Sinn Fein arse-kissers on death of British imperialist

Sinn Fein president and member of the Dublin partitionist parliament MaryLou McDonald on the death of the odious old reactionary husband of the Brit queen:

“Sincere condolences to Queen Elizabeth and family on the death of her husband Prince Phillip. Sympathies to those of a British identity on our island, for whom his death will be felt as a great loss. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.”

Sinn Fein deputy-leader and member of the northern partitionist parliament Michelle O’Neill:

“As Deputy First Minister I wish to extend my sincere condolences to Queen Elizabeth and her family on the death of her husband Prince Phillip.”

(with thanks to Liam O Ruairc for passing on these comments by McDonald and O’Neill.)

On-line talk on Constance Markievicz, Wednesday, March 31, 8.30pm (Irish time)

The next in a series of on-line talks organised by Eirigi is a re-running of the talk on Constance Markievicz.

It’s being given again by myself, Philip Ferguson, a member of Eirigi and the person behind this blog.

I’ll be looking at Markievicz’s life, activities and her ideas, as she was a major socialist-republican figure during the revolutionary era.

There will be an Q & A afterwards.

The meeting will take place at 8.30pm on Wednesday the 31st of March (Irish time; check for time differences if are in the USA, Australia, NZ, continental Europe etc)

Contact eirigigeneralsecretary@gmail.com if you would like to attend.

 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from Rúnaí Ginearálta Éirígí, Mickey Moran, containing information about joining the meeting.

 

100 years of partition – on-line talk/discussion

Online discussion hosted by Socialist Democracy

Garda and RUC officers at the Irish border 1920s
Ireland:
100 Years of Partition
Counter-revolution and reaction

Speaker: Philip Ferguson (Irish Revolution blog)

23 March 2021
19.00 London/Dublin
Zoom platform

Register
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkfu2rrDotE9b_EnzBHm4JSaET69Kf_sPn

Speaker
Philip Ferguson is a socialist activist based in New Zealand.  He runs the Irish Revolution blog.  A member of Sinn Fein in the 1980s and early 1990s; he is now a supporter of the socialist republican group Eirigi.

Summary
This year marks the 100 years since partition.  Over that period, it has had a profound influence on Irish politics and society.   It has been the foundation of imperialist rule in the north and of reaction across the whole of Ireland and has proved to be a severe impediment to the advance of the labour movement and to the development of socialist politics. The prediction of James Connolly that partition would usher in a “carnival of reaction” proved to be correct.

This discussion will examine the continuing legacy of partition and how it can be overcome.  It will also consider whether there is any validity to recent claims that the decline of unionism and the dynamics of Brexit are advancing the cause of a united Ireland.

James Connolly on Wolfe Tone

The following article by Connolly appeared in Workers Republic (August 13, 1898); this was the paper of the Irish Socialist Republican Party, which Connolly had established in Dublin in 1896.  The transcribing is by the James Connolly Society in 1997.  The piece is taken from the Marxist Internet Archive.

Apostles of Freedom are ever idolised when dead, but crucified when living. Universally true as this statement is, it applies with more than usual point to the revolutionary hero in whose memory the Irish people will, on Monday, 15th August, lay the foundation stone of a great memorial.

Accustomed, as we are, to accept without question the statements of platform oratory or political journalism as embodying the veriest truths of history, the real meaning and significance of the life and struggles of the high-soured organiser of the United Irish movement of 1798 is too often lost to the people of Ireland today. We think with pride and joy of Wolfe Tone and his struggle for Ireland, but when we think of his enemies, of those who thwarted him at every opportunity, who ceased not to revile him while alive and paused not in their calumnies even when he had passed beyond the grave, we are too apt to forget that the most virulent and unforgiving of those enemies were not the emissaries of the British Crown, but the men from whose lips the cant of Read the rest of this entry

2021 Calendar – commemorating the 1981 hunger strike

Éirígí’s 2021 calendar is a very special one to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1981 hunger strike.
Including information, artwork, photos and key dates relating to one of the most important events in modern Irish history, these are not to be missed.

Available for just €10 each, all proceeds go to help fund our campaigns, including housing, natural resources, an Teanga and to build support for a new all-Ireland Republic!

Éirígí does not receive any funding from the state or wealthy donors.  And we don’t have the backing of any state or private media outlets.  Instead we are entirely reliant on the generosity of our party members and supporters who give what they can, when they can.

Copies of the calendar are available from Siopa Éirígí here.

In memory of republican veteran Donal Ó Sé, 1937-2020

The tribute below is from the Eirigi site, here.

