IRSP Withdraw from International Workers Day Celebrations in Occupied Ireland.

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

The Irish Republican Socialist Party communicates to our members and supporters, at this late hour, that we will not be having any official presence at any International Workers Day celebrations in imperialist occupied Ireland over the May Day weekend or bank holiday. We have instructed all Cumman not to carry official party banners or flags.

This extraordinary position has been taken, after much debate, by the entire leadership, at this late time…, due to the reality that our party, the party of Connolly, would have to march shoulder to shoulder with those we believe are complacent in the implementation of right wing socio-economic austerity in British occupied Ireland.

In this the year of the 1916 Rising Centenary the Irish Republican Socialist Party refuses to march beside reformist political parties, pseudo-socialists, implementing austerity, and those within the trade union movement who work against their own class interests. We will not encourage our members or supporters to share a platform with those who either use the workers movement for their own selfish ends or to politically implement British austerity programmes under the guise of “the lesser of two evils”.

We respectfully acknowledge that individual members of the IRSP, who choose to attend the International Workers Day celebrations as part of their own trade union, will do so. The IRSP views this as a matter of conscious and supports our own member’s right to exercise their own judgement.

The Irish Republican Socialist Party takes this opportunity to offer its solidarity with all those who remain principled, who stand against austerity and who fight for national liberation and socialism in Ireland.

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IRSP Easter 2016. Belfast oration.

The IRSM gathered in Belfast, Sunday April 24th 2016 for their annual commemoration of Republican Socialist fallen and in particular acknowledgement of the centenary relevance a hundred years after the rising of 1916.

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The party of Connolly assembled at Dunville park on the Falls road at 11am,where, despite megaphone announcements from the British PSNI which attempted to intimidate the Republican Socialist faithful by declaring their 2016 Easter commemoration an ‘illegal gathering’, the Irish Republican Socialist Movement marched in Unison to Milltown cemetery accompanied by a complimentary Citizens Army colour party  and onto the INLA/IRSP plot in order to pay tribute to our revolutionary dead.

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The main IRSM colour party stopped to lower flags at the the graves of several INLA, IRA and PLA fallen throughout the cemetery as well as at the Antrim 98′ monument, before moving onto the main Republican Socialist plot and to the main ceremony.

At the Republican Socialist plot, wreaths were laid on behalf of the IRSP and INLA from around Ireland and Scotland, flags were lowered before international statements of solidarity were read by Comrade Tommy Doherty of the Matt McClarnon IRSP Cumann.

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Comrade Simon McElroy from North Donegal IRSP read an address to those assembled on behalf of LGBT Socialists, before Comrade Michael McLaughlin read the main address on behalf of the IRSP Ard Comhairle.

Below are the contents of Comrade McLaughlin’s address.

Comrades

We are here today to commemorate the events of Easter week 1916 and also to remember our comrades and volunteers of the Irish National Liberation Army and Irish Republican Socialist Party who fell in the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland. Those events in 1916 were a turning point in the struggle for Irish freedom and nationhood. The joint effort by a wide range of Republicans, nationalists, trade unionists and socialists could accurately be described as the first broad front in modern republicanism.

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Our main objective has always been, and continues to be, a society free from prejudice, discrimination and exploitation, a people’s republic. A secular, stable, sovereign, sustainable, non-sectarian, socialist society, a republic organised from the bottom up, with the means of production, distribution and exchange in the collective ownership of every Irish citizen.

As we strive to create a workers republic in this vision, our current political position will never be reconcilable with either rogue State on this island. We exist solely to  bring the pillars of the 26 County Free State and the Six County sectarian northern State tumbling down, to expose those institutions as implements and apparatuses of the wealthy, designed to ultimately serve their interests.

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The destruction of the society for the wealthy, the expulsion of imperialist interference in the affairs of the Irish people, the cessation of carefully fostered sectarianism ,created by an alien government to divide the Irish working class, these are the tasks the Irish Republican Socialist Party busy ourselves with in the centenary year of the 1916 rising.

The IRSPs political analyses has been correct at every major political juncture over the last four decades. But comrades we can be correct and wrong at the same time. We can be correct in continuously remaining principled, in continuously using our republican socialist political programme in the interests of our class but wrong if we fail to communicate that political programme correctly to the mass of the Irish people or fail to attract our class to our cause, ultimately their cause. We must continue Connolly’s revival.

