Category Archives: six counties

Shinners sink to new depths. . . or just the same oul’ shite

McGuinness and Britain's chief 6-County cop George Hamilton

McGuinness and Britain’s chief 6-County cop George Hamilton

by Philip Ferguson

On the night of August 6, as part of Feile an Phobal, the West Belfast Community Festival, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness shared a platform, and a warm handshake, with the head of the British state’s police in the six counties, George Hamilton.

Hamilton has obviously been well-schooled in the language of political correctness that they teach in police forces across the western capitalist world these days.  Thus, he said things like “Just because I am the chief constable does not mean that I am not prepared to accept that there were serious problems in policing in the past, I do.”

McGuinness and the British 'queen'

McGuinness and the British ‘queen’

And, “Fear does not make peace – courage, optimism, belief is where peace is made. . .

“I think we need to be brave and courageous, easy words to say. I think we need to believe in our ability to continue to build a safe, confident, peaceful society together.

“To do so we have to face our fears, to go beyond our comfort zones, to be selfless, to be generous, to be gracious, to be ready to listen to each other and to have challenging and respectful conversations.”

McGuinness and Ian Paisley

McGuinness and Ian Paisley

McGuinness meanwhile has exchanged the language of militant republicanism for the language of Read the rest of this entry

Tribute to Peggy O’Hara

The following appeared on July 19 on the IRSP site, here.

Saturday 18th July 2015 saw Derry City centre come to a standstill as Republican Socialists from across Ireland assembled to say farewell to Peggy O’Hara, a lifelong supporter and activist in the Irish Freedom struggle and mother to three imprisoned Republican Volunteers, including H-Block martyr Patsy O’Hara, who died following 61 Days on Hunger Strike in May 1981 aged 23.

Peggy’s was a life immersed in the cause for Irish Freedom, a dedicated supporter of the armed campaign against British Imperialism, she balanced the priorities of running a family with those which inevitably come with a National Liberation struggle, in this task she was faced many times with agonising realities and trials, all of which she faced with courage and dignity.

mcguinness-critical-of-inla-funeral-for-peggy-ohara-300x174Earlier in the week a firing party paid tribute to Comrade O’Hara by delivering a volley of three shots over her coffin, on which was placed the Starry Plough and Irish National Flags. The Volunteers then offered further salute in the fashion of military genuflexion, the same salute paid at her son’s graveside in 1981.

Peggy’s death had brought people together from the wider revolutionary republican family with comrades from across the country making their way to Longtower Church in Derry where requiem mass was said before the funeral cortege made its way to Derry City Cemetery.

11760190_921236834581533_3732216738808571363_n-300x200Marching ranks of Volunteers as well as IRSP activists in Read the rest of this entry

The birth of The Pill

Given the excitement caused in Ireland, north and south, by The Pill folks might be interested in this new book called The Birth of the Pill, reviewed by a friend of mine here:


Bloody Sunday commemoration: Belfast-Derry bus

A chairde,

éirígí Béal Feirste will be providing transport to the Bloody Sunday march in Doire on Sunday.

The bus will leave our Belfast office on the Springfield Road shortly after 10.45am. Return ticket is just £10.

Return will be approximately 1 hour after the march and seats are limited so please get in touch asap by replying to this email or messaging our Belfast Facebook page at

Go raibh maith agaibh,

éirígí Béal Feirste

Belfast public meeting on organising against austerity


éirígí calls for building of radical campaign against cuts in the 6 Counties

The following statement has been released by éirígí

stop-stormont-cuts-orange1In December 2010 Stormont agreed a budget that would see £1,500,000,000 (£1.5Billion) slashed from our public expenditure. They have implemented this budget without hesitation and wreaked havoc across working-class communities in the Six Counties, with one Stormont Minister commenting that, “It would be a good Christmas present for the people…”.

The Stormont coalition partners, Sinn Féin and the DUP, oversaw an economy where more than 100,000 people currently want meaningful work but cannot get it. 1 in every 4 young people aged 18-24 are without a job. 1 in every 5 children lives below the poverty line – this figure increases to 43% of children in West Belfast. Families struggle to pay for basic necessities such as food, heating or clothing. 21% of Pensioners also live in poverty. Nearly 40,000 households sit on housing waiting lists. They have closed the City Hospital Accident & Emergency department and the MS respite unit at Dalriada. Further closures are to come for minor injury units in Armagh, Whiteabbey and Bangor. Beds at the Mid-Ulster Hospital, Downe Hospital and Lagan Valley will be axed, adding additional strain across the board.

Not content, and in order to squeeze every remaining penny from the working class people of the Six Counties, Sinn Féin and the DUP are now in the process of Read the rest of this entry

Remember the Housing Action Committees – don’t we need them now?


