solidarity with anti-imperialist movements around the world; most of
whom are armed to the teeth and do not fear to use all necessary force
in their struggles, is something that the British revolutionary left
does not hesitate to embrace. The Vietcong, Che Guevara, ZANU
and the PLO are positively glorified by the British left, as indeed
they should be. But when it comes to the one struggle to which they
could lend most support the Irish war of liberation -such fine
international sentiments evaporate.
military campaign in the North itself has always been viewed with
distasteful suspicion and phrases like "individual
terrorism" and "divorced from the mass movement" are
often employed by British socialist newspapers to describe a campaign
which has now continued for nearly ten years against internment,
torture, SAS killings and the highest level of British Army
involvement since the Korean war. But if the British left are ignorant
of Irish political reality and the necessity for guerrilla warfare in
modern Ireland, they become quite outraged and horrified whenever that
war is extended to the relatively tranquil shores of Britain. Various
excuses have been trotted out to condemn the Provos British campaign.
The main reason for such condemnation was a deep hostility to forms of
struggle which the British left fears and does not understand.
was with little surprise and much resignation therefore that we
witnessed last month's reaction from the British left press to the
successful assault on Airey Neave's life by the INLA. The three main
revolutionary groups were united in their denunciation of Neave's
execution with the Workers Revolutionary Party describing it as
terrorist and the Socialist Workers Party advising the INLA that such
actions would not help the cause of a united Ireland. But the most
shocking reaction came from the International Marxist Group, the once
proud standard bearers of solidarity with the Irish war in the early
seventies. They suggested that the action could have been the work of
a provocateur and repeated the Irish Times hypocritical warning that
such actions would rebound on the Irish community in Britain, adding
sternly that they could give no support whatsoever to the bombing.
denial of much needed support for the battle against British
Imperialism is bad enough. But the British left should also realise
that their semi-reformist attitudes to the war has an alienating
effect on sections of Republican youth whose first question to
international revolutionaries is "Do you support our war of
liberation?" Failure to give even verbal support in response to
this question leads many Republicans to dismiss what they see as
Marxism and only helps those right wing nationalists, and even
anti-republican elements, who have no desire to see a fully
independent, socialist Ireland. It is time that British Marxists and
their Irish fellow travellers recognised that the struggle for
socialism in Ireland cannot be conducted in the absence of a military
campaign against the armed guarantors of capitalism in our country,
the British Army and it's native allies.
our frustration with such backward attitudes as expressed by most
British socialists (which may well rebound on them when the British
state machine swings into action against the left in Britain itself),
The IRSP will continue to work with these groups in both Britain and
Ireland whenever it is necessary and constructive to do so as in the
case of the International Tribunal on Britain's presence in Ireland.
In the meantime Irish socialists and republicans should continue to
demand that British revolutionaries lend their support to the struggle
for National Liberation and Socialism in Ireland
is important to note over the past week the amount of propaganda the
Brit media has given to the death of a female screw.
prisoners have suffered much at the hands of these screws and their
male counterparts. This female screw was first and foremost just that
- a screw, and all that that entails.
who freely chooses to join this oppressive regime whether it was
yesterday, three months ago or three years ago must he considered just
as much the enemy as male screws, for their part in the Brit war
who become screws have taken a pro Brit stand against those who have
dared to oppose Brit rule.
they are female prison screws does exempt them from
contempt or attack. Do the political prisoners in Armagh prison
receive such patronising respect? No they do not
protesting for their rights as political prisoners, they suffer
inhuman conditions and vicious attacks not only by female screws but
also male screws.
the women who have died in the last ten years of the struggle at the
hands of the Brits and RUC receive such "respect" from the
media and the establishment politicians?
they did not.
women who suffer daily in a Brit capitalist society receive such
respect? No they did not. They have to endure night and morning raids,
to watch sons daughters and husbands beaten up and brutally murdered
by our law abiding, peace loving Brits and RUC. We contend that women
screws are not different from male screws.
should be seen for the people they are, and as such as equals not only
in life but also in death.
is not a very nice town to be a republican or socialist in. It is well
known as a hotbed 0 Orange reaction to events seemingly unrelated, go
a long way to explain the nature of this Northern Ireland in
year the firm of T. A Shillington celebrates its 60th year as a
limited company. T. A Shillington is the largest builders providers in
County Armagh and has long been renowned for, in Brookeboroughs'
immortal words "not having one about the place", A Catholic
that is. Catholics just don't get jobs with T. A. Shillington.
They never did and there's no reason to think they ever will. This
means that any opening for apprentice plumbers, joiners Etc, who
happen to be Catholics and want to "serve their time", are
very limited. It not only reinforces the already high unemployment
rate among the 2O% Nationalist population but means that no pool of
skilled labour is allowed to build up. It is a vicious cycle. But not
only does T.A. Shillington not employ Catholics but it goes out of
it's way to employ all varieties of loyalist extremists and many UDA
and UVF men are known as employees. But the story does not stop there.
Managing Director of T. A. Shillington is Herbert Whitten who just
happens to be among other things, Grand Worshipful Master in the
Orange Order, member of the Unionist Party, ex-Stormont MP and current
Mayor of Craigavon. As far as the Orange Mafia is concerned the only
way they can maintain the loyalty of the Protestant worker is to
reassure them that because they are Orangemen and Unionists they will
not suffer the fate of their Catholic/Nationalist counterpart. To do
this they use sectarianism and bigotry. This simple fact goes a long
way to show up the futility of a Bill of Rights or any reform of this
inherently sectarian Northern State.
other event took place in Belfast City Commission; two loyalists from
Portadown were given suspended sentences for the bombing of a Catholic
house and for armed robbery in the town in 1976. The judge commented
that he was going to give them a chance to become 'model
citizens". Compare this to Gerry and Kevin Trainor who await
trial in Crumlin Road, having being tortured and framed in Castlereagh.
They are from the wrong end or town. The "Taigs" must be
kept down at all cost.
a small insight into the system that working class nationalists in
Portadown must live under. For them the choice is clear. Either they
accept the jackboot or they fight to do away with the Northern State
and establish a 32 County Socialist Republic.
conference, which was held at Liberty Hall on Saturday April 21st, was
attended by delegates from revolutionary parties throughout Europe.
There were delegates from Denmark Belgium. France, Italy, Portugal.
Euzkadi. Brittany, Scotland, England. Wales and Ireland. The Irish
delegates were from the I.R.S.P., Sinn Fein. R.A.C., I.C.R.A.,
T.U.C.A.R and S.C.A.R. Speakers from the various groups outlined
conditions under which political prisoners were held in their
respective countries. They also spoke of repression in general and how
it was on the increase in all the European countries.
Reid represented the Irish Republican Socialist Party at the
Conference. She pointed out that there were over 90 IRSP political
prisoners and INLA prisoners of war in jails in the 6 and 26 Co's. Of
these over 40 were on the blanket protest in the H Blocks of Long
Kesh. Mary Reid pointed out that there had been a long history of
collaboration between various Free State governments and the
repressive British regime. The Irish Republican Socialist Party sought
support for the prisoners in the H Blocks, not on any humanitarian
grounds, but on the basis of principled support. The war against
Imperialism in Ireland was the longest and most enduring struggle for
self-determination in the world. A victory for the war of liberation
in Ireland would herald the final defeat of British 'imperialism. In
the words of James Connolly "the working class of one country
which oppresses the working class of another Country can never itself
be free"; it was in the interests of all anti-imperialist and
national liberation forces to work together against the common enemy.