Republican activists in South Dublin woke to the sad news last Thursday morning that the 1950s veteran Donal Ó Sé had passed away. Although Donal had lived in the same house on the Dundrum Road for the last forty years, his life story began far away in the village of Kilgarvan in South Kerry where he was born in 1937.

The hearse bearing the tri-colour draped coffin of Donal Ó Sé, flanked by a republican guard of honour, making the journey from Donal’s home to Milltown Church.
The hearse bearing the tri-colour draped coffin of Donal Ó Sé, flanked by a republican guard of honour, making the journey from Donal’s home to Milltown Church.

Donal’s earliest days on this earth were a time of simultaneous joy and tragedy for his family – joy in his arrival and tragedy in the passing of his mother who died in childbirth.

As was common with such tragedies at the time, family members stepped forward to help rear the infant Donal – in his case a childless aunt and uncle who had returned to Ireland after spending decades in the United States. While still a child tragedy again visited the young Donal’s life, with the death of his beloved Unlce Jim.

As the ten-year-old ‘man of the house’ Donal had to grow up fast, helping his adoptive mother Minnie with the many chores that came with running a small holding in 1940s Ireland. It was during these formative years that he developed both a strong work ethic and a deep hatred of injustice of every type.

The small holding where Donal Ó Sé grew up pictured today.
The small holding where Donal Ó Sé grew up pictured today.

His republican beliefs too developed as he moved through his teenage years – influenced by the rich republican history of his native county and by his adoptive parents who had supported the republican cause from America during the revolutionary period.

At some point in his late teens Donal joined the Irish Republican Army, a fact that became known to all when he was arrested along with 37 other republican volunteers during training maneuvers in Glencree, Co Wicklow in 1957.

Among the detained republicans were many who went on to become well-known national political figures including Seamus Costello, Sean Garland, Proinsias De Rossa and Peter Pringle.

Donal Ó Sé pictured in 2019 at the republican monument at the Cúl na Cathrach ambush site at Baile Mhic Íre
Donal Ó Sé pictured in 2019 at the republican monument at the Cúl na Cathrach ambush site at Baile Mhic Íre

Following a period of detention in Mountjoy Prison, Donal was moved to the internment camp in the Curragh, Co Kildare. The government of Eamon De Valera had introduced internment without trial earlier in 1957 in response to the IRA’s ill-fated ‘Operation Harvest’.

Unwilling to wait patiently for De Valera to release him, Donal took part in a mass prison break in December 1958. While many other prisoners were captured during the escape or shortly afterwards, Donal escaped the immediate area and remained at large until a general amnesty for all republican prisoners was introduced.

In the early 1960s he emigrated to England where he worked in the construction sector as a carpenter, until his republican activities attracted the attention of British police. A rapidly arranged trip back across the Irish Sea took Donal to Dublin where he gained employment with Dublin Corporation and met his future wife.

Donal Ó Sé remained a committed republican throughout the rest of his life as evidenced by his trade unionism, his love of Gaelic Games, traditional music and the Irish language. In the years leading up to his death Donal offered his support to Éirigí For A New Republic – the party he felt best represented the politics he believed in.

Eoin and Donal Ó Sé in happier times
Eoin and Donal Ó Sé

Donal Ó Sé was a quiet, unassuming man of few words. That quietness was not borne out of shyness or lack of confidence. Quite the opposite. It was a quietness borne of a deep understanding of the modern world and an absolute belief in Irish republicanism.

Donal had no need to shout from the hilltops about his exploits or his politics. He knew exactly who he was and what he believed in. Like thousands of other republican activists of his generation he did what he did because it was the right thing to do and he did so without any expectation of fame or fortune.

His republicanism manifested itself in the support that he offered to friend and stranger alike – in his instinctive rallying against injustice – in his support for oppressed people across the globe – in his political campaigning – in the unconditional love that he gave to his family.

Éirígí For A New Republic takes this opportunity to offer our deepest condolences to Donal’s wife Geraldine, his son Eoin and to their wider family during this most difficult of times. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Political activist and radical photographer Séamus O’Riain,1937-2014

by Mick Healy

“There are those of us who try to follow the path once taken by Casement, Pearse, Connie Green and O’Hanlon. We seek to put through the charter that was bought with blood of our glorious dead in 1916, which the Free State Regime failed to do, a charter that would make an All-Ireland Workers Republic.” – Séamus O’Riain, HM Prison Brixton, September 1967.