We must continue the work of the martyrs who fought and died on Vinegar Hill. We must continue in the footsteps of the Workers who walked out on strike against exploitation, who fought pitched battles on the streets of Dublin during the 1914 Lockout. We continue to stand in solidarity with the spirit of the broad front of progressive forces who rose in 1916 against foreign physical and economic control of this island.

We stand here in the tradition of all progressive republicans and socialists who stayed the course, who remained principled, even in the darkest days of struggle. We continue to stand here on the shoulders of the giants of the martyrs of the Irish National Liberation Army who rose against imperialist occupation and lie buried in this graveyard and graveyards like it all over this island.

Republican Socialism has never had a strategic code to follow. To even try and create an authoritarian set of rules in which to pursue our struggle denigrates the journey to a people’s republic. The Irish working class are the sole instrument in which we can achieve our goals. Only by working through them, by convincing them of our political programme, that our vision is their vision, that a Republican Socialist society is in their best interests, that our Republic is their Republic, that it will belong to them. Only then will we see the fruit of our revolutionary labour.

Our core principals, our tolerance, our fairness, our tradition of resistance, our uniquely Irish socialism, these are the things that will keep us on the correct path. We don’t claim to be perfect, yes mistakes have been made, but all done in the best interests of our class at any given time. We hold no romantic notions of martyrdom, like the men and women of the 1916 Rising, we are just as prepared to do what has to be done, when it has to be done. 

As the struggle against foreign interference in our affairs, the fight for national liberation and socialism has evolved over the last century it has gone through many eras. From armed rebellion to civil war, from social and political activism to the dark years of the Long War from 1969 to 1998, the key for survival and growth is in identifying the transition from one era of struggle to another.

Today, 18 years after the Good Friday defeat, and after numerous treaties aimed at solidifying the peace, after the entrenchment of sectarianism in the north, after the absurdities of greed and gluttony during the boom and bust cycle of capitalism in the south, and the un-flinching implementation of cruel unjustifiable austerity, we are on the threshold of a new era of struggle and like those who have gone before us, we must embrace it and thrive. The stakes are too high to ignore the realities.

As the young capable comrades of the IRSP position themselves for leadership of this organisation, how will we be judged in 100 years time. As future generations gather at this very spot to commemorate the sacrifice for a workers republic, what will they say about the new era of struggle we are moving into? What will the history books say about us? Who knows? But it’s up to us to write that chapter of struggle, our struggle against imperialism and oppression and for national liberation and socialism.

Like the men and women who rose in 1916 we have a clear vision, we have the same motives.. To address our national sovereignty denied and to create a nation worthy of a people who have never known a nation, a nation waiting to be born, that exists today in the hearts and minds of young Republican Socialist’s.

The primacy of our political project will bring us towards the Workers Republic. It will abolish the physical border partitioning our island, from North to South, and it will destroy the economic border partitioning our island from East to West. The primacy of our political project will redistribute the wealth of the nation collectively and equally giving ownership of the nation to its entire people.

As we enter this new era of struggle it’s important to remember the words of Liam Mellows as he was led out of a battle scarred Four Courts in 1922 to see uninvolved and apathetic workers cleaning the rubble from the streets after the republicans garrisoned there were attacked by the Free Staters. The ordinary worker didn’t care for the fate of the Republicans being escorted to prison or execution, Mellows commented that “the workers are not with us”, meaning the republican side in the Civil War. We must be vigilant that we do not repeat those mistakes, we must learn from history, any future actions must lead towards the Workers Republic; there can be no backward steps. It’s only by standing shoulder to shoulder with workers in their daily struggles can we attempt to fight against the powerful forces lined up against us. We must always act in the interests of the working class.

In 1994, twenty two years ago, in the interests of our class, our armed wing adopted its “no first strike” policy in response to the changing political climate of the day. Our entire movement had an intense period of internal political discussion which led to the collective decision to move towards total cessation of armed actions in 1998.

Although we supported the peaceful resolution of the national question we could not support the Good FridayAgreement in 98. The GFA contained nothing to further advance the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland. It was a defeat for the wider republican struggle. But our path had been chosen, the primacy of our political project had been ratified by the entire movement and our support base.

