Ireland has been hit hard by the credit crunch. The country has gone from one of the highest rates of growth to bust. The government is being forced to intervene with guarantees, but as could be expected they are aimed at sustaining the rich not the ordinary working people.

We publish the recent editorial of The Plough, which stresses the need to adopt the Marxist method and approach within the Irish republican movement, to raise the class issues at the same time as struggling for a solution to the national question, one being inextricably linked to the other.

An interesting comment, that appeared in the recent edition of The Plough, on the present state of the Irish economy, north and south of the border.

In spite of all the main parties, big business, the media and even most of the trade union leaders campaigning for a "yes" vote in yesterday's referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, the "No" won the day. This was a slap in the face for the Irish government and the European Union bosses.

Ireland, after a long period of economic boom, is now feeling the effects of the worldwide slowdown. Some have made big money, but at the other end of the social spectrum there are many who have lost out. Now is the time to raise the banner of genuine socialism within the Republican movement and the working class as a whole.

In looking back at the Good Friday Agreement, Gerry Ruddy points out that it has served to stabilise British rule in the North as Sinn Fein has been absorbed into the establishment. In this situation he stresses the need for republican socialists to focus on working class and socialist policies.

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