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Before yesterdayThe Workers' Party of Ireland

Solidarity with Cuba on US attempts to implement Title III of the Helms Burton Act

By admin

The Workers Party of Ireland condemns the recent declaration by the US government announcing severe economic sanctions against Cuba. After the Cuban Revolution the US National Security Council (NSC) considered means to overthrow the Revolution and to reverse its gains, including terrorism against Cuba and its citizens and economic, commercial, and financial restrictions on the country. The US blockade against Cuba, first introduced in 1962, already constitutes the longest economic sanctions against any country in history. It has been reinforced by several amendments and together with a host of other severe legislative measures it has been designed to expand the economic war against Cuba with the aim of overthrowing the Cuban government and reversing the achievements of the Revolution. Now, the aggressive imperialist US has confirmed that the US government will fully implement Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, allowing Cuban Americans to sue foreign companies with investments in any property nationalised after the Cuban Revolution in 1959.


The Helms-Burton Act which the US President, Bill Clinton, signed in March 1996 tightened and codified the US embargo against Cuba which had been designed to damage the Cuban economy and to harm the lives and living standards of the citizens of Cuba. This measure sought to massively extend and strengthen the US embargo against Cuba and to internationalise the illegal blockade by expanding the territorial application of the initial embargo to apply to foreign companies trading with Cuba by allowing the US to extend sanctions and threats to other states. Title III of the Act provides for a private cause of action and authorises US nationals with claims to “confiscated property” in Cuba to file proceedings in US courts against persons that may be “trafficking” in that property.


For 23 years Title III of the Helms Burton Act had been suspended as a result of opposition from foreign governments. Now the US has stepped up its aggression against Cuba and, as in its attacks on Venezuela, is attempting to change the government and political and social system in Cuba by tightening the economic, commercial and financial blockade. This is an attack on the sovereignty of Cuba and other states engaged in trade with Cuba, aimed at depriving Cuba of the resources it requires to provide for its people and for its socio-economic development.


It is significant that this announcement took place at a time when revolutionaries across the world celebrate the great defeat of US imperialism in Latin America at Playa Girón or the Bay of Pigs when the Cuban people defeated the US-led mercenary invasion in 1961.


This announcement by the US is contrary to the provisions of both Cuban and international law. Law 80 of Reaffirmation of Cuban Dignity and Sovereignty, approved by the National Assembly of People’s Power, declared that the anti-Cuba legislation is illegal, inapplicable and lacks any legal value or effect. The United Nations General Assembly has on numerous occasions resolved, by overwhelming majority, in favour of respect for international law and compliance with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter in relation to the illegal US embargo against Cuba.


These new measures are a further act of aggression designed to increase the threats and to deter foreign investment in Cuba and deprive the country of much needed resources.


The unjust and criminal blockade/embargo against Cuba must immediately end.
The Workers Party demands that the Irish government denounces this current threat and supports those who wish to positively engage with Cuba. It must recognise the right of Cuba to develop the full potential of its economy and its people and to engage in economic, trade and financial relations with the rest of the world.


The Workers Party will continue to stand in solidarity with Cuba, the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban people against US aggression.
Socialist Cuba will not surrender and will not be defeated.


Gerry Grainger

International Secretary

Workers Party of Ireland

April 2019

Solidarity message to the Communist Party of the Workers of Spain

By admin

SOLIDARITY MESSAGE FROM THE WORKERS PARTY OF IRELAND TO THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE WORKERS OF SPAIN FOR THE SPANISH GENERAL ELECTION


Dear comrades,
The Workers Party of Ireland sends warm comradely greetings and solidarity to the Communist Party of the Workers of Spain (PCTE) and wishes the PCTE success in the general election taking place in Spain on 28th April 2019.

The PCTE, a sister party of the Workers’ Party of Ireland in the European Communist Initiative, is participating in this election on a clear class basis under the slogan “For one country for the working class”. The PCTE is contesting this election demanding, as part of a comprehensive programme, full employment and decent working conditions in all sectors; decent housing; universal health and education, exclusively public and free; defence of public services; industry that guarantees the country’s industrial and energy sovereignty and a network of social services that provides for the needs of all.

The PCTE in its programme, through its work and by its unflinching commitment to securing power for the working class, exposes the nature of capitalist exploitation and imperialist barbarity and the reactionary role of NATO and the EU. The Workers Party of Ireland sends best wishes for success to all the Communist candidates and to the Secretary General of the PCTE, Ástor García, for Sunday’s election.

Gerry Grainger

International Secretary

Workers Party of Ireland

April 2019

Bodenstown Oration 1973

By admin

The following oration was given by Sinn Féin (Official) Ard Comhairle member Billy McMillen at the Party’s Wolfe Tone commemoration in June 1973, in the early stages of the party’s transition from Sinn Féin to the Workers’ Party.

Bodenstown Oration 1973

A Chomrádaithe,

“It is well to remember that nations which submit to conquest or races which abandon their language in favour of that of an oppressor do so, not because of altruistic motives, or because of a love of brotherhood of man, but from a slavish and cringing spirit, from a spirit which cannot exist side by side with the revolutionary idea.”

Dúirt an Conghaileach na focla seo 70 blian ó shoin nuair a d‘athain sé go raibh na Gaeil ag treigbheail an tuirlis a bhfearr a bhí acu le troid in aghaidh impiriúlachas Shasana. D‘athain sé fosta go raibh slánú na Gaeilge fighte fuaite le slánú na ndaoine nuair a duirt sé le Gluaiseacht na Gaeilge san am: “Ní féidir Gaeilge a theagasc do dhaoine ocracha agus seanfar  saibhreas ar litriocht náisiúnta ar sclábhaithe bochta atá daortha ag an gCoras Sóisialta atá againn le bheith streachailt ó dhubh go dubh ar mhaith le paighe mioful gortach  —  Dá  bhrí sin deirim lenár gcomrádaithe i ngluaiseacht na Gaeilge — cuidaí finn saol saor sona iomlán a bhaint amach dar ncois mhuintir agus ansin beidh an bealach reidh do threithre uaisle ar aicne fás agus teacht i meadaíocht”.

Ach is beag a thug aird ar an gConghaileach — threig gluaiseacht na Gaeilge an choismhuintir agus dfheoigh siad i measulacht, d‘a barr. Ghreamaigh siad den ‘ascendancy’ úr a dfhás ar mhaithe le lucht gaimbín agus thacht siad sin an beatha astu. Siad Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael agus Pairtí Lucht Oibre searbhontaí an lucht gaimbín sin agus is dearg-namhaid duinne-lucht labhartha na Gaeilge-iad. Níl de dhifríocht eatorra ach dath a gcuid leinteacha agus suibheacht a bhfuath don chultúr Gaelach.

“We recognise” adeir an Conghaileach “that those who drop Irish in favour of English are generally actuated by the meanest of motives and are lickspittles desirous of aping the gentry.” Ná creid focal ona boic sin a rinne striopaigh an lucht gaimbin diobhtha fhein fiú má i nGaeilge fein a labhrann siad faoi shlánú na Gaeilge— ciathfidh siad a radh gur ar shon na Gaeilge ata siad nó caillfidh siad tacaiocht mor chuid den choismhuintir nar chaill a gcreidiuint i dtabhacht na Gaeilge da n-aindeoin.

Mar sin deirim libhse Gaeilgeoirí na tíre seo smaointu oraibh féin agus smaointiú ar fhuascailt na ceiste seo: An feidir an Cultúr Gaelach a shlánú agus beith neamartach i gcoimhlint na ndaoine in aghaidh na rachmasoiri? Deirimse libh nach feidir — tá slánú agus fuascailt na ndaoine fighte fuaite Ie slánú na teanga agus nuair a cuirtear deighilt eatorra, mar atá deanta ag Gluaiseacht na Gaeilge le fada, is tú namhad an choismhuintir agus is tú namhad na Gaeilge cé bith acu fios duit é no nach fios. Is le coismhuintir iomlan na tíre seo, Protastúnach, agus Caitiliceach an Cultúr Gaelach agus ní leis an mean-aicme feoighte a rinne rud tóir tirim gan beatha as an athbheochan.

Sé do dhualgas a bheith do reabhloidí Sóisialach.

“Caithfidh tú“ mar aduirt Mairtín O‘Cadhain, a bheith pairteach nó feidhmuil feasta i gcoimhlint mhuintir na hEireann le cuspóiri Fhoruagra na Casca a thabhairt i gcríoch. Seo i Athghabhai  na hEireann,  An Reabhlóid, reabhlóid intinne agus reabhlóid anamna, reabhlóid i gcursaí maoine, seilbhe agus maireachtala, maireactail mar Ghaeil leis na rudaí is dual duinn mar Ghaeil”.

Mar sin a Ghaelgeoiri na tíre seo is le Gluaiseacht na Poblachta a ba chóir diobh tapu — sé athghabhail na hEireann atá sinne an Sabhail ina cheann — Reabhlóid lomlan — ní athrú maistrí. “Bíodh an Ghaeilge ag stiuriú na reabhlóide, ar an gcaoi seo bíodh an Ghaeilge ar na smaointe is forasai in Éirinn” adeir an Cadhanach. “Sí an Ghaeilge Athghabhail na hÉireann agus sí Athghabhail na hÉireann slúnú na Gaeilge. Sí teanga na muintir a shlanos an mhuintir”.

