Irish Republican News · January 3, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: New Year statements
New Year statements

2015.jpg

A collection of the statements issued by Sinn Fein and republican groups to mark the New Year.

32 COUNTY SOVEREIGNTY MOVEMENT NEW YEAR STATEMENT 2015

2014 bore witness to an unprecedented expression of Irish sovereignty exercised by a people demanding fundamental change. The mass mobilisation of people, on repeated occasions throughout Ireland, was testament to the revolutionary fact that these demonstrations were not merely protests against the status quo but rather an unstoppable advocacy for a new and sovereign Ireland.

All the old formulas are now redundant and stand indicted of abject failure. Chief amongst these is partition itself. The failure of partition is so complete as to render arguments and protests against the legitimacy of its provenance as academic.

Both statelets are in default of Emmet’s epitaph. Both statelets are injurious to the ideals of the 1916 Proclamation. And both statelets have demonstrated, consistently, that our people’s well being is subordinate to sectarian considerations and the interests of financial elites. Their own actions have de-legitimised them as Parliaments worthy of the allegiance of the people.

Stormont has demonstrated that the level of agreement that can be reached between its participants is in accordance with how much Westminster is prepared to pay for it.

Leinster House has demonstrated that no price is too high to ensure that those who bankrupted the State, and their political facilitators, are financially secured through the labour of the people.

Both the Good Friday Agreement and the Bank Bailout Arrangement has entrusted political governance on the island to institutions that are politically and economically controlled by outside financial interests.

The issue of Water Taxes has exposed the nefarious nature of this arrangement with an overwhelming dynamic of simplicity. That such a basic human right would be exploited to pay off a debt not of our making, and a national resource ultimately sold off for private profiteering, has proved a step too far. The issue of sovereignty is now to the fore of national politics.

For republicans this coming year must see us rehabilitating our ideals and strategies with a language which is both relevant and constructive to this real mood for change.

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement views the Centenary of 1916 as an unprecedented focal point for republicans to offer guidance so that maximum political and constitutional change can be realised.

This requires two essential components; republicans must work together, as the lesson of Easter Week has taught us, and we must make these combined endeavours work in tandem with those already mobilised. Our leadership must be as decisive as the clarity of our message.

Our message reiterates the Irish people’s right to national sovereignty, to sovereignty over our national territory, our natural resources, over the fruits of our people’s labour and to the collective wisdom of their vote.

Before the United Nations sits two documents; one makes the case for the continuance of British Parliamentary activity in Ireland the other makes the case for Irish National Sovereignty. The former has yet to yield a credible physical or intellectual argument as to why an Irish person should not fight for their freedom. The latter contains the resolution as to why they have always done so.

This movement for change is not confined to Ireland. The recent Scottish referendum on independence and the growing trend of English nationalism is proof positive that a new political dispensation is on the cusp.

British Imperialism, like its EU financial counterpart has failed. The legacy of this imperialism in Ireland is armed conflict and enforced debt. To those in Scotland, England and Wales demanding national autonomy for their respective countries we have called upon them to extend those demands to Ireland.

Irish republicans are keen to establish a new democratic relationship between the countries of these islands but this can only be based on a mutual recognition of our respective sovereignty.

2015 must see an end to confusion in republican thinking. Absurd claims and counter claims concerning Irish unity by certain dates or in certain formats fails to grasp the core message of Pearse and Connolly. Irish unity may well be generations away but Irish sovereignty is close to hand. And only on the attainment of our sovereignty can the process of Irish unity begin.

 

EIRIGI NEW YEAR STATEMENT 2015

As 2015 begins eirigi salutes those who have contributed to the fight for justice and freedom in Ireland over the last twelve months. To those who battle against imperialism and capitalism across the globe we send fraternal greetings and the hope that 2015 will see advances in our collective struggle. At the close of a year that saw Israel launch another genocidal onslaught on Gaza we send special greetings to the Palestinian Nation - you are neither alone nor forgotten.

