Gino Gallagher 1963-1996

Gino Gallagher was callously murdered by a hired assassin over 15 years ago on January 30th, 1996. Born Gino Majella Gallagher in 1963 to Irish Republican parents, his mother Theresa was a member of the first Ard-Chomhairle of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and his father, Patrick, had been on hunger and thirst strike in a Dutch prison protesting against extradition to Britain in the 1970’s.

Gino Gallagher 1963-1996

Contemporary IRSP activists and especially younger Irish Republican Socialists, who may not have known him owe much to Gino Gallagher, not least being that he is credited with refurbishing Costello House, the IRSPs national headquarters on Belfast’s Falls Road. At his insistence, Costello House was transformed from being a run-down, semi-derelict building into something resembling the working party offices that exist there today. Gino Gallagher, in his then role as IRSP POW spokesperson was responsible for obtaining the re-patriation of INLA prisoners from English gaols. He also was instrumental in forcing the NIO to agree to negotiating rights for the Irish Republican Socialist Party in relation to the INLA prisoners in Long Kesh.

Politician and Soldier, Soldier and Politician
Although a feared military operator, who at the time of his death was Chief of Staff of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) he was also a highly politicized Republican Socialist activist who embodied Ta Power’s doctrine of ‘every soldier a politician, every politician a soldier’. Gino Gallagher was instrumental in promoting the central tenets of Ta Power’s analysis and vision for the Republican Socialist Movement which stressed the primacy of politics. Gino Gallagher described Ta Power as, ‘the biggest influence in my life’ . Tragically, both men were to meet similar cruel ends, cut down by the Judas bullets of counter-revolutionaries.

Gino Gallagher was made INLA Chief of Staff following the arrest and subsequent expulsion of Hugh Torney and his associates when they declared an unauthorised INLA ceasefire from the dock of a Dublin courtroom in 1995, in return for a successful bail application after their arrest in Ballbriggan. By all accounts, Torney had been an a one-dimensional militarist, at best, and his tenure as INLA Chief of Staff was marked by his concerted attempts at running down the political wing, the IRSP. Torney would have resented Gino Gallagher’s reversal of the IRSP’s political fortunes and his drive to make the party the significant player it had once been.

Feared In Life and Death
Gino Gallagher was cruelly shot dead as he waited to sign-on at the Falls Road offices of the Social Security Agency, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, 1996. The assassin who the Torney cabal hired to murder one of the IRSM’s most able leaders was Kevin McAlorum, the career criminal son of an infamous North Belfast drugs dealer. Both Torney and McAlorum met violent ends, the former only 8 months later on 3 September 1996 and the hired assassin 8 years later on June 4th, 2004, by grim irony only the day after Gino Gallagher’s father’s funeral.

Even in death the forces of reaction feared and hated Gino Gallagher, heavily armed RUC and British army stormtroopers invaded the family home, disrupted the funeral procession and beat mourners. Gino Gallagher was buried in Milltown cemetery on 2 February, 1996, with the funeral oration delivered by IRSP Ard Chomhairle member, Michael McCormick, who paid tribute to his political activism and revolutionary zeal. The oration praised Gino Gallagher’s promotion of ‘open democratic discussion’ , his struggle against ‘elitist, militaristic and non-political attitudes in the movement’ and how he, through determined activism ‘along with others, revitalised the Republican Socialist Movement.’ Gino Gallagher’s funeral oration ended with the sentence:

“Finally, as we lay this Volunteer and Comrade ino the soft green soil
of his native land, remember him each time you gaze into the stars
and see there etched across the sky, the Plough and the Stars!”

Today, his cowardly killer and those who hired him have been dispatched to the dustbin of history but Gino Gallagher’s image is immortalised in murals and commemorative plaques in his native west Belfast. Though times have changed greatly since 1996, Gino Gallagher’s legacy lives on in a revitalised IRSP that has fully endorsed the primacy of politics and continues to represent the interests of working-class people.