Tiocfiodh an Sóisialachas i réim in Éirinn luath no mall ach tá an chontúirt ann gur ro-mhall a thiocfas sé ó thaobh an chultúr Gaelach do má leannann doini den tuairim go bhfuil se ceart go leor Athbheochan na Gaeilge a fhágáil ar leataobh go mbeidh an  Reabhlóid  thart. Gan an Ghaeilge ní reabhlóid a bheas againn ach coscairt corais agus muna ndéanann muid gníomh fiúntach anois leis an Ghaeltacht a shlanú marofai lucht gaimbín na tíre seo í.

“Siad muintir na Gaeltachta an aicme is direoile agus is buailte den mhuintir seo againne in Eirinn. Is mar a cheile an t-aicme sin “Pobal na Gaeilge a shlanú agus an Ghaeilge a shlanú” adúirt an Cadhanach. Mar sin goide atá le deanamh?  Caithfear iomlan neart agus brí na Gluaiseachta a chuir i dtacaíocht agóidi mhuintir na Gaeltachta.

Aithníonn sinne go gcaithfidh muintir na Gaeltachta Údarás Áitiúl a fháil – Údarás láidir eifeachtúil — seort Soviet Gaeltachta. Caithfidh smacht a bheith ag an Udaras d‘aonfhlaitheach seo ar Fhorbairt agus Pleanáil sa  Ghaeltacht agus smacht ar Radio na Gaeltachta fosta. Caithfidh seilbh a bheith aige ar na príomh fhoinnsi saibhris le go mbeadh sé i ndon iad a  fhorbairt ar mhaithe leis an gcois-muintir. Tuigeann sinne fosta nach bhfuil an capital insan Ghaeltacht fhéin leis an Ghaeltacht a chuir ar a chosa  mar go  raibh  an lucht gaimbín da ghoid uatha is da charnu dobhtha fhein leis na cianta agus mar sin do sé an rud is lú a ba choir do Rialtas na tíre seo a dheanamh ce bith airgead atá dhith a chuir ar fáil don Údarás. Troidfidh Gluaiseacht na Poblachta gualain a ghualain le muintir na Gaeltachta le Údarás mar seo a fhail agus no ghlacfaidh siad leis an seort  “Údarás” gan mhaith gan eifeacht gur mian le Tom O‘Donnell — “The statutory Uncle Tom of the Coalition Cabinet” chuir trasna ar na ndaoine.

Is leis duinne chomh fimineach is atá an Rialtas faoi cheist na Gaeltachta — an cuir i gceill faoi Scoil Dhun Chaoin — scoil amháin a ath-oscailt agus na scorthaí scoltacha a ndruid an forsaí eacnamaíocht atá ag ruaigeadh na ndaoine as an tír. Ní mó na go bhfuil duine ar bith sa Ghaeltacht a chreideann gur slanú na Gaeltachta a bhí a dhith ar Dick Burke — Ní hea ach votaí na Gaeltachta.

Agus Conor Cruise O‘Brien — fear atá ar theann agus dithcheall ag iarraidh neamh-chultúr damanta an impiriulachas a thabhairt isteach sa tír seo trí mhean Piped Television le borr feabhais a chuir ar thruailliu RTÉ — ní shamlodh sé coras Telefís Lán Ghaelach a chuir ar fáil do lucht labhartha na Gaeilge — a gceart faoi an Bhun-reacht.

Ach cá bhfuil mé ag cainnt faoi an Bhun-reacht nó cearta  —  ní Cearta atá ag muintir na Gaeltachta ach naimhde agus siad na naimhde céanna atá againn fosta.

Caithfimid an namhad a throid i ngach cearn ina gcuireann sé daor-smacht orainn ach go hairthe sa Ghaeltacht — mar má chailleann muid an cath sa Ghaeltacht caillfidh muid cogadh na hAthghabhala.

Comrades:

Each generation of Irish Republicans, taking to itself the philosophy of Tone, has come to Bodenstown to remember the man and renew its conviction in the correctness of his beliefs.  Each generation, in coming here, has added to the vision of Tone its view of contemporary events. If this were not the case, your journey today from the four corners of Ireland would be a mere commemoration of the man who lived with passionate pride the life of a soldier of the Irish Republic and died the death of a consummate patriot. But thus to commemorate Tone — without adding the vision of today — would be as meaningless as any sentimental pilgrimage to a place that had associations with the great and the dead.

We return to Tone, as we return to Bodenstown, because we know the central relevance to our time of Tone‘s philosophy. We draw strength and courage from that philosophy. But, in coming here, we acknowledge too the greatness of men of other generations who followed his clear, cool thought and who sought, by their actions,  to make his vision the reality of Irish life. We salute the contributions of Lalor and Mitchel, of Davitt and Connolly, of Pearse and Mellows to the fullness of the philosophy we now hold, as we remember McCracken and Hope and Tone. Where Tone began, at the core of our thinking, with the ideas of separation from Britain and independent nationhood, with unity and brotherhood and equality, these others applied to his  thinking the vision of their days, adding to that body of social, political and cultural thought, which is now the essence of socialist republicanism, our philosophy, the philosophy & our time.

Tone and the United Irishmen, with little international revolutionary experience to draw on, succeeded in-formulating a classic example of how to build a revolution. Tone’s secretaryship of the Catholic Committee and the early objectives which the United Irishmen set themselves to achieve — the complete emancipation of Catholics — were reformist in character and designed  to unite the mass of the people behind a number of democratic  demands which were clearly just and achievable. They were however, demands, which if conceded, would smash the power of the ascendency class in Ireland which was the pillar on which British Imperial control rested. Thus when these reformist demands were answered with coercion Acts  it became obvious that a Republican form of government in Ireland  would only be possible with the destruction of British Imperial control  —  a point which Connolly was later to emphasise again and again.

One of the greatest achievements of the Society of United Irishmen was to unite the urban and rural working class right across the sectarian divide. The primary unifying factor in the situation was a clear Republican ideology, and of the many lessons we can learn from this period, this perhaps, is the greatest. One of the main reasons the ‘98 Rising failed was the indecision of the national leadership due to its being, in many cases, in the hands of people who had too much to lose.

The year 1963 marked the 200th Anniversary of Tone’s birth. It also marked the establishment of Wolfe Tone Societies in many centres throughout the country and the re-assessment of the Movement’s policies and strategies.

Since then all our policies have been based on the people’s struggle for the ownership of the wealth of their country and for the full control of their lives and destinies. All our actions since have been designed to strengthen the people’s resistance against the economic and political forces which are oppressing them.

When the Republican Movement decided in the 1960’s as part of its revolutionary programme to involve itself in the struggle for basic Civil Rights in the Six Counties it did so in the full knowledge that the lessons learned by the people in the course of their struggle for democracy and equality of citizenship would later be used by them in the further struggles for their economic, social and national rights. The Civil Rights Association united for the first time in 50 years all the opposing and sometimes hostile factions within the nationalist community.

Those who remember the events of 1969 and early 1970 will recall how invincible were the people and how confusion and disarray was spreading among the forces of the establishment. There was no way by which Stormont, or the British government could defeat the people’s demands or break their unity and determination. Furthermore, a vast reservoir of support and good will had been created throughout the world for the Irish cause and for the first time in 50 years the apathy of the people of the 26 Counties towards their fellow-countrymen in the North was dispelled. The Dublin Government had lost all control of the situation since the eclipse of the Nationalist Party in 1969 and the insidious dissemination of the two nations theory, so carefully fostered by successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael spokesmen over the years was thrown back in their teeth.

Control of events and the leadership of the peoples’ struggle was in the hands of the Republican Movement although many other forces were also at work. The revolutionary potential of that period posed a greater threat to the Establishment than had confronted them for many years. In this situation the forces of Imperialism consciously decided to change the course and the character of the struggle and to take it out of the hands of the mass of the people. Their objective was twofold:

1.         Escalate sectarian confrontations to create the maximum bitterness and division among the common people and,

2.         Provoke a military confrontation by increasingly aggressive tactics by the State forces, both RUC and British Army.

In the Spring and Summer of 1969, the RUC became increasingly aggressive resulting in the first deaths on the streets. Eventually the RUC launched an all-out attack on the Bogside in Derry in August 1969 and in Belfast a vicious pogrom was carefully organised and carried out by the B Specials and some orange sectarian bigots in which a number of people were killed, and hundreds of homes burned. This was no spontaneous uprising by the Protestant people against their Catholic neighbours. It was organised by the forces of the State following a political decision at the highest level. It was protected and assisted by the RUC who actually participated in the shooting into Catholic homes. The political purpose of this was to terrify the people, smash the Civil Rights Movement and change the course of the struggle from one of civil rights to one of defence of people’s homes. This they succeeded in doing temporarily but by the spring of 1970 important contacts were being made between members of the Movement and the Protestant working class people and the potential for united action on class issues was developing to a high level.

