Category Archives: Irish politics today
Éirígí For A New Republic Stands In Solidarity With Morales And Bolivia
Éirígí For a New Republic condemns the ongoing right-wing coup in Bolivia and stands in solidarity with Evo Morales and the Movement For Socialism (MAS). The usurpation of the MAS mandate and the Bolivian democratic process by a coalition of US backed right-wing oligarchs, mercenary gangs and sections of the Bolivian security forces must be condemned by all progressives across the globe.
UP Housing Successfully Launched In Wexford Town
The official launch of the UP Housing campaign took place in Wexford Town on Tuesday (November 12th) in the Coolcotts Community Centre. The meeting was attended by citizens from the town as well as Enniscorthy, Bunclody and elsewhere.
Following an introduction by local Éirígí member Gary O’Brien, Cathaoirleach Éirígí Brian Leeson gave a presentation explaining the key elements of Universal Public Housing.
O’Devaney Gardens – When Gombeens Do What Gombeens Do
As disappointing as the vote was, it came as no surprise to anyone that understands the true nature of the Twenty-Six County state and the Gombeen political class that rule it.
The Gombeen has been a feature of Irish life for centuries. Through invasion, plantation, starvation, deportation and Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, éirígí, Economy and workers' resistance, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Housing, Imperialism (generally), Internationalism, Irish politics today, Political education and theory, Public events - Ireland, Revolutionary figures, Social conditions, twenty-six counties
Some time back I suggested to my friend Mick that John McAnulty was someone he should interview for his series of videos. I have a bit to do with John from time to time as I have immense admiration and respect for the original People’s Democracy group. I finally met John in Belfast in 2013 and spent several hours talking to him. Mick also got John down to speak in Dublin a couple of years ago to speak on political developments involving anarchism and Marxism (with anarchist Alan MacSimeon) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Alan, sadly, has since died.
Posted in British state repression (general), British strategy, Democratic rights - general, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Imperialism (generally), Ireland and British revolution, Irish politics today, Partition, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Provos - then and now, Repression and resistance in 1970s and 1980s, Republicanism 1960s, Revolutionary figures, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism
Below are outlines of some of the articles and analysis from the month gone.
This weeks budget in the 26 counties, continued the ongoing and sustained attack on the least well off. The 26 county government has used every excuse from Brexit, to the housing crisis, to the climate disaster as an opportunity to continue the flow of wealth from the poorest in the state to the richest.
Join the Fightback.
A €210,000,000,000 Debt Bomb – The True Cost Of Gombeen Capitalism
During the Celtic Tiger period the debt level of the Twenty-Six County state as relatively stable at about €43,000,000,000 (€43bn). This meant that each worker was carrying a debt of about €22,600.This all changed dramatically when the property market collapsed and the private banking sector went into freefall. On the night of September 28th, 2008 a small group of gombeen politicians from Fianna Fail and The Green Party met with senior civil servants and top bankers to develop a plan to prevent the private banks from going…..well….bankrupt.
The following morning the nation and the wider world woke to the incredible news that the government had guaranteed all of the debts of the private banks, with a potential liability of €440,000,000,000 (€440bn).
Break The Barriers To Education
Third-level education in the Twenty-Six Counties is rapidly becoming inaccessible for large amounts of our young people. Student accommodation costs across the state have risen sharply, with most college students seeing significant rent increases in recent years
Vast amounts of student accommodation have been built across the state by large multinational corporations, keen to take advantage of desperate students. The rent of more than 90% of student accommodation units built since 2016 is over €800 per-month.
On The Shoulders….Bobby Sands – The Rhythm Of Time
Much has been written about the hunger strikers over the years, and no doubt more will be written in the future. However, today we will let a piece by one of them speak for itself. As part of our On the Shoulders of Giants series, today we reproduce The Rhythm of Time, a poem by the first hunger striker to die, Bobby Sands.
Are you ready to join the fight for a New Republic?
The right-wing political, economic and social forces that dominate Ireland today are deeply-embedded, well-resourced and highly-organised. They will not give up their power or privileges easily. It will take great patience, discipline and organisation to build a movement that will replace the existing two failed states with one new all-Ireland Republic.
Posted in 1981 hunger strike, 21st century republicanism and socialism, éirígí, Corruption, Economy and workers' resistance, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Housing, Imperialism (generally), Irish politics today, Prisoners - past, Public sector/cuts, Revolutionary figures, Social conditions, twenty-six counties
This Saturday (September 28) sees the first major right to abortion protest since abortion became legal in the south of Ireland. The march is about ensuring that, in the words of the official advertising for it, “no one gets left behind when it comes to reproductive health care.”
I urge blog readers planning to attend to march with the Éirígí contingent. Éirígí was extremely active in the referendum campaign, championing women’s right to choose. At the same time, Éirígí recognises the crucial links between women’s liberation, workers’ liberation and the national liberation of Ireland.
