the past 12 months I have attended a number of unveilings
initiated by the Republican Socialists Memorial Committee
and indeed must pay tribute to the sterling work they
have carried out to pay honour and tribute to the
dead volunteers of the INLA.
the memorials are the individual lives of the volunteers,
sadly short lives for many volunteers in the republican
struggles of the past 30 years never saw out their
allotted span of three score and ten years. Those
individual lives are important and need to be honoured
as indeed do those nearest and dearest to the volunteers.
For those left behind have memories, pain grief and
sorrow to haunt them. When one sees the pain, the
sadness that permeated peoples lives one can only
bow ones head in awe of the courage of the people
and comrades, brothers and sisters, it is indeed a
humbling honour to be asked to speak at this unveiling
to two brave Republican volunteers, - James McPhilemy,
killed in Action on 10 August 1988, Aged 20, McPhilemy
was part of a three-man team when he was killed in
action as he prepared to attack an army post at Clady,
had made himself vulnerable when he called out to
warn children in the area to get down as soldiers
opened fire and killed him. Alex Patterson, aged 31,
and a father of four was shot dead on 12 November
1990 by an SAS team who had staked out the house of
an Ulster Defence Regiment member near Victoria Bridge
Patterson's death was subject of an inquest in 1997,
highlighting another example of Britain's "shoot
to kill" policy when dealing with republican
is indeed a fitting monument in tribute. But it is
important to remember the reason why republican activists
died in struggle. I refer to all republican volunteers
regardless of whatever organisation they belong to
because I believe that whatever differences exist
between republicans we should all respect those who
fell in the struggle.
died that we could live in an independent Republic
free from British rule with the right to make our
are things that have affected the daily lives of everyone
Oppression, violence, repression, discrimination collusion
between loyalist death squads and the higher reaches
of the British Government, CS gas plastic bullets,
shoot to kill policies, a conveyor belt justice
system that denied justice; a refining of torture
techniques in Castlereagh; the tainted evidence of
the lowest of the low-the informer; the attempted
criminalisation of freedom fighters and revolutionaries;
murder gangs operating out of British Army barracks;
state sanctioned bombings of Dublin and Monaghan;
state files on every nationalist; and the demonising
and censoring of Republicans and so on and so on.
we wanted was equality, freedom justice and peace.
That our experience tells us is not something we can
get either under British rule or Stormont rule. We
believe that the struggle for a republic is the only
matter what anyone tells you Republicanism is a revolutionary
doctrine, it is a radical doctrine, it is a progressive
doctrine. Those of us here today who call ourselves
republicans wear that mantle of republicanism with
there is pride in participating in the struggle for
freedom. Those who we honour today played their part
in the struggle against Imperialism. W e had enough
of the cant and hypocrisy of the comfortable bourgeois
middle classes who preached passivity in the face
of violence, preached acceptance in the face of injustice,
preached resignation in the face of inequality. They
got on with making profits while the working classes
suffered. So Republicans took up arms and fought for
the liberation of their people. We honour those who
fell in battle.
times change. It has been clear for some time that
the vast majority of the Irish people favour Republicans
using peaceful methods of struggle. That has to be
respected for we all realise that different situations
require different methods of struggle. There are huge
social economic and political problems facing us all.
If these are to be tackled then we need Republicans
and Republican Socialists to throw their full wait
into the political struggle for our full emancipation.
the bottom line for the Republican Socialist movement
is that justice and the continued existence of the
six county state were mutually incompatible.
is clear to us that the only Republic worth fighting
and dying for was the Workers Republic of James Connolly.
We know that the social and national question was
are needed to day are independent minded individuals
able to ask awkward questions and see through the
fog of confusion, spin doctoring, censorship and bovine
like loyalty that today passes for politics. We reject
the latter and call on independent minded people to
join us and help renew the Republican dream.
we hear reference to mandates. Let me tell you something.
I need no mandate to oppose the injustice done to
Michael McKevitt. He was convicted on the word of
an informer in a non jury special court that republicans
have always opposed. I dont need to know what
Michael McKevitt has done or believes in. Nor do I
need to agree with his views. All I know is he was
stitched up by the State and we should oppose that.
I dont need a mandate to support the political
prisoners in Maghaberry. It is imperative that a united
stance is taken by all Republicans and I stress all,
in support of segregation. The IRSP fully support
the right of the Republican prisoners to segregation.