Information Taken From: http://www.theworkersrepublic.com/irsm-leader-gino-gallagher-remembered.html

With many thanks to: Stephen Codd.

MI5 drone secrecy causes million-pound trial of Colin Duffy relatives to collapse

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Undercover MI5 Drone

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mi5-drone-secrecy-causes-million-pound-trial-colin-duffy-relatives-collapse-1525991

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Calling on MLAs to defend us against ‘work till you drop’ bill

Teachers in the North of Irerland are appalled by a ‘work till you drop’ culture and will fight plans to incrageease the pension age, writes Justin McCamphill

‘The NASUWT has been at the forefront of lobbying our MLAs to bring amendments to the bill in the interests of young and old, those in work and those unemployed.

Stormont isn’t working for Catholic, Protestant or dissenter

THE British government‘s dchancellor of the exchequergovernment’s, George Osborne, was full of self-congratulation when giving his autumn statement on December 5. The statement included new attacks on working people – in this case, attacks on the young, but encompassing everyone.

In particularly, the autumn statement also included attacks on the pensions of all working people. The state pension age was already due to increase to 68 in 2046, but the British coalation government has brought that forward by 10 years, meaning that people who are in their mid-forties now will not be able to take their state pension until they are 68. The Westminister Pensions Bill, which applies to the North of Ireland, also allows the British government to increase the pension age every five years if it wishes – and the British government has already announced that, if its plans stay on course, people in their thirties will have a pension age of 69 and people in their twenties will have one of 70.

My union, NASUWT, which is by far the largest teacher’s union in the North of Ireland, is appalled by the ‘work till you drop’ culture that is now the British government’s vision for the people of Britain and the North of Ireland. Increasing the pension age during a period of unemployment and the worst recession for decades is utter madness, as it reduces already scarce job vacancies as those in work are being forced to work for longer. The people of the North of Ireland have no control over the Westminster Pensions Bill, but they do have control over the Public Service Pensions Bill, which is due to begin the consideration stage in the assembly after CChristmas. The Public Service Pensions Bill equalises the normal pension age and the state pension age for the majority of public service workers in the North of Ireland, including teachers, health workers and civil servants. This means that young Northern Irish teachers can expect to have to work until they are 70 to receive their teacher’s pension – unless the bill is changed. The NASUWT has been at the forefront of lobbying our MLAs to bring amendments to the bill in the interests of the young and old, those in work and those who are unemployed. We call on our MLAs to stand up for all public service workers who dedicate their lives to serving the public. When assembly elections are next held we will be calling on our members to vote only for those MLAs who defend them.

With many thanks to: Justin McCamphill, NASUWT uunion’s NI junior vice president, writing for: The Irish News.

 

Belated truth on MRF proves that republican claims were right!!!

Letter which was published in today’s Irish News – Monday December 16 2013 – Martin Galvin, Bronx, New York.

FERGAL Hallahan was more right than he imagines (November 25) about the derision accorded anyone with the temerity to accuse Britain of deploying a Military Reaction Force (MRF) of plain-cloths British troopers who gunned down unarmed nationalists using non-military weapons.

British State Sponsored Murder

During my years as both editor of the Irish People weekly American newspaper and national director of Irish Northern Aid, I was tasked with presenting such facts to the American public and especially congressmen. The contention we republicans repeatedly made was that the crown had sent out the MRF and later wiped British fingerprints from their killings by shifting from the MRF to having the shots fired by loyalist proxies. This tactic had obvious advantages, including avoiding British army ccasualties like those inflicted by the IRA at the Four Square Laundry. It allowed the British plausible deniability. Collusion in murders carried out by loyalists could be denied outright and blamed on a cadre of crown force bad apples, no matter how much targeting intelligence, agent control or safe passage the British had supplied. Britain’s answer to these charges never changed. British officials would declare, self-righteously that “Her Majesty’s government” would never stoop to deploy such a unit. The British army ‘yellow card’ rules were sacrosanct, they scoffed and this code was rigorously applied whenever British troopers opened fire.