The Republican Movement and the Civil Rights Movement had their faces set against all forms of sectarianism and the A.O.H. and the Nationalist Party were dead. So, a new Catholic sectarian force was needed if the plans of the Imperialist forces were to succeed. The ground-work for this had already been done. As early as February 1969 the Dublin Government had begun their part in the Imperialist plot by making their first contact with Republicans and Civil Rights workers in the North.

Following the August pogroms, they intensified their efforts on much more fertile ground. By concentrating their efforts on those Belfast Republicans and ex-Republicans who saw their role as Catholic defence groups and by playing on their latest sectarianism and militarist desires, they created a split among Republicans and offered money and guns to those who would reject the leadership of the Republican Movement. Thus, the Provisionals were born, and the mindless violence and senseless sectarianism which followed their birth fitted perfectly into the plans of the Imperialists.

Sectarianism, ably assisted on its way by special units of the British Army, has been raised to new heights of viciousness and the purely militaristic activities of the Provisionals provided the British government with the excuse they sought for so long to subject the people of the North to a deliberate policy of harassment, murder, internment and torture and to develop a purely military response to all their actions. Now at last the British forces and their agents in Ireland feel that they are winning.

The horror and revulsion generated by the Provisional bombing campaign has irreparably destroyed that vast reservoir of support and good will which existed throughout the world. We now find that the people of the 26 Counties have washed their hands of what they term the “troubles in the North”, fearful that the awful violence there will overspill and engulf them. Protestant extremists are killing Catholic workers and Catholic extremists are killing Protestant workers, while the two communities eye each other with fear and hostility from their respective armed camps. And we had the tragi-comic spectacle of prominent Provisionals standing here last week saying (and I quote) “If we do not subscribe to the non-sectarian programme of Tone, then we are hypocrites.” Their obvious confusion reflects the enormous confusion that exists among the general public about events and policies. This confusion has been produced by a deliberate lack of informed and intelligent comment in the Establishment press and is of course of considerable assistance to those who wish to take advantage of public confusion: the forces of Imperialism and their agents.

For while there have been changes in the elements that go to make up the historic republican movement, so too have there been changes in the face and operation of capitalism and imperialism. If once the imperialist sought control of trading post and territory, today his trading post is at every street corner and his territory is measured in square feet in the gutted centres of our cities and towns. The Six Counties at peace, if that could be achieved by a combination of war-weariness, subjugation, repression and political trickery, would be more valuable to the imperialist than the Six Counties risen in resistance against him. We may even ask if the 32 Counties, united as one market place but free of resistance by any group, would not serve his purpose even better? For the lesson which has been underlined by fifty years of the Free State‘s existence has been that a mockery of independence without the reality of control by and for the people is a petty and a useless thing. And a government of Irishmen which would betray its working people, to the British Army, the RUC or the sectarian UDR finds it no great contradiction to betray its people to the international capitalists whom it pays to come and control its industry, its mines, and its people.

Strong in the belief that they have intimidated one half of the Irish people and that they have purchased the other half, Cosgrave and his cohorts are preparing to perpetrate the final act of treachery by handing over to the British government Irishmen and women whose only offence was to oppose the occupation of part of our sovereign territory. Let them take heed now that this proposed act of national apostasy could well be the straw to break the back of a long-suffering people’s patience.

Day after day we see many important changes in the pattern of Irish life. Imperialism which was once represented simply in territorial control is now being extended in a thousand insidious ways. Our people in the North are still subject to the territorial demands of imperialism expressed in murderous attacks and repressive force while the people of the South have long since become the victims of an economic imperialism, which has insinuated itself into the daily lives of the mass of the Irish people crippling them with high food prices, exorbitant mortgage rates and disastrous interest rates. The sell-out to foreign speculators of our national wealth and resources initiated by Fianna Fáil continues unabated under Cosgrave and his coalition while the insidious uses of education and propaganda, in schools, enriches, newspapers, radio and television are ruthlessly employed to condition the Irish people to the acceptance of foreign masters, and not only British masters. The economic and revolutionary progress of the Irish people will never be achieved unless we recognise this, and the people are organised and educated to fight against it.

What we stand for now is not simply the separation of this country from Britain, but the separation of the people of this country from the interference of any other group or international boss who finds it profitable and easy to indulge in exploitation here, North or South, in Ballyfermot or Ballymurphy, in the Shankill Rd. of Belfast or in Burranabraher of Cork. We are a country with sufficient resources to maintain a growing population, if these resources were to be used for the benefit of the people rather than for the enrichment of the few. A combination of greed and accommodation of the greedy by Tory Governments in Belfast and Dublin has deprived the workers of the right to live and work at home, has needlessly increased the price of food for Irish housewives and destroyed native industry, such as the woolen and linen industries while keeping up the flow of emigration to the centres in Britain where the factories flourish. The continued economic enslavement of the people of the South shows clearly that mere withdrawal of the British Army will not bring freedom to people.

We say that Sinn Féin means the development of our resources for the benefit of our people in a system in which the people will control the means of production and exchange; in which preference will be given to those  who have a stake in the country rather than fly-by-night junkateers; a system in which the workers will have real control through democratic workers’ organisations, beginning with consultation on all issues that affect them and ending with workers’ control of the factories which will be theirs.

Sinn Féin means no ostrich-like isolation from the influences of the world, no lessening of trade with other  countries  —  rather does it mean that influence will be accepted where they are beneficial to the mass of the working people and rejected where they are not.  It means that we would trade with more countries, not less, for we would break the bonds that tie  us to Britain as a controlling market and single dominant partner, and we will continue to fight North and South the decision to join the Common Market, the disastrous affects of which are rapidly making themselves felt on the workers and small farmers of the country. Understanding the justified impatience and frustrations of our many volunteers especially those from the North who daily witness and experience harassment and excesses of armed, uniformed Englishmen in their Irish towns and villages — understanding your desire to blaze forth in the red rage of war, I would say to you, be patient yet for it is as important to know when not to fight as it is to know when to fight. The immediate task of the Republican Movement is to clarify for the people what the alternatives are at this point in time, what the British plan is and how to subvert it; what the objectives of the Irish people are and how to achieve them.

We are not on the brink  of victory, but on the brink of sectarian disaster  and sell-out by Free-State free-booters.

But we can avoid the disaster, we can prevent the sell-out if we are constantly at work among the people educating them as to the true nature of imperialism. We must dig in deeply in the organisations of the people and provide them with leadership in every crisis. If we prepare for every eventuality, if we keep a cool head, stand fast by our policies and remain with the people in their struggle we will maintain our revolutionary impetus right through whatever settlements may come from the imperialists conference tables. We must be prepared in every way possible to fight for the God-given rights of the Irish people.

Recognising as we must that the vast majority of the Protestant population in the North are not members of, nor do they condone the activities of the various fascist murder gangs that operate there we now say to them: together we can solve our people’s problems. Divided and opposed we can only benefit the rulers who have gained from our divisions in the past and who will sell you out just as soon as their interest requires it. We believe that the future happiness, prosperity and progress of the Irish people, North and South, Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter can only be guaranteed in breaking the connection with England and in establishing a 32 County Democratic Socialist Republic. Any interim solution which arises out of the present crisis must guarantee the freedom of the Irish people to move towards this objective.

Our immediate demands remain: that the British government publicly commit themselves to a complete withdrawal of its military and political control from the Six Counties;  the ending of  internment; an amnesty for all political prisoners and for all those forced to leave their homes through their activities in the people’s struggle; an end to the harassment of working people; there must be freedom of political expression for all, cancellation of all debts arising from the rents and rates strike; a Bill of Rights which would provide guarantees that the people would be delivered from the morass of neo-fascism now existing there. We demand the immediate withdrawal of British troops to their barracks as a preliminary to their final withdrawal.

Only a people united behind a leadership of principled men and women can secure these demands. The Republican Movement has that leadership and has begun to organise the people in political action, while preparing to defend whatever gains are made against attacks from whatever source. We will demonstrate to all by our involvement in the people’s struggle that the alternative to the corrupt sectarian Unionist and so-called Nationalist is the policy of the Republican Movement.

In the 26 Counties we will continue to give leadership in the struggle for the rights of men and women to work, to house their families and feed their children, to enjoy education free from the control of clergy of any denomination and class discrimination of any kind. We will fight by whatever means we deem necessary, for the rights of all people to control all the resources of this country which is theirs, and theirs alone. We will fight the mine operator who grows fat on the profits which  belong of  right to the Irish people and we will fight the gombeen agents who for a few pounds and a pat on the back from his imperialist master is prepared to sell his people out.

Wherever there is conflict between the masses and the interests of the ruling few, between capital and the value of human life, the Republican Movement will take its stand with the people to educate, agitate, organise and fight so that they people may go forward in dignity and consciousness to the final success — ownership of their resources, control of their own destinies.

Belfast Easter Oration 2019

By admin

The following speech was delivered by Chris Bailie at the Workers’ Party Easter Commemoration in Milltown Cemetery, Belfast.

Comrades, Friends,

We assemble here, as we do each year, to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising and to commemorate our many comrades whose sacrifices allowed us to build the Workers Party.

On Easter Monday 1916, the Proclamation, which we have heard today, was read from the steps of the General Post Office. This document, while not a socialist manifesto, contained many progressive demands. It also proclaimed the Irish Republic as a sovereign independent state.