A victory for one will be a victory for all.
Sinn Fein was represented by Gerry Brannigan. He spoke of H. Block and
explained the reason the men were there and the British policy of
Ulsterisation which he compared to the American policy of
Vietnamizatlor He gave a graphic account of the legal machine that
puts men in the H Blocks arrest, torture, remand, Diplock
Courts. H Block
to speak was Tom Mallon who had just been released from Portlaoise. He
stated that there was much tension in the prison over strip searches
and visiting conditions. Then Claire Delany who had been imprisoned on
remand in Armagh Jail told how the prisoners there were confined to
their cells 22 hours a day. She said that there was no medical
treatment in the prison. When asked how the felt about the shooting of
a woman screw from Armagh she said she was sorry there had not been
member of E.T.A. said that since Franco's death there had been only
superficial change and that in fact repression had grow~. In answer to
the growth of repression there were more resistance and more
prisoners. Basque prisoners had been moved hundreds of miles from
their homes and were guarded by armed police and not by screws. The
demands of the Basques are:
To be moved back to prisons in the Basque Country.
Independence for the Basque Country.
speaker from Portugal said that repression was on the increase there.
He said that after the 1974 Revolution the political police had been
disbanded and many of them had been jailed. All but six of them had
been released and were being paid while they were just living at home.
In fact they were helping to rebuild the repressive forces. Repression
was worst against the rural workers who had taken the farms from the
Capitalist Land owners and were working them on a collective basis.
The State was now using the army to dispossess the workers and hand
the land to the Capitalists.
speaker from Brittany said they had 23 prisoners. They had been
sentenced by Military Courts. It is a criminal offence to advocate
freedom for Brittany.
statement was read out from the prisoners of the Scottish Socialist
Republican Club. In their statement they said that in the end the only
thing the English ruling class will understand is the gun.
speaker from Italy' said that since I 974 repression had got steadily
worse. In that year the Communist Party had given up opposition and
said they would not vote against the government. They were trying to
become 'respect-able". The Government then brought in a law
that allowed search of cars, houses and persons without warrant. There
are now 1.000 political prisoners in Italy. Two political activists
have recently been charged for their writings, under the new law they
can be held on remand for 4 years.
speaker referred to Germany. He said that In Germany if you are
employed in the Public Sector you are required to have a positive
attitude" to the Constitution. One million employees in the
Public Sector have been questioned and their answers put on computer
records. 2,000 have been sacked as a result of their questioning. The
Trade Unions collaborate with the German State. If you are dismissed
from your job in the Public Sector you are also dismissed from the
was decided by the delegates at the conference that they should
exchange information on repression in their own countries in the
future and a central information centre is to be Set up in Europe. The
States of Europe are uniting in Repression, WE MUST UNITE IN
have received the following statement for publication:
Irish National Liberation Army claims responsibility for the following
military operations, which were carried out over the last few
weeks: April, 11th: RUC man shot in leg when an RUC mobile
patrol came under fire at the corner of Spinner Street and Lower
Falls, Belfast. April 13th. British Army foot patrol fired on in the
Whiterock area of Belfast.
19th. One prison warder killed, 3 wounded, in gun and grenade attack
outside Armagh Prison.
30th. UDR man injured and narrowly escaped death when booby-trap
device exploded under his car in Ballymena.
Volunteers of the Irish National Liberation Army are continually
showing their courage and determination in the fight for United 32
County socialist Republic. We say to the British Government "Get
your soldiers, your political and your economic control out of our
country. Make no mistake. Mrs. Thatcher, you may ring back the death
penalty and bring back internment but as long as one British soldier
remains in our country and so long as Britain maintains its economic
exploitation of our country - YOU WILL NEVER HAVE PEACE.
0 Comain, Derry, has been appointed Northern Organiser by the Irish
Republican Socialist Party. A University Undergraduate in
Psychology and Philosophy and a Post-Graduate in Continuing Education,
Mr. O'Comain is a Lecturer in Psychology.
the General Election in Britain the last few weeks saw an upsurge in
political activity by Manchester IRSP Support Group to highlight the
situation in the occupied six counties.
April 7th the group in conjunction with Troops Out Movement handed out
to the general public over 2,000 leaflets in the centre of Manchester.
These leaflets were designed to point Out the terrible conditions
endured by the prisoners in H. Block and they were very well received
by the Manchester public who were generally shocked to find Out that
such conditions were allowed to be permitted in a 'British"
April 10th again with U.T.Q.M. members, a protest about conditions in
Northern Ireland was held outside Stockport Town Hall where Jim
Callaghan was speaking. When an IRSP member inside the hall attempted
to ask Callaghan about the Bennett report and H. Block he was quickly
ejected to save Callaghan embarrassment. (7 other socialists were
ejected during the course of the meeting).
Easter Sunday Manchester
attended the march called by London Support Group. This march,
called, because Provisional Sinn Fein denied the IRSP a platform
proved to be very successful but hopefully such a situation shall not
arise again as only our enemies can benefit from such divisions. David
Hyland, a Manchester IRSP Support Group member, spoke at the meeting
and he forcefully urged the building of a united
anti-imperialist front between Republicans and Socialists
in Ireland, he also stressed the need for left-wing parties in Britain
to come to the aid of the struggle in Ireland, for as Marx pointed
struggle of Ireland is also the struggle of the working classes in
Co. Clare was "honoured" with the
presence of Betty Williams so-called Peace Leader. It was the
intention of the Ennis Council to give her a civic welcome but this
was not possible because some councillors refused to meet her. This
was arising from her comments on Tip O'Neill. To a gathering of 25
people mostly doctors, solicitors and the occasional company director,
Betty lectured the meeting on Peace and the "crazy Northern
members were there and asked her about the Bennett Report and its
indictments against the
Shrewd Betty tried to convince us that she was against all violence
including RUC violence but her arguments fell very weak when she went
on to condemn the H-Block men. Her attitude became more biased w hen
she realised that there was support for a united Ireland being pushed
as a solution for a real and lasting peace.
had no solutions herself. She came across as a very naive woman with
good intentions, but the exercise in Ennis was just another attempt to
convey the false impression that once the violence stops the situation
will be resolved. On the contrary the only way to attain peace in
Ireland is to allow for the self-determination of all Irish people
which has been consistently refused to the people of this country.
MEMORY OF BRENDAN McNAMEE
proud and loving memory of
died for the right to
for National Liberation
remembered by the
Measc laochra Na h-Eireann go
a anam uasal
missed by cousin Tony, wife
McNamee Missed by Frank and Annette.
missed by his brother Joe, wife and family.
by Anti Republican Forces
missed by his friend Frank and family.
proud and loving memory of Brendan McNamee
died defending the right of the IRSP to organise.
memory of Brendan McNamee
died for the right to organise For National Liberation and Socialism
National Liberation Army
very successful Easter commemoration was held in Bray, Co. Wicklow.
The Commemoration, which was attended by several hundred people, was
preceded by a march from the town hall to the grave of Seamus
Costello, Murdered leader of the I.R.S.P.
