By Stephen Bell
In 1916 the Easter Rising represented the resumption of the struggle for Irish freedom. The decision in 1914 of the Irish National Volunteers and the Irish Parliamentary Party to support the British government in the inter-imperialist war effectively subsumed the national movement. By 1916 hopes for an early victory by either side in the war had disappeared. It was time to reclaim hope for Ireland at home, from its slaughter overseas.
By Thomas Leary
International Women’s Day in the centenary year of the 1916 Irish Rebellion is an opportune time to recall the life and struggles of Constance Markievicz, one of the leaders of the rebellion and lifelong advocate of women’s liberation, Irish national independence and revolutionary politics.
By Michael Burke
The governing coalition of Fine Gael and Labour suffered a humiliating rejection at the hands of Irish voters in the General Election and the anti-austerity forces advanced. This continued the pattern evident in both the Portuguese and Spanish elections in 2015. It may also set the stage for renewed elections to the Dáil in Dublin later this year as no party looks able to form a stable government.
By Frances Davis and Ian Richardson
The much-anticipated General Election in the southern Irish state, called for 26 February, has brought into sharp focus two clear political alternatives – a continuation of right wing austerity politics or a break with it, in favour of a left wing alternative. The fact that the election is taking place in the centenary year of the 1916 Rising also gives an added significance – and one which is not just based on an historic poignancy. Most of the fundamental tasks of 1916 are yet to be accomplished.
British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Teresa Villiers used a recent report to lay a series of unsubstantiated allegations against Sinn Féin. The purpose of the report was to act as a smokescreen providing cover for a Unionist walk-out from the Assembly. But the report itself was actually written by MI5, one of the many arms of the British state that were parties to the military conflict. In one case alone MI5 is itself under official investigation for its involvement in up to 40 murders.
In the article below Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams places the latest report and the most recent allegations in the context of Britain’s long and bloody interference in Ireland. It is republished from Léargas.
`Defending the Agreement – equality not austerity’
7pm Tuesday 3 NovemberGrimond Room, Portcullis House, House of Commons, SW1A OAA
With Paul Maskey MP and Mickey Brady MP
The following article, by Declan Kearney Sinn Féin’s National Chairperson, originally was published by An Phoblacht. It explains the negative intervention Britain’s Conservative government are making into the current Stormont talks, including seeking to renege on Britain’s obligation to disclose its role in the conflict as part of the agreed process of dealing with the past. Sinn Féin’s efforts to defend the Good Friday Agreement and block the imposition of austerity should be supported.
The following speech, by Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams, was made to the 2015 National Hunger Strike march and rally in Dundalk.
The election in 1981 of Irish republicans on hunger strike, to the British parliament and Irish Dáil, proved to the world, beyond doubt, that the political prisoners had immense popular support.
Prime Minister Thatcher's criminalisation policy, supported by the Irish government, was discredited by election victories that transformed the struggle for a united Ireland.
By Frances Davis
In the north of Ireland the election was dominated by two factors: the economic situation and austerity; and the political and peace process. Sinn Fein have been at the sharp end of the fight against austerity and in resisting Tory welfare `reform’ cuts from being implemented in the six counties. They have also been in an on-going struggle to defend the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement against an anti-agreement offensive of unionism and the Tory-led government, which has attempted to stall and roll back progress.
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