Colour Party in Milltown Cemetery

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Dáil Éireann and when the deputies met on 21st January 1919 a Declaration of Independence was read to the assembly. The Democratic Programme adopted by the Dáil declared the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and the unfettered control of Irish destinies to be indefeasible. According to the Programme education, health, the physical and mental well-being of children were to be vigorously promoted. However, while the labour movement clearly had an influence on this social policy, it was excluded from the system to put it into effect. The paragraph which had been proposed by Thomas Johnson that “The Republic will aim at the elimination of the class in society which lives upon the wealth produced by the workers of the nation but gives no useful services in return …” was removed.

James Connolly had no time for nationalist abstractions. It was Connolly who wrote “Ireland without her people is nothing to me.” Connolly could not stand aside while the social, economic and political oppression of the working class was ignored, regardless of the flag that flew from the mast. For Connolly, genuine republicanism entailed a commitment to sovereign independence and the emancipation of labour. Connolly, had witnessed the betrayal of workers by social democracy across Europe, which, with few exceptions, had committed itself to taking sides in a bloody imperialist war. Connolly, in his support for insurrection, had stated clearly in the Irish Worker in August 1914: “Should the working class of Europe, rather than slaughter each other for the benefit of kings and financiers, proceed tomorrow to erect barricades all over Europe, to break up bridges and destroy the transport service that war might be abolished, we should be perfectly justified in following such a glorious example and contributing our aid to the final dethronement of the vulture classes that rule and rob the world.” By the end of the war in 1918, some 49,000 Irishmen had lost their lives.

In Northern Ireland, after partition, the Unionist Party held a monopoly of power until 1972. The southern state, initially the Irish Free State and later the Republic of Ireland, was governed variously by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, sometimes in coalition with other parties. In both states the ruling parties cemented cross-class alliances which served the function of suppressing class politics.

In Northern Ireland the labour movement was disrupted and obstructed by vying nationalist traditions. In the southern state nationalist rhetoric and the predominance of the requirement for national credentials led to conflicts between the interests of the working class and those in control. After the Civil War, the rights of the employers and the property owners were restored and despite the progressive sentiments contained in the Proclamation the agenda was set: Labour must wait.

There had, of course, been valiant efforts to chart a different path. In the late 20s and early 30s there was a move to the left in the leadership of the republican movement and the creation of the Republican Congress held out hope for a more progressive future. However, the creation of a “red scare”, the role of the Catholic bishops through their pastorals and press in inciting violent hostility against communism, socialism and radical republicanism, the failure of the Republican Congress, the success of Fianna Fáil, and the reversion to a traditionally nationalist leadership within the republican movement represented a major setback for the working class and class politics. The pattern was set for decades to come until the development and growth of the Workers Party reasserted the primacy of class politics.

In his Report, as General Secretary, to the 1987 Ard Fheis, our late comrade Sean Garland, wrote: “A decade ago we took the decision to add the title The Workers Party to our name. This was a reflection of the many changes that had taken place within our organisation over the previous decade and a firm recognition of the political ideology to which we subscribe, and a public and lasting demonstration of the class interests that the Party represents … as the vanguard party we must continually act as the vanguard … We must be with the people in every area of struggle … [a]gain and again the lesson of revolutionary struggle is that only a united disciplined class conscious party of the working class, organised on the principles of democratic centralism, can organise and lead the working class to victory.”

In the Republic and in Northern Ireland, the Workers Party held high the red banner of workers’ unity and class politics. Explicitly rejecting orange and green tribalism and all forms of nationalism, the Workers Party presented a different vision for workers. To that end, rejecting the narrow, sectarian, reactionary nationalism often masquerading as “republicanism”, the Workers Party confirmed its ideological orientation as a vanguard party, a Marxist-Leninist party, expressing its socialism and republicanism in its commitment to the revolutionary transformation of society, the abolition of capitalism and the building of a democratic, secular, socialist republic in which power is firmly in the hands of the working class.

In a lecture entitled “The Relevance of James Connolly in Ireland Today”, George Gilmore wrote: “… he [Connolly] believed, that working-class struggle for better conditions within the kind of society in which we live must, to achieve a worthwhile result, be pushed ahead to the overthrow of the social system that rests on the exploitation of the working classes, and to the organisation of society on a socialist basis instead …”

James Connolly and the revolutionaries of 1916 exposed the inadequacies of Redmondism in their time. But Redmondism, subservient to the dictates of foreign capital, is still alive and well and practised by some of those falsely claiming the mantle of 1916. We will continue to expose this hypocrisy.

The Irish state, as a member of the European Union, has endorsed the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). It adheres to the EU’s common foreign and security policy which, it is proposed, shall eventually include a common defence policy. There are plans for a European army. In 1994 NATO launched the so-called “Partnership for Peace” (PfP), a US initiative lauded by NATO as undertaking “an important role [in the] enlargement of NATO”. Ireland, despite its constitutional commitment to neutrality, joined PfP.

The economic and social policies of the state are also dictated by the strictures of the capitalist European Union. This is not the sovereign independent state envisaged by Connolly. The Workers Party stands for working people and for socialism against exploitation, private and corporate greed, racism, sectarianism and the interests of big business. The Workers Party is committed to the primacy of a socialist, secular democratic society. We stand for the creation of sustainable well-paid jobs, fulfilling and dignified work in safe and healthy conditions. We reject low pay and precarious employment, the dismantling of workplace rights, the privatisation of public assets and restrictions on trade union freedom. We demand a real living wage. We believe that there is sufficient wealth and enough resources to tackle our most pressing issues yet the gap between the rich and the working class grows relentlessly wider. The problem is that the wealth of society and its resources are held in the hands of the few and are not used productively.

This year we continue to commemorate the struggle for civil rights in Northern Ireland, including the important role of our party in the civil rights struggle and in the development and building of NICRA. In examining the roots of the civil rights campaign, it is important to acknowledge the existence of profound and deep social, economic and political injustices that permeated the then Northern Ireland state, and which defined specifically how that state would function in real terms both from its foundation right up to the civil rights period. NICRA achieved many democratic successes before being driven off the streets by state and terrorist violence. The Workers Party has organised seminars and participated in many events over the last twelve months celebrating that struggle while emphasising that the struggle for rights and civil liberties continues to the present day. We must also state clearly today our revulsion at the brutal murder of a young worker in Derry in recent days. The murder of 29 year old Lyra McKee was the tragic, but inevitable, outcome of recent violent activity and the ongoing attacks on the community by groups of politically bankrupt gangsters. These people claim to be republicans and defenders of the community. They are not. This murder was inexcusable. Those who carried out this attack, and those who support them, have no contribution of any value to make and have no place in this society. They are engaged in a senseless and savage campaign of terror against the community.

We offer our deepest sympathy to Lyra’s family, friends, and colleagues and we have sent a message of solidarity to her union, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). On Thursday, 2nd May, Northern Ireland goes to the polls in a local government election. The Workers Party is contesting that election in several constituencies on the basis of our socialist politics. Other parties want this election to be fought on the familiar battleground of a sectarian headcount. The issues of Brexit and a Border poll will be pressed into service to advance this agenda and to divert attention from the matters that fundamentally affect workers and their families, regardless of race or religion.

We know that a better future is possible and even though these are local government elections and we have a specific programme in these elections, the Workers Party will use every opportunity to demonstrate our vision for a new society – a society in which, as Connolly envisaged, working people have real power over their own destinies and where heir interests are paramount and supreme.

The Workers Party is committed to a socialist alternative, to the construction of a socialist society. Each small step will further our struggle. You can help us over the next two weeks, by assisting our election campaign, by helping our door-to-door leafleting, by providing financial support, by speaking to family and neighbours and to those in your community and places of work about the importance of a vote for the Workers Party in these elections and, of course, making sure that you vote for the Workers Party on election day.

Workers’ Party Easter Oration delivered in Belfast

By admin


Comrades, Friends,


We assemble here, as we do each year, to commemorate the 1916 Easter
Rising and to commemorate our many comrades whose sacrifices
allowed us to build the Workers Party.


On Easter Monday 1916, the Proclamation, which we have heard today,
was read from the steps of the General Post Office. This document, while
not a socialist manifesto, contained many progressive demands. It also
proclaimed the Irish Republic as a sovereign independent state.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Dáil Éireann
and when the deputies met on 21st January 1919 a Declaration of
Independence was read to the assembly. The Democratic Programme
adopted by the Dáil declared the right of the people of Ireland to the
ownership of Ireland and the unfettered control of Irish destinies to be
indefeasible. According to the Programme education, health, the physical
and mental well-being of children were to be vigorously promoted.
However, while the labour movement clearly had an influence on this
social policy, it was excluded from the system to put it into effect. The
paragraph which had been proposed by Thomas Johnson that “The
Republic will aim at the elimination of the class in society which lives upon
the wealth produced by the workers of the nation but gives no useful services in return …” was removed.