Commemoration Chairman was Sean Doyle from Kilcoole and the oration
was given by James Daly from Belfast. In a short address Mr. Doyle
reminded those assembled that over 60 years after the 1916 Rising the
country remained enslaved. He reminded all of the continuing struggle
for national liberation in the 6 Cos. and condemned the collaboration
between the Quisling Free State Government and the British Crown
Forces. Instead of our oppression being weakened, he said that the
exploitation of the Irish people was increasing as we come more and
more under the control of the EEC. In his Oration, James Daly,
castigated those who when referring to the men of 1916, as the
founding fathers of the nation were really referring to the Free
State. He said that the struggle to free this country from imperialist
control was not yet concluded.
war of national liberation and the class war for socialism still goes
on. Layer after layer of erstwhile Republicans have betrayed those who
fought on -Cumann Na nGaedheal, Fianna Fail, Clann Na Poblachta, and
now the Workers Party. These last openly say that Connolly is no
longer relevant to Ireland today, that everything has changed since
his day; In the name of perverse, abstract and doctrinaire theorising,
they proclaim that the task of revolutionary socialists in Ireland
today is to carry out the industrial Revolution, and to speed up the
production of an Irish proletariat. They say that talk of resistance
to British imperialism is outdated.
proclaim that the task of revolutionary socialists in Ireland today is
to carry out the industrial Revolution, and to speed up the production
of an Irish proletariat. They say that talk of resistance to British
imperialism is outdated. They speak of Anglo American imperialism,
which they see in purely economic terms. They forget that imperialists
put their armies where their purses are, and that the forces used
against the volunteers and the anti-imperialist people in the six
counties are NATO forces. These same erstwhile Republican
Socialists call for further sell out of natural resources to the
multi-nationals, of national sovereignty to the EEC, and of workers'
power to the employers by national wage agreements. In principle they
think international capitalism is progressive in Ireland
it is only native capitalists like Tony O'Reilly who have to be
attacked and that on purely moralistic grounds. It seems that native
capitalists, unlike foreign ones, are greedy. As for Westminster's
political control over the six counties, that receives passing mention
in an appendix to the Irish Industrial Revolution In fact; in
principle they must support the British Army of occupation.
struggle for socialism cannot he divorced from the national struggle
in Ireland. Some socialists seem to think that there is a Republican
struggle on the one hand, which can be left to Republicans, and whose
outcome does not matter, and on the other hand a socialist struggle
which is about wages, unemployment and housing, and to which "the
border" is irrelevant. Others basically accept this division, but
for reasons of principle or expediency join in the campaign against
repression. For instance some socialists argue or special status for
H. Block prisoners on the purely semantic and political ground that
they went before Special Courts and received special sentences. All
support in he struggle against repression and for political status is
welcome but our grounds are that these prisoners are prisoners
of a war of national liberation- and that is the politics of the
prisoners themselves, and should be the politics of the leadership of
so-called Republican struggle to which some socialists refer is in
reality the struggle for national democracy in Ireland. There has
quite obviously never been democracy in Ireland. -Democracy is
government of the people by the people. There can be no democracy
without independence. Of course there will never be complete democracy
without economic democracy, that is, socialism. And political
democracy is largely a sham as long as a few corporations control the
wealth of the world. But political democracy is a gain for the
peoples of the world, and it can be very effectively used to move
to-socialism. Ireland has never known political democracy. Ireland was
Britain's oldest colony; the six counties is still a colony; and by
arrangement between Britain and the ruling or rather administrative
classes of the Free State, it became Britain's first neo-colony. For
centuries, through war and genocide, the Irish people were governed by
the -British ruling, capitalist and commercial classes in their own
interests, so that the land could be robbed and the native industry
and commerce destroyed. When they resisted they were governed by
coercion acts. Such repressive measures have always been necessary to
prevent the Irish people from achieving democracy, which begins with
thirty-two county independence. They have been equally necessary under
the Free State and. so called Republic of Ireland as under the Act of
Union, or in the six county state. The special Criminal Court in
Dublin was a necessary forerunner to, and model for, the Diplock
Courts in Belfast. They serve the same interest - - to prevent
the achievement -of democracy in Ireland - through
and other towns throughout the twenty-six counties have seen -
recently the most massive and cohesive spontaneous working class
solidarity in numerous strikes against capitalists and state
employers, and above all in the mammoth two hundred thousand turn-out
of Union rank and file to demand fairer taxation. Our task is to show
that this can only be done when taxes are not spent on subsidising fly
by night companies and paying interest rates to the IMF. We must also
show that the IMF dictates wage and tax rates here as in Britain, and
finances the enormously expensive machinery of state repression which
is again only to force the working people of Ireland to pay the
profits of the colossal multinational industrial and financial
empires. And we must show that control of the wealth of Ireland by the
people of Ireland depends on Irish freedom.
people have never had their freedom. Thomas Clarke, Patrick Pearse,
James Connolly and their comrades struck a blow for this in 1916. The
settlement of 1922 was their de feat. Seamus Costello, from Bray, at
whose grave we commemorate the Republican socialist tradition, gave
his life for this freedom. Hugh Ferguson, Danny Loughran, Brendan
McNamee and Colm McNutt and Tommy and Ronnie Trainor all gave their
lives for this freedom The men in H Blocks, the girls in Armagh, the
men in long Kesh, Crumlin Road and Portlaoise have given their liberty
to gain this freedom for Ireland~ The task is still ours today. Bail O
Dhia ar an obair.
Dublin Comhairle Ceantair of the I.R.S.P. held a wreath laying
ceremony at Glasnevin Cemetery on Easter Sunday morning. The 1916
Proclamation was read by Caoilte Breatnach and a short address was
given by Vincent Fegan from Belfast.
Fegan reminded those present that the struggle for National Liberation
and Socialism would continue until such time as the "ownership of
the wealth of Ireland belonged to the people of Ir91and" and the
Irish people had "unfettered control over their own destinies.
harassment from the screws, I.R.S.P. prisoners in H.M. Prison,
Portlaoise held an Easter Commemoration. The oration was as follows: -
We stand here today to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the 1916
Rising and in many ways the 11th anniversary of the start of the
present and final phase of the struggle against Imperialism in
Ireland. The past year has seen a slow but steady upturn in the level
of popular resistance on the national struggle and an equal rise in
the struggle against the economic face of imperialism in the 26
counties. The past year has seen the total failure of the repression
machine to crush the resistance of the Nationalist Population~.
Despite repeated claims of 'normality' the true face of the inherently
sectarian Northern state has been shown time and time again. The
Bennet report has shown what everybody knew was happening and will
continue to happen as long as Britain maintains the corrupt and
sectarian state of Northern Ireland. While with uncanny timing the
O'Brien report has shown how the Imperialist system extends over the
32-Counties and the identical way Mason has dismissed Bennett, Collins
has done likewise with O'Briain. Neither can bear to admit the reality
of the system they uphold. Led by the heroic resistance of the
struggle of the men in H-Block, the Nationalist population has again
returned to the streets in their thousands. This in turn has given
them new confidence, despite appeals by Fitt and the SDLP and the
so-called 'Workers Party' to abandon the men H-Block. It too has led
to an intensification of the armed struggle and a grudging admittance
by Britain that they have no solution save the SAS and Castlereagh.
as revolutionaries have a -duty to constantly reappraise the tactics
and mistakes of the struggle so far, not in a divisive or 'knocking
way', but in the knowledge that victory against Imperialism is within
the grasp of the Irish working class. To be able to do this the
struggle has to become politically educated and aware is a vital
element in the struggle against Imperialism and one which every
revolutionary must undertake with the utmost serious-ness
past year has also seen the gradual awakening of the Southern working
class and their refusal to accept the greed for profit of the
multi-national corporations. Explosive social pressures building up
within the 26 Counties which must be harnessed and directed if the
balance of' forces are to be increased in the anti imperialist cause.