These sanctimonious British denials were believed by the public, politicians and journalists to the extent that this handpicked death squard remained largely unknown to the public. Panorama’s Britian’s Secret Terror Force proves that republicans were right about Britain’s deployment of a terror force, the MRF. It proves that those high-ranking British officials who denied that the crown would stoop to such tactics were either deliberately misled by the crown or deliberately misleading others on the crown’s behalf. Members of this British terror squad have no worries that they will face justice for killing unarmed Irish civilians like Daniel Rooney or Patrick McVeigh. They freely boast of their misdeeds, for the television cameras. Confident that they enjoy a selective immunity and impunity, not granted to republicians like Gerry McGeough, Seamus Kearney or John Downey.  We republicans were right about Britain’s tactical shift from the MRF terror force to doing their ‘dirty war’ work through loyalist proxies. Must we await another documentary before people face the facts about Britain’s complicity with loyalist killers in collusion murders?

With many thanks to: Martin Galvin.

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Below is a copy of the letter that was sent to all MSP’s by the James Connolly Society, Scotland.

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Seán Heuston Dublin 1916 Society

A chara,

On behalf of the 1916 Societies I request your support for our campaign to hold an All Ireland Referendum on Irish Unity. The people of Scotland will exercise their right to national self-determination in a constitutional referendum in September 2014 and we believe the people of Ireland have the same right to determine their constitutional future without outside interference or impediment.

Irrespective of their personal and political positions on independence Scottish parliamentarians have acknowledged the right of the people of Scotland to decide. We ask you to support the campaign to for the Irish peoples rights in this regard to be respected.

The 1916 Societies are Ireland’s fastest growing political movement. We have established Societies throughout Ireland, Australia, United States as well as Scotland. The 1916 Societies are an independent Irish Political Movement that looks upon the ideals and principals set out in the 1916 Proclamation as our significant point of reference.

The proposed Six County border poll under Britain’s Northern Ireland Act 1998 permits the Secretary of State (an English politician devoid of a single vote in Ireland) to determine:

when and if a poll may be called,

the wording of the poll and,

who qualifies to vote.

Even if passed the British parliament retains the final say on whether or not the result will be endorsed by the UK government.

We believe the core concept of Irish republicanism is that Irish constitutional authority derives from the Irish people and does not defer to laws or decrees emanating from London.

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising it is clear that Britain continues to refuse to recognise Ireland as one democratic unit and presumes that Westminster will define the parameters of Irish democracy.

Republicanism is a unifying concept based on interdependence as opposed to tribal commonality. The exceptional Republican leadership of 1916 knew that interdependence could only be nurtured within a national context and not a partitionist one. They were very specific about that in the Proclamation calling for a ‘National Government representative of the whole people of Ireland’ and declaring that the Republic must be,

‘…oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien Government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.’

A Six County poll legitimises the very mechanisms invented by Britain to harness these differences to British interests by endorsing the Unionist veto and accepting the artificial statelet that incubates and nurtures the sectarian dynamic in Irish politics.

The 1916 Proclamation for too long has been relegated to the status of a notional aspiration. The 1916 Societies wish to be part of a broad movement which reinstates the Proclamation of the Republic to its rightful place and its original intent as a template for action. In that spirit we respectfully request your endorsement of an All Ireland Referendum on Irish Unity. One Ireland – One Vote.

Is mise le meas,

Jim Slaven

DEAR SINN FEIN…….,

DONT VOTE FOR SINN FEIN "Traitors"

Cumann Sean MacEachaidh

Having abandoned the pledge to secure a 32 County Democratic Socialist Republic in pursuit of imperialist acceptance and parochial prestige you condemned the generations next to sectarian division.

By propagating the myth the Good Friday Agreement had the ability to deliver a United Ireland and refusing to concede that you had accepted the Union with Britain as the legitimate constitutional position you condemned the generations next to sectarian division.

