Durham Miners Connolly Banner to be hosted by the Republican Socialist Movement.

An historic banner originally commissioned by English miners in 1928 and which has seen so much controversy over the decades that it has warranted the writing of a book in its honour is being taken to Derry and West Belfast.

The ‘Follonsby Wardly’ banner was originally commissioned by the Durham Miners Association in 1928, just four years after the great General Strike which brought England to the verge of a Revolution.

In reflection of the radical and militant mood of the time, it depicted amongst others the Iconic Irish Republican Socialist leader James Connolly. Given the sensitivities of the time, the depiction of an Irish rebel on an English workers banner attracted no small degree of attention as well as some derision; indeed the banner itself was burned in mysterious circumstances in the 1940s. Never the less the striking image of Connolly being held aloft by English workers became an iconic image for Socialists and Internationalists world-wide, a copy of the image sits on the wall of Conway Mill.

In later decade’s controversy continued to follow the Follonsby Wardly pit banner, with new additions consciously leaving out the bust of Connolly in favour of more publically acceptable figures from the English Labour movement.

However thanks to the efforts of the National Union of Mineworkers, political activists as well as members of the Irish Community in Tyneside the original banner has in recent years been restored in its identical and original state, costing no less than £7000 to make.

The banner is being brought to West Belfast by veterans of the 1984-85 miners strike, including long term coal miner and NUM organiser Dave Douglass, who is also the author of a book on the History of the Follonsby Wardly banner as well as on the 84-85 strike.

The delegation are coming as guests of Teach na Failte the Republican Socialist ex-Prisoners association and will be staying in West Belfast from where they will join the main Belfast May Day rally on Saturday 2nd of May, after which they will address a lecture in the Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre on lessons of the 84-85’ Miners Strike.

Teach na Failte west Belfast representative Gerard Murray explained ‘it’s a great honour for us to host this delegation of Workers in West Belfast, as well as the Follonsby Wardly banner, an object which should hold great significance to all Irish Workers, Socialists and Republicans alike’.

‘The miners’ strike struck a chord with most people in West Belfast, who amongst other things associated with the miners struggle against Margaret Thatcher, indeed some who went on to become Republican Socialist prisoners were active on the streets along with the miners in 1984, so this is a very important visit for us all’.
The Follensby Wardley miner’s banner will be on display at the Belfast Unemployed Resource centre, Donegal Street, following the main May Day rally on Saturday 2nd of May, which takes place at 12 noon.Derry meeting is at City Hotel, Friday 1st May at 7pm.

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McGlinchey memorial weekend a fantastic success

The panel during Saturdays McGlinchey memorial debate. Including representatives from the IRSP, former Maghaberry Prisoners, Cogús and Thomas Pringle TD

The panel during Saturdays McGlinchey memorial debate. Including representatives from the IRSP, former Maghaberry Prisoners, Cogús and Thomas Pringle TD

The IRSP and Teach Na Failte wish to thank all who participated in the immensely successful events which marked what is becoming an established memorial weekend for fallen INLA Freedom Fighters Dominic & Mary McGlinchey.

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The first rays of the summer sun came out to greet the annual memorial march on Saturday 4th of April, which as in other years stretched from the Deerpark Road through the centre of Bellaghy village and on to serene churchyard of St Marys, the final resting place of Dominic and Mary, as well as to some of Irelands other greatest Freedom Fighters; including martyred hunger strikers Francis Hughes and Thomas Thomas McElwee.
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Attended by Republican and Socialist supporters from around Ireland and the world, the march was greeted by local people along the way swelling the numbers to a sizeable contingent of several hundred.
During the ceremony a Republican Socialist colour party stood guard while wreaths were laid on behalf of several comradely organisations, including IRSP, Republican Sinn Féin, the INLA and various travelling flute bands who had made the effort to attend the ceremony.

During the commemoration a short oration was read out by Declan McGlinchey – son of Dominic & Mary – during which he paid a special tribute to who he called the ‘unsung heroes’ of the Irish Freedom Struggle, those men and women from the locality who assisted in the provision of daily support and logistics, but who until now had been rarely mentioned alongside the names of the fallen volunteers, even though many now lie alongside them.

It was a sentiment that gained agreement and acknowledgement from those in attendance. Following Declan’s oration the formation of a new IRSP (South Derry) Cumann was also announced, aptly named after comrades Dominic & Mary McGlinchey.
Following the successful commemoration, in the afternoon a memorial lecture and debate was held in the nearby Elk Hotel, the theme of which was ‘Human Rights in Maghaberry Prison and the ongoing fight to implement the August 2010 Agreement, to ensure a basic standard of decent living for Republican prisoners in the Gaol.

IRSP member Michael McLaughlin gave an extensive run down on the talks process which occurred behind the scenes and in the backdrop of the ongoing ‘dirty protest’ and which led to the August Agreement, while former Republican Socialist Prisoner Sean Carlin provided those in attendance with a perspective of protesting prisoner, giving a harrowing account of reality within the walls of Row House and the brutal and vindictive nature of the regime there.
Also speaking on the panel were representatives from the Cogús Prisoner support group who read a statement from current incarcerated Republican prisoners as a contribution to the debate, as well as progressive left wing TD Thomas Pringle, who himself was also party to negotiating the August Agreement.

