoples Liberation Army. The first fallen martyr of the INLA.
Led by a colour party (made up of his old comrades and Belfast RSM veterans) Hugh Ferguson’s family kindly participated as wreath bearers, closely followed by the James Connolly Republican Socialist flute band from Derry City.
Following a march around the narrow streets of the Whiterock estate, those assembled came to a halt at the Ferguson/O’Niell memorial plaque, where under the misty slopes of the black mountain, a commemoration service was held by the Irish Republican Socialist Party.
Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Ferguson family, Staff & Volunteers of the INLA, the IRSP Ard Comhairle and Whiterock/Ballymurphy IRSP.
Following a memorial speech and tribute from Gerard Foster of Befast IRSP, the lowering of the flags commenced in line with a lament.
The commemoration concluded with the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann.
Below is the full text of the speech delivered by Gerry Foster of Belfast IRSP.
Friends and Comrades, first of all I would like to thank everybody who has gathered here today to remember our Friend and Comrade Volunteer Hugh Ferguson.
I would also wish to extend a special welcome to Hugh’s family who are also here as I am sure this is a difficult time for them. It has been forty long years since that fateful day in February 1975 when Hugh was murdered, and I am sure occasions like these can bring back sad and painful memories for them all.
Standing here today I am sure that each and every one of you who knew Hugh have your own sad but good memories of our comrade before he met his untimely death as he was a person whose personality was infectious.
Fergie was a young man in his prime, vibrant and full of life, but with ideals and beliefs that others looked up to. Ideals that with his untimely death, only spurred others on to believe in and to further ostracise those who ended his short life so callously.
Growing up at his home in Whiterock Parade, Hugh joined Na Fianna Éireann in the first years of the conflict aged only 14. Possessing what was both a rare and keen insight into the root causes of the Irish freedom struggle, he also developed a passion for community work, assisting and organising initiatives aimed at empowering local people and engineering a sense of self-worth amongst the disadvantaged youths of West Belfast.
A hard worker, Hugh Ferguson could turn his hand at construction as well as a mechanic; he often worked at the nearby Maguires garage as well as from home and in the streets around which he grew up.
Recognising the link between the struggle for Irish Freedom and the struggle for Working Class emancipation, Hugh became both a committed Socialist and a Volunteer in the IRA. He soon gained confidence and skills as both an activist and as an orator within the early Republican Clubs and at street level.
And following the now well documented and vital debate within the Official Republican Movement, Hugh Ferguson sided firmly with the tendency that recognised an urgent need to physically confront British imperialism in Ireland. Standing by this belief – and along with fellow comrades – he helped to form the Irish Republican Socialist Party with Seamus Costello in 1974.
He soon became the chairperson of Whiterock IRSP, and an unapologetic member of the ‘Peoples Liberation Army’, the forerunner to the Irish National Liberation Army pledged to defend the party of Connolly from physical attack.
Hugh Ferguson was a young man of vision when he was gunned down by his former comrades in the Official IRA. He was murdered simply because of his membership of the Republican Socialist Movement. There is no way of knowing what the future would have brought for Hugh but at the time in 1975 he was a firm believer in the values and beliefs of Seamus Costello, the founder of the RSM who himself was to be assassinated a few short years later by that same group that murdered Hugh. Little did the RSM know that in the following few months they would lose another two comrades in circumstances similar to that of Volunteer Hugh Ferguson simply because they were members of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement.
For the people who did not know Hugh, he was a young man of values and a credit to his local community.
Because of his beliefs and that of the sacrifice he made, his memory will always live on.
As I have mentioned previously Hugh died forty years ago simply because of his membership of The IRSP. His death was part of a pogrom that was intended to stifle, hinder and ultimately destroy any progress that Party was to make in the Political Arena. The very fact that we are standing here today proves that the RSM is still here so therefore that pogrom failed.
Hugh was a prodigious worker for the local community but he also lived, dreamed and worked for the establishment of a Socialist Republic.
Through times may change, and others may change to adapt, may wear the clothes they once rejected or my grace the corridors of power, I think it would be true to say that Hugh would not have deviated from the Revolutionary path. Today may require different tactics but not different principles.
Hugh epitomised the revolutionary spirit of the Irish Working Class from selling papers, organising, talking, persuading and cajoling comrades into giving even more to the Revolution.
It is particularly right and fitting that local people have come out to honour Comrade Hugh Ferguson, who stands as an example to all radical thinkers and in particular to the youths of the Whiterock area here, who can be rightfully proud of one of their own, who, in the unselfish tradition of Revolutionary Irish Republicanism, gave up his life for a higher ideal.
I am proud to say that even after all these years the name and memory of Hugh Ferguson is still proudly remembered by everyone here today, and long may it be so.
Before I finish with the National Anthem I would just like to thank the James Connolly Band who travelled down from Derry, The Colour Party, Wreath Layers and to Hugh’s old comrades from this area who organised today’s event. Thanks to the family of Hugh and to the people who kindly allow us to commemorate Hugh’s memory at this plaque. Again thank you all for attending here today to honour a brave comrade as the sacrifice he made shall never be forgotten. Thank You
The Irish Republican Socialist Party strongly condemns the latest homophobic attacks on North Belfast man, Paul Finlay-Dickson, forcing him to leave his home. Paul lost his civil partner Maurice in January after a terminal illness.
IRSP spokesperson, Alex McGuigan, stated today that,
“the series of past attacks on Paul and even on his then dying partner are a crime against humanity and have no place in any modern society. The IRSP has a proud record of supporting the rights of the LGBT community since it’s foundation over 40 years ago while other parties studiously ignored or worse, adopted reactionary positions towards LGBT peoples’ rights.”
The spokesperson continued,
“the clauses contained in the DUP’s so-called “Freedom of Conscience Bill” has sought to normalise and legalise homophobia in the 6 counties and seeks to de-humanise people based on their sexual orientation. In reality, a party that seeks to legalise homophobia must accept that homophobic attacks are the natural progression. It goes without saying that the IRSP views the so-called ‘Freedom of Conscience Bill” as a proposed charter for bigotry.”
The INLA Volunteer Hugh Ferguson commemoration march will assemble at Britton’s Parade Shops, off the Whiterock Road, Belfast at 1.30pm on Sunday, 22 February to start at 2pm. The march will make its way around the Whiterock ending at Hugh’s memorial plague; where there will be a short wreath laying ceremony and speech.
All available IRSP members and supporters in the greater Belfast area are asked to attend. Family members are especially welcomed
This is a very important commemoration as Volunteer Hugh Ferguson was the first of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement’s members to be killed after it was formed in December, 1974. INLA Volunteer Hugh Ferguson, aged only 19, who was also Chairperson of the Irish Republican Socialist Party Whiterock Cumann, was shot dead in his workplace on the 20 February 1975 by the Official IRA who had been launching a series of attacks on the then fledgling Republican Socialist Movement, unsuccessfully attempting to wipe it out in it’s infancy. It was due to the courage of ordinary working class people like Hugh Ferguson and other comrades like him who ensured that the IRSM survived the first of many onslaughts on it’s existence and continues to thrive today 40 years later.
Saoirse go deo!