Attempting to conceal your acceptance of the Union with Britain and thus your evolution in to a Unionist party you have engaged in a process of sectarian jesting with equally vile and contemptible Politicians from other Unionist parties. You have used symbolism to portray a Republican image and and secure Loyalist Reaction. You have done so to maintain an appropriate level of inter-communal mistrust and violence which is required to maintain the sectarian pact between the British War machine it’s Loyalist proxies and Constitutional Nationalism. In doing so you condemned the generations next to sectarian division.

On Monday morning Little children will make their way to school, their uniforms and little shoes but one week old and for some the ribbons in their hair still a novelty. They will be completely oblivious to the Red Hand Defenders threat that hangs over their heads.

We won’t because in all you have done you have done nothing but condemn the generations next to sectarian division.

RESIST BRITISH RULE IN IRELAND – FREEDOM STRUGGLE IN IRELAND

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Supporters of the Irish Republican Army

The present conflict in Ireland is a direct consequence of British colonial interference which has, for centuries, denied the Irish people their right to self-determination.

BACKGROUND:

Ever since the initial invasion in 1169, the British have attempted to assert their authority in Ireland in the face of Irish resistance. For more than a thousand years before the British invasion began, the Irish had an individual and highly developed cultural identity, a progressive legal system and established political structures. To undermine and control the Irish nation, the British had to rely on the classical imperialist tactics of “Divide and Rule” and colonisation.

In the early stages of its colonial conquest of Ireland the British introduced apartheid laws which prohibited social contact, including intermarriage, between the colonists and the Irish. This apartheid legislation failed in its objective, however, because the colonists were few in number and widely dispersed so that they could not long maintain their separateness. More than four centuries after their arrival, the British effectively ruled only a tiny area of Ireland around the present capital city of Dublin, and even this area was subjected to the ever present reality of Irish resistance. Elsewhere the colonists had, as history records, become more Irish than the Irish themselves.

Britain renewed and intensified its efforts to conquer Ireland in the years following the Protestant Reformation. Since the Irish people remained overwhelmingly Catholic, they were regarded as a potential threat by Protestant Britain, especially in the era of religious wars which erupted in 16th and 17th century Europe.

A more effective method of colonisation known as Plantation, was implemented on a systematic basis with large concentrations of British people being ‘planted’ in various parts of Ireland where they received land grants. This policy was applied with particular zeal and efficiency in the northern part of Ireland (Ulster) where Irish resistance to British rule was always strongest. Here, as elsewhere, the native Irish population was dispossessed of its land and forced to flee into mountainous and boggy countryside.

The purpose of the Plantation policy was to pacify Ireland and to stabilise it in the interests of the British Government by establishing an effective garrison. The Planters constituted that garrison and their continued loyalty to Britain was secured on the basis of the social, political and economic privileges which they were given and on the continued ability of the British Government to keep them divided from the native population.

While the Plantation strategy was generally effective in stabilising British control, it was not always so, and Irish resistance continued throughout the 17th century until military defeat, dispossession and a series of Penal Laws combined to stifle opposition to Britain. By the end of the 18th century, when the religious wars were a fading memory and a new spirit of radicalism and Republicanism was spreading, it appeared that Britain’s divide and rule policy in Ireland had come unstuck when a section of the Protestant population (descendants of the Planters) joined with their Catholic neighbours in demanding an Irish Republic. The United Irishmen, as they became known, rose in rebellion in 1798 but this rebellion was brutally suppressed by the British and their native allies.

Those allies included the majority of the Protestant population (many of whom were organised in a sectarian Masonic movement known as the Orange Order) and also an emerging middle-class

which included Catholic business people and the Catholic hierarchy. All of these saw their interests being guaranteed by continued British rule rather than in a separate Irish Republic which was pledged to justice and equality for all its citizens.