As well speaking on his own efforts to secure human rights and Justice in Maghaberry, Thomas Pringle gave a worthy insight into the ongoing Class Struggles in the 26 Counties, including the campaign to resist Water Charges and Austerity in general.

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Following the panel talk, a lengthy ‘Questions and Answers’ session took place, with contributions from the floor quickly contributing to a frank and open debate, which was described later as ‘much needed and long overdue’. Topics broached included the need to push on to secure the August Agreement as well as the prospect of ‘Republican Unity’ in general.
Participants from the floor included leading members of the 32CSM, RSF, RNU, IRSP, Human Rights Solicitors, former H-Block blanketmen and even Journalists, providing for an immensely productive and well informed debate.

Activists from a broad range of organisations came together to make the McGlinchey memorial lecture and debate a fantastic and insightful event.

Activists from a broad range of organisations came together to make the McGlinchey memorial lecture and debate a fantastic and insightful event.

Following the days successful events, an evening function was held back in Bellaghy where participants rested and were entertained by well known Revolutionary Balladeer Pol McAdaim.
All in all this year’s McGlinchey memorial weekend was an immense success and provides a format for what should prove to be a useful and anticipated series of yearly events. The IRSP and the McGlinchey family would like to thank all those who took part and helped to make it such a successful event.

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Irish Republican Socialist Party 1916 Rising Oration -2015

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Comrades

As we gather in these familiar surroundings every year to mark the 1916 Rising and to remember our patriot comrades and volunteers who rest in this graveyard, and in graveyards like it all over this island, it’s important to continue to recognize the sacrifices, pain, suffering and anguish that accompanies the necessity of taking up arms against those who oppress our class.

We salute the bravery of the men and women of the 1916 Rising and we salute the bravery and dedication of the men and women of the Republican Socialist Movement whose names are inscribed on this monument.

Armed conflict is never a decision that should be taken lightly, but this movement was born out of the fundamental truth that in 1974, like the 1916 Rising, the struggle for National Liberation and Socialism needed to physically oppose the occupation by bearing arms against it. No other option existed and the men and women of Irish Republican Socialist Party and Irish National Liberation Army stepped up to the plate defending their communities and going on the offensive against the might of British Imperialism and its domestic allies.

After decades of armed struggle Bernadette Devlin when describing the latest phase of the conflict said that the “Good Guys” lost and she was right. This movement has never hid from the realities of the circumstances around the Good Friday Defeat. We hoped in 1998, as we still hope today, that a peaceful settlement could have been reached that once and for all allowed us to continue our struggle for a 32 County Socialist Republic, without the pain and suffering that accompanies open armed conflict.

Whilst we warned against aspects of the Good Friday Agreement we hoped for a settlement that would decisively deal with the core issues of the denial of our national sovereignty, but all it has done is institutionalised sectarianism and economic inequality. We stand here 17 years after the Good Friday Defeat of 1998 reluctantly vindicated in our opposition to that treaty. The occupation is as secure as ever, sectarianism is still the order of the day and the manifestation of economic inequality is evictions, homes without heat and dinner tables without food. Our class continues to suffer; our work is far from over.

Our class enemies are winning comrades. Billions upon Billions is getting poured into their overseas bank accounts from public money. The privatisation of society is well under way; What Maggie Thatcher failed to achieve in the 1980s David Cameron and Enda Kenny are succeeding at present. The privatisation of the Health Services through the TTIP European-US agreement is fast approaching and society must mobilise to oppose anything that will hand health care over to private corporations.

In the occupied North, Stormont continues with its neo-liberalist economic race to the bottom. We are told by “the great and the good” that cuts to corporation Tax will create wealth, that’s correct; it will create wealth, but only for the already wealthy. Our wages will still keep the lights on and fund public services while the capitalists will be laughing all the way to the Swiss bank.

In the South the rich and powerful foreign and domestic corporations, who drain public money from society like vultures, are recruiting an army of private scab security contractors to intimidate residents and workers on the picket-lines and at protests against the privatisation of our very water. Actions worthy of William Martin Murphy and his Strike Breakers of the Great Dublin Lock Out of 1913.

So you see comrades. Although the Republican Socialist Movement’s tactics have changed to suit the political landscape, for now, our class and this movement is still at war with the very same set of oppressive right-wing ideological principles that drive us on this small island to continuously reassert our resistance to oppression generation after generation and over hundreds and hundreds of years.

We all know what is to be done comrades, Ta Power knew what had to be done, Gino Gallagher knew what had to be done and Seamus Costello knew what had to be done. To succeed where others have failed before us is to create a fire in the hearts of every oppressed Irishman and Irish woman. We need them all to rise up with us. To create this mass movement we need a strong, motivated, relevant, class conscious and principled republican, Irish Republican Socialist Party.