The Éirígí contingent will be gathering outside the Mandate Trade Union Office on Cavendish Row, next to the Garden of Remembrance, at 1.15pm. The march heads off at 2pm.
This year’s National Anti-Internment march will take place next Saturday 10th August, assembling at Writers’ Square in Donegall Street, Belfast at 1pm. We will march to Belfast City Hall for speeches, before marching to the International Wall in Divis Street.
This year’s march seeks to highlight internment via remand, miscarriage of justice and by revocation of licence. In addition, themes this year will also include the continued use of the Diplock/Special non-jury courts against Republicans, and draconian bail/licence conditions imposed.
All Republican, human rights, socialist, community, youth and sporting organisations are hereby publicly invited to what is the only annual march that takes place in Belfast City Centre to highlight injustices inflicted on Republican Prisoners.
Political Prisoner related placards, banners, flags, posters, etc only are welcome in order to maintain the focus on the intended issue.
Let’s put feet on the street in order to demonstrate our support for Republican Prisoners and all those affected globally by internment and draconian conditions inflicted on political prisoners, while proving that Belfast is our city too!
Kevin was born on May 25, 1956 and died on August 1, 1981 in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh, after an extraordinary 71 days on hunger strike. The Dungiven oration was given by Dan Ó Murchú of the IRSP.
A chairde ‘s a comradaithe ba mhaith liom fáilte a chuir raibh uillig, go raibh maith agaibh as a bheith anseo.
Friends and comrades I’d like to welcome you all here today as we remember the life and legacy of INLA Vol. Kevin Lynch.
On the 1st of August 1981 Kevin passed away after 71 gruelling days on hunger strike at the young age of 25, a year older than I am today.
Coming from a staunch republican community the stories from the dark days of the H-Blocks, of the Blanket protest and the hunger strikes were often told.
Young republicans, such as myself, who did not live through the dark days of the conflict, often struggle to truly comprehend the conditions that could give rise to such an undaunted determination as was shown by Kevin and his nine comrades.
As a result, I believe, the younger generation has a tendency to almost mythologise Kevin and his comrades.
Over these last few days, speaking with friends and comrades of Kevin and reading about his days as a young lad growing up here in Dungiven, to his days as a revolutionary republican socialist I found the story of a man that trumps all the stories of the Irish mythological heroes. It’s the story of an ordinary lad growing up in Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 1981 hunger strike, 21st century republicanism and socialism, Commemorations, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Hunger strikes, Irish politics today, IRSP, Partition, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Public events - Ireland, Repression and resistance in 1970s and 1980s, Repression and resistance in the six counties today, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, Social conditions, Workers rights
The article below appeared in the July issue of Socialist Voice, paper of the CPI, as an opinion piece under the headline “Provisional Sinn Féin, republicanism, and socialism: Some comments”.
by Eddie O’Neill and Mark Hayes
By any relevant psephological indices, it is absolutely clear that Sinn Féin did exceedingly poorly—perhaps disastrously—in the recent local and European elections; and the results have clearly precipitated some reflective introspection by various party members.
For example, a defeated Sinn Féin candidate in Dublin, Lynn Boylan, has called for dialogue and co-operation with other “left-wing parties” in future, arguing that competition for votes had handed seats to Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. She claimed: “I am a republican, I am a united Irelander, but I am a left wing activist.” Indeed she went on to claim: “That’s how we were able to stop water charges—it’s because the left came together and worked together.”
Let’s just leave aside Sinn Féin’s specific role in the campaign against water charges, which is contentious, and concentrate on the more significant ideological proposition about Sinn Féin and its relationship with “the left.”
Over the years the Provisional movement has undoubtedly flirted with socialism as an ideology. For example, the original Éire Nua programme articulated by the Provisionals had a reasonably well-defined social component, with the emphasis on a more equitable and decentralised distribution of resources. By the late 1970s, under a new “Northern” leadership, this trend was accentuated. This was perhaps most vividly expressed in Jimmy Drumm’s speech of 1977 (apparently written by Adams et al.) which stressed the need for social liberation and the importance of standing in solidarity with workers against British colonial rule and the “fascist” Free State. (The speech also, incidentally, rejected a reformed Stormont and power-sharing.)
In this period Adams not only criticised capitalism, he was fond of quoting Connolly, while Sinn Féin explicitly identified itself with the ANC, PLO, and Sandinistas. Some commentators even detected the influence of Marxism; and though this was hugely exaggerated, there was a sense in which Sinn Féin identified itself as an integral part of a global “left” movement. It undoubtedly established its radical credentials through community work and activism in working-class areas.