In the aftermath of the 1798 rebellion the British decided that their control could only be guaranteed through direct rule from London. An Act of Union was introduced which transferred the limited legislative powers of the colonial ascendancy to the British Parliament where the interests of Ireland and the Irish people were subjected to the demands of and increasingly powerful and ambitious imperialist power.

Throughout the 19th century as the demand for Irish freedom was raised, and even the demand for limited freedom within the British Empire, the British Establishment deliberately fomented sectarian divisions and, when it suited, they gave every encouragement to the Orange Order. The Catholic middle-class which developed throughout this period articulated the demand for limited freedom through constitutional methods but they did not want to break the link with Britain. The republican tradition of militant separatism continued to win support amongst the people of no property but a large part of this support base was obliterated in the Great Famine of the 1840’s and through continued emigration to Britain, the USA and Australia.

There were several armed uprisings throughout the century but even though they followed inn the republican tradition of the United Irishmen they failed to attract the same degree of popular support and were easily suppressed.

With the gradual extension of the franchise it became clear in the late 19th and 20th centuries that the limited independence of “Home Rule” would have to be conceded if the stability which Britain needed in Ireland was to continue. In Ulster, where the descendants of the Planters still constituted a privileged Unionist majority in favour of the union with Britain, a pro-British and sectarian armed force called the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was formed to resist the democratic demands of the Irish people as a whole. The British refused to move against this force and senior political and military figures encouraged its development.

By the early years of the present century a clear pattern had emerged between the major political forces in Ireland, a pattern which continues to this day, with the limited demands of constitutional nationalism being strenuously opposed by Unionists and qualified by British administrations anxious to ensure that their self-interest was defended. Two events combined to shatter that pattern, for a time at least; first was the outbreak of World War in 1914 which put the issue of Home Rule on the back-burner of British political considerations, and second was the decision by Irish separatist forces including the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army to take advantage of Britain’s involvement in a global conflict and to strike a blow for freedom in the ranks of a combined force called the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

On Easter Monday 1916 the Irish Republic was declared and a Provisional Government established in arms by the IRA. After a week of fighting which was largely confined to Dublin, the superior armed power of the British succeeded in crushing the rebellion.

The subsequent executions of the Republican leaders and the imprisonment of the rank-and-file was resented by ordinary Irish people. Many who had not supported the rebellion changed their

opinions and popular support for Irish separatism grew from a tiny fringe to a mass movement.

Repression breeds resistance and, as the British vainly tried to restore stability by force and the threat of force, a strengthened Republican Movement emerged from interment camps in Britain to be greeted as heroes at home. The resurgent spirit of separatism found its political expression in support for Sinn Fein and its militant vanguard in the ranks of the IRA.

Evidence that Britain would continue to ignore the democratic will of the Irish people was provided by the general election of 1918 which saw Sinn Fein emerge with a massive majority of the

Irish seats, and more than enough to justify the establishment of an Irish Parliament, called Dail Eireann, independent of Britain. Instead of accepting the democratic decision of the electorate, the British tried to suppress Dail Eireann and jailed many of its elected members. Faced with British violence, the IRA fought a guerilla campaign between 1919 and 1921 which eventually forced Britain to the negotiating table.

The outcome of those negotiations had, to some extent, been decided by the British a year earlier with the creation of the Northern Ireland statelet. This statelet was established on the basis of a sectarian headcount which created an artificial majority comprising the privileged Unionist/pro-British population which was concentrated in that area. These were given their own devolved structure of government in return for their continued service as a strategically important British garrison.

The delegation which conducted the negotiations with the British agreed to a set of proposals contained in a Treaty. These proposals fell far short of the Republic declared in 1916 and established by the popular will of the Irish people in 1918. The Treaty established two states in Ireland, one a neo-colonial Free State still tied politically and economically to Britain but with the trappings of freedom; the other was the colonial Northern Ireland statelet.

