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Costello Commemoration 2003

The Following is the text of a speech delivered at 3 PM Sunday October the fifth 2003 by IRSP Ard Comhairle member Paul Little in Bray Co. Wicklow at the annual Seamus Costello commemoration in Bray Cemetery. Costello, the founder of both the IRSP and INLA was murdered by the Official IRA in Dublin on October the fifth 1977.
Paul Little, IRSP • 6.10.03

Comrades and friends we gather here in Bray today to not only remember our founder and political visionary - Seamus Costello - but also to celebrate the political legacy that he left to us, the Irish Republican Socialist Party and Republican Socialism.

Over the past few years former INLA prisoners, many who are here today, through Teach Na Failte have embarked on a program of erecting suitable memorials to our fallen comrades across the country. That work is ongoing and will continue until all are recognised for what they were - Republican Socialists, Soldiers in a volunteer revolutionary army that fought with great courage the mercenary forces of British and international imperialism.

Over the past few years the INLA whilst adhering to its ceasefire has had to take defensive measures in defence of the Irish working class which has come under attack from the reactionary sectarian campaign of loyalists. The INLA whilst not relishing this role will not leave vulnerable working class communities unarmed or undefended.

We salute the courage of each and every man and woman who makes a contribution to the struggle!

Today the IRSP has to face into the struggle for a socialist republic based on democratic principles, equipped with the integrity of republican socialist politics. This alongside our determination to achieve Irish freedom, full social equality for all, and self government are the arms required for today's struggle. The political conditions not only in Ireland but also internationally in 2003 demand that our response is measured and tailored to achieve victory, not wallowing in a self righteous Indigence, engaged in a fruitless armed campaign that our enemies long ago learned how to minimise and negate.

Times and conditions change, that the Republican Socialist Movement moved with those times and conditions is a political imperative. We serve notice on our opponents today - In armed struggle the RSM was tenacious, determined, ingenious and confident. In peace, we are equally tenacious, determined, ingenious and confident. These were the attributes of Seamus Costello and we are proud to have inherited them.

Whilst the political conditions and the combined will of the Irish people expressed in 1998 demand that we use only peaceful methods it would be wrong for our opponents to see this as a defeat or weakening of republican socialism.

We listened to the combined wishes of the Irish people which is more than the current Irish government did when it enabled the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. An invasion that has led to the decimation of the Iraqi people and the plundering of their countries collective wealth, all to satisfy the lust of Anglo American capitalism.

We listen to the Irish people in regard to the morality of war not George Bush, Tony Blair or Bertie Ahearn. Hypocrites one and all. Unlike them we have no fear of peaceful political struggle or democratic principles, indeed, armed with republican Socialist politics it is our strength and we look forward with confidence to the future. The question is-Can they cope with a confident and successful republican socialist program without resorting to their old trusted methods of subjugation, oppression, exploitation and marginalisation? We shall see!

The IRSP are determined to present a real choice to the Irish working class, the choice between social equality and prosperity for all and the present class system which condemns millions to poverty and misery with the crumbs off the table of the greedy. Have no doubt comrades we do not only want the loaf of bread but we mean to take the entire bakery. The demolition of the of capitalism, exploitation and the class system was and is our aim!

Our opposition to the Good Friday Agreement is well documented and the present bartering of democratic institutions against long silent provo weapons is but the latest example of the failure of real politics in the failed entity that is the north. If the current batch of wannabe ‘statesmen and women’ that represent ‘politics’ in Ireland represent the future then god help the Irish working class. Sure we know they can talk the talk but precious few if any know how to take a single step.

We recognise the new political climate that the agreement has created. It has created space and room for dialogue that in the end can only be for the common good.

We also recognise the bad, whilst the creation of sectarianism cannot be laid at its door its rapid development throughout society as a whole in the north cannot and should not be ignored. Sectarianism is through society as a whole but its violent manifestation has maximum effect in working class communities and is the cause of much secondary discrimination in the areas such as employment, housing, education and health provision. In north belfast there is housing crisis for the catholic community. The statutory social housing provider the housing executive if it was honest would admit that it has no real strategy to combat this discrimination in housing provision, it cannot even get the language correct it calls North Belfast ‘an area of high housing need’ no its not, its an area of poor social housing provision because of sectarianism. The IRSP are extremely concerned at secondary discrimination and its effects on securing a peaceful future for all. We do not remember any exclusion clauses in the good friday agreement and if any people deserve peace it is the good people of North Belfast, an area in which one quarter of all the deaths in the conflict lost their lives in one square mile. In Coleraine this week a Catholic family was forcefully evicted from their home of twenty years after having the audacity to fly a Tyrone GAA flag in celebration of that counties success at Croke Pairc last Sunday. For this they had their windows smashed and volley of shots fired into the house, they are now housed elsewhere the local media inform us. nobody asks why? anymore, it is easier to brush it under the carpet and try and get the big house up in Stormont working. Well, we in the IRSP are asking not only why but what the hell are they going to do about it! The current wave of attacks on schools and school children across the north is abhorrent and we call on them to cease immediately. Only the cause of sectarian hatred is promoted by these attacks.

Across the country IRSP personnel are involved in working class issues that have real effect on ordinary peoples lives from the campaign against the introduction of a ‘bin tax’ in the South to the campaign against the introduction of water charges in the north you will find the IRSP. We commend socialist TD Joe Higgins for his principled stance on the “Bin Tax”, but one can but wonder if he would have been sent to prison if he held an offshore bank account! Lying, corruption, bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion all seem to be the passport to power in Ireland under the Celtic Tiger.

The IRSP are also to be found in the trade unions, the community associations and in every working class issue you will find an Irp. Not bad for a group of people that our enemies had written off as social misfits, profiteers, psychotic murderers and a rag taggle band of braggarts whose only concern is personnel gain. I know of no current Irp who has profited from their membership of this organisation, Indeed personal sacrifice for the collective good has always been our way and so it shall remain.

Seamus Costello founded the RSM, a volunteer army and a subscription based political party, The IRSP is self funded, we are not in the pocket of any self interest group or foreign government. We are what we say we are — a working class political party, we serve no other interests only those of the Irish working class.

Those who see the lack of personal ambition of individual members of the IRSP for the baubles and titles of ‘Western democracy’ as a weakness in our movement are wrong once again, It is our strength. We remain uncorrupted by the lure of the easy life paid for by the honest toil of others. Whilst we may not lust after the ‘Baubles and titles’ we do possess a collective ambition and determination that by far out strips any personnel ambition. Republican Socialism represents the opportunity for the maximum amount of personal freedom within a collective responsibility.

Like our founder and the man we remember here today Seamus Costello, the only title that we crave is that of all free workers in a free society, the highest accolade of all, that of - Comrade citizen! Comrades we have much work to do, go out and preach the blessed gospel of discontent! Organise - Onwards to victory.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
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Index: Current Articles

6 October 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Tangled Times
Eamon McCann


Heroes and Villains
Tommy Gorman


Who Was Responsible?
Michael Kearney


Costello Commemoration
Paul Little


Uncharted Waters
Anthony McIntyre


Date Change: Anti Racist Network Meeting
Davy Carlin


Coming Soon to the United States?
Toni Solo


3 October 2003


The Rite of Passage
Anthony McIntyre


32 CSM Condemn Abduction of its members
Andy Martin


Irish Republicanism As I See It
Thomas Gore


A Question of Class
Davy Carlin


It All Leads Back to This
Mick Hall


I Dreamt I Saw Joe H Last Night
Anthony McIntyre


Tail Biting Prohibited
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain




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