The grievances of low wages, unemployment and redundancies must be
brought onto the streets. These struggles must be shown to be the same
as the struggle against British Imperialism. To do this we must build
a revolutionary party capable of directing and giving lead to the
various struggles of the working class and a revolutionary army for
the conflict that experience has shown is inevitable. In this the
weapon of political understanding is the strongest one in the armoury.
should not look for easy solutions or panaceas in the struggle against
Imperialism. The struggle may take many years, but it will be won in
the last resort in Ireland by the working class, there can be no other
way. Our struggle must be based on the working class and on the
struggles of that class. Where the situation demands armed struggle
against the RUC or British Army we must provide that,
it demands agitation and propaganda we must provide that. Ours should
seek at all times to be a mass struggle and involve as broad a section
of the working class as possible.
can say with some degree of certainty that the coming year will see an
intensification of the struggle on all fronts. A likely Tory
government is pledged to even more repression in the Six-Counties,
while Jack Lynch is merely waiting for the correct moment to introduce
legislation against the trade unions. The work of Connolly and the
Citizen Army started so bravely on Easter week remains undone and the
solution he offered for the problems of the working class - a 32
County Socialist Republic - remains the same. As Connolly himself put
it "Our demands are simple, we want only what is ours."
Easter Sunday, over 200 people marched from Cricklewood to Kilburn to
commemorate the-1916 Rising. The march was called by the London
support group of the I.R.S.P. and was supported by Liverpoo1 and
Manchester I.R.S.P. and other left wing groups.
main speakers were Dave Hyland and Colin Maguire of the Manchester and
Liverpool~~ I.R.S.P. support groups. Dave Hyland paid tribute to the
men and women who took part in the Rising and said that by their
courage and sacrifice they had inspired the present generation, who
were carrying on the struggle for National Liberation and Socialism.
These people are carrying on the same fight as the volunteers in 1916,
although-British and Free State politicians would attempt to portray
them in a -different light. -
condemned the media coverage of Ireland and - its portrayal of the
Irish as being an impossible race, who would not heed the bidding of
well-intentioned British politicians in their attempts to
"solve" the "Irish Problem". At a recent election
meeting in Stockport addressed by M. Callaghan, he had questioned the
Prime Minister on the Bennett Report and the steps that a future
Labour Government would take to stop the ill treatment being carried
out in interrogation centres in the 6 Counties. Before he could finish
his question he was manhandled from the meeting, as were other people
who had called for the withdrawal of troops from Ireland.
called on the people gathered in Kilburn Square to ensure that Ireland
was made an issue in British Politics and urged that they support the
activities of being carried out by the I.R.S.P. support groups in
Maguire of the Liverpool support group said those assembled at the
meeting were in solidarity with the men and women who were fighting
for political status in Long Kesh and Armagh prisons. The H Blocks of
Long Kesh could not be tolerated and every possible step should be
taken to highlight the foul conditions in which P.O.W.s were being
kept. The British Government should pack its bags and leave the Irish
people to determine their own destiny~ -
Easter Proclamation and Roll of Honour were read and a minute's
silence was observed in honour of those who had given their lives in
the fight for a 32 County
march was supported by U.T.O.M., S.W.P., I.M.G., Big Flame and Workers
Action. Particularly welcome was the support from the local - Irish
community who showed that they were not going to be intimidated by the
large police presence on the march.
following are extracts of an Oration delivered by Liam O'Comain at the
Easter Sunday Commemoration at Glenullen, Co. Derry: -
we assemble to commemorate the Republican Rising of 1916. In doing so
let us remember all those who through the years worked, fought,
suffered and died so that the citizens of this country could
experience the right to manage their own affairs and the freedom to
direct their own destiny. 1916 was the first of many genuine National
Liberation Fronts in this century. It was brought about by a number of
advanced groupings, one of which was the Socialist section inspired by
the writings and example of James Connolly. Connolly was the same man
who once believed that Socialism would evolve through the use of
peaceful trade union activity and power. The development of his
thought however convinced him that "in Ireland tile national and
social questions are one". That National Liberation was a
necessary prerequisite to the development of a Socialist society. Thus
to bring about this necessary requirement Connolly used the only means
by which National Liberation could be achieved, namely, physical
force. That is why 1916 is relevant to the Socialist movement in
Ireland of the 1970s for it proved that armed action is an important
factor in the development of a mass movement. The Rising also
illustrated that there can he a principled alliance among socialists,
republicans and trade unionists. That is why the Irish Republican
Socialist Party considers the building of a broad front as one of its
top priorities. For without this unity the present struggle could
peter out and British imperialism would continue to bleed the Irish
working class. This is a relevant factor at this moment in time and
those who share the objective of the ~ 916 Rising 'will
reflection we have a small island of approximately 4'A million people.
In natural resources it is a fruitful land. The administration of the
island, however, is on one hand a British colonial 6 county statelet,
whereas on the other hand it is a neo-colonial 26 county statelet. One
would need, however, to be a purveyor of untruths if one was to state
that the political reality referred to what the 1916 leaders fought
and died for. Yet such lies have emanated over the last 60 odd years
from Dublin Government politicians and would be Irish historians. They
are the creators of the great myth that the South is 'free'. In due
course, they argue, when the loyalist minority perceives the green
light then all of Ireland will be free. But can anyone believe that
the UDA, Shankill Butchers, the bullyboys of Burntollet or the plain
clothed torturers of Castlereagh will ever accept the peaceful road to
an all Ireland Republic.
Irish working and small farming classes must realise that their
economic and social struggles bears an inter-relationship with the
armed and democratic struggle that has continued for the last ten
years in British occupied Ireland. As the real majority in this island
they are duty bound to ensure that the Gestapo type RUC are prevented
from continuing in their skull fracturing, finger breaking and
testicle thumping activities They are duty bound to support
financially and physically the revolutionary forces that will end once
and for all the presence of the British occupation army and all
imperial influence in this island. They are duty bound because they
are the inheritors of a great tradition, a struggle covering 700 odd
years for national and social emancipation. A struggle which is due to
cease if the working classes rally in support of the revolutionary
forces who are at present engaged in the greatest fight ever f6r the
freedom of this country. We owe it to the men and women in the
hellholes of H. Block and Armagh. We owe it to the dead of this
generation and to the dead of generations past. So let us begin.
Ensure that you, your families, your friends and neighbours boycott
the forth-coming E.E.C. elections. Become apostles for this cause.
Ensure that-James Fintan Lalor's objective of the "land of
Ireland for the people of Ireland becomes a reality. Not the property
of faceless European bureaucrats. Abort the Orange baby, that is the
concept of an independent Ulster state. Share~ these immediate
objectives and link them with the demands for British army withdrawal
and political amnesty. In turn I can assure you that the Irish
National Liberation Army and the Irish Republican Socialist Party will
play their part in smashing the administrations that emanated from the
dastardly imperial treaty of the 1 920. The inevitable 32 County
Secular Republic will be the door to the Workers' Republic which James
Connolly died for in 1916. Victory to the Revolutionary Forces.