The ensuing years of political struggle led to the IRSPs calls in Bray 2005 for “ all anti-GFA republicans need to take a step back and engage with each other, those not on cease-fire need to call a cessation to their campaigns. Put simply it is not working; there is no support within the working class community for armed struggle to defeat imperialism, at this present time”.

Dialogue did eventually take place in 2008 which eventually led to the formation of the Irish Republican Forum for Unity, which had the potential to politically unite all strands of anti-imperialist republicanism, predictably it failed, due to the influence of British intelligence and the hidden agenda by elements within the IRFU to use it to create a new IRA, aimed at continuing failed tactics, tired rhetoric and the zero-sum political programme of the past.

 The IRSP totally opposed these moves to use progressive dialogue for regressive aims and eventually withdrew our support for the IRFU over the “cloak and dagger” tactics being used.  Culminating in our current political position that support for armed struggle is one of the biggest barriers to creating an anti-imperialist broad front in the interests of the working class and for the building of socialism in Ireland. The IRSP will never condemn those who engage in armed struggle, although we ask those engaged in it to analyse their actions further than the maxim “Ireland un-free shall never be at peace” or smashing normalisation.

 

Since 2010 to entire movement has moved forward in the spirit of the Ta Power document, continuing our ideologically principled political struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland whilst implementing the Ta Power principles of politics in command and collective leadership.

I will finish with an excerpt from comrade Powers analysis document which states.

“WE MUST MAKE NO SECRET OF THE FACT THAT WE ARE A REVOLUTIONARY PARTY, PREPARED TO GIVE LEADERSHIP ON THE STREETS AS WELL AS IN THE ELECTED CHAMBERS, AND THAT WE ARE OUT FOR A REVOLUTIONARY STATE”.

“What we must do is examine the above statement by Seamus Costello and draw all the necessary implications from it. A revolutionary party must have a revolutionary ideology, an ideology that enables us to analyse the world, the motive force at work in the world, and plan a campaign based on the analysis.”

“A campaign that is consistent, principled, and bold in its implementation, maxims as a guide to action is an ideology; it represents the historical interests of the working class, which through the medium of a revolutionary party, aims to overthrow the capitalist order and begin the construction of communism.”

Comrade Power continues 

“We must make no secret of the fact that we are such a party, make no secret of what we stand for and aim for. We cannot try to fool the Irish people, we must recognise that it is fatal to confuse and deceive them. “

 

“We must define our socialist republic, explain exactly what it entails; innuendoes, vagueness and good intentions are not enough: The road to hell is paved with good intentions! We must define all this with the utmost clarity so that the Irish people are under no illusion of what we are fighting for. “

“A revolutionary socialist party means that we must engage in revolutionary politics throughout all of Ireland, both on the streets and in the elected chambers.”

Comrade Power finishes

“It means that we must first identify the major contradictions in Ireland today, which is the continued occupation by the British of the six counties, the resulting denial of our right to self-determination and sovereignty, the resolution of the national question, partition and all the evils and divisions that spring from it, it entails a struggle against imperialism, it entails the mobilisation of the mass of Irish people in the struggle for national liberation, but it doesn’t mean confining ourselves solely to the national question.”

“As we said before, there are many strands to the anti-imperialist struggle; it means involvement in campaigns against unemployment, emigration, repression, involvement in trade unions, action groups and EVERYTHING! “

“We must agitate, propagandise and organise around these issues (but not a reformist manner). There is no easy road to a socialist republic, no short cuts; we must strive towards uniting and politicising the working class no matter what obstacles confront us in our task, for we cannot win our struggle without the working class.”

Comrades in this centenary year of the 1916 Rising its imperative that the party of Connolly, the Irish Republican Socialist Party, continue and accelerate our growth and struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland.

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1916 Rising oration by Republican Socialist LGBT rights activist.

1916 Rising oration by Republican Socialist LGBT rights activist.

At the IRSPs Dublin 1916 Rising commemoration LGBT rights activist Simon McElroy delivered a speech stating “100 years on from the Easter Rising and that famous proclamation which promised equality for all the people of Ireland, we are still not fully equal”.

