Monthly Archives: April 2013

Connolly commemoration, Dublin, May 12

connolly_13éirígí will be marking the 97th anniversary of the execution of James Connolly, with an event at Arbour Hill on Sunday, May 12.  The event will start at 12.3o.

Since its foundation in 2006 éirígí has held events at Arbour Hill to mark the execution of Connolly and reaffirm his socialist ideas.

“This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the great Dublin Lockout, when Connolly and Larkin led the workers of Dublin in an epic battle against capitalism,” notes the party’s cathaoirleach (chairperson), Brian Leeson. “A century later, socialist republicans are still involved in that same fight in communities across Ireland.

“A lot can be learned Connolly’s writings, lessons that are as relevant today as they were at the time of their writing. That is why this year’s commemoration is so important. Not only will we honour the sacrifice of our patriot dead, we will also commit ourselves to today’s struggle against the same forces of capitalism which Connolly battled.

“I would encourage people from across Ireland to join éirígí in paying tribute to James Connolly on May 12. Join us at 12.30pm at Arbour Hill and get involved in building a strong, militant socialist republican movement that will finish the business of 1913 and 1916.”

Protest EU Military Committee meeting in Dublin

People’s Movement


Against Dublin meeting of the EU Military Committee

Assemble opposite the Olympia Theatre
Dame Street, Dublin 2
Tuesday, 30 April 2013, 1:00 p.m.

For information on the EU Military Committee, see here.

Current top 20

Excluding Home Page and About, the following are the current twenty most-viewed pieces on the blog:

1. The burning of the British embassy – 40 years on
2. Saor Eire – Marxist and republican
3. Politics and the rise of historical revisionism
4. Women’s rights and the national struggle, 1916-1922
5. The New IRA and socialist-republicanism in the twenty-first century
6. A history of the Provisional Republican Movement – part one of three
7. The Easter Rising and the ‘blood sacrifice’
8. Interview with veteran socialist-republican Gerry Ruddy
9. Remembering Máirín Keegan, 1932-1972
10. Chapter 4: The Home Rule Crisis
11. A history of the Provos – part three
12. Nationalisms and anti-nationalisms in Irish historiography
13. Smashing H Block and republicanism today: an interview with F. Stuart Ross
14. Remembering Peter Graham, 1945-1971
15. Republicanism in the twenty-first century – report on a meeting
16. The changing nature of six-county society
17. A History of the Provos – part two of three
18. The working class and the national struggle, 1916-1921
19. Turf-cutters continue protests
20. éirígí’s Easter promise – two views

éirígí rejects secret talks with Sinn Féin, calls for open, public debate

eirigiéirígí issue call to Sinn Féin – “Let’s have an open, public debate”

The socialist republican party éirígí has formally proposed that a series of public debates should take place between its representatives and representatives of Sinn Féin.  In a statement, the party has revealed that it put a written proposal advocating a process of public debates to Sinn Féin in recent days.

Commenting on recent interaction between the two parties and the éirígí proposal, the party’s Rúnaí Ginearálta/general secretary, Breandán Mac Cionnaith, stated: “Sinn Féin recently invited éirígí to participate in private bi-lateral meetings, with the stated aim of developing ‘common ground’ and establishing ‘potential areas of agreement’ between the two parties.  Having fully discussed Sinn Féin’s proposal, éirígí has declined that invitation.

“As an alternative to that format, we have put forward our own proposal which would see the commencement of a series of public debates between éirígí and Sinn Féin. We believe that our proposal would engender widespread support and public interest.”

Explaining éirígí’s decision to decline private bilateral talks, Mac Cionnaith said: “It is our view that the ideological and strategic distance between éirígí and Sinn Féin is simply too great to permit the development of the sort of ‘common ground’ or ‘areas of agreement’ that Sinn Féin is proposing.

“This is particularly true in the context of the current Sinn Féin strategy which advocates the Read the rest of this entry

Socialism and Irish republicanism – an exchange of views: D.R. O’Connor Lysaght and Philip Ferguson

indexI don’t want to run these as separate pieces as it makes it hard for readers to follow the discussion.  But I don’t want to respond straight away to Rayner’s piece, because I think it’s a bit unfair to do so.  So I’ll leave it up for a few days, before I add my rejoinder.  That way people can read and digest Rayner’s points on their merits first.

D.R.O’Connor Lysaght, “Socialism and republicanism: a reply to Philip Ferguson”

The tone of Philip Ferguson’s reply to this writer is welcome and  the answer to it will be made as far as possible in the same spirit, though with rather more stringency as regards the facts.

Firstly, to dispose of what Philip describes correctly as being of lesser political importance, the writer is prepared to accept that the attendance at the commemoration was 200 rather than 100, though the smaller figure was supported by others who were there and were, indeed, more favourable to Eirigi than he. What is significant is that the attendance was higher than that last year.