James Connolly had no time for nationalist abstractions. It was Connolly who wrote “Ireland without her people is nothing to me.” Connolly could not stand aside while the social, economic and political oppression of the working class was ignored, regardless of the flag that flew from the mast.
For Connolly, genuine republicanism entailed a commitment to sovereign independence and the emancipation of labour. Connolly, had witnessed the betrayal of workers by social democracy across Europe, which, with few exceptions, had committed itself to taking sides in a bloody imperialist war. Connolly, in his support for insurrection, had stated clearly in the Irish Worker in August 1914: “Should the working class of Europe, rather than slaughter each other for the benefit of kings and financiers, proceed tomorrow to erect barricades all over Europe, to break up bridges and destroy the transport service that war might be abolished, we should be perfectly justified in following such a glorious example and contributing our aid to the final dethronement of the vulture classes that rule and rob the world.” By the end of the war in 1918, some 49,000 Irishmen had lost their lives.

In Northern Ireland, after partition, the Unionist Party held a monopoly of power until 1972. The southern state, initially the Irish Free State and later the Republic of Ireland, was governed variously by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, sometimes in coalition with other parties. In both states the ruling parties cemented cross-class alliances which served the function of suppressing class politics.

In Northern Ireland the labour movement was disrupted and obstructed by vying nationalist traditions. In the southern state nationalist rhetoric and the predominance of the requirement for national credentials led to conflicts between the interests of the working class and those in control. After the Civil War, the rights of the employers and the property owners
were restored and despite the progressive sentiments contained in the Proclamation the agenda was set: “Labour must wait”. There had, of course, been valiant efforts to chart a different path. In the late 20s and early 30s there was a move to the left in the leadership of the republican movement and the creation of the Republican Congress held out hope for a more progressive future. However, the creation of a “red scare”, the role of the Catholic bishops through their pastorals and press in inciting violent hostility against communism, socialism and radical republicanism, the failure of the Republican Congress, the success of Fianna Fail, and the reversion to a traditionally nationalist leadership within the republican movement represented a major setback for the working class and class politics. The pattern was set for decades to come until the development and growth of the Workers Party reasserted the primacy of class politics.


In his Report, as General Secretary, to the 1987 Ard Fheis, our late comrade Sean Garland, wrote: “A decade ago we took the decision to add the title The Workers Party to our name. This was a reflection of the many changes that had taken place within our organisation over the previous decade and a firm recognition of the political ideology to which we subscribe, and a public and lasting demonstration of the class interests that the Party represents … as the vanguard party we must continually act as the vanguard … We must be with the people in every area of struggle … [a]gain and again the lesson of revolutionary struggle is that only a united disciplined class conscious party of the working class, organised on the principles of democratic centralism, can organise and lead the working class to victory.” In the Republic and in Northern Ireland, the Workers Party held high the red banner of workers’ unity and class politics. Explicitly rejecting orange and green tribalism and all forms of nationalism, the Workers Party presented a different vision for workers. To that end, rejecting the narrow, sectarian, reactionary nationalism often masquerading as “republicanism”, the Workers Party confirmed its ideological orientation as a vanguard party, a Marxist-Leninist party, expressing its socialism and republicanism in its commitment to the revolutionary transformation of society, the abolition of capitalism and the building of a democratic, secular, socialist republic in which power is firmly in the hands of the working class. In a lecture entitled “The Relevance of James Connolly in Ireland Today”, George Gilmore wrote: “… he [Connolly] believed, that working-class struggle for better conditions within the kind of society in which we live must, to achieve a worthwhile result, be pushed ahead to the overthrow of the social system that rests on the exploitation of the working classes, and to the organisation of society on a socialist basis instead …” James Connolly and the revolutionaries of 1916 exposed the inadequacies of Redmondism in their time. But Redmondism, subservient to the dictates of foreign capital, is still alive and well and practised by some of those falsely claiming the mantle of 1916. We will continue to expose this hypocrisy.


The Irish state, as a member of the European Union, has endorsed the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). It adheres to the EU’s common foreign and security policy which, it is proposed, shall eventually include a common defence policy. There are plans for a European army. In 1994 NATO launched the so-called “Partnership for Peace” (PfP), a US initiative lauded by NATO as undertaking “an important role [in the] enlargement of NATO”. Ireland, despite its constitutional commitment to neutrality, joined PfP.


The economic and social policies of the state are also dictated by the strictures of the capitalist European Union. This is not the sovereign independent state envisaged by Connolly. The Workers Party stands for working people and for socialism against exploitation, private and corporate greed, racism, sectarianism and the interests of big business. The Workers Party is committed to the primacy of a socialist, secular democratic society. We stand for the creation of sustainable well-paid jobs, fulfilling and dignified work in safe and healthy conditions. We reject low pay and precarious employment, the dismantling of workplace rights, the privatisation of public assets and restrictions on trade union freedom. We demand a real living wage. We believe that there is sufficient wealth and enough resources to tackle our most pressing issues yet the gap between the rich and the working class grows relentlessly wider. The problem is that the wealth of society and its resources are held in the hands of the few and are not used productively. This year we continue to commemorate the struggle for civil rights in Northern Ireland, including the important role of our party in the civil rights struggle and in the development and building of NICRA. In examining the roots of the civil rights campaign, it is important to acknowledge the existence of profound and deep social, economic and political injustices that permeated the then Northern Ireland state, and which defined specifically how that state would function in real terms both from its foundation right up to the civil rights period. NICRA achieved many democratic successes before being driven off the streets by state and terrorist violence. The Workers Party has organised seminars and participated in many events over the last twelve months celebrating that struggle while emphasising that the struggle for rights and civil liberties continues to the present day.


We must also state clearly today our revulsion at the brutal murder of a young worker in Derry in recent days. The murder of 29 year old Lyra McKee was the tragic, but inevitable, outcome of recent violent activity and the ongoing attacks on the community by groups of politically bankrupt gangsters. These people claim to be republicans and defenders of the community. They are not. This murder was inexcusable. Those who carried out this attack, and those who support them, have no contribution of any value to make and have no place in this society. They are engaged in a senseless and savage campaign of terror against the community.
We offer our deepest sympathy to Lyra’s family, friends, and colleagues and we have sent a message of solidarity to her union, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).


On Thursday, 2nd May, Northern Ireland goes to the polls in a local government election. The Workers Party is contesting that election in several constituencies on the basis of our socialist politics. Other parties want this election to be fought on the familiar battleground of a sectarian headcount. The issues of Brexit and a Border poll will be pressed into service to advance this agenda and to divert attention from the matters that fundamentally affect workers and their families, regardless of race or religion.

We know that a better future is possible and even though these are local government elections and we have a specific programme in these elections, the Workers Party will use every opportunity to demonstrate our vision for a new society – a society in which, as Connolly envisaged, working people have real power over their own destinies and where their interests are paramount and supreme. The Workers Party is committed to a socialist alternative, to the construction of a socialist society. Each small step will further our struggle. You can help us over the next two weeks, by assisting our election campaign, by helping our door-to-door leafleting, by providing financial support, by speaking to family and neighbours and to those in your community and places of work about the importance of a vote for the Workers Party in these elections and, of course, making sure that you vote for the Workers Party on election day.

Labour has waited long enough. Now is our time.

Let’s make things happen. Forward to workers’ unity and socialism.

Workers’ Party solidarity message to CP of Sri Lanka

By admin

The Workers’ Party of Ireland has sent the following message of solidarity to the Communist Party and people of Sri Lanka following Sunday’s horrific bombing.

To: Central Committee, Communist Party of Sri-Lanka

Dear comrades,

The Workers Party of Ireland extends its solidarity to the Communist Party and the people of Sri-Lanka and condemns the vicious and murderous attacks in which at least 290 people have been killed and 500 injured. These barbaric attacks by criminal elements may have been designed to incite communal and religious differences in a country which has already suffered greatly from the devastation of war.

We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who died and our best wishes for a successful recovery to the many injured.

Gerry Grainger

International Secretary

Central Executive Committee

Workers Party of Ireland

The Workers’ Party Easter Oration 2019

By Richard

The Workers’ Party

Easter Oration, Sunday 21st April 2019

The following speech was delivered at Workers’ Party commemorations in Dublin, Cork and Waterford.

Comrades and friends,

For generations now republicans and socialists have gathered on the anniversary of the Easter Rising to remember Ireland’s blow for freedom and independence.

We proudly continue that tradition today to defend and celebrate the sacrifice and vision of the men and women who fought in that famous week in 1916 against the army of the British Empire.

We recognise the importance of the progressive and democratic ideals of Pearse and Connolly and of the Easter Proclamation, and we seek to build on them in our quest for a socialist Ireland.

Cathie Shiels speaking in Arbour Hill Cemetery

In particular today, we remember James Connolly, trade union leader and socialist revolutionary. In doing so we seek to ensure that his ideas and spirit live on in the modern era. Despite the best efforts of both the British Empire and William Martin Murphy, who thought that by killing him they could kill his ideas, and indeed of our own establishment who sought to forget them, we must always bring into the light of day the clear socialist ideas and vision that Connolly had for Ireland.

For in the Ireland of today, Connolly’s socialist ideas are as relevant as ever. From housing to health to transport, neo-liberal capitalism seeks to commodify every aspect of our lives under the cover of choice and flexibility. As Karl Marx prophesied two centuries ago, capitalism ‘’has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”.