We also remember those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, bereavement, imprisonment, injury and other hardships in the fight for a free Ireland. Your contribution has not been in vain. The passing of another year brings us a year close to the establishment of a new Thirty-Two County Irish Socialist Republic that will truly cherish all the children of the nation equally.

May 2014 saw eirigi candidates stand for election in both the Six and Twenty-Six County states. For the first time in decades voters from Antrim to Wexford were given the option of voting for a genuinely revolutionary republican party. As such the Local Elections represented another important milestone in eirigi’s development and in the building of a twenty-first century socialist republican movement. eirigi again extends heartfelt gratitude to the thousands of people who voted for our candidates and pledges to continue to work with them and their wider communities in the fight for a better, fairer, socialist Ireland.

The last twelve months have witnessed the emergence of a mass anti-Water Tax movement across the Twenty-Six Counties. Encompassing hundreds of thousands of people drawn from every community in the state this movement has already won significant victories in the battle to abolish an unjust double tax. For the first time in generations an emboldened working class has demonstrated the latent strength of their collective power and their ability to force change.

The anti-Water Tax movement has brought the contradictions at the heart of the Twenty-Six Counties state into sharp focus with the political class, corporate media, judiciary and Gardai all rallying to destroy a democratic movement which is slowly unlocking the vast potential of people power. In recent months Fine Gael and Labour have repeatedly attempted to demonise entire communities and criminalise legitimate forms of political protest.

eirigi condemns these transparent attempts to divide the anti-Water Tax movement and pays tribute to those who have taken a stand against the commodification of water resources and water services. We pay particular tribute to the communities of Dublin North East, Jobstown and elsewhere that have been singled out for attack by the political elite. Their acts of civil disobedience will be rightly remembered as acts of patriotism by generations to come.

The same right-wing politicians have also claimed that eirigi activists have ‘infiltrated’ the anti-Water Tax movement, a claim which we reject in the strongest possible terms. For eight years our activists have been to the fore of the struggle to retain public ownership of Ireland’s natural resources. In Rossport, Dublin, Belfast, Wicklow, Tipperary, Wexford and elsewhere our activists have continuously campaigned for the right of the people of Ireland to own and benefit from Ireland’s natural gas, oil, water, fisheries, forestry and other natural resources. And we will continue to do so despite the slurs of the establishment and their mouthpiece’s in the corporate media.

In the Six Counties the dysfunctional Stormont Coalition continues to obediently administer British rule in Ireland. Despite all of the rhetoric the re-establishment of Stormont has neither advanced the cause of Irish freedom nor significantly reduced the cancer of sectarianism. It has also failed to provide meaningful improvement in the economic conditions of the majority of people living in the occupied counties. Almost sixteen years after the signing of the Good Friday Treaty many working class communities in the Six Counties still rank amongst the most impoverished in Britain and Ireland.

The recent Stormont House Agreement is just the latest act in the increasingly irrelevant pantomime that passes for politics in the Six Counties. After years of posturing and grand-standing to their respective support bases Sinn Fein and the DUP again confirmed that their principles are for sale once the price is right. Their latest grubby little deal with Westminster will see widespread cutbacks to social welfare, education, healthcare and other vital public services. In return for waging war on the poor the Stormont Coalition secured the ‘right’ to reduce the rate of tax that corporations, including the private banks, pay on their profits.

It is now abundantly clear that Fine Gael, Labour, Sinn Fein and the DUP are intent on creating an all-Ireland economic model that will transfer wealth from the poor to the rich at a rate unprecedented in modern times. No party which supports austerity and low tax for the rich on one side of the border can be taken seriously when it claims to stand against those same policies on the other side of the border.

