Category Archives: Miriam Daly

Miriam Daly – murdered revolutionary

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PSF Paint Over the Miriam Daly Mural Yet Eulogise Arch Bigot Paisley

0cadcf36-4d2e-4b83-adb9-3fae155aae01_zps9d361eb3The piece below is reprinted from The Plough and the Stars blog, here; all I can add is my disgust that the Miriam Daly mural has been painted out of existence

No doubt the anti-revisionist message of the iconic Vol Miriam Daly memorial mural now painted over on Oakman Street, West Belfast today was lost on Provisional Sinn Fein on the very day they publicly eulogised arch-bigot Paisley, yet appear to be attempting to revise out the the role and memory of British death-squad victim, Irish Republican Socialist activist, Miriam Daly.

A local IRSP member approached those responsible asking why they were painting over the mural and was given the rather spurious excuse that there was ‘graffiti’ at the street level area of the mural.  The IRSP member stated that this hardly warranted the total erasing of the entire mural!

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The eyesore that has hastily replaced the Miriam Daly memorial mural. Not surprisingly, its message seems to reinforce individualism, alienation and powerlessness.

Miriam Daly, a respected academic, a leading co-founder of the then nascent RACs/H-Block/Armagh Committees was slain by an undercover British death-squad on the 26th June 1980, in the most horrific of circumstances.  The death-squad gunmen who callously murdered Miriam Daly, bound the mother of three and then waited at her home in Andersonstown, hoping to also murder her fellow IRSP and H-Blocks’ activist husband, Jim, who they were expecting to return from work. However, on that tragic day, June 26th 1980, Jim was in Dublin attending a German language course and it is assumed that when the British death-squad realised that he would not be returning, they shot Miriam dead before making good their escape.  The Daly children discovered their murdered mother when they Read the rest of this entry

The Miriam Daly mural

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by Irvine Forgan

There is a painting by Klee called Angelus Novus. An angel is depicted there who looks as though he were about to distance himself from something which he is staring at. His eyes are opened wide, his mouth stands open and his wings are outstretched. The Angel of History must look just so. His face is turned towards the past. Where we see the appearance of a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles rubble on top of rubble and hurls it before his feet. He would like to pause for a moment so fair, to awaken the dead and to piece together what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has caught itself up in his wings and is so strong that the Angel can no longer close them. The storm drives him irresistibly into the future, to which his back is turned, while the rubble-heap before him grows sky-high. That, which we call progress, is this storm.  – Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History (2003, Ch. IX)

Political activity, however professional or well intentioned, can only be fruitful if based on a correct analysis of the problem it confronts. Most people accept that the present flurry has as its objective the attainment of peace: but few have openly examined whether what is desired is the sullen quiet achieved by repression and dissimulation or creative lasting peace based on justice and understanding.  – Miriam Daly – the Irish Times 17th January 1975.

On the gable end of a row of terraced houses in Oakman Street, off the Falls Road in West Belfast, is a well-known mural. Painted in August 1996, the writing — History is Written by the Winner – Miriam Daly—appears above a complex image comprising the open book of Irish history, a mask labelled Revisionism and the female face of a personified Ireland, labelled Truth.[i]  Against the skyline a helicopter is seen ratcheting overhead. Miriam Daly lectured at Queens University, Belfast. She was a founding member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) – the political wing of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) – of which she became chairperson, leading the party for two years. She was murdered on the 26th June 1980 at age 51. Her body bound hand and foot and with five bullets in her Read the rest of this entry

This is Ireland – we DO fight back

Socialist-republican heroes

Found this lovely video on the net.  Don’t know who made it, but nice job!

Miriam Daly on Seamus Costello

Miriam Daly’s reflection and the introduction to it are taken from the IRSP site:

The Costello Commemoration Committee owes much to its first chairperson, Miriam Daly, who was a member of the Ard Chomhairle of the IRSP when Seamus was murdered.

Her politics were very similar to those of Seamus, and it was for her adherence to them she met the same fate and was murdered in her home by agents of imperialism. She was tireless and persistent in her efforts to see Seamus fittingly honoured, especially by the unveiling of the memorial at Little Bray churchyard. For that occasion, which meant so much to her, she wrote the oration, which was delivered by James Daly.

She made the occasion a time of meditation on the meaning of Seamus’ life and death. The themes she emphasised were his essential rationality and morality. She was conscious that the core-meaning of the life of a revolutionary is a universal one, and that it is nothing if not the embodiment of the highest ideals and aspirations of man, a struggle for the triumph of good over evil.

Her tribute to Seamus is in itself a tribute to her own kindred spirit.

OUR TIME OF mourning is over. Death, even the natural, peaceful death of an old person who has completed his life span and been blessed to live to see his children multiply and prosper, is always experienced by the living as a blow, as a threat to the security with which they plan ahead and relate to others. The pain of bereavement is like a sickness for which the only certain cure is time. And in the case of Seamus Costello the sorrow was all the greater and the suffering the more acute since he was struck down by a hired assassin at 38 years of age.

Today a memorial has been unveiled, a monument in stone and bronze conceived and executed by John Burke, an Irish socialist sculptor of genius whose labour as an artist has been dedicated to the same goals that Seamus pursued politically. Nora Connolly O’Brien, dedicated political activist, daughter, student and authority on James Connolly Read the rest of this entry

Miriam Daly and ‘conflict resolution’; speech by James Daly

miriam_daly03This month is an important one for hunger strike commemorations.  As well as the ten revolutionaries who died on hunger strike – or, perhaps more accurately, were murdered by Thatcher, her Labour Party allies and British imperialism – key activists in the solidarity campaign were targeted for murder, especially IRSP activists.  Miriam Daly was one of these, being murdered on June 26, 1980.  At the time of her execution, Miriam was the national chairperson of the Irish Republican Socialist Party.  Below is the speech by her husband and fellow activist James Daly, at the 25th aniversary commemoration in 2005.  It’s taken from the Irish Republican Socialist Movement site:

25th anniversary commemoration of the death of Miriam Daly, at her graveside, Swords, County Dublin, 25 June 2005. Address by James Daly.

At commemorations like this in earlier years, while the struggle continued, we could think in terms of the nobility of the cause transcending the horror of Miriam’s death, and I could quote James Connolly’s last message to his wife, “Hasn’t it been a good life, Lily, and isn’t this a good end?” But lately the cause for which she was tragically martyred has slithered down into slapstick comedy, farce and low buffoonery. Trimble with impunity calls Republicans dogs and pigs. War criminal Blair backs Paisley’s theocratic demand that since Republicans have sinned in public they must repent in public. That from an alumnus of Bob Jones University, whose president’s wife, Mrs Bob Jones III, asked for her opinion on something, stated “Good book says wife don’t have opinion, husband head of household have opinions”.

But this is not a case of harmless mud wrestling – entertaining, colourful folklore. Murderous buffoons are not confined to the six counties. George W. Bush launched his first presidential campaign from Bob Jones University. And in the six counties, to use an animal metaphor which doesn’t degrade the user, the fox has been put in charge of the chicken coop. Paisley, the master of destruction, the organiser of chaos, has got rid one by one of every previous leader of unionism, O’Neill, Chichester-Clarke, Faulkner, Molyneux and Trimble. His next target is the Parades Commission. When UDA banners are forced by the PSNI/RUC through Catholic areas like Ardoyne, murder is not far behind. Under that threat, the parades commission, if it still exists by then, could well allow the Orange Order to march down Garvaghy Road next year.

This year, on the 25th anniversary of Miriam’s death I feel there is at least one thing I can do, and that is to restate an important message she never tired of repeating. It was: to beware of and shun so-called “conflict resolution”, the alleged academic discipline which is in fact an imperialist confidence trick.

Read the rest of this entry