James Connolly was a Marxist, and an Irish socialist republican, and he correctly saw no contradiction in that. His vision was both national and international, and he saw the workers of every country as his fellow patriots. He deeply understood the importance of internationalism, having witnessed the pointless bloodshed of World War One turn worker against worker, while tearing the international socialist movement apart.

International solidarity remains as important as ever, as today, across many parts of Europe and the western world, the rising radical movement amongst working people is that of the far right. Ireland will not be immune to their hate. Already we can see the emergence in embryonic form of an indigenous extremist right. In the struggle against fascism and the far-right, it has always been the socialists and the labour movement who have been to the forefront of fighting for democracy and socialism. That remains the case today – liberal hand-wringing will not set the far-right back, it will merely feed them.

Only working class politics, defending the rights of all workers, combined with the articulation of a clear alternative vision to both the politics of hate and the greed of the liberal capitalist class, will succeed in doing so. In facing this challenge, socialists cannot tie their hands, we must intervene in every arena of life where working people participate – and in particular in communities, in trade unions, and in elections – to put forward a socialist vision that explains how we can build a better life and a better future for all.

For as we know, once the poison of division emerges and flourishes, it is hard to defeat.

In the north, we have sought for decades now to articulate a secular, anti-sectarian class-based politics. We have worked to undermine the toxic sectarianism, encouraged by both the British state and our native capitalist class, which smothers our society, turning worker against fellow worker. In the local elections in May we will once again put forward our secular, socialist alternative to the austerity and division of the Sinn Féin/DUP agenda.

Sectarian hatred remains an obstacle to the building of a socialist republic. The Workers’ Party will continue to fight for the true, modern republican vision, in which class unites where creed once divided. We understand that not only is our island partitioned but our working class too, and that class unity would represent real progress in the struggle for a socialist republic.

Fighting for class unity does not mean lowering our politics, denying our traditions or isolating ourselves. It means being actively involved with the people and their struggles, identifying those issues which can build class consciousness, and getting our hands dirty in the struggle to draw workers away from narrow dead-end ideologies, whatever they may be.

In Dublin, our candidates for May’s local elections will put forward an alternative vision for local government – a radically altered system which shifts the burden of taxation to the corporations and landlords to help fund the provision of public housing, waste collection and childcare. We want to see major reform so that local government is genuinely democratic, and provides for the needs of working class people in Dublin not the wealthy elite. We will fight the trend which is transforming our city into the plaything of multinationals, privatising our public spaces, and turning Dublin into a conglomeration of office blocks, hotels and overpriced student apartments, rather than a living city for working people.

Small as our party is, our ideas impact on political life. We have been to the forefront of pushing for mixed-income public housing, now becoming known as the ‘Vienna model’, and which is gradually becoming accepted as the solution to our appalling housing crisis. We have recently witnessed the grotesque hypocrisy of Dublin City Council officials and parties who voted down our plan for such housing in Dublin, and who have overseen the dramatic rise in homelessness, now trumpeting the Vienna model as the next big thing. We will hold these hypocrites to account inside and outside the council chambers.

We are also contesting the European elections in Dublin for the first time since 1994, when Tomas Mac Giolla stood. This decision is both reflective of the hard work done by Councillor Eilis Ryan in fighting for working people in Dublin City and of the increasing number of young people attracted to our socialist message. Contesting this election is a difficult task for a small party but an important one – it gives us a crucial opportunity to put forward our socialist politics on a wider scale than we have been able to do so for a number of decades, and in doing so to build the party and popularise class politics. It is also an opportunity to articulate the unpopular truth that, rather than being a vehicle of social progress, the European Union has emerged as an unvarnished champion of the capitalist elite. The fight for socialism in Europe is necessarily a fight against the neoliberal EU.

In Waterford, we continue the slow and steady process of rebuilding the Party. While we will not contest the upcoming local elections we are committed to working with old and new comrades to maintain and build on the proud Workers’ Party presence there. In a city with such a long radical tradition, it is vital that the Party is able to offer an effective for the working class of Waterford. The south-east region is badly affected by unemployment, by health cuts, and by the appalling housing crisis. Only a state-led intervention to create sustainable jobs and industry, to build public housing and to properly fund a single-tier health system, will improve the living standards of working people. We will continue to campaign for such a programme of investment for Waterford and the south east.

Colour party at the grave of Irish Citizen Army member Thomas “Corkie” Walsh in Cork

In Cork, we are fighting the upcoming local elections in the Cork City North East and West constituencies. We are building on the decades of campaigning work that we have done on behalf of working people in the city. In recent years we have been actively involved in the campaign against the water charges, in fighting against damage to our environment, and in the struggle for public housing. We will stand on that record of principled opposition to the right-wing agenda. We believe that Cork needs investment in public transport, housing, and services and we will continue the fight for a city that is run in the interests of working people.

We do not underestimate the challenges facing us. We are a small party and face a long road. We believe, however, that we offer something different, something lacking in Irish political life – the ability to offer a transformative vision to working people and a clear articulation of how society could function if the public good was the main impulse ruling our society. If we are to outline that vision effectively, we must increase our numbers and I would appeal to working people to join us as we grow our Party and face the battles ahead.

In 1962 Cathal Goulding took leadership of a shattered and defeated Republican Movement. He, and many others like him, set about the decades long task of reorganising and reorienting towards socialist politics. Today as we rebuild, we face different challenges but perhaps a longer road. The tasks ahead will require commitment and sacrifice but we should take heart from our past successes that we have the right approach.

The looming climate crisis, the housing crisis, increasing precarity and inequality all combine to push working people and young people towards radical politics – to bring them into the Workers’ Party is the challenge and the opportunity that we face in the coming years.

Finally, comrades, today we not only remember those who fought in Easter 1916 but we also pay tribute to Sean Garland, our comrade and leader who passed away in December.

To remember Sean Garland today is fitting. Not only did Sean deeply admire, celebrate, and defend from those who would besmirch it, the vision and sacrifice of the men and women of Easter week 1916 – of Connolly, Pearse, and Casement – but Sean stands alongside them as someone who sought with his unrelenting drive and energy to transform the divided and unequal Ireland that we know.

Many of us will have exchanged memories, stories and words about Sean over the last few months, but it is vital that in remembering Sean we also learn from him. Sean understood more than anyone that the missing ingredient in the struggles that had gone before him had been the presence of a mass organisation of the men and women of no property.

Where Tone identified the need for unity of Catholic, Protestant, and Dissenter under the common name of Irishman, and Connolly understood that true freedom for Ireland meant freedom for the Irish working class, Sean’s key insight was to grasp that only through the construction of a mass party of the working class could both of those tasks be completed.

He knew that to build such an organisation of the people we could never be elitist in our approach but must be embedded in every community and workplace across the island, bringing our message to working people, and bringing working people into our party. Only such a disciplined and united workers’ party could bring the vision of Tone and Connolly to fruition, and Sean dedicated his life’s work to building it.

It is our task to continue to build the Workers’ Party – the Party that can lead the struggle for a united working class, and an independent Irish socialist republic.

David Gardiner, chairing the commemoration at Arbour Hill Cemetery.

Too many questions left unanswered by Bessborough report

By admin

The Workers’ Party have said that too many questions have been left unanswered in the report into infant deaths at the former Mother and Baby Home at Bessborough and that only a thorough and no-holds-barred investigation would bring closure to the survivors and all affected by the revelations.

Cllr. Ted Tynan with Catherine Coffey

Cork Workers’ Party councillor, Ted Tynan, said that the report of the commission into Mother & Baby Homes had only skimmed the surface of a very murky episode in this country’s very recent history.  If it shows anything it shows that much more must be found about concerning the running of these institutions and in particular the high infant mortality and the manner in which the remains of the dead were disposed.

Cllr. Tynan said: “As the Workers’ Party have said before, Bessborough is both a grave site and a crime scene. Those buried there may have died of natural causes albeit at a very unnatural rate, but there are strict laws on burial in this country which were clearly not adhered to.   This in itself is a crime.  Therefore it is not good enough to simply look at the Bessborough investigation from an academic viewpoint but as a potential criminal case”

Mother and Baby Home survivor and Workers’ Party member, Catherine Coffey, said that there would be no closure for the survivors of Bessborough and the other institutions until such time as we burial place of every child and every mother who died, is ascertained  and the circumstances of their deaths is clarified.

One in Six live in poverty, yet Victorian attitudes prevail

By admin

The revelation that 760,000 people, one sixth of the Republic of Ireland’s population, are living in poverty will surprise only those who have never experienced poverty, according to the Workers’ Party

Catherine Coffey
Catherine Coffey

Cork City North West Workers’ Party candidate Catherine Coffey said that the latest statistics laid bare by Social Justice Ireland only show the tip of an iceberg that is never seen by those in government or those responsible for social policy.

Ms. Coffey said: “The two tier system that prevails in our health service and in education permeates right through Irish society.  It is consciously maintained by a system which still has a mindset which is a hangover from the Victorian age where poverty is regarded as a misfortune rather than the results of social policy and which believes in subsistence level charity rather than rights”.