More to the political point is Philip’s defence of the choice of text for the reading. He says that the event was at once a commemoration of the Easter Rising and an analysis of the present situation in the light of that. This is true, but it does not mean necessarily  separating the two functions between the reading and the oration. Each has a role to play in inspiring its listeners to carry out their tasks in the coming period. Philips remark about gas and water socialists preferring to avoid commemorations of past revolutions is perfectly correct, but, equally, such a commemoration should provide a guide for future action. The immediate task facing the Irish revolutionary left is not the military (and traditional republican) task of Read the rest of this entry

Thatcher and the road to the Good Friday Agreement

by John McAnulty

The 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement coincidentally coincided with the death of Margaret Thatcher. Given the recent flag riots, the confirmation of Orange supremacy in the streets and the new pan-unionist unity behind Robinson, the complaints of “lack of engagement” from Sinn Fein and watery threats by the British to withhold funds if the local administration does not move beyond sectarian patronage, it is not surprising if there is public discontent.

That discontent is buffered by a deep confusion. People are repelled by the actuality of the settlement, yet remain convicted that there is a hidden progressive core that will someday express itself. 

A similar confusion hangs around the role of Thatcher. Many nationalists believe there were two Thatchers – a bad Thatcher who oppressed the hunger strikers and a good Thatcher who signed the Anglo Irish deal and laid the grounds for the peace process.

If we can dispel the confusion about Thatcher’s role we may be able to dispel the broader confusion.

As with all the elements of Thatcherism, the policy on Ireland was in fact a continuation of existing British policy. Direct military force backed by various forms of internment, torture and the use of Loyalist death squads was used first to

Full at:

10,000 march in Dublin against home tax and austerity

Saturday April 13 saw up to 10,000 people take to the streets of Dublin in a march and rally against the new home tax and the wider austerity programme.

The event, organised by the Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes, marched from the Garden of Remembrance through Dublin city centre to Dublin Castle, where EU Finance ministers were holding a meeting.

One of the largest blocs on the march was made up scores of éirígí activists and supporters behind a banner which read ‘1913-2013 A Century of Resistance!’. The socialist republican bloc was awash with colour as participants carried tri-colour, starry plough and éirígí flags. éirígí activists also carried placards which read ‘Austerity isn’t Working – People of Ireland Rise Up!’ and ‘Fight Home and Water Taxes!’ whilst chanting ‘Fine Gael/ Labour hear us clear – We don’t want your home tax here!’ ‘No way – we won’t pay!’ and ‘Fine Gael/ Labour- Out, Out, Out!’

Speaking from the demonstration, éirígí Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan said, “Today’s march has had a fantastic turnout. People here are defiantly opposed to Read the rest of this entry

Celebrating the rejection of Croke Park II – but where to now?

544260_520804691305780_1803494419_aby Philip Ferguson

The rejection of Croke Park 11 is a positive sign that workers are not prepared to just lay down and give up when faced with the Fine Gael/Labour coalition’s attacks on hard-won rights and living conditions and their attempts to make southern Irish workers pay for the financial crisis of Irish banks and the meltdown of the so-called ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy.

For several decades the bulk of the union leadership has pushed tripartite deals with the bosses and the state, a ‘partnership’ model which has been held up by union leaderships as far afield as New Zealand as worth emulating.  But these tripartite deals did not deliver to workers even during the ‘good times’ of the ‘boom’ periods in the 1990s and early 2000s.  Now the boom has inevitably turned to bust, the partnership model has simply locked unions into accepting responsibility for the financial crisis and agreeing to the austerity measures demanded by the Troika.

The leadership of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has engaged in some token rhetoric about ‘sharing the  burden’ of the crisis and they have marched workers up and down the hill and then sent them home a couple of times.  But, in general, they have acted as faithful lieutenants of the state and capital, serving more to demoralise workers than mobilise them.  Over time, the protests against austerity have become smaller and smaller and the main opposition to austerity measures has been the campaign against the household taxes.

Now, however, union members have had enough of simply being expected to accept whatever crap is put to them by the ICTU bureaucrats.  While the main body of Read the rest of this entry

éirígí welcomes trade union rejection of Croke Park II

932013-trade-unions-against-pay-talks-4-310x415Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson has welcomed the trade union rejection of Croke Park II and commended trade union members for their courageous stand against austerity.  He has also called on those trade union ‘leaders’ who urged a yes vote to stand down from their positions without delay.

Speaking from Dublin, Brian Leeson said, “éirígí welcomes the decision of the trade union movement to reject Croke Park II.  This represents a very significant defeat for the failed policies of austerity that are being pursued by Fine Gael, Labour and their Troika masters.

“The results of the various ballots that have emerged over the last number of weeks also represent a massive vote of no confidence in those trade union ‘leaders’ who have been willing to collaborate with the Dublin government and the Troika.  The time has come for those trade union ‘leaders’ to recognise how out of touch they are and step down.  They are no longer fit for purpose.  Even with all their considerable arrogance they must accept that they cannot lead the organised labour movement in the aftermath of the rejection of Croke Park II.”

Drawing comparisons between the Great Lockout of 1913 and today Leeson said, “One hundred years ago during the Great Lockout the workers of Dublin showed that they were willing and able to stand Read the rest of this entry

Boston Marathon explosions

We’ve got up a piece on Redline, putting these in context: