Founding Statement of the
13 December 1974
PAIRTI POBLACHTACH SOISIALACH NA-hÉIREANN
At a meeting held in Dublin on Sunday,
8.12.'74, a decision was made to form a new political party, to be known as
THE IRISH REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PARTY. The inaugural meeting was attended by
approximately 80 delegates from Belfast, Armagh, Co. Derry, Derry City,
Donegal, Dublin, Wicklow, Cork, Clare, Limerick and Tipperary.
It was unanimously agreed that the objective of
the Party would be to "END IMPERIALIST RULE IN IRELAND, and ESTABLISH A
32 COUNTY DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC WITH THE WORKING CLASS IN CONTROL OF
THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND EXCHANGE".
To this end, it was agreed that the Party would
launch a vigorous campaign of political agitation and education, North and
South, on the following issues:
1/ Recognising that British Imperialist
interference in Ireland constitutes the most immediate obstacle confronting
the Irish People in their struggle for democracy, National Liberation and
Socialism, it shall be the policy of the Party to seek the formation of a
broad front on the basis of the following demands: A/ That Britain must
immediately renounce all claims to Sovereignty over any part of Ireland and
its coastal waters, and should immediately specify an early date for the
total withdrawal of her military and political presence from Ireland.
B/ Having specified the date for her total
withdrawal from Ireland, Britain must immediately withdraw all troops to
barracks, release all internees and sentenced political prisoners, grant a
general amnesty for all offences arising from the military campaign against
British Forces or through involvement in the Civil Disobedience Campaign,
abolish all repressive legislation, grant a Bill of Rights which will allow
complete freedom of political action and outlaw all discriminination whether
it be on the basis of class, creed, political opinion or sex. Britain must
also agree to compensate the Irish People for the exploitation which has
C/ It shall be the policy of the IRISH
REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PARTY to seek an active working alliance of all radical
forces within the context of the Broad Front in order to ensure the ultimate
success of the Irish Working Class in their struggle for Socialism.
D/ It will be an immediate objective of the
Party to launch an intensive campaign of opposition to the E.E. membership.
We, therefore, intend to play an active part in the E.E.C. referendum in the
Six County area and through our support groups in Britain.
E/ Recognising that sectarianism, and the
present campaign of sectarian assassinations arises as a direct result of
British manipulation of the most reactionary elements of Irish Society, we
shall seek to end this campaign on the basis of united action by the
Catholic and Protestant working class against British Imperialism in
TWENTY SIX COUNTIES
1/ We will seek to have a United Campaign of
all democratic forces against repressive legislation in the south, and
against the policy of blatant collaboration with British Imperialism, which
is now being pursued by the 26 County Administration.
2/ THE IRISH REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PARTY is
totally opposed to the exploitation of our natural resources by
multi-national Corporations. It shall therefore be our policy to give active
and sustained support to the present campaign for the nationalisation of
3/ Recognising that the rapidly increasing cost
of living and rising unemployment are to a large extent a direct result of
our EEC membership, it shall be the policy of the IRISH REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST
PARTY to actively support the formation of people's organisations to combat
rising prices and unemployment.
THE IRISH REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PARTY is not an
abstentionist Party, and will decide its attitude towards the contesting of
any particular election, on the basis of a thorough analysis of the
conditions prevailing at the time. In keeping with this attitude we have
decided, in principle, to contest the forthcoming Convention Elections in
the Six County Area.
As the vast majority of those involved in the
formation of the IRISH REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PARTY are people who have
recently resigned from Sinn Féin (Gardiner Place), we feel it may be
necessary to give a brief outline of the reasons for our resignations. They
are as follows:
A/ The refusal of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle
to implement the democratically decided policies on the National Question as
laid down at the 1972 and 1973 Ard Fheiseanna.
B/ The lack of internal democracy within Sinn Féin.
This became particularly noticeable during the course of the past year when
many dedicated members were purged from the organisation because they dared
to question the reformist approach of the Ard Comhairle on many vital
questions. This purge culminated in attempts by members of the Ard Comhairle
to intimidate delegates to the recent Ard Fheis, when many of them were
threatened with expulsion if they did not vote in accordance with the wishes
of the leadership.
C/ the decision of the Ard Comhairle to contest
the Six County Assembly Elections, when it was perfectly obvious that the
elections were clearly designed to re-establish a British controlled puppet
Parliament for the Six Counties. In our view, this particular decision was
indicative of the reformist and counter revolutionary attitudes which
prevail at Ard Comhairle level in Sinn Féin, Gardiner Place.
D/ The unprincipled betrayal of the internees
arising from the decision to take seats on local councils in the North. This
decision was made despite the fact that the Ard Comhairle had made repeated
statements attacking the treachery of the SDLP for taking their seats.
We are of course aware that the vast majority
of rank and file members are completely opposed to this decision. We urge
the ordinary members of Sinn Féin to refuse to accept this unprincipled
attitude on the part of the Ard Comhairle. We call on all Republican Club
Councillors to stand by the Internees by upholding the peoples' pledge which
they signed before their election.
E/ The general drift towards almost exclusive
participation in reformist activity, and the total abandonment of
agitationary political action in pursuit of their objectives. Under its
present leadership, Sinn Féin has been reduced to a position of almost
total irrelevance in the context of the present poltical situation.
Since last Sunday we have had
enquiries from practically every area in the country regarding the formation
of branches. During the period since the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, at least 14
Cumainn and two Comhairle Ceantair have resigned in bloc and indicated their
intention of forming IRISH REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PARTY branches.
We are at present engaged in an
intensive recruiting drive, and will organise a full delegate national
conference at the earliest possible date. A permanent National Executive
will be elected at the Annual Conference.
In conclusion, the IRISH
REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PARTY extends its support to all peoples struggling for
Democracy, National Liberation and Socialism. In Ireland, we appeal to all
of those who are genuinely interested in the establishment of a Socialist
Republic to re-examine their present position and give their support to the
IRISH REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST PARTY.
Those elected to the
Temporary National Executive are as follows:
Sean Flynn (Belfast)
Manuel McIlroy (Belfast)
John McAlea (Belfast)
Charlie Craig (Belfast)
Seamus O'Kane (Co. Derry)
Terry Robson (Derry City)
Joe Sweeney (Derry City)
Bernadette McAliskey (Tyrone)
Johnny White (Donegal)
Seamus Costello (Wicklow)
Theresa Gallagher (Dublin)
Anne Webb (Dublin)
Mick Plunkett (Dublin)
John Lynch (Cork)
Stella Mackowski (Clare)
Joe Quinn (Limerick)
Tony Quinn (Tipperary)