“We have gone from recession through the Celtic Tiger years, into the Crash and back to so-called growth and yet one fifth of this country’s children continue to live in poverty. Things will never get better for these people under capitalism because it is designed to keep the status quo.  Until that changes we will be back here in another year or another ten years discussing another report on almost identical poverty levels”., said Catherine Coffey.

Solidarity message to CPI(M) on occasion of India’s general election

By admin

The Workers Party of Ireland sends warm comradely greetings to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and extends its best wishes and solidarity to the CPIM for the 2019 Indian general election for the 17th Lok Sabha.


This is a crucial election at a time of increasing threat to the secular state and growing communal division. The restraints on the functioning of Parliament, interference in the judiciary, attacks on freedom of expression, curtailment of the rights of the working class and poor farmers, attacks on secularism including the communalisation of education and extreme violence against citizens and progressive forces, including increasingly violent assaults against women, religious minorities, Dalits and others are symptoms of an expanding menace to democratic rights and the secular state.
Simultaneously, the government’s aggressive pursuit of big business interests has exacerbated attacks on the living conditions of the working class and poor by reducing wages; aggressively attacking social protection, health, education, public employment and the provision of public services; eroding labour laws and rights in the workplace won through decades of struggle; dismantling public services; undermining political opposition and trade union activity; the dilution of land acquisition laws; increased privatisation and a strong emphasis on increasing foreign capital in all spheres of the economy; opening up the mineral wealth and natural resources of the country for exploitation by foreign capital and enhancing the opportunities for profit for the monopolies. These circumstances create the conditions for further deepening social inequalities and intensifying the exploitation of working people.


The deepening tensions between India and its neighbours and its ever closer links with the US and Israel represent a growing threat to peace. Capitalist exploitation and imperialist aggression and war remain a major threat to humanity.


The WPI wishes the CPIM success in the elections and believes that your actions will strengthen and consolidate the struggle for the rights of the working people of India and the defence of their interests. The WPI conveys its greetings and solidarity to the leadership and cadres of the CPIM. We look forward to the continued strengthening of relations between our two parties. Long live the Communist Party of India (Marxist)! For a democratic secular India! For workers’ and people’s rights! For socialism! Gerry Grainger International Secretary Central Executive Committee Workers Party of Ireland April 2019

EU-Trump trade talks a victory for business over environment, says Workers’ Party Euro candidate

By Eilis Ryan


Workers’ Party candidate in the Dublin European elections, Cllr. Éilis Ryan, has condemned the Irish government’s vote in favour of opening trade negotiations with Donald Trump and the US government, at a meeting of the European Council this morning (Monday).

Cllr. Ryan said:

“These trade talks show that the European Commission and the Irish government are willing to bow down to – and indeed, are quite content with – the United States’ anti-environment, anti-worker agenda.  

“We saw massive public mobilisations against the TTIP rounds of EU-US trade negotiations – but once again, our own government and the EU prove they are more interested in the demands of business than of the people.”

Cllr. Ryan continued:

“These trade talks are not open-ended, they are not based on a neutral agenda. Instead, they are effectively a capitulation to demands from Donald Trump that the EU make it easier for lower-standard US goods to enter European markets.  

“They mark another step towards the EU lowering the health, safety and consumer protection standards it imposes, and driving down the quality of all goods.”

She concluded:

“Finally, the re-opening of the trade agreements when the United States continue to reject the Paris Agreement on climate change goes against clear commitments from the EU that it would not do business with any country which refuses to play its part in the fight against climate change.

“It would appear that dollar bills speak louder than the looming environmental threat, when it comes to the European Commission and the Irish government.”

Assange arrest demonstrates need for European protections for whistleblowers, says MEP candidate

By Eilis Ryan

European election candidate Cllr. Éilis Ryan (Workers’ Party), has condemned the arrest of Julian Assange this morning in the UK, and called for stronger European protections for whistleblowers. 

Cllr. Ryan said: 

“Assange’s arrest was, according the UK policy, carried out ‘on behalf of the US government,’ and in relation to charges which the US has refused to reveal. This is an astonishing breach of every democratic and legal norm.”

“With the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning, and today’s arrest, the United States has demonstrated it will go to unimaginable lengths to silence anybody who blows the whistle on its military aggression and and egregious invasions of personal privacy. Meanwhile, European governments have effectively allied themselves to US national security policy by refusing to protect these whistle blowers.”

Cllr. Ryan continued:  

“Assange now faces extradition into an effective black hole in the United States, to face charges that may never be made known to the public. Nobody in their right mind could argue he will get a fair trial. 

“The episode demonstrates why the late Seán Garland, and a wide breadth of political supporters in Ireland, fought against his own extradition so hard, and refused to trust the UK government to uphold his rights at that time.” 

Cllr. Ryan concluded: 

“A European government has shown it is willing to arrest and extradite an individual to the United States – one of the least fair and harshest criminal justice systems in the world – on the basis of charges which are sealed and secret. This represents an enormous and immediate deterioration in democratic freedoms in the UK and Europe. 

“There is an urgent need for a Europe-wide agreement protecting whistleblowers against extradition to the United States.” 

Update from the Sudanese Communist Party on the situation in Sudan.

By Eilis Ryan

Hundreds of thousands march in the capital and major cities in Sudan demanding the end of the dictatorial regime.

7 April 2019

Hundreds of thousands marched yesterday in the capital Khartoum and other major cities and towns all over Sudan, demanding the end of the regime.

The 6th of April will be written with letters of fire and blood as it enters the annals of revolutionary history for the second time marking the triumph of our people over dictatorship.

Under the unified leadership of the opposition, the Forces for Freedom and Change, the Sudanese people are occupying the centres of cities. In Khartoum, the masses besieged the headquarters of the army until the morning of the 7th of April.

Deep cracks in the regime are apparent, with some of its allies abandoning ship and leaders of the oppressive apparatus refusing to repress the masses.

Former army officers have joined the protest action.

The Sudanese Communist Party has called for vigilance among its members and supporters preparing for the final push to topple the regime.

The Secretariat of the Central Committee of our party appeals to all fraternal parties to double their solidarity actions as the dictatorial regime is nearing its end.

Secretariat of the Central Committee

Sudanese Communist Party

HSE recruitment freeze is a sign of times to come with downturn on the horizon

By Eilis Ryan

The HSE’s recruitment freeze is a sign of further austerity on the horizon from Fine Gael, as the global economy stalls. That’s according to Workers’ Party city councillor and Euro candidate Éilis Ryan.

Ryan said:

“There is an obvious hypocrisy in Fine Gael committing to solving understaffing on the one hand, and imposing a recruitment freeze to cut costs on the other end.

“In true neoliberal fashion, Fine Gael appears to blame understaffing not on lack of staff, but on there being too many sick people.”

She continued:

“But the return of recruitment freezes to political speak is a sign of bigger dangers on the horizon. For some time it has been clear that the global economy is beginning to falter.

“A number of market analysts predict a global downturn this year. And since Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil have been content to rebuild exactly those parts of the Irish economy that exposed us so deeply to the last global recession,  

The Euro candidate concluded:

“The appalling truth is that while workers in Ireland continue to be impacted – through a housing crisis and depressed wages – by the last recession, another is on the horizon.

“We can expect many more announcements of cuts, recruitment freezes and austerity from this government.”

New rent regulations leave plenty loopholes for landlords to exploit

By Eilis Ryan

Workers’ Party councillor and Euro candidate Éilis Ryan has said the government’s new rent regulations leave plenty loopholes for landlords to exploit.

Commenting following Minister Eoghan Murphy’s announcement of the new regulations this evening, Cllr. Ryan said:

“Landlords will breathe a sigh of relief that Minister Murphy continues to allow plenty loopholes for a landlord who wishes to get rid of a tenant. They can still use the excuse of giving a property to a relative, of selling up, or of refurbishing, and be confident that, by the time they could be found out, the tenant will have had to move on to new accommodation.

“These regulations continue the bizarre situation where the onus is entirely on a tenant – 6 or 12 months after they have been evicted from a property – to prove that their landlord lied when they evicted them. By that stage, the person is either homeless or has rehoused themselves elsewhere. It simply won’t happen.”

Cllr. Ryan criticised the Minister’s reliance on the RTB to police termination notices:

“The RTB is already chronically underfunded. The only token effort to take the burden of proof away from tenants, is to ensure landlords copy a notice of termination to the RTB. The RTB is already well past capacity point – it cannot cope effectively with yet another obligation, and no greater funds.”

Cllr Ryan concluded:

“Minister Murphy and his Fine Gael party are the party of landlords. I could set my clock by the number of times he has told us that new regulations are a new era for tenants. Let him come back and stand over his record in a year – I would wager little will have changed.”

ENDS

For information contact Cllr. Éilis Ryan (086) 3108553

NO TO WAR! NO TO NATO!

By Eilis Ryan


Statement by the Workers Party on 70 years of NATO

Today is the seventieth anniversary of the foundation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). On 3rd and 4th April foreign ministers from NATO countries are meeting in Washington D.C. 

This is no cause for celebration. NATO is an aggressive imperialist war machine that expresses and serves the interests and profitability of capital and the monopolies. NATO is the enemy of peace and social progress. It exists in the interests of preserving the current social system. 