Onwards to National Liberation and Socialism.
Special Branch Harassment, a very successful Easter
Commemoration was held in Ennis, Co. Clare. The
commemoration chairman was Paddy Kenneally. Brigid Makowski read the
Proclamation and the oration was given by Harry Flynn from Belfast.
The following is Mr. Flynn's Oration: 'Today we are gathered here to
pay tribute to the men and women of 1916, to the memory of that
courageous sacrifice. We also pay a special tribute to our dead
comrades whose memory fills us with immense inspiration, to Hugh
Ferguson, Danny Loughran, Brendan McNamee, Ronnie and Tommy Trainor,
CoIm McNutt and also Seamus Costello.
years ago. On Easter Monday 1916, 1500 volunteers belonging to several
Organisations marched in the streets of Dublin, put up barricades and
took over vantage points. At the same time Patrick Pearse was reading
the Proclamation outside of the G.P.O. People who stopped to listen
were bewildered by events taking place. Some laughed, others jeered
and then proceeded about their business. After all who would think
that such a small group of people could be serious about challenging
the might of the British Empire. But serious they were.
this time the Empire stretched to all comers of the globe, from India
to Australia, from Africa into Asia. Her navy ruled the seven seas and
the Empire was calm. Yet the 'lion was being challenged within serious
proximity its own lair.
G.P.O., and other buildings were being fortified for the fray. James
Connolly and Patrick Pearse were living a dream which they knew they
wouldn't live to see the end of. By the time the leaders of the Rising
were executed it was no longer a dream but a seed implanted in the
hearts and minds of the Irish people.
1916 Rising serves as an inspiration to as and to all freedom -loving
peoples who must fight imperialist powers for their right to
self-destiny. The 1916 men and women serve as a beacon to all
oppressed peoples of the world. It is important to learn from the 1916
Rising. It is especially important to this generation for the torch of
freedom is now borne by us. For once again the might of the British is
the occupied Six counties the British Government hears it loud and
clear each day; '~GO HOME YOU ARE NOT WANTED HERE", each day they
get the message; 'WE DON'T WANT YOUR HARRASSMENT, YOUR TORTURE, YOUR
TOOLS OF DEATH OR YOU."
the pleas fall on deaf ears,
British soldiers bring the message home in coffins but the coffins
can't be seen by blind eyes. The execution of Airey Neave has shook
them out of their complacency and now they don't like what they see or
what they hear. With their stiff upper lip they will continue to brush
the Irish question under the carpet. In their own contemptible - way
they will continue to ignore the wishes of the Irish people, but at
least now it is a bit nearer to home for them to see and hear.
the British withdraw militarily, economically and politically from
Ireland there will be no peace. Their imposed solutions will not work
or be accepted. We will continue to oppose British - presence and to
oppose the farce of the European Economic Community. The E.E.C.
is another power bloc into which the Irish people have been conned and
led... With promises of a better life... What have we got instead only
rising prices, unemployment and cheap labour hired to multi-national
profiteering outfits? And so it goes- on. As a Socialist Republican
Movement we must rededicate ourselves to the only realistic solution
to all our problems; that of a 32 County Socialist Republic with full
political freedom devoid of any foreign military, economic or cultural
control and with the working class in control of the means of
production, distribution and exchange. To achieve this the Irish
Republican Socialist Party was formed and it will continue to give
leadership until these aims are achieved. Where our comrades fall
beside us their inspiration will spur us on until the victory needed
is upon us."
year saw one of the largest May Day marches Dublin has ever seen. The
march was amalgamated with the protest for tax reform. The I.R.S.P.
participated in the march. Party members carried placards calling for
the taxing of the multi-nationals and a boycott of the E.E.C.
elections. Over 600 copies of the special Anti-E.E.C. issue of the
Starry Plough. The I.R.S.P. issued the following Mayday statement: -
six weeks ago, over 200,000 workers displayed a new militancy when
they supported the call for a General Strike in demand of tax reform.
That militancy reflects not only the mass resentment that exists in
relation to the unfair tax burden on the PAYE sector but it also
echoes the discontent among the working class at the effect of its
imperialist control and exploitation in their lives. The Irish
Republican Socialist Party calls on all workers this MAYDAY to resist
and fight imperialism. Only the complete overthrow of imperialist rule
and the establishment of a 32 Co. Democratic socialist Republic can
guarantee the Irish working class, North and South, the control of its
majority of wage and salary earners in the 26 Cos. fall within the
P.A.Y.E.' system. It is on these that the burden of financing the
operations of multi-national corporations has fallen. £2,000
million was raised in taxation from P.A.Y.E. workers last year. Of
this £500 million - a quarter of the total revenue went to service
the "public debt". This "public debt" is the
interest, which the Fianna Fail Government is paying on money borrowed
from foreign banks - money which is paid out to multi-national
corporations as incentives to invest. The I.D.A. advertise the 26Cos
as a tax haven around the world. Foreign companies are guaranteed that
they will pay no tax during the first twelve years of operations here,
they are guaranteed that their factories & and machinery will be
paid for with capital grants, they are guaranteed a cheap labour force
strictly confined to limited wage increases. In 1971 - 1978 the I.D.A.
paid out over £500 million in incentives to foreign companies -and
these same companies are freed from any tax obligation in return.
tax concessions made to business interests - is in itself disastrous
enough but when it is realised that despite all this
"investment" no new jobs have-been created, it is a
political scandal. Since Ireland's entry to the E.E.C. food prices
have in most cases doubled, whilst the cost of meat, dairy product and
essentials such as bread have gone up as much as 400%. House prices
have also trebled. Unemployment is now at its highest level with over
100,000 people on the dole queue and redundancies a weekly feature in
the traditional industries which were once the backbone of the economy
such as breweries and tanneries.
living standard of the working class has reached an all time low while
the profits of the profiteers are soaring. The Irish workers family
today spends 50% of its income on food, and by the end of this year
the average worker will see 28% of his income go on tax. That leaves a
mere 22% to cover housing, clothing and other essentials. In a very
real sense, Ireland, after 5 even years of the 'benefits" of
E.E.C. membership has become the poorest country in the E.E.C. Very
few jobs have been created all the investment goes to fly-by-night
operators who pull out as soon as their tax free holiday is over
Ferenka was one example of this which Limerick will long remember.
Although food prices have soared no new agricultural jobs have been
created, as actual agricultural production has not increased. The high
food prices are the result of E.E.C. food policies, which create
butter and Meat Mountains in order to force food prices up. Many jobs
have in fact been lost in the food processing industries as the E.E.C.
bosses take Irish meat, milk, vegetables and fish to process and
package it in England, France and Germany.
Irish Republican Socialist Party opposes the so-called "national
understanding". The promise of 500 new jobs from Fianna
Fail is an insult to the 100,000 unemployed workers whose families are
existing in conditions of real poverty. Irish workers must not be held
in restraint by no strike classes. Anti-union legislation would
inevitably follow to strengthen such an "understanding"
about strikes. Multi-national corporations are guaranteed a 28% annual
return in the I.D.A.'s glossy ads whilst the working class is
curtailed to a 15% wage increase spread over two years. Such an
"understanding" must be opposed as the rip off it clearly
Irish Republican Socialist Party rejects all forms of imperialist
oppression. In the 6 Cos. that imperialism shows its true face as an
army of occupation. When imperialism can no longer enslave the working
economically and politically then it will attempt to do so through the
use of naked repression. In the 6 Cos. the nationalist working class
have resisted for over ten years the undemocratic control of their
lives by imperialists. The more the British have tried to break that
resistance the more determined it has become. The Irish Republican
Socialist Party looks to the heroic example of the 400 men on the
Blanket in the H Blocks of Long Kesh. Their determination to
continue the struggle for national liberation is an inspiration.
