Ireland

The replacement of the old Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) with the PSNI has received the support of Sinn Fein leaders. This has opened up a heated debate among Republicans on whether this is acceptable or not. Here we provide three articles written by comrades of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, where they explain why Republican socialists cannot accept such a force.

Twenty five years ago British imperialism demonstrated its cold, calculating cruelty in the face of Irish Republican prisoners who felt they had no alternative but to make the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle for political rights, embarking on a hunger strike that would tragically end with their deaths. Gerry Ruddy of the Irish Republican Socialist Party has sent us an excellent and intimate analysis of those events, highlighting the need to build a revolutionary movement based on Marxism and rooted in the working class across all boundaries. Read the article on the Socialist Appeal website.

This latest of Ken Loach’s films is well crafted and well thought. It has been thoroughly researched and really gets under the surface of the processes and the events that helped shape the current situation on the island of Ireland.

“We urge all republicans to turn towards the working class movements, get active in the unions, and raise issues that while relevant to the immediate interests of working also form a bridge towards more radical and revolutionary demands.” We reproduce the editorial from the latest e-mail newsletter The Plough (Volume 3, Number 25, 14 June 2006) of the IRSP. We have their kind permission to reproduce it.

The recent announcement that the Provisional IRA had decommissioned all its weapons has been drowned out by the blasts of the loyalist paramilitaries using theirs. The Good Friday Agreement is dead. Instead of peace we have a dramatic increase in extreme sectarian violence. More than ever the call for working class unity in the struggle for socialism is the only answer.

The recent declaration by the leadership of the Provisional IRA that the armed struggle is over has been reported in the media as an historic turning point and a fundamental departure in Irish politics. In spite of the rhetoric, however, there has not been one single step in the direction of a united Ireland. At least a section of the Provisional Republican movement will now be feeling demoralised and betrayed. They and many others, especially the young people who have just started to become involved in politics, will want to know - what next?

We are publishing here a speech given by Phil Mitchinson at the recent international Marxist school in Barcelona. Dealing with the history of the centuries old struggle for freedom in Ireland, and the part played in that history by republicanism and socialism, as well as the political developments that have led to the current impasse, this should serve as an introduction to a major article analysing the recent declaration of the end of the armed struggle by the Provisional IRA which we will be publishing later this week.
Ireland: Republicanism and Revolution

The signing of the Good Friday Agreement and the subsequent ceasefire of the IRA after 30 years raises the question: after so much sacrifice and bloodshed, what has been achieved? Yet this question is being studiously avoided by the leaders of Sinn Fein, who have exchanged the armed struggle for the hope of a minister's portfolio. Though they publicly deny it, the unification of Ireland is off the agenda. The strategy, methods and tactics of non-socialist Republicanism have ended in complete disaster.

After reading the recent report of the visit to the Basque country by leading members of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, and the introduction contributed to Alan Woods’ book Republicanism and Revolution by the IRSP’s Gerry Ruddy, there is a widespread interest in finding out more about the political ideas of the IRSP. Therefore we are publishing the following speech, delivered by IRSP member John Murtagh to a gathering of 200 members of the Republican Socialist Movement at Bodenstown, the burial place of the founding father of Irish Republicanism, Wolfe Tone.

Ezker Marxista and El Militante organised a speaking tour last week throughout the Basque Country, with Gerry Rudy and Danny of the IRSP (Irish Republican Socialist Party) speaking in many Basque working class neighbourhoods, drawing the lessons of the experiences in Ireland and linking these to the struggle for national liberation of the Basque Country. The common thread was the need for the organised working class to take a lead in the struggle and link it to a socialist perspective.


He who does not learn from history will forever be doomed to repeat it. It is time to take stock of the past of the Republican movement and to draw a balance sheet. Only by such means can we extricate ourselves from the present impasse, and build the revolutionary movement urgently needed to prevent a further descent into sectarian chaos and achieve instead the historic task of overthrowing capitalism and constructing the 32-county Socialist Republic. This is the introduction to the recently published book Ireland: Republicanism and Revolution, to be ordered from Wellred...

The message of this book is that the destiny of Ireland is a Workers’ Republic, a free Republic without landlords, bankers and capitalists. It is a message of hope, of confidence in the future of Ireland, the working class and socialism. It is non-sectarian equally addressed to all thinking people from different backgrounds, but especially to the cadres and the youth of the Republican movement, who have paid a very heavy price for the last thirty years and who are now seeking explanations.


In April a new book by Alan Woods is being published by Wellred Books. The title of the book is “Ireland: Republicanism and Revolution”. It looks at the history of the Republican movement from a Marxist viewpoint. Gerry Ruddy, Ard-Comhairle member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, has written a preface to the book, which we provide here. As he says, “Hopefully, it will stimulate debate and analysis. Serious revolutionaries, genuine Marxists, committed Republicans will read this book with thoughtful interest.”

In Southern Ireland the economic miracle is well and truly over. As we have predicted and explained for some time now, the Celtic Tiger phenomenon did not mean that capitalism had solved any of its contradictions. Now in the context of a declining world market the only road open to the bosses to protect their profits will be an assault on workers living standards.


A remarkable document written by a Republican Socialist, Ta Power, while in gaol in Ireland in the mid-Eighties. The significance of the conclusions drawn by this young thinker and fighter, who made a careful study of Marxism whilst imprisoned, will not be lost on our readers. Above all the demand that politics and ideology must play the central role in the struggle for national liberation and socialism, in the building of a revolutionary party of the working class, will come as a surprise to many, especially knowing the period and the circumstances in which this document was written. With an introduction by Gerry Ruddy.