The devolved assembly at Stormont was suspended for the fourth time six months ago in October 2002. Now Blair, Ahern, Adams and Trimble are attempting to raise it from its coffin once more. Democracy, or what passes for it in Belfast, can be switched on and off like a tap it seems. The Stormont assembly represents not an attempt to solve the problems facing ordinary working people, but a scheme to share power between representatives of the main sectarian parties.

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.

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.

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