NATO was established seventy years ago, in 1949, in order to block the growing ideological and political influence of socialism and the Soviet Union. During the existence of the socialist states in Europe, NATO was a military instrument of imperialism amounting to a permanent threat to the peoples of the world who were building socialism. It was hostile to the national liberation struggles taking place across the globe. By the early 1960s the US had 2,230 overseas military bases. The US and NATO provided support to reactionary colonial regimes. Racist South Africa, Rhodesia, south Korea, Chile and Paraguay, for example, received NATO military aid and assistance and NATO established a long record of direct and covert aggression against genuine national liberation movements and progressive forces committed to the struggle for peace, independence, freedom and equality.

NATO actively assisted the French colonialists in Indochina, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, Dutch colonialists in Indonesia and Portuguese colonialists in Angola and Mozambique. By the 1970s NATO was extending its field of operations to the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.

The concept of eastward expansion into the territories of the former socialist countries was formally proposed in December 1994. In 1999 Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic became full members of NATO. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Latvia and Slovenia became full members in 2004 followed by Albania and Croatia in 2009. At the NATO summit in Bucharest in April 2008 consideration was given to admitting Georgia and Ukraine to membership. In 2011, NATO officially recognised four aspiring members: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, and Montenegro. Since 1989 all new members of the EU have become members of NATO.

In 1994 NATO also launched the so-called “Partnership for Peace” (PfP), a US initiative lauded by NATO as undertaking “an important role in enlargement of NATO”. Ireland, despite its constitutional commitment to neutrality, joined PfP.

In 2002 the EU and NATO signed a formal declaration on European Security and Defence Policy. In 2003, Javier Solana, (who had been Secretary-General of NATO, including at the time of NATO’s murderous attacks on Yugoslavia, before being appointed Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union) presented a document on strategy to the European Council, diminishing the role of the United Nations, and emphasising the importance of NATO, the World Trade Organisation, the International Financial Institutions and European and non-European regional organisations in “strengthening the international order” and advocating “the need to develop a strategic culture that fosters early, rapid … and robust intervention”.

In 2017 the European Council of Ministers established Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) under Articles 42 and 46 of the Treaty on the European Union. These commit the participating Member States to theprinciple of a “single set of forces,to increasing their military spending to reach specific monitored target levels, and to providing troops for EU combat missions.

NATO’s 2018 Summit Declaration characterised the EU as a unique and essential partner for NATO and described a “strategic partnership” between the two organisations while agreeing that capabilities developed under PESCO be available to NATO and be complementary and interoperable. These are dangerous developments for world peace.

Imperialism has promoted the barbarism of war and genocide; exploitation and social discrimination; the abuse of science and technology; threats to national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of states; the repression of progressive political development and the perpetuation of the capitalist system. Intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yugoslavia and the destruction of the state of Libya are demonstrative of actions which had no legitimacy, no humanitarian objective, and were solely related to an overarching desire of the imperialist powers to create instability and to establish control, either directly or by proxy, opening the way for the monopolies. NATO has been instrumental in those events.

NATO has enlarged rapidly and significantly and designed a global remit for its operations. It constantly strives to expand its influence both in terms of the breadth of its agenda and its global reach.

Peace is a precondition for social progress. The peoples of Europe and the world must be free to determine their own course, without capitalist exploitation and wars.The Workers Party of Ireland applauds the long-standing commitment of the World Peace Council to peace and social progress. The WPI sends a message of solidarity to the anti-war movement, including the Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases and others participating today in the mass mobilization against the NATO meeting in Washington, DC.

Today, is not a cause for celebration but a reason for resistance.

No to War!

No to NATO!

No to PESCO and a European Army!

Yes to Peace and Socialism!

G Grainger

International Secretary

Workers Party of Ireland

Dublin councillor accuses city officials of hypocrisy for hosting Vienna housing exhibition

By Eilis Ryan

Workers’ Party Dublin City Councillor Éilis Ryan has condemned what she says is the  hypocrisy of Dublin City officials opening housing exhibition on Vienna’s housing model, today (Tuesday, 2ndApril) while refusing to contemplate similar public housing schemes in Dublin.

Cllr. Ryan said: 

“In 2016, I secured support from Dublin City Council for the ‘Vienna Model of Housing’ to be trialled at O’Devaney Gardens. Within a month, the proposal had been torn to shreds by Brendan Kenny and all the major parties on the council, who today tell the media it is the future of Dublin. 


“It is hypocritical in the extreme for Dublin City Council management – and indeed many councillors – to reject this model of housing in the council chamber, but support it in the press.” 

Ryan said the refusal to consider the model in 2016 has had real, negative consequences: 

“In launching this week’s conference Brendan Kenny said the major obstacle for implementing the Vienna model in Dublin was the shortage of land. This was entirely predictable. Dublin City Council have systematically pursued a policy of giving public land to private developers for half a decade now. 


“In 2016, when Kenny refused to implement my proposal for the Vienna model, I predicted that, years down the line, when the crisis had deepened further, the council would adopt the Vienna model but would realise it was not feasible because we had already given away all our land.” 

Ryan concluded by calling for a moratorium on all use of public land for private housing: 

“If the city council are serious about pursuing the Vienna model, they must now speak with their actions, and suspend all pending transfers of public land to private developers. 


“This should include O’Devaney Gardens. Proper public housing on that site, on the lines of the Vienna model, can make real inroads in the housing crisis in the area. It is not too late to do this.”  

SOLIDARITY WITH THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF TURKEY

By Eilis Ryan


From:       Workers Party of Ireland

To:          The Central Committee, Communist Party of Turkey  

30th March 2019

Dear Comrades,

The Workers Party of Ireland sends comradely greetings to the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and extends its best wishes and solidarity to the TKP for the local elections taking place on Sunday, 31st March 2019.

The TKP is the only revolutionary force in these elections and is standing unequivocally on a clear and principled platform of class struggle under the slogans “Against the reign of capital, the people have the TKP” and “We are not in the same boat”.

The TKP is the only party in these elections that represents the interests of the working class of Turkey and which recognises the necessity for a revolutionary change in the social order and that the capitalist system that produces inequality, injustice, poverty, unemployment, crises and war must be overthrown.

The WPI believes that the work of the TKP in this election will raise class consciousness and help build the political conditions to intensify, organise and expand the class struggle.

The Workers Party of Ireland salutes the TKP, extends its solidarity and offers best wishes for success in tomorrow’s elections.

Boyun Eğme!

Long live the TKP!

Long live socialist internationalism!

With communist greetings,

Gerry Grainger

International Secretary

Workers Party of Ireland

Discovery of heroin kits raises concern in Cork

By admin

Cork City North West Workers’ Party candidate Catherine Coffey has expressed concern after the discovery of a number of both opened and unopend heroin treatment kits across the Northside of the city.

Heroin injection kit found on Cork footpath

Catherine Coffey said that she had found an unopened heroin treatment  in her own area while used kits, including needles, has been found elsewhere in the city. This was a matter of major concern as these kits could easily have been picked up by young children unaware of the dangers they could potentially pose. 

Each kit consists of a small syringe, needle, sterile pad, citric acid for mixing and a disposable aluminium foil spoon for the heating of heroin.

“While recognising the need for drug treatment programmes, I feel that it is not acceptable that either sealed packages or used heroin ‘works’ can be found on a public footpath or in grass near to public areas.  There is clearly a need for stronger protocols regarding both the distribution and disposal of these potentially dangerous kits”.

The Workers’ Party representative said that the provision of drug treatment centres could dramatically reduce the irresponsible disposal of needles unfortunately there is often a knee-jerk reaction against such centres which ignores the consequences of not providing such facilities. 

“What is the required is the provision of publicly managed and properly funded injection facilities and treatment centres run to the highest international standards.  Drug addiction is a reality, not just in Dublin and Cork but in every small town and community in Ireland and we have to deal with it.”, said Catherine Coffey.

John Delaney must remove himself completely from the FAI, says Workers’ Party representative

By Eilis Ryan


David Gardiner - WP Lucan/Palmerstown Representative

Workers’ Party representative in Palmerstown-Fonthill, David Gardiner, has called on John Delaney to remove himself complete from the FAI, following his resignation as CEO yesterday (Saturday).

Gardiner said:

“As an lifelong supporter of St. Patrick’s Athletic, I have seen how John Delaney for too long stood in the way of the democratic development of the people’s game in Ireland. An organisation that should be most focussed on developing the game at community level and at the level of our own domestic league is instead in thrall to the likes of Denis O’Brien.

“There is no place for the likes of John Delaney or Denis O’Brien in football in Ireland, just as there should be no room for people like Denis O’Brien in the affairs of our state more generally.”

Gardiner continued:

“Delaney’s resignation is farcical, given he effectively appointed himself vice-president immediately following it. This move must be reversed, to allow a full transition away from the era of Delaney and O’Brien.

“Delaney allowed the management of our national team to be a decision in the gift of Denis O’Brien, instead of the Irish football community. His latest scandal must be fully investigated, and a full overhaul of how the FAI is governed begun.”

Gardiner concluded:

“Delaney is a man whose time is at an end in Irish football, as is his way of working. He must no longer stand in the way of the democratic development of people’s game. I am calling for his immediate removal from all positions within the FAI.”

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