Ireland was Britain's first colony and British Imperialism still rules
us ~ day. Until the Irish people achieve~ self-determination the Irish
working class will never be in control of its own destiny.
THE IRISH PEOPLE!
I.R.S.P. has produced a special anti-EEC edition of the Starry Plough
for distribution throughout the 32 counties. The special edition
analyses the EEC from a Republican Socialist viewpoint and calls for
withdrawal from the EEC. It's publication marks the beginning of an
extensive IRSP campaign on a 32 county basis against EEC membership
and the forthcoming elections to the so-called EEC
"parliament". The IRSP is calling for a boycott to
these elections and over the next few weeks will be holding public
meetings in all the major centres.
of the Special Starry Plough edition for distribution can be obtained
from the IRSP Head Office. Enquiries concerning the campaign and
offers of transport finance, etc., should be directed to the
Anti-EEC Committee at Head Office.
of the main centres of opposition to the E.E.C. during the 1972
Referendum was Dun Laoire. Opposition to the E.E.C. still survives as
was shown by the recent formation of an Anti-E.E.C. Committee in that
area. The Committee is being actively supported by the Markiewicz
Cumann of the I.R.S.P. in Dun Laoire.
Committee also has the support of the Communist Party of Ireland and
the Irish Sovereignty Movement in addition to
individuals who are opposed to continued E.E.C. membership for
Na Gaeilge has called for a boycott to the E.E.C. Elections. They
argue for a boycott because of the disastrous effects of membership on
the economy, the failure of regional policy and the E.E.C.'s
"attitude" to the Irish language.
present agitation for a fairer taxation system in the 26 counties must
be viewed in the context of the overall political and economic
situation in the Free State. Many of those campaigning for tax reform,
in particular the spokesmen of Sinn Fein-The Workers Party, have
failed to do so. They have tried to portray the campaign as a straight
fight between the urban workers, who to them is the true
representative of the proletariat, and the farmers. They consistently
ignore the vast economic divide between large and small farmers.
possible explanation for this is that the flashpoint for the campaign
was the Free State Government's dropping of the 2% levy on farm
produce. However once the tax system is viewed in a wider context,
this becomes of minor importance. The Green Paper on the economy
states that "Those who have employment already must be prepared
to make the financial contributions and provide the opportunities of
work for the unemployed." What this means is that the PAYE worker
is to finance the governments Job Creation Programmes, rather than,
the large domestic and multi-national companies, which derive, all the
benefit from them.
main plank in the job program is the I.D.A.'s attracting foreign
enterprise to this country. To do this they offer firms several
lucrative perks. Some examples of these include (i) 14 years "tax
holiday", (ii) loans at zero interest rates to buy machinery,
(iii) up to 50% of the required capital (in other words, you encourage
people to speculate your own money), (iv) Grants of up to £l0,000 per
head to train employees. (v) The construction of their factory for
them. In theory these incentives encourage foreign firms to set up
permanently. However their commitment to this country can be gauged by
examples like Ferenka. At the slightest fall in profits of the home
company the Irish subsidiary pulls out. As a result of these pullouts
the IDA has actually provided approximately 5000 jobs. This is hardly
worth all the PAYE taxpayers' money.
discrimination against small farmers by urban workers involved in the
protest has no legitimate basis in fact a government survey showed
that 30.2% of the Irish farmers yield an income of less than £2,000
per annum. At the other end of the scale 11% of Irish farmers yield an
income of over £7,000 per annum. On this basis it can be seen that a
sizeable minority of farmers are earning much less than the average
industrial worker. Many of the farms on the western seaboard in
particular would fall into this category.
preoccupation of the Green Paper is the placing of agriculture on a
more free-market footing. This will leave the small farmers prices at
the mercy of the price fixing cartels within the IFA and the ICSMA
(Irish Cream and Milk Suppliers Association) These organisations,
despite their claims to the contrary represent only the interests of
the big farmer. EEC subsidies on products such as butter and beef, no
doubt in order to build up the Mountains even higher, benefit the
large producer not the subsistence level farmer, who with the fall in
real agricultural prices i.e. prices looked at without the EEC
bolstering up, probably constitute a majority.
those farmers who have gained from EEC membership will find the going
increasingly hard in the coming years. The benefits to date have been
a result of the transitional period for agriculture.
period is now at an end. Prices from now on will be less than
inflation. There will be an actual fall in prices. Those industries
based on agriculture namely meat processing and the diary industry
profit less and less from the EEC. Redundancies are rampant in the
food processing industries. In addition the number of those unemployed
in agriculture in the 26 counties fell 267,000 to' 263,000 between
1972 and 1977. Throughout the same period actual agriculture
production remained static, which suggests that the effect of the
falling prices in the future will force even more people from the
small farmer has historically been an ally of the working class. This
has been true in the case of the United Irishmen, the Fenians, and the
Republican forces in the National Liberation struggle. The first
workers defence militia was after all set up in the small farming
areas of Antrim and Wexford.
the present fight for National Liberation they have also played a
large part. It is the task of socialists to encourage small farmers to
support the working classes in their just demands. It is not the task
of the socialist to alienate them by wild generalisations and
statements that the demand for an equitable taxation system involves
fighting against the small farmers rather than the people whose
interests are really served by workers paying 90% of tax revenue in
the 26 cos.
conclusion we would state that the only viable solution to the tax
issue is that income tax should be really determined on income,
regardless of occupation. To this end we must demand that the
government must (1) Tax the multinationals (2) Tax the large farmers
are those within the Irish left who argue that the present struggle
for national liberation is not only anti-working class but also
anti-socialist. On the extreme there are those whose slogan is
"internationalism", whereas on the other extreme there are
those who contend that socialism can evolve peacefully, both within
the 6 county and 26 county statelets. Some of the latter believe that
progressive industrial nationalisation with both states will develop
into a multinational gestation, the end result being two socialist
societies. Such logic, however, is uninfluenced by the history of
working class struggles throughout the world, and its formulators have
ignored the Chilean-lesson of recent years. The latter example sounded
the death knell of those who believe in the peaceful road to
socialism. On the other hand the "internationalists"
appear to be ignorant of the Latin origins of the term
"inter". An accurate definition reveals that the term means
'between', in other words "internationalism" implies
'between nations'. Thus, by implication, to be truly international one
must be initially truly national. Therefore in order to establish an
international socialist community we must not neglect the national
factor i.e. we must work for socialism within our own countries.
is precisely the practice throughout the world today.
Revolutionary Socialists are fighting within their own backyards. This
does' not imply however that socialists should not be alert to certain
forms of "nationalism". That is, bastard forms of
nationalism exhibited by parties such as the National Front and the
Irish Independence Party. The latter is the negation of true
nationalism and an obstacle to the development of real
internationalism. It is, perhaps, the wrong conception of what
nationalism 'really is and by association what is meant by National
Liberation that has led these representative of the Irish Left to take
such a reactionary stand. The futility of their position is further
illustrated when we hear them acknowledging the importance of Connolly
to the potential socialist revolution. Such an acknowledgement
reflects their lack of knowledge of Connolly himself.