Supported by the most reactionary elements of Irish society including the Unionists, the Catholic hierarchy and major commercial interests (none of whom had ever supported the struggle for freedom) the Treaty was forced on the Irish people under threat of “immediate and terrible war”. An emerging Free State Government which had British backing set about crushing

Republican opposition to the deal. Civil war ensued but the Republican forces which had tried desperately to avoid war were quickly defeated by the increasingly well-armed and ruthless army of the Treaty supporters.

Successive Free State governments have, since the creation of their state, claimed that the re-unification of Ireland is their primary political objective. Apart from verbalising on the issue, however, they have done nothing to achieve re-unification. On the contrary Dublin based governments have from the beginning contributed to the growth of partitionist attitudes within their own state by encouraging the development of a Catholic ethos rather than that the non-sectarian pluralism of Irish Republicanism. In this and in the declaration of a nominal Republic in 1949 they have shown that their real aim is to maintain the status-quo. This is confirmed by the efforts of those governments to undermine and defeat Republican campaigns against the Northern Ireland statelet, efforts which have included continuous emergency legislation since 1939, the use of internment and active collaboration with the British authorities including the extradition of Republican activists.

With the guarantee of British support for their position, Northern Unionists set about building their statelet on the basis of political, social and economic privileges for their own artificial majority at the expense of the equally artificial anti-Unionist minority. For nearly 50 years of unbroken Unionist rule from the Stormont parliament outside Belfast, northern Catholics were forced to endure blatant discrimination in the allocation of jobs and houses. In areas of local government administration where anti-Unionists were in an electoral majority, a system of electoral rigging known as Gerrymandering was introduced to turn those majorities into minorities.

A wide range of repressive laws which were the envy of the apartheid regime in South Africa, were enforced by vindictive and puritanical Stormomt administrations while the colonial Government in Britain (whether Conservative or Labour) simply ignored what was happening in the North of Ireland.

In every decade of Stormont rule the IRA launched military campaigns of varying intensity against the Northern state but without success. The absence of a radical political leadership within the anti-Unionist population meant that popular support for a sustained campaign of armed struggle could not be mobilised.

Following the emergence of a Civil Rights Movement for blacks in the USA in the mid-1960s, however, a similar movement grew within anti-Unionist areas of the Northern state. As this movement’s campaign of peaceful street protest gained momentum in the late 1960s, the full force of the state repression was used to crush it. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), a sectarian and paramilitary police force, and its equally sectarian reserve force, the B Specials, were deployed by the Stormont Government to beat Civil Rights’ marchers off the streets.

British troops were sent to Ireland in 1969, ostensibly to act as impartial mediators but in reality to lend support to the battle weary RUC and B Specials and to restore British control. As these troops adopted a progressively pro-Unionist stance it became increasingly clear to a growing number of anti-Unionists that the institutional injustices which had prompted the Civil Rights’ Campaign were merely symptoms of a deeper rooted injustice – the very existence of the Northern Ireland statelet. Many people concluded that peaceful and democratic methods could never radically alter the nature of the state which was established and sustained by violent and anti-democratic methods. For them it became clear that the solution lay in dismantling the state, ending British rule and re-uniting Ireland.

The IRA re-emerged, in a defensive capacity at first, following a series of pogroms which were directed against anti-Unionist areas of Belfast and other urban centres. Confronted by Unionist opposition to even the limited reforms demanded by the Civil Rights’ Movement and faced with violence by the official state forces as well as unofficial pro-British forces, the popular resistance campaign quickly evolved into a revolutionary struggle for self-determination. This revolution, which continues to this day, is fought on many levels, both political, cultural and social, and is spearheaded by the armed struggle of the IRA whose actions are directed against the clearly perceived forces of British rule and against the political and economic forces which sustain that rule.

British policy throughout this revolutionary struggle has been aimed at defeating Irish Republicanism, thereby restoring the stability which is necessary for them to re-assert effective control. Believing that this could be achieved through a strategy of counter-insurgency similar to the strategies employed in other colonies such as Cyprus, Kenya and Malaysia, the British tried to crush revolution by introducing internment and saturating towns and countryside with soldiers.

