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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