James 'Connolly participated and died in a national
struggle. On the eve of the 1916 Rising Connolly stated that his
participation would be misinterpreted by his fellow socialists. That
they would not understand his motives. Even the so-called official
world of "socialism" that is the leaders of the second
International, condemned him. Also, the English Independent Labour
Party said that "Connolly was terribly and criminally
mistaken." There was one socialist who understood Connolly,
however,' aiid.tliat½ was Lenin. Lenin declared his approval of the
Rising and attacked those who attacked this aspect of the struggle for
Irish national liberation.
the leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution Lenin was perhaps the
greatest socialist thinker of the 20th century. As a Marxist he did
not treat Marxism as a dogma for to do so would be to strip it of its
revolutionary message. In fact Lenin developed and expounded the
theories of Marx. He had a logical approach to political questions and
when he defended the 19l6 fight for Irish national 1iberation he
expressed itself in street fighting 'conducted by a section of the
urban petty bourgeoisie and a section of the workers alter a long
period of mass agitation and demonstration.
to' imagine that social revolution is conceivable without revolts by
small nations in the colonies and in Europe, without the revolutionary
outbursts of a section of the petty bourgeoisie with all its
prejudices without a movement of politically non-conscious proletarian
and semi-proletarian masses against landlord,
church, monarchal national and other oppression - to imagine that
means repudiating social revolution - Whoever expects a
"pure" social revolution will never live to see it. Such a
person pays service to a revolution without understanding what
revolution really is:"
an apt description of those Irish socialists who do not see the need
for national liberation; of those who are opposed to the present
struggle, of those who are indifferent and who concentrate on purely
economic and democratic objectives. Yet these same individuals and
parties would claim that they are part of the Leninist tradition. To
paraphrase Pearse "The fools the fools the fools."
national Liberation means revolution a process in which the democratic
principle is extended to all aspects of Irish society. Democracy
permeating the whole fabric of the lives of our people and not the
false form, which we experience now and again at the ballot box. In
fact true democracy is revolution practice - the Irish working and
small farming classes controlling the means of production distribution
and exchange. In this sense 'democracy', 'national liberation',
'revolution' and 'socialism' are but aspects of the same
phenomenon. Due to the prevailing influence of capitalist and colonial
hegemony, however, and for reasons of political discourse we tend to
make a distinction between the latter concepts. Perhaps that is
another reason for the lack of support for the national struggle by
the reactionary Irish Left.
the history of Ireland during the last ten years illustrates it is the
workers and the small farmers who alone remain interested in solving
the national question. They are the only truly revolutionary bloc. It
remains the task of authentic socialist revolutionaries to direct
these forces in the Job of dismantling the colonial and neo colonial
statelets in this country. Self-determination for the Irish People is
a necessary pre-requisite if the land of Ireland is to belong to its
people. To those of the Irish Left who do not see the revolutionary
importance of the national struggle we leave them with the thoughts of
Liam Mellows from his prison cell:
people with a stake in the country were never with the revolution.
The ~issue is Capitalism and Empire, versus~ national independence and
the industrial workers and poor farmers."
the end of January a panel of international judges met in Paris to
decide formally if Britain had a case to answer against the charges
brought by The International Tribunal On Britain's presence in
Ireland. The judges decided unanimously that there was a prima
facie case to answer in the field of torture, discrimination and the
denial of civil rights and agreed that the whole question of Britain's
involvement in Ireland should also be investigated by the Tribunal.
favourite trick of the British ruling class is to hold official
inquiries into allegations of brutality and corruption ~whenever such
charges become impossible to Ignore. The fact that such enquiries are
held by the same people against whom the charges are laid in the first
place does not seem to bother British newspapers and
the British Government appoints it's own toadies to investigate
Government crimes in Ireland and British Police do likewise in cases
of domestic corruption and brutality, which are becoming widespread.
comes as a welcome surprise, therefore, to see that after a year or
more of campaigning the Tribunal will be holding it's main session in
the summer of this year. The Tribunal, unlike other so called
enquiries mentioned above will consist of a prosecution of the British
government by non-governmental figures and will be presided over by a
panel of international judges in front of a labour movement jury.
Tribunal comes at a particularly opportune moment as Britain's
activities in Ireland are at long last beginning to receive the
opprobrium that is so richly deserved. This may help to explain why
right-wingers and reformists in the British labour movement, and
Tories, Loyalists and Broad Left leaders in the student movement have
rushed to condemn the Tribunal. Those on the Left who do not
understand the value of such an open enquiry into Britain's role in
Ireland - whose brief has been extended to cover whether Britain's
presence is the root cause of Ireland's problems -Would do well to
analyse the reasons this opposition to the work of the Tribunal from
such pro-imperialist groups. The Tribunal has so far attracted
widespread support internationally including the sponsorship of over
fifty prominent groups and individuals including Jean Paul Sartre,
Paul O'Dwyer, The South West Africa People's Organisation and the
Irish Transport and General Workers Union.
solidarity work in Britain is difficult at the best of times. A
virtual boycott by the British media who understandably hostile to the
Tribunal, and problems of morale involved in sustaining activity in
one campaign over a period of Eighteen months appears to be
demoralising some of the groups involved. Hopefully the conclusion of
the Tribunal itself and the opportunities this should present for
further solidarity work will revitalise some of these concerned. In
the meantime it is important that those who normally place a
particular emphasis on work amongst women and students do not
sidetrack the Tribunal into such softer options to the exclusion to
the main priority for Irish activists in Britain: the question of
Britain's oppression of the Irish people arid the important effect
that British working class opinion can have on the issue.
the course of their political activities IRSP members and supporters
are harassed and some incarcerated. There are IRSP members in
political prisons in the six and twenty-six counties and funds are
urgently needed to cater for their welfare and that of their immediate
donations and orders to the
Department, c/o IRSP, 35 Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin 1. All
cheques etc should be crossed
method of supporting is by purchasing prisoners crafts
carved harps £10
I.R.S.P. Easter Commemoration in Bray further highlighted the
phasing out of the 'Boys of the Old Brigade' of the Special Branch.
Those missing included Detective Inspectors McGrath and 'Big Joe'
Madigan who have been given office jobs in 'the Castle'. Missing also
were, Detectives Collins, Cullen, Jordan, Butler, Mullen O'Hara and
Nugent who normally attend I.R.S.P. commemorations. Detective Sergeant
Jude Murphy would have been present, but for the fact that he is still
recuperating from a physical attack made on him while he was trying to
apprehend 'criminal elements' recently. However their replacements,
some of whom are members of Doucey's anti-terrorist squad are an
interesting lot. They are younger, and in general lack the bulky
frames of the old regulars. Their style of dress is not the customary
fifteen years out of date style and some of them are "in to
denim"! Many, such as Detective John O'Shea sport beards and long
hair. Formerly Bosco Gleeson was the only bearded Branchman to expose
himself to public scrutiny at such gatherings. But the 'New Faces' are
being drafted in now, to try and stifle the growth in popular support
for anti imperialist groups, that is spreading nationwide
Sergeant Brian Sheehan a well-known performer in the
Special Criminal Court, made an impassioned speech recently at the
Garda Representative Conference. He was speaking on the plight of the
overworked ~members of the force, who, he claimed, ought to be paid
extra when doing the work of traffic wardens. Did it never occur to
him that some of his twenty to thirty mates who loaf about daily
inside the Special Criminal Courthouse in Green Street, would be of
more use to the taxpayer doing this work, instead of intimidating the
distraught relatives of those being charged?
you ever notice a tail man who resembles Ned Garvey minus the glasses,
and wears a beige mackintosh, at political rallies? He mingles among
the Special Branch and is rarely seen in uniform. The man in question
is Superintendent John Robinson of Store Street. Surely it is no
co-incidence that this lackey was chosen to conduct an internal Garda
enquiry into the allegations of Garda Brutality following the torture
of the mail-train robbery 'suspects'.
