Monthly Archives: November 2013


Not much new, original stuff has been going up on the blog recently because I have been quite otherwise engaged.  However, I should soon have a bit more time.  I’m hoping to write something on last week’s BBC1 Panorama episode on the British Army murder squad that operated in Belfast in the early 1970s to assassinate IRA members.  (I had hoped to get something up very quickly about the programme, but didn’t manage to.)  And I’ve got a couple of reviews, promised long ago, I hope to get finished.  Plus I hope to get Markievicz’s 1923 pamphlet What Republicans Stand For, promised about two years ago (ugh!), finally up on the blog.  Next week I have a very full-on schedule of work-work and meetings, but the week after (starting Dec 12) should be good for doing more than re-blogging and events.

And, of course, I welcome written contributions from a socialist-republican/Marxist-republican standpoint.  So if anyone else would like to write up a review of the Panorama programme, that would be great!

Current top ten

The two most-read pieces on the blog, on Saor Eire and the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, are now both close to 2,000 hits.

Saor Eire – Marxist and republican

The burning of the British embassy – 40 years on

Politics and the rise of historical revisionism

Women’s rights and the national struggle, 1916-1922

The New IRA and socialist-republicanism in the twenty-first century

Nationalisms and anti-nationalisms in Irish historiography

A history of the Provisional Republican Movement – part one of three

The Easter Rising and the ‘blood sacrifice’

Interview with veteran socialist-republican Gerry Ruddy

Remembering Máirín Keegan, 1932-1972

Free Ahmad Sa’adat Protest, Dublin, Friday, November 29, 6pm

Ahmad Sa’adatTo mark this year’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, éirígí will hold a ‘Free Ahmad Sa’adat – End the Occupation of Palestine’ protest outside the Israeli embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin on Friday November 29, at 6pm.The similarities of the struggle for national liberation in Ireland and Palestine will be highlighted by the protest which will also demand the release of éirígí’s Stephen Murney.

Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is being held in solitary confinement by the zionist state. He is also being denied all visits by family and friends.

Murney, who turns 30 years of age on Friday November 29, is the imprisoned éirígí spokesperson for the Newry area. On his birthday, he will have been held captive without trial by the British state for one year.

Both men find themselves in prison because of their Read the rest of this entry

Winifred Carney commemoration, Belfast, this Saturday

winifred_carney_nov13_coverCommemoration event for socialist-republican activist Winifred Carney, marking the 70th anniversary of her death and the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Dublin Lockout. Sunday 24th November, assembling at 2.30pm at the gates of Milltown cemetery, Falls Road, Belfast. Bígí Linn.

To read more about Carney, a member of the ITGWU, the Irish Citizen Army, participant in the Easter Rising in 1916, and a socialist-republican until her death, click here.

PFLP representative speaking at éirígí-organised events

wesam-eirigiComrade Wesam al-Khatib is addressing a series of meetings in Ireland, organized by the socialist republican party, éirígí, which held its annual conference or Ard Fheis in Dublin on November 16. al-Khatib greeted the party on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, expressing mutual solidarity in their common struggles against colonialism and for national and social liberation.

al-Khatib was to have accompanied Comrade Leila Khaled, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, to Ireland. Comrade Khaled’s visa was repeatedly delayed by the Irish government until she could not attend the events. “Ms Khaled’s visa application has been subjected to unexplained and inordinate delays. Those delays were clearly aimed at preventing her from traveling to Ireland Read the rest of this entry

New Patsy O’Hara mural unveiled in Belfast

Patsymural2On Sunday 17th November a new mural dedicated to the Hunger Strikers of 1981, with INLA volunteer Patsy O’Hara, the first of the Irish Republican Socialist POWs to die on Hunger Strike featuring prominently, was unveiled by Rab Collins, former O/C of the INLA POWs during the 1981 Hunger Strike.