This ‘mailed fist’ approach failed to defeat the IRA but it did have the effect of ending the mass street demonstrations of the Civil Rights’ Campaign as rubber, plastic and even lead bullets were used to disperse such demonstrations. In the absence of massive street demonstrations it became increasingly difficult to quantify the level of support which the revolution enjoyed. Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Movement, had no positive electoral role as its activities were mainly confined to protest activities. Without any evidence of demonstrable popular support for Republicanism, a second phase of the British counter-insurgency campaign began. This was based on isolating and criminalising the revolution.

The RUC took over the front line role of the British army to convey the impression that the conflict was merely a political problem. Alongside this, internment and political status were phased out and a specially designed judicial and penal system was introduced to criminalise Republican activists.

The prisoners resisted criminalisation, however, and it was their heroic protest campaign between September 1976 and the Hunger Strikes of 1981 which undermined the British strategy and

mobilised national and international interest in the Irish struggle.

Against all the odds, the IRA survived the black period from the mid to the late 1970s when torture centres and special Diplock Courts were used to rail road people into jail and the media was used to implement the policy of isolating Republicans. A re-organised and increasingly politicised IRA, committed to maintaining the armed struggle as long as necessary, emerged in the 1980s.

Like the IRA, Sinn Fein learned lessons from this period, especially the need to develop an effective political strategy which would complement the armed struggle, counter further attempts to isolate Republicanism and lay the basis for the political, cultural and economic re-conquest of Ireland.

It has been the development of Sinn Fein as an electoral force throughout Ireland (presenting a radical alternative to both the colonial and neo-colonial administrations) and the continued ability of the IRA to challenge the British presence which led to the latest counter-insurgency strategy – the Hillsborough Agreement.

This strategy attempts to undermine the Republican struggle by encouraging the middle class within the anti-Unionist population to accept and support the constitutional status-quo and British repressive measures. In return the anti-Unionists were promised reforms which, it was claimed, would give them equal status in the Northern Ireland statelet.

More than a year after the Hillsborough Agreement was signed the promised reforms had still not been delivered and, far from an improvement, the anti-Unionist population had found that their situation had deteriorated. The British were still clearly unwilling to introduce even minimal reform, in the face of almost unanimous Unionist opposition to an agreement which they regarded as a threat to their privileged position.

To a large extent the Unionist campaign of opposition to the agreement had obscured the fact that the central purpose of the strategy – the defeat of Republicanism – had been totally unsuccessful. Popular support for the Republican position had not been eroded, as intended, because after 17 years of constant struggle and 800 years of similar British strategies, a growing number of Irish people recognise that there can be neither peace nor justice until Britain, the source of violence, injustice and divisions, allows the Irish people, both natives and

colonists, the right to determine their own future as equals in a united and sovereign Ireland.

“The most powerful foe of labour is capitalistic imperialism, and in Great Britain capitalistic imperialism stands or falls by the subjection or liberation of Ireland.” – Erskine Childers

For centuries the people of Ireland have fought for the right to decide their own destiny free from external interference. The history of Ireland has been largely defined by that struggle, as generation has followed generation in a never-ending wave of resistance to British imperialism.

For more than two centuries that resistance has been intrinsically linked to the establishment of an Irish Republic. And for more than a century Irish revolutionaries have understood that that republic must be socialist in nature if it is to deliver not only national but also economic and social freedom.

In the global battle against twenty-first century imperialism the only logical place for Irish progressives to channel their energies is in the building of popular support for Irish democracy and by extension, popular resistance to British rule.

By defeating British imperialism on its own doorstep the people of Ireland could contribute a devastating hammer blow against tyranny in the global struggle for freedom and justice.

The most effective way to oppose British imperialism in Ireland today is through the building a grass-roots anti-imperialist mass movement; the objective of which should be nothing short of a total British military, political and economic withdrawal from Ireland.

“They think they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think they have foreseen everything, think that they provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! – they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”. – Padraig Pearse…