There must be no ceasefire in the class war comrades. The IRSP must use our Republican Socialist political agenda as the main weapon in our arsenal to undermine the confidence of our class in the institutions of capitalism and against the denial of our national sovereignty. The IRSP must step up our campaign to break the links with Britain and the European Union. We must strive to create an Ireland in which our entire class is bonded together in a community of purpose, of sustainability, of stability of united working class solidarity.

The IRSP must continue to raise our people’s class consciousness and offer an alternative vision of the future of this nation under Republican Socialist leadership. We must continue articulate and evolve our economic, social and cultural vision laid out in our Perspectives for the Future of Republican Socialism in Ireland document.

Our task is to help raise the living conditions of our class. To make an equal society in which we can all give our allegiance. Currently we have an unequal society in which the rich are getting richer off the backs of the wealth generators. All the while our class gets left behind by those born with a silver spoon in their mouths. We must strive to make sure that all the children of the nation have access to the prosperity that we are all working to build and those private corporations or off shore banks are not in a position to steal that wealth, rather it goes back to the people who generate it.

It’s only by convincing others of the IRSPs progressive political program that we grow the struggle for national liberation and socialism.0 Our vision for this island and its people must be confident, vibrant, contemporary and revolutionary. In the heart of every “Irp” beats an organic contempt for the institutions and people that represent the arrogant, greedy and condescending values of the small few who control so much at the top of the unequal society we live in, and have lived under for hundreds of years.

It is the same organic contempt for the elite that lives in us that drove the United Irishmen of 1798. It’s the contempt for those who would oppress us that drove the men and women of the 1916 Easter Rising. It’s the same contempt for all forms of injustice and oppression and the hope of creating something better that led to the creation of the Irish Republican Socialist Party and the Irish National Liberation Army in 1974.

We need to spread the gospel of discontent and light a fire of revolution and optimism inside every Irishman and Irishwoman.

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Irish Republican Socialist Movement Easter Commemoration Belfast Sunday 5 April

Easter Commemoration

 

Can all members, bands, those carrying wreaths and supporters taking part in the IRSM Easter Commemoration be at Dunville Park, Falls Road, Belfast, at 10.45am on Sunday to assist stewards form up participants by 11am for the departure of the march to the Irish Republican Socialist plot at Milltown Cemetery.

Honour Ireland’s Dead and our Fallen Comrades who laid down their lives for a 32 County Socialist Republic!

Saoirse go deo!

 

 

 

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Dominic & Mary McGlinchey Commemoration – Bellaghy Easter Saturday 2015

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IRSP support the ‘Craigavon Two’ song campaign.

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.

iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/album/id968820459
(iPhone & iPad)

Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TUXALGG
(laptops & computers)

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/music/album…
(Android tablets & Smart Phone’s)

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IRSP To Join Tomorrow’s Strike Against Reactionary Austerity Measures

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All available members and supporters are to assemble tomorrow, Friday 13/03/15, at the Falls Road entrance to the RVH at 12 noon to march behind the Belfast IRSP banner to a rally in the City Centre – all Republican Socialist, revolutionary and progressive flags are welcomed!

The Irish Republican Socialist Party in Belfast will be taking part in tomorrow’s Strike action against austerity measures which have already been forced through by Cameron’s junta at Westminster and are in the process of being rubber-stamped at the Stormont mini-parliament.

Belfast IRSP spokesperson, Alex McGuigan, speaking at the party’s national HQ Costello House today stated that,

the time has come when ordinary working class people have had enough of the vicious offensive launched against them, formulated by reactionary politicians who live in luxury and know nothing and care even less, of the everyday struggle the proletariat, both waged and unwaged, face on a daily basis.  The so-called ‘Welfare Reforms’ will rob the most vulnerable people in our community of the already meagre provisions they rely on to make ends meet!  We have already seen possibly the most dishonestly named ‘Steps To Success’ programme forced upon unemployed workers by the Department of Employment and Learning, that in reality should be more accurately named ‘Workfare to Misery.’  In practice, ‘Steps To Success’ forces unemployed people to work for their benefits and provides unscrupulous employers, many of whom are global corporations who clock up billions of pounds profit per annum, with free labour.

 This is just the tip of the iceberg of the draconian austerity measures planned that will financially cripple working class families or individuals who are in low paid employment, under-employed, unemployed, and despicably target those who are unable to work due to seriously physically and/or mental disabilities.  It is time for the working class, their Trade Unions, all progressive parties and groups to fight these measures with the most militant of tactics or we may see a return to the era of not just ‘Workfare’ but the Workhouse!  This offensive is being forced on us by politicians who are Thatcher the Fascist’s most reactionary of understudies.  The Irish Republican Socialist Party will play a full part in the fightback against the forces of reaction!

Fight Austerity!  Join with us tomorrow at the Falls Road entrance to the RVH at 12 noon before joining with thousands of other striking workers as we march to the City Centre!

 

Saoirse Go Deo!

 

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DSD “You need to tell us” campaign is an attack on working class communities.

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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.”

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End the criminalisation of LGBT people.

  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

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The mask slips. Political Policing in the 26 Counties.

 

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.”

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