Pictures: above, Dublin Housing Action Committee protest, late 1960s; top left, homeless person in the six counties; top right, ghost estate

Pictures: above, Dublin Housing Action Committee protest, late 1960s; top left, homeless person in the six counties; top right, ghost estate

In the 1960s there were militant grassroots campaigns for access to housing, both north and south.  In Derry and elsewhere in the six counties they campaigned for equal access to housing and fought sectarian discrimination; they demonstrated and they occupied.  In Dublin they also demonstrated and occupied, demanding that more houses be built and that empty houses be provided to people who needed them.

Today there are 90,000 people on housing waiting lists in the south, while there are 700 ghost estates – and that’s not counting the ghost estates that have been bulldozed – and many, many thousands of other unoccupied housing units.  NAMA holds most of the abandoned properties and, while 4,000 of these have been earmarked for public housing, this isn’t exactly proceeding quickly.  Moreover, 4,000 is a ridiculously low number – in Kildare alone, for instance, there are 5,000 people waiting for homes.

Indeed, reports by the BBC and The Guardian in April 2010 suggested there were as many as 300,000 fairly new, empty properties in the south.  Karl Whitney notes, for instance,  “A recent report by the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Planning estimated that there were over 300,000 empty, newly built properties in Ireland’ (The Guardian, April 8, 2010).

In the north, the situation is proportionately similar.  The Department for Social Development itself noted in its official action plan released last year, “as of December 2012 there were over 40,000 people on the Waiting List with approximately half of these applicants in housing stress”.  Not that Read the rest of this entry

Exchange with Sinn Fein

Much to my surprise I received an official email from Sinn Fein inviting me to join their on-line supporters’ group.

I replied to it as below. I could’ve said a lot more, but there’s no point in sending them a tirade of abuse (which was what was going through my head when I opened their email!) or trying to convince them of the error of their ways.

Here is my response; below that is their original email (I guess I got it because at some point I read AP/RN on-line or I ordered something from their on-line shop):


To: New Sinn Fein

I received your email with interest.

Since Sinn Fein has abandoned not only socialism but also, eventually, republicanism, I will not be taking up your offer to become an on-line supporter of New Sinn Fein.

Instead, I have joined Clann éirígí as I wish to give my support to the struggle for a 32-county socialist republic.

The Provisional leadership, or the main part of it, opted for an internal settlement in the north and is helping the Brits in running the six-county state, including administering capitalist austerity and hobnobbing with the parasites who sit atop Read the rest of this entry

Get involved in the éirígí local election campaigns

This May will see éirígí candidates stand for election to local authorities in Wexford, Wicklow, Dublin and Belfast. Although éirígí previously fielded candidates in the 2011 local elections in Belfast, this will be the first time that the party will contest elections on both sides of the border simultaneously.

A total of eight candidates will represent the party from the rural hinterland of New Ross on the Wexford / Waterford border, to the flats complexes of Dublin’s inner city, to the sprawling housing estates of West Belfast. Citizens of the towns, cities and counties that gave birth to the 1798, 1916 and 1969 insurrections are again on their streets, calling for the overthrow of the ancien régime and the establishment of a new all-Ireland socialist republic.

Between them the eight éirígí candidates have many decades of experience of political struggle in all of its forms. Trade unionists, community activists, Irish language advocates, former political prisoners all coming together to stand on a single, coherent ideological platform. The candidates are: Read the rest of this entry

UNITE and organising against Croke Park III

imagesby James Fearon

Rank-and-file Unite union members have expressed angry opposition to the Croke Park III agreement (called Haddington Road to protect the guilty.) The recent Belfast Conference saw the Regional Secretary, Jimmy Kelly, using language that echoes James Connolly’s ’Old Wine in New Bottles’, say that workers would not be deceived by a deal that was the contents of the ‘Croke Park bottle’.

The radicalism did not last long. No sooner than we have been marched up the hill than the leadership are instructing us to turn around and march back down again. It should come as no surprise; we have been at this point of departure before when Unite rejected Croke Park I. Jimmy made exactly the same noises then but later went in to avoid being ‘victimised’. 

Only the incurably naïve could suggest that we take the bureaucracy’s rhetoric at face value. Radical speeches are followed by a climb down, in this case by means of a re-ballot with a recommendation to ‘accept’ coming from the leadership. 

For years the trade union leadership have hidden their betrayals behind the low level of industrial struggle and the concomitant low level of self confidence among workers. Promises of success at the negotiating table were always linked to reminders of unsuccessful attempts at industrial action. No mention is made of course that the lack of success was as often as not due to the Read the rest of this entry


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