Inspector James McPartland S.D.U. originally from Co. Armagh got angry
with a suspect recently who had failed to recognise him. He very
honestly described himself as "The Northern Bastard".
Thomas Eibar Dunne, was not dismissed as a psychiatric nurse by the
Eastern Health Board, as once reported. The Eastern Health Board did
not exist at the time of his departure. It was suggested by Seamus
Sorohan S.C. during the mail-train robbery trial that he had left this
post "under a cloud". Prior to Dunne's departure some
patients had been physically ill-treated. There is no shortage of
political activists who have become patients as a result of his
in the Special Branch is low at the moment. This section of the Garda
Siochana has threatened strike action if the take home pay of around
£100 is not drastically increased. One detective was quoted as
saying to a person outside the force "Can Ireland afford a
corrupt police force such as that in England, where payoffs and
backhanders are legendary?" Is a force where torturers have been
consistently promoted not already corrupt? This infamous section will
also go on strike if its torturers are prosecuted and convicted.. The
I.R.S.P. and other organisations would then have to continue without
the necessary mail opening phone tapping and raids to which they have
become accustomed. If Special Branch members are so dissatisfied about
their pay they should get out of the force while they still have time.
Many Irishmen and women retain unhealed wounds and bitter memories.
Detective "Baldy" (no relation Tom E Dunne) whose photo
appeared in the Feb/March issue of the Starry Plough (second from the
right and alongside some members of the Heavy Gang) has given the
lead. He has quit the Special Branch and is now earning over £200 a
week as a head security man with Durkan Bros., the building
April 22nd, I.R.S.P. member Harry Flynn from Belfast was assaulted by
Broy Harrier, Francis Fahey at Connolly Station, Dublin. Seemingly,
Fahey was very annoyed by Mr. Flynn's knowledge of his legal rights
and became exasperated when Mr. Flynn refused to be intimidated.
Sunday May 6th two I.R.S.P. supporters from County Clare were arrested
outside the I.R.S.P. offices under the Offences Against the State Act.
The previous day members of the
Ard Comhairle were stopped and questioned by the Special Branch as
they left their offices. Branchmen particularly interested in the
I.R.S.P. include Harriers Faherty and Bolger.
the 6 Cos. repression of the I.R.S.P. continues. Several I.R.S.P.
members were arrested by the R.U.C. and British Army and held for 7
days in the run up to the British General Election. Among those
arrested was Sean Flynn, Chairman of the Belfast Comhairle Ceantair of
his detention in Castlereagh, Mr Flynn was questioned about the IRSP
and Starry Plough. They were particularly interested in the increasing
sales of the Starry Plough and in obtaining lists of new party
addition to the arrests and "interrogation" at Castlereagh
there has been harassment and intimidation of other sorts. The
Prisoners Welfare Officer of the Belfast Comhairle Ceantair has been
barred from visiting IRSP prisoners in Long Kesh on the instructions
of the Northern Office.
prisoners in Portlaoise Prison have been involved in a non-cooperation
protest with the prison authorities since Friday 27th April. The
protest is taking place because conditions in the prison continue to
deteriorate and all attempts at protest through the normal channels to
the Prison Governor have been ignored.
Friday night the men engaged in a co-ordinated disruption protest.
They removed the light bulbs in their cells and banged on their cell
doors for 10 minutes. On Saturday afternoon 5 of the prisoners were
singled out by the authorities and placed in punishment cells. Among
these five was Brian McNally, a member of the Irish Republican
Socialist Party. Another prisoner was actually on a visit from his
family when he was dragged away by warders.
prisoners repeated the disruption protest on Saturday night for 10
minutes. As a punishment 40 warders removed all their personal
belongings and furniture from their cells. On Monday 30th April the
prisoners all refused to accept their food and left it on the landing.
Warders then hosed the food away, saturating the cells and mattresses
of a number of the prisoners. The prisoners involved in the
protest are now confined for. 23 out of 24 hours in these wet cells.
in Portlaoise Prison continue to be as harsh and punitive as those
imposed by the Coalition Regime. Prisoners are subjected continual
harassment, degrading body searches, denial of visits' and letters and
the meting out of arbitrary punishments such as solitary confinement
or indefinite detention in punishment cells.
men in Portlaoise Prison have all been sentenced in the Special
Criminal Court. Like the thousands of prisoners in the 6 Cos. who have
been sentenced in
Diplock Courts many convictions are based on self-incriminating
statements. Similarly with prisoners in the 6 Cos. these so called
"confessions" have been challenged as being the result of
ill treatment in custody. The Special Criminal Court has however
proved itself equal to the notorious Diplock Court in accepting 'these
"confessions" as voluntary in the face of evidence to the
contrary. The authorities in the 26 Cos. have also proved over the
last number or years that they are prepared to follow the inhuman and
degrading example of British jailors in their treatment of political
prisoners sentenced in "special" courts.
Irish Republican Socialist Party demands an immediate end to the
continuing harassment of prisoners in Portlaoise Prison. The Irish
Republican Socialist Party further demands that the vindictive
practice of sentencing prisoners to indefinite periods in punishment
cells be stopped immediately.
of the I.R.S.P. continues north and South as well as in Britain. In
the 26 Cos. harassment and intimidation of members by the Special
Branch has been stepped up with several arrests under the notorious
Offences against the State Act. Those arrested included Starry Plough
Editor, Mick Ahern, Raheny member Niall Donnelly and Donnycarney
member Peter Rogan. All were questioned about Party activities,
particularly the forthcoming Anti-EEC Campaign. Questions were also
asked about the "Starry Plough", - its circulation, reports
on the Special Branch and police brutality. The Branch promised those
arrested that what has happened up to now to the IRSP was
only a picnic compared the repression to follow
addition to the arrests, the Special Branch raided the house of Irene
Breatnach, wife of Osgur Breatnach - one of those tortured and framed
by the Special Branch for the Sallins Train Robbery. In the course of
this raid, the' Branchmen, including Detective King, ransacked the
house in true British Army fashion.
Kathleen McNally, wife of Brian McNally, who was also framed, tortured
and jailed for the train robbery, finds her home under constant
Special Branch surveillance. This 'harassment of the prisoners
families, when added to the sufferings imposed as a result of the
policies of regime in Portlaoise must place the free state authorities
high up in the list of the world's most repressive regimes.
IRSP is organised on a thirty-two county basis with the aim of
establishing a 32 county Democratic Socialist Republic with the
working class in control of the means of production, distribution and
and addresses have been removed from the list below)