Séamus (Ryan) O’Riain was born into poverty on September 2, 1937 to Katherine Ryan in Dublin. When Katherine married a Tom Ryan, Séamus was fostered out to a family called Corbally; unfortunately he was to end up in Drainages children’s detention centre in County Offaly.  What’s more, he remained there for about three years before he was reunited with Katherine and step-father Tom at 51 Viking Road, Arbour Hill, Dublin. (Drainages treated the children more like slaves than children, stated a commission in 2009 that inquired into child abuse at the detention centre.)

O’Riain became an accomplished photographer; his employment for a number of years was with Jerome Photography Studio at 4 Henry Street, Dublin. He created hundreds of remarkable images which are a vital history of Republican and left-wing activity. Moreover, the photographs with his Phoenix Company in London featured Brendan Behan, The Dubliners and Tom Barry, the former  Commander of the IRA’s Third West Cork Flying Column during the Irish War of Independence. Tom Barry praised him in a letter dated 24, August 1977, “A hundred note of thanks for your splendid set of photos. They are the finest I have ever seen and I have, unfortunately, had hundreds taken.”

Seamus’ association with radicalism went back to his youth when he joined the IRA along with his comrade Liam Sutcliffe, during Operation Harvest (the IRA 1950s border campaign). Like others of his generation, O’Riain Read the rest of this entry

Socialist Democracy statement on the hunger strike and state suppression in Ireland and their assessment of the ‘modest victory’

Below are two pieces by the Irish Marxist group Socialist Democracy. The first is their statement of September 25 (“Harsh treatment of Palestinian prisoner and hunger strike blows the lid off state suppression in Ireland”) and the second is their follow-up piece on the outcome of the hunger strike and support protests around it.

What had been counted as a major intelligence blow against Irish republicanism has suddenly become a major embarrassment to the British and Irish governments and to a number of parties inside the Northern Executive.

In a major sting and entrapment operation nine Republicans were arrested following meetings that appear to have been organised by a long standing MI5 mole within their ranks.  All have been jailed on a variety of charges relating to conspiracy.

Subsequently Palestinian solidarity activist Dr Issam Hijjawi was arrested and charged with support for terrorism based on a claim that he offered to put the groups in touch with governments that the British say are “unfriendly”.

All the defendants are housed at Maghaberry gaol, the site of a savage struggle between Republicans and the administration in which the jailers have been using Covid-19 restrictions to hold prisoners in solitary confinement for two weeks on entry to the jail before releasing them to the Republican wing.

After this process was over Dr Hijjawi, who has a number of serious medical conditions,  was taken to hospital for tests and on return was again placed in solitary.  He immediately went on hunger strike and was followed by Republican prisoners in both northern and southern prisons.  These have been supported by solidarity hunger strikes, in Ireland and internationally, and by many statements of support from republican and anti-imperialist groups.

The Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association has announced a fast and solidarity encampment outside Maghaberry jail beginning on the 26th September.

The hunger strike lifts a veil on a massive surveillance operation aimed at Republicans and a constant suppression of those imprisoned.  Major sacrifices, such as hunger strikes, are required to avoid being utterly crushed.

The British and  Irish governments and Sinn Fein are united in denying that there is any Republican opposition.  Anyone who contradicts that narrative is by definition a terrorist. There must be no alternative to the corrupt sectarian settlement they have contrived.

The hunger strike and the fact that a Palestinian activist is involved can lift the lid on this silent suppression.  Solidarity should not end with the usual suspects.  A slew of organisations; Trade Unions, NGOs and community groups say they defend prisoners and they defend Palestinian rights.  They must not be allowed to stay in the shadows.

Socialist Democracy’s statement is taken from their site, here.

Éirígí speaker at housing protest in Dublin

Éirígí’s Brian Leeson speaking at housing protest in Dublin last Saturday.

Keep up with the struggle for Universal Public Housing by following the Éirígí site, from where I also have re-blogged this vid: https://eirigi.org/

 

Phil O’Donoghue and Operation Harvest

This is the story of Phil O’Donoghue who in 1954 joined the Irish Republican Army in Dublin and subsequently participated in Operation Harvest/the Border Campaign. On New Year’s Day 1957, Phil was a member of a military column during a raid against an RUC barracks in Brookeboroug, in which Seán South and Fergal O’Hanlon lost their lives. Along with 38 volunteers he was arrested at an IRA training camp in Wicklow and was imprisoned in the Curragh camp.

O’Donoghue became the National Organiser of the 32-County Sovereignty Movement that was founded on December 7, 1997.

This interview was done by Mick Healy who sent it on to me, along with the intro above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYkW_l6VvnU&feature=emb_logo