 
Mr McElroy continued “Growing up LGBT in Ireland was never easy, we were suppressed citizens, the oppressed of the oppressed, treated as outcasts, misunderstood, and singled out for discrimination by the Church and the State. To face each day knowing it was more mental torture and inequality has caused the loss of life in so many young people who were struggling to come to terms with their own sexuality in a hostile environment.

 
Mr McElroy said “Only the working class can change that and we in the IRSP will play our part. The IRSP has always been a party of equals, from the 1970s when supporting the first prides, through to the present day still supporting prides the length and breadth of our 32 county Ireland. Fighting for equality and socialism daily, for all! The 32 counties of Ireland are not equal. Until Ireland is fully equal it continues to lose young vulnerable lives. Valuable precious lives of sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, grandparents and best friends all because they are suffering social and sexual oppression”.

 
Mr McElroy finishes “100 years ago Pearse read the proclamation and I quote ” The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities of all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally”. The struggle in Ireland for national liberation and socialism for LGBT rights for workers’ rights against discrimination in all its forms is one in the same struggle, the class struggle.

 

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Support The SP Graham Workers Claim for a Living wage – Picket Saturday 9 April 2016

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There will be pickets in Belfast in both the King Street and Whiterock Road/Falls Road branches of Sean Graham Bookmakers between 11.30am – 12.30pm on Saturday 9 April, in support of the industrial action taken by workers in relation to their justified struggle for a living wage!

Speaking on the issue, Sean Graham worker and Unite the Union member, Natasha Lawless, stated:

“Myself and shop staff from SP Graham Ltd will be taking strike action on Saturday 9th April (Grand National) We have been forced to strike as the Management of Grahams have offered nine pence an hour above the lowest legally permissible rate of pay from April of this year.
“This pay offer does nothing to address the poverty pay on which our staff are expected to live. We also face poor staff security eg, single man shops, some shops have no bandit screens etc..We know that SP Graham Ltd is a highly profitable company with a significant turnover. They can well afford to pay their workers a living wage and improve staff security. Please support our strike and do not pass the picket line. Thank you!”

All Unite the Union members, Unite Community branch members, other Trade Unionists, IRSP members and all progressives are asked to attend. Belfast Mid-Falls IRSP spokesperson, Alex Mcguigan, continued:

“This is just another example of the vicious offensive against basic worker’s rights.  We have a proud track record of giving unconditional support to working class people faced with draconian measures to undermine their rights.  Let the corporate bosses know that they can not treat the proletariat as disposable underlings and we will fight for their right to a wage that can realistically be enough to feed their families.  Be there on Saturday to support the bookmaker’s workers.  Be there on Saturday 9 April, to show your support for your fellow workers.  Do not pass picket lines.  An injury to one, is an injury to all!”

 

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“Dangerous Devolpment” as personal details of IRSP members passed to Loyalists by the PSNI

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The Irish Republican Socialist Party has called the passing of its party members, and other republicans, personal details to Loyalists as “a very dangerous development”.

A spokesperson for the Dominic and Mary McGlinchey IRSP Cumman said “Questions need answered by the PSNI immediately. The car registration numbers and home addresses of two members of the Irish Republican Socialist Party along with the same details of four other Republicans have ended up in the possession of known Loyalists. Information the IRSP has received is that the document, which contained the personal details, was left behind during a house raid of a known Loyalist in Ballymoney”.

The spokesperson continues “The IRSP wants it put on a matter of public record if the PSNI are harbouring a “rogue officer” or is this the work of British intelligence agencies trying to heighten sectarian tensions in the area by passing information to Loyalists who may act on it. There is a real risk of destabilising the entire peace process if Loyalists were to successfully act on the information passed to them by the PSNI”.

The spokesperson said “Even tho the PSNI has said the document was recovered a person can copy such a document in seconds by taking pictures of it on their mobile phone. This is a very dangerous development that should not be swept under the carpet. People’s lives and families are at risk here the people in our local communities want answers”.

The spokesperson finishes “During the years of the long war British and Loyalist paramilitary collusion was systematic, commonplace, vast and lethal. The British government targeted Republican Socialists, passed personal details onto Loyalist death squads and armed them to carry out the attacks then protected the killers. Are we witnessing the beginning of a similar strategy to deal with those of us who will not accept the legitimacy of the Stormont puppet regime?”