However, there was always another, more pragmatic and opportunistic dimension to Sinn Féin strategy. This could be detected during and after the Hunger Strike, when the process of politicisation sought to reconfigure Sinn Féin as an electoral force. It was confirmed in a very personal way to one of the writers of this article when a letter was smuggled out of Albany prison in 1983 (written by Eddie O’Neill and Ray McLaughlin, and signed by other Republican prisoners). This missive explicitly addressed “the left” and urged all comrades to show solidarity with the Irish revolution while calling for a “broad front” of left progressive forces to form a common platform against imperialism.
The correspondence was completely disregarded by the Republican leadership at the time. The writing was on the wall: Sinn Féin was moving towards conventional constitutional politics. It eventually came to see itself as the natural repository for middle-class Catholic votes and positioned itself as the successor to the SDLP as the primary representative of the “Nationalist” community.
In relation to the north, Sinn Féin eventually adopted the diplomatic strategy of. . . continue reading here. . .
Posted in 1981 hunger strike, 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-household and anti-water tax, British strategy, Economy and workers' resistance, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Imperialism (generally), Ireland and British revolution, Irish politics today, James Connolly, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Provos - then and now, Repression and resistance in 1970s and 1980s, Revolutionary figures, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism
The Trade Union Left Forum is hosting a discussion on the impact of the Industrial Relations Act on trade union activity and organising on Wednesday, 3rd of July from 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm in the Ireland Institute for Historical and Cultural Studies, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin (right near the ICTU conference in Trinity College).
Presentations will be made by:
Gareth Murphy (Financial Services Union)
John Douglas (Mandate)
The event is open to members of all trade unions so please come along and have your say.
For more information, please go to the TULF’s event page on Facebook by clicking here.
Opinions differ in republican circles about Operation Harvest (the ‘border campaign’). Often it has been suggested that the entire campaign was misconceived and then poorly executed, turning into a disaster for the Movement.
Some more recent interpretations have suggested that it had more going for it. I certainly find it a bit difficult to see that someone of Sean Cronin’s intelligence and military experience would have put together a plan of campaign that could only ever have been a disaster. Moreover, things started out well – Sinn Fein had captured two six-county seats on an abstentionist basis in the 1955 British general election, winning over 150,000 votes there and then got four further (abstentionist) candidates elected to Leinster House in 1957, taking over 65,000 first-preference votes. And, after almost being destroyed in the 1940s, the IRA had been able to substantially re-arm, with a series of arms raids in both the six counties and England.
The degree of optimism was such that Mick Ryan writes how he and other Volunteers felt they’d free the north in three months! (p91)
However, very early into the border campaign, problems arose. Ryan’s book suggests that these problems were Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 1930s and 1940s, Border Campaign/Operation Harvest, British state repression (general), British strategy, Catholic church/church-state relations, Fianna Fail, Free State in 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, national, Officials, Partition, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism 1960s, Republicanism post-1900, Revolutionary figures, six counties, Social conditions, twenty-six counties
The author of this article, Vincent Doherty, was a member of People’s Democracy in the 1970s and early 1980s and, later, Sinn Fein. In recent years he has been an independent marxist and anti-imperialist.
Now that the dust has settled on last week’s elections, it is possible to appreciate the magnitude of Sinn Fein’s electoral collapse. For the usually well-oiled Sinn Fein electoral machine, results in both the local council and European elections across the 26 counties were nothing short of catastrophic. At the Dublin counts in the RDS, seasoned Sinn Fein cadre looked punch drunk, as one after another their council seats vanished from a local authority where they had been the majority party over the past 5 years. Across the 26 counties as a whole, they lost half their council seats. Even more dramatically, two of their three European seats in the 26 counties have been lost (confirmed on Wednesday after the recount was completed, that the SF seat in South Constituency was lost to the Greens).
In Dublin, where they topped the poll in the last Euro elections, their vote this time fell from just under 25% to less than 10%, despite a popular, effective and well-liked candidate in Lynn Boylan. The party also lost control of Dublin City Council, where they lost half of their seats. This decline was repeated in the other urban areas like Cork, Limerick and Waterford. Right across the 26 counties the story was the same, even in their hinterland constituencies along the border. The party’s vote was decimated, as they were effectively abandoned by an electorate clearly tired of Sinn Fein’s zigzagging on major issues. From the Dublin European election count, it was clear that people looking for a fighting left candidate abandoned Sinn Fein in favour of socialist campaigner Clare Daly, whilst the soft left element of the Sinn Fein vote was hoovered up by the Greens. The fact that climate change has been front and centre in the news of late obviously contributed to the “Green wave”, this despite the fact that the Irish Greens are well to the right of many of their European sister parties.
Coalition: a poisoned chalice
Perhaps most damaging of all for Sinn Fein, was the leadership-inspired decision at the last Ard Fheis (Annual Delegate Conference), to support. . .
continue reading here.