In sixteen months’ time Ireland will commemorate and celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Rising. We in eirigi look forward to working with communities in the organisation of fitting events to remember those who participated in the 1916 Rising and the revolutionary period that followed. And as importantly we look forward to working with those same communities in the fight for an all-Ireland Republic of the type that was envisioned in the 1916 Proclamation and the 1918 Democratic Programme of the First Dail.

eirigi will not be bought off by false Republics of the type that exists in the Twenty-Six Counties or glorified local authorities of the type that exists in the Six Counties. We will accept no substitute for full Irish sovereignty and independence.

To those who have previously been active in the republican struggle we ask you to join with us. Your knowledge and experience are needed at this time when hundreds of thousands of people are taking to the streets in protest at the injustices of austerity.

To those who have not previously been active in struggle make 2015 the year that you take a stand. Join with us and work in your own area to build a community of resistance which can then join with similar communities across the land.

Together we can work to build an all-Ireland anti-austerity movement that will deliver an effective challenge to the political elites in Stormont and Leinster House. And from there we can lay down the foundations for a new Irish Republic - the only fitting tribute to those who fought and died in 1916 and the only fitting future for all of our children.

 

RNU NEW YEAR STATEMENT 2015

Republican Network for Unity extends New Year greetings to members, supporters, activists and political prisoners, in Ireland and worldwide. In particular we send greetings to our imprisoned comrades in Portlaoise, Maghaberry & Hydebank. RNU would like to take this time to offer solidarity to all oppressed people involved in revolutionary struggle at home and abroad.

2014 was a year of transition for Republican Network for Unity, undergoing the necessary conversion from a pressure group to a revolutionary party, offering to represent the working class people of Ireland at all levels of struggle, which in hindsight was undoubtedly the correct decision.

In 2013 we took the decision to stand in local council elections with the view of giving the working class an alternative voice, in 2014 we carried out the wishes of our membership and support base and dipped our toes in the political arena. With this decision came challenges, challenges which our membership overcame with hard work and consistent activism regardless of the bias media, paramilitary police force and hostile state attempting to arrest progression.

The election campaign and it’s heartening results brought a new energy to the movement, a new dynamic swept across the membership and activists at all levels discovered new talents which they have since put to use in building a revolutionary movement capable of taking back every inch of Ireland and putting it in the hands of ordinary people.

This renewed energy has also brought growth, while small, it is undoubtedly progressive. At a time when Republicanism is, for the most part at an impasse, RNU has not only extended already existing Cumain, but we have established party structures in areas that were dormant for a number of years.

The continuous growth of RNU can largely be attributed to the selfless nature of our activists who consistently immerse themselves in the daily struggles of the working class, from small initiatives such as gritting roads and feeding the homeless to large national campaigns such as the anti-water tax protests in Dublin. The struggle for the Irish Republic is a peoples struggle, and RNU has responded to this, throughout Ireland, from Belfast to Cork.

It has been another year of struggle for Irish Republican Prisoners throughout the country, in particularly in Maghaberry where Cogus POWs have refused to allow a Thatcherite criminalisation policy to prevail without resistance. Throughout the last 12 months we have witnessed state thugs ramp up the pressure on Republican Prisoners and their families, using their limited arsenal of early lock-ups, cancelled visits, denying medical appointments and repressive visiting arrangements. All those efforts by the malevolent Prison Administration were quashed and treated with the contempt they deserved by Republican Prisoners and their families, who remain steadfast at the coalface of struggle.

Irish Republican Prisoners have time and again showed initiative, courage and resilience to create a conflict free environment within Roe House, they have offered the Prison Administration and the Justice Department the opportunity to replicate their courage and innovation and fully implement the 12th August 2010 agreement. This opportunity mustn’t be squandered. Republican Network for Unity reiterate the call for the unconditional and immediate release of the Craigavon Two who are currently suffering a major miscarriage of justice.

2014 also seen the continued internment of Portlaoise Republican POW Michael McKevitt. Once again Michael and his family have been denied any semblance of justice after the prejudice judicial system turned down a number of appeals for early release, which Michael should’ve been entitled to. This man is now entering his 14th year of imprisonment, he was convicted on the word of David Rupert an agent and convicted fraudster, in the pay of MI5, FBI and in all probability also in the employment of the 26 county intelligence services.