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‘We exist to bring the pillars of the Free State and the sectarian northern State tumbling down, to be replaced by a sovereign, Socialist Republic.’ The party of Connolly recommit themselves to his aims on the steps of the GPO.

The Irish Republican Socialist Movement formed up at Liberty Hall Dublin on Saturday 26th March 2016, to retrace the steps of our ideological forebearers in the ISRP and ICA and to mark and commemorate the centenary celebration of the 1916 Easter rising, paying tribute to all those who gave their lives for Irish Freedom and Socialism, during Easter week and indeed in every generation since then.

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A 25 member Irish Citizens Army colour party led a colour party of the modern day IRSM from Dublin’s Liberty Hall to the GPO. Dublin Easter 2016.

Up to seven hundred people assembled at Liberty Hall itself on Eden Key at midday, including a 20 member IRSP manned ‘Citizens Army troupe’ complete with full ICA period costume and rifles, for a March to the GPO, Head Quarters of the Revolutionary Irish Republic during Easter Week.

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Members and supporters from all around Ireland and from the many phases of the modern Republican Socialist struggle formed up in procession, proudly joined by our Durham comrades, the veteran striking miners of the Hatfield pit, who, as promised returned to Dublin for the occasion armed with their iconic Connolly/Lenin ‘Follonsby Wardley’ pit banner.

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Founder member of the IRSM Terry Robeson was guest of honour at the 2016 Easter Commemoration at the GPO.

On approach, the GPO and the immediate entrance to O’Connell Street had (prior in the day) been unceremoniously blocked off by crowd barriers, with Gardaí and Free State officials, keen that the territory of revolutionary Dublin be monopolised over Easter by those in government, obviously keen to carry on the revisionist narrative which has been played out to the people over recent weeks.

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Yet on seeing the approach of many hundreds of Republican Socialists, and on the interest of throngs of people who were gathering to view the march and procession, Gardaí saw they had little choice but to stand aside and allow the march proceed to its destination.

At the GPO itself, the steps on which the proclamation of the 1916 Republic was proclaimed were adorned with wreaths from the Irish National Liberation Army and the Irish Republican Socialist Party, before the proclamation of Poblacht na hÉireann, was read aloud as Gaeilge by a Orlaith McIlroy of the IRSP Citizen Army Troupe.

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Comrades from the Durham mining community joined with the IRSM for 2016 (as promised) with their Iconic Connolly/Lenin banner.

Founder member of the modern Irish Republican Socialist Movement Terry Robeson, was guest of honour at the occasion, unfortunately in ill health and unable to address those assembled, his speech was presented to and read out by his long term comrade Tommy McCourt, himself a veteran activist of both the Republican movement and the IRSP/IRSM.

The crowd assembled were reminded of the material and political conditions which existed during Easter week, and of how the realities of that period were often referred to by those founder members of the IRSM who, while gathered in the nearby Wynns hotel, attempted in the mid 1970s to identify a principled class based republican course between the counter revolutionary position of the Officials and the purely national orientated politics of the Provisionals.

The IRSM faithful were reminded of how this attempt to tap into the potent combination of class politics and the national ideal brought upon the founder members of the IRSM a whirlwind of attrition, from the Free State, the Officials, the Provisionals and the press. Yet, amongst other political realities, the comrades assembled were reminded of how ‘Just as the men and women of 1916 were willing to give up their lives to take this country back, so too must we be willing to do so’.

Ard Comhairle IRSP member Martin McGonigle gave main address.

Ard Comhairle IRSP member Martin McGonigle gave main address.

 

IRSP Ard Comhairle member Martin McGonagle returned to the theme of steering the right course when he referred to Connolly’s vision of Republican Socialism and how it related to the foundation of the IRSM.

‘James Connolly was first and foremost a revolutionary socialist, but within the Irish context he realised that the freedom struggle had to take precedent at that time. We can clearly see that rationale in his last statement to the British court marshal which sentenced him to death.  He continued… ‘As Connolly and his comrades in 1916 set the context that there can be no working class struggle without a national liberation struggle, that was the main tenet of Connolly’s politics in 1916 and it is still ours today. Our political outlook is moulded in the ethos of revolutionary socialism, without losing sight of the goal of a united Ireland who’s sovereignty is in the ownership of the people of Ireland.’ ‘We exist to bring the pillars of the Free State and the sectarian northern State tumbling down, to be replaced by a sovereign, Socialist Republic.’