The following text was delivered in the oration by Gerard Foster, secretary of the Belfast IRSP Executive:

Friends and Comrades,

Welcome, thank you all for being here today for the unveiling of this mural dedicated to the memory of the ten men that died on Hunger Strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh in 1981.

Firstly, I would like to explain the reason for the new mural: For over a year now we, former INLA prisoners from this area, have wanted to tidy up the original mural, but we were told that work to re-develop the car park was to begin, and part of that work would include a disabled excess and ramp, and that that work would impact on one side of the mural. So we decided to leave it till the work was completed and see where we stood.

Recently, I personally talked to the shop owner on three very brief occasions in relation to the work to be done and the mural. Let there be no misunderstanding here, The Republican Socialist Movement did not expect the mural to be Read the rest of this entry

Dublin Government Denies Leila Khaled Entry to Ireland: éirígí Press Release: Friday 15th November 2013

imagesAs the socialist republican party, éirígí, prepares to hold its annual one-day Ard Fheis in Dublin tomorrow (Saturday November 16), the Dublin government has been criticized for failing to grant a senior Palestinian representative entry into the country. 

The éirígíArd Fheis is being held in Wynn’s Hotel in central Dublin and prominent Palestinian leader, Leila Khaled, was due to address the conference. Ms Khaled was to be accompanied to Ireland by Jordanian-based activist, Wesam Al-Khatib. Both were invited to Ireland for a number of engagements, including one at Dublin City Hall on Monday. 

Mr Al-Khatib, who arrived in Ireland earlier today, will now speak at those engagements on Ms Khaled’s behalf.

Leila Khaled is a Read the rest of this entry

Commemorating founding of the Irish Volunteers, 1913


‘Darkie’ and the gombeens: in the shadow of a gunman

Brendan 'Darkie' Hughes

Brendan ‘Darkie’ Hughes

by Mark Hayes

A short time ago I was asked by Stevie Lees if I would consider writing a short piece about Brendan Hughes. As readers of TAL* will doubtless be aware Brendan Hughes figures prominently in the narrative of modern Irish Republicanism, and much has already been said and written about him. What else, I pondered, might usefully be added to the wealth of material that already exists? Moreover, there is a sense in which the effort to recollect causes much more pain than pleasure. Why inflict more discomfort by revisiting the past? Perhaps it would be far better to press on without glancing backwards. As it turns out Stevie posited the question at precisely the right time because recent events have made remembering an obligation for anyone who claims to profess adherence to the Republican creed.

It is not the gradual and insidious elision from principled armed resistance to pragmatic parliamentary politics that has precipitated my desire to comment, although that particular, sorry story is shameful enough – it has been the careless vitriol recently directed toward Brendan himself by people who should know better. The leader of Sinn Fein, not content with presiding over the somnambulant drift of his party into the arms of Read the rest of this entry

Organising against anti-social elements: the Ballyfermot example

The following is taken from the éirígí site, here

Louise Minihan addresses a meeting in Cherry Orchard

Throughout October éirígí in Ballyfermot worked with residents to form an effective response to the rise in house break-ins in the local area. Members and supporters of the party have distributed thousands of leaflets calling on the community to be vigilant and outlining a number of simple steps residents can take to help prevent break-ins.

Information stalls have also been held at post offices in Ballyfermot, where éirígí have offered advice to local pensioners and other residents concerned about the rise in break-ins. The escalation of break-ins, as well as the lack of an effective Gardaí response to those break-ins, has created widespread anger across the south-west Dublin suburb. In response to that anger the socialist republican party organised a series of public meetings to give residents a chance to discuss the break-ins and a community-based response to the ongoing threat of burglaries.

Over a hundred residents attended the two meetings that have been organised to date. The first meeting took place in Cherry Orchard on October 17, with the second taking place in the Pigeon Club in Lower Ballyfermot on October 21. Both meetings were addressed by éirígí’s Ballyfermot/ Drimnagh representative, Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan.

The mood at the meetings was defined by Read the rest of this entry