IRSP would like to see instead of the current divisions
between republicans a unified campaign. Disunity among
republican parties weakens the possibility of winning
the justified demands of the prisoners.
The IRSP are calling for the establishment of a broad
based committee comprising representatives of all
republican groups and other supporters to take up
the demand for segregation. The history of the H-
block mass struggles during the 81 hunger strikes
show what can be achieved by a unified campaign drawing
support from a wide base.
need no mandate to oppose Imperialism wherever we
find it. It is enough for injustice to exist for us
to organise to oppose it.
let me say clearly and without equivocation we, as
the Republican Socialist Movement cannot on our own
create the Republic. It can only be done by the support
participation and enthusiasm of the majority of people
on the island.
looked at the bourgeois republic that constitutes
the state power in the 26 counties one has to conclude
there is a long way to go to gain that support.
The stinking smelly of racism rises from the bowels
of this bourgeois corrupt state. Corrupt practices
reach to the very heart of the state. Drugs decimate
working class communities and workers are daily exploited
in the work places Trade unions rights are whittled
down and demoralisation and contempt for politics
spreads. Republicans and socialists talk glibly about
a fight-back but cannot even talk to each other.
emergence of various pressure groups from within the
republican traditions shows there is a ferment of
ideas taking place.
IRSP welcome that ferment. We should never be afraid
of debate and dialogue. We are prepared to talk to
anyone about the future development of the Republican
ideal but we will never desert our working class analysis.
Only a Republic that places the working class firmly
in control is worth the struggle.
appeal to all those radical sections of political
opinion, north and south, republican and socialist
to come together in the interests of the Irish working
class and at least begin to create some hope for the
parallel with an openness to others comrades this
leadership will continue to develop and consolidate
this movement. We are getting involved in class politics
and fighting for the rights of the class. But let
me re-iterate that problems in working class areas
cannot be dealt with by self appointed baseball bat
beaters. That is not the way to win people to revolutionary
politics. We need a clear class based response from
working class communities to the problems of crime
within the community.
revolutionary movement can last without clear politics
and based on a correct appreciation of the needs of
the people. Our function is to empower the working
class to achieve its own liberation. But we need to
be relevant to the needs of the working class. It
is not enough to slog anise. We must do.
Let me quote James Connolly, speaking about honouring
Tone at Bodenstown
is only right at the grave of Wolfe Tone for republicans
to pay homage but it also our duty to put our ideas,
policies and beliefs under the microscope and re-examine
what we stand for and see if we are doing things the
That quote from Irelands greatest socialist,
sums up the approach of the Republican Socialist Movement
to the politics of modern day Ireland. That is what
both the IRSP and the INLA have been doing over the
past nine years-re-evaluating, re-examining, and renewing
in the light of current realities our policies and
principles. Self-criticism is the lifeblood of any
movement and I can assure you that we will not have
in this movement any stifling of healthy dissent,
or suppression of other than leadership views. A healthy
democratic radical and socialist movement is the best
vehicle for the liberation of the working class. I
t is now time to build a working class movement in
Ireland that is class conscious socialist republican
and prepared to take on all the vested interests of
There are stirrings of dissent in many parts of the
world. We welcome that and stand with all the anti-imperialists
and socialists against oppression whether from USA
Imperialism or religious fundamentalism.
our fight, our struggle our battlefield is here in
Ireland. Our comrades our members our fighters are
everyday involved in the struggles of the Irish working
class. Wherever there is injustice so there should
be our comrades struggling against that injustice.
No republican no republican socialist should stand
idly be when injustice is done to any of our. class
short where every there is struggle that is where
the class-conscious militant and the members of this
movement should be. Forlike Larkin- like Connolly
-like Costello we preach the divine gospel
is the responsibility of every one of us here today
to make a a3 difference to our society. No one can
stand idly by while racism injustice poverty exploitation
and sectarianism predominate.
That was not the way Tone fought for a Republic in
his day, nor is it our way.
lift your ambition to the stars and help your class
claim their birth right full economic and political
liberation. No one is to o insignificant to play a
part. We here are all important. Titles and awards
mean nothing to us.
class nor man is our better. We are IRPS proud and
defiant. We spread the divine gospel of discontent.
We only want the earth and we will create a fitting
tribute to the long generations of working class radicals
like the two comrades we honour here today, who saw
a vision of a better Ireland and a better world.
t us build that better world together as a class united
to the Socialist Republic.
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