Michael McKevitt was tried and convicted in the media long before he appeared before the special criminal court, he was arrested on a warrant that has now been ruled unlawful but not in Michael’s case, even after all the long years of imprisonment these agencies still fear his principled unyielding Republicanism.

At this time we also keep in mind the capitulation of the puppet politicians in Stormont who recently agreed to punish the most vulnerable in our society for a crisis they didn’t create. The Stormont House agreement, as they call it, is nothing more than a neo-liberal orientated document set to increase the gap between rich and poor, making the rich richer and taking the last scraps from the tables of the poorest, manifesting in the form of devolved corporation tax and a commitment to implement the much dreaded ‘welfare reform’.

It is today we must organise, not tomorrow or next week. The struggle to abolish Tory driven welfare cuts must take place in every community and workplace, everyone must get involved. It cannot be left to one group, for that will ultimately mean failure, and failure on our part is simply not an option, for failure will pave the way for poor benefits, badly paid employment, homelessness, less hospital beds, poor education and widespread impoverishment. When stripped down to its core, this is what the Stormont House Agreement will bring to the working class people, so ultimately it is up to the working class people to struggle to abolish it.

Republican Network For Unity also continues to stand on the frontline with the communities in the 26 counties, who have stood firm in their opposition to water charges being imposed on them by a draconian 26 County Government masquerading as Dail Eireann.

Water is a human right, it is a natural resource, water belongs to all the citizens of this island. RNU encourage the people of Ireland to stand up for what is rightfully yours, and organise by whatever means. Only community empowerment and the organisation of the working class can defeat the water charges. The Republican Network for Unity Cumain in the North used constant pressure and direct action to force Stormont to ban water meters, albeit temporarily, this process must be repeated on an all-Ireland basis.

While some political parties continue to pay lip service to the issue and use it for political mileage, Republican Network for Unity will continue to organise and stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the people of Ireland on this unjust measure being imposed by immoral, disingenuous, self-serving governments.

Almost 17 years on from the signing of the Belfast Agreement, there has been a process by constitutionalists to tame the radicalness of Republicanism. The revolutionary fervour of a progressive ideology has been diluted by those who currently claim its mantle and have resigned it to the board rooms of Stormont and Leinster House.

What is deemed as ‘mainstream Republicanism’ is seeing more and more administrators, rather than dedicated Republicans. More and more career politicians are replacing the revolutionaries, and instead of thinking about the next generation, they are simply thinking about the next election.

This is not surprising, as the whole history of the Irish national liberation movement proves that the capitalist class and those who sought to appease them have been disloyal to the national cause, bargained and made agreements with the British government at the expense of the interest of the working class, time and again they have betrayed the struggle for freedom.

The conflict between the oppressed nation and the oppressor nation was, mirrored by the conflict within Ireland between oppressed and oppressor classes. Thus the all-too-material question of combating capitalism and its defenders was at the very core of the Republican struggle, and must take its place once again.

RNU note that the current partitionist settlement is not a solution, nor a stepping stone to a solution. It is simply a copper-fastening of British Rule in Ireland. It stands contrary to the basic tenants of Republicanism and the ideals of those who fought to defend Irish sovereignty.

We believe we have mapped out the path for a solution in our Revolutionary Republicanism document. We are therefore entering into a new year in a spirit of determination and confidence, armed with the strong belief in our ideological position. RNU encourage all Republicans to revisit and help strengthen the Revolutionary position, and reject the lure of the reformist crave for a short cut by submitting Irish sovereignty to Britain.

Beirigi Bua.

 

IRSP NEW YEAR STATEMENT 2015

The Irish Republican Socialist Party sends New Year gestures of comradeship and solidarity to all of our members, our imprisoned comrades and supporters across Ireland and the world.