A section of the crowd leave Liberty Hall for the 2016 IRSM commemoration march to the GPO.

A section of the crowd leave Liberty Hall for the 2016 IRSM commemoration march to the GPO.

The return of the IRSM and the Red Flag to O’Connell Street for 2016 occurred in a year in which the movement has undergone a great period of rejuvenation, and our Easter ceremony clearly gave a great lift to both onlookers and to the Republican Socialist faithful, upon completion of the ceremony the sense of high morale was palpable amongst the membership.

The Irish Republican Socialist Movement end this period of Easter 2016 confident that the faith has been kept and the next generation are fully briefed on their role.

(Video & Audio to follow).

 

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IRSP / IRSM Easter Arrangements 2016. Dublin & Belfast.

Capture.PNGffdThe IRSP and the wider Republican Socialist Movement looks forward greatly to celebrating and commemorating the centenary of the great Easter rising of 1916.

In recognition of the significance of this year, the IRSM will break with tradition and hold both a Dublin and Belfast march and commemoration. The party of Connolly will assemble for our annual Easter Sunday march at the founding place of our movement. All members and supporters are asked to assemble at Liberty Hall, Dublin on Saturday March 26th at 12:30 for a march to the GPO.

To mark the calender anniversary of the Easter rising we shall then hold our traditional Belfast parade and commemoration on Sunday April 24th. All members and supporters are asked to assemble at Dunville Park, Falls Road, Belfast at 11am on that date, for a march to the Republican Socialist plot in Milltown cemetery where our annual commemorative event will be held.

 

 

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Gino Gallagher 20th Anniversary commemoration day. A moving and great success.

Saturday 30th of January 2016 saw the Republican Socialist faithful, brave the grey snow clouds of Belfast to gather and remember INLA Chief of Staff Gino Gallagher on the 20th anniversary of his assassination by counter revolutionaries.
In early afternoon up to 200 people gathered at Milltown cemetery and marched behind an RSM veterans colour party to the Republican Socialist plot, the final resting place of Gino and many more of his fallen comrades. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the INLA, IRSP branches across the country and from family and close friends.

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Speeches were made from both old comrades of Gino and younger members of the IRSP all of which paid testimony to the role which Gino Gallagher played in saving the RSM from the brink of stagnation and laying the foundations for the emergence of a modern and effective revolutionary party, a dedication for which he ultimately paid with his life.

Later in the evening, at a packed memorial function in West Belfast, a unique one off film tribute to Gino was screened, featuring face to face interviews with close friends and comrades of Gino, detailing the realities and experiences of the turbulent and often terrifying experiences which made up active service in the Republican Socialist Movement in the 1980s & 1990s.

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This event again visibly touched many of those who were present and it was great to see older comrades of the IRSM mixing in friendship and comradeship with the scores of younger party members which have joined since the parties period of clear rejuvenation.

The evening finished with a series of presentations to members of Gino’s family and to veteran IRSM and Trade Union activist Peter Black.

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RSM Easter Centenary Commemoration Details

The Republican Socialist Movement will be commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin with a march and Rally on Saturday 26th March 2016. This commemoration will be the centrepiece of the RSM’s commemoration activities and more events are planned for Dublin and across Ireland and will be announced in due course.

The march will assemble outside Liberty Hall, Dublin on that day at 12.30pm. All Republicans, Socialists, Trade Unionists and Community Activists are welcome to attend and join the movement and our supporters in celebrating Ireland’s strike for freedom in 1916.

We are mindful that the task is incomplete as Britain still retains control over six counties in the north we hope to use the occasion of the 1916 centenary to re-ignite the desire for freedom and socialism in Ireland.

Saoirse go deo!

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Poster advertising the Republican Socialist Movement’s Easter Rising Centenary Commemoration

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IRSP New Years Statement. ’2016. Let us celebrate resistance, evaluate, reorganise and finish the task’.

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The Irish Republican Socialist Party sends New Year greetings to members, supporters, imprisoned comrades and international allies and saluté them for their continued commitment to the cause of National liberation and socialism in Ireland and beyond. We look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with you all again in 2016 as we continue with our important work.

The O’Hara and McGlinchey families have a special place in our hearts at this time of year we take this opportunity to humbly let them know they are still in our thoughts.

2015 delivered many challenges for the IRSP and the wider working class movement. Questions were asked of our political position and our activists yet the entire Republican Socialist Movement can hold its head up as all decisions taken kept us on the correct side of the barricades. Every action taken over the last 12 months was carried out in the best interests of our country and our class.

Merging Republican Socialism into the everyday struggles of our class, and becoming ideological ambassadors within our communities is the most transparent and honest way we can continue to grow. If we are to exist in the spirit of James Connolly and the Citizen Army we must be accountable to our class and protectors of our communities. As leaders we should hold ourselves to higher standards, the class war is our lifelong vocation.

Watching our class being crushed under the weight of the neo-liberalist agenda has been a bitter experience for us all. The collective suffering of our communities due to the deliberate corrosion of; education, health, social care, arts, public transport, public and private employment, housing, water, social welfare and infrastructure provision all over the 32 counties has left scars that will never be healed.

Watching our national assets, natural resources, fisheries and all those things guaranteed to us within the 1916 Proclamation, being sold to the highest corporate bidder has cast a stain on the soul of the Irish nation. London and Brussels are not content to strip our material wealth they will not stop until they have stripped us of our hope. This is the sobering reality of contemporary Ireland.

While acknowledging this uncomfortable reality, however, it is undeniable that the political landscape in Ireland is slowly changing, an organically led culture of resistance against austerity is emerging in opposition to years of ideologically driven cultural and economic oppression, we salute all those behind them and encourage them to nurture the discontent they have successfully tapped into.

As regards the occupied Six Counties, again we declare that any involvement in the institutions of Stormont can only shore up the occupation and legitimise partition. The IRSP hold that there is no strategic merit in administering our own occupation nor in implementing neo-liberalism on behalf of the Tory government in Britain. At present, we view elections to the Dáil in the same manner, a diversion at very least. Change must come from below.

We refuse to implement our own poverty, whether it’s source lies in London or Brussels, we declare again our utter rejection of foreign interference in the affairs of the Irish working class.

There remains no parliamentary road to Socialism in Ireland or Europe and we caution those on the left who would lead working class into the cul-de-sac of constitutionalism alone.

Capitalism cannot be reformed. Those who have vested interests in the continuation of the capitalist system will use all in their power to destroy the Working Class agenda should we limit our methods to parliamentary politics. Our class enemies will destroy the fabric of society before relinquishing any real power, they must be made to feel the impact of grassroots resistance.

The means must be seized by the working class themselves.

2016 is a historic year in our countries struggle against Imperialism and it’s baneful manifestations.
The IRSP will not be party to the chorus of empty waffle which will emanate from Free State and counter-revolutionary corners.

We view the centenary as an opportunity to celebrate the proud culture of Irish resistance as a time to evaluate the past hundred years and reorganise with a view to finishing the task.

Our itinerary of events to mark the 1916 Rising will reflect this. We will celebrate a centenary of struggle marking the continuity of our unfinished revolution. From the Citizens Army to the Republican Congress, the Left Republican tendency that developed within the united Republican Movement, the formation of the Officials to the Irish Republican Socialist Party and Irish National Liberation Army’s later emergence in 1974 and on to the present day.

Since the summer, the entire Irish Republican Socialist Movement has absorbed attacks from both the British and Free State regimes, in punishment for our decisions in how best to commemorate our fallen. We have seen dozens of our party activists arrested, homes raided, IRSP offices ransacked, our supporters harassed and attempts to turn some of our members into state agents.

The IRSP never asked for any quarter during the armed conflict, as we afforded none, and that position remains the same. We caution those who would seek to suppress us or the Irish working class. Beware the thing that is risen.

We look forward into 2016 with renewed enthusiasm we send solidarity greetings to all other principled Republicans and Socialists preparing for struggle and facing the important year of 2016.
Saoirse go Deo!

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