As we await what promises to be a year of vital importance to the struggle for the emancipation of our people and class, we look forward to working with you all over the coming twelve months, anticipating and predicting further consolidation and advancement of the Irish Republican Socialist agenda in 2015.

In recent times we have initiated a process of consolidation and re-activation of party structures nationwide, aware that ours is the movement which kept the flame of principled working class struggle alive in Ireland throughout many dark and dangerous decades. It is inconceivable to us that the class struggle which our people face today could be fought without significant principled input from the IRSP, and as such we fully intend to continue building the party of Connolly in the year 2015.

We acknowledge the immeasurable hard work and sacrifice that has gone into sustaining and developing every branch of our movement, we thank each and every comrade who has played even the smallest part in this. We also take this opportunity to pay particular tribute to the Irish National Liberation Army, who along with articulating and maintaining an ideologically sound military position, have again steadfastly stood by the political analysis of the IRSP in recent years.

As we approach the immensely significant anniversary of Easter 1916, we thank the INLA for their continued endorsement of our party’s revolutionary agenda. You have maintained the principles, spirit and legacy of the Citizens Army, with a great deal of sacrifice and against herculean odds; an achievement which will be publically acknowledged by our party as we take our place with the many others to celebrate the anniversary of 1916.

The island is changing slowly, the once thought irreproachable social and political economic ideological pillars, which the Irish Free State capitalist establishment, and its political class, have built their cleptocracy upon; are beginning to be questioned with greater frequency and on a grander scale.

This must be recognised as a time of pivotal importance and potential for Republican Socialism. Our role in these times is to assist the working class in the process of empowerment and struggle, as far as the IRSP are concerned this is our foremost aim.

We caution that any party or movement who would seek to capitalise on the new social momentum - solely in order to build their own profile - should beware of the destructive affect any such manoeuvring will have upon the Irish class struggle. We propose genuine Revolutionary unity such as which can be built only on mutual respect and transparency. Any process lacking these basic components is not unity at all and is in fact doomed to failure. Our people deserve better than that, we are confident they will get better than that.

Likewise, British occupied Ireland is on the verge of a fresh class awakening. Former anti-imperialist revolutionaries - now administering colonial rule - have found themselves on the wrong side in the class war. Sharing power with a right wing sectarian and fundamentalist religious cult, hand in hand we see them administering anti-working class neoliberal economic policy.

In both Stormont and Leinster house, they have thrown our most vulnerable to the wolves.

Yet we now have the potential, to use the current political environment in order to break down the old sectarian enmities which our national and class enemies have encouraged and relied on to keep our people in a state of subjection and poverty. It is the intention of the IRSP to make progress in this area also.

Arming our communities with the information they need to successfully combat the right wing agenda being espoused by Stormont and Leinster House, is paramount to the IRSP in 2015. Our revolutionary ideology is the most potent weapon in our arsenal and we must utilise it to convince our communities of the republican socialist alternative, so once again they - the masses- can be part of the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland.

We take this opportunity to categorically state once again. There is no parliamentary road to socialism, because socialism cannot be created by seizing the bourgeois state apparatus. Nor is there an exclusively armed militaristic road to socialism nor Irish Freedom of any form, because social revolution requires the active participation of the masses; and therefore a socialist republic can only be established through the mass revolutionary actions of the working class.

While the IRSP recognises the right of the Irish working class to engage in whatever form of struggle it deems appropriate. We must beware of those who shirk from one of the main pillars of republican socialism, the complete and total obliteration of capitalism.

As our class becomes open to alternative methods for organising society the IRSP intends to use 2015 to develop, publish and articulate our vision of a united, socialist, secular, sustainable and stable republic. We must strive to convince the people of the merits in our political programme.

An Irish Workers Republic must be transferred from the pages of our policy into the consciousness of our class; this is our central task in the coming year.

The Republican Socialist tendency must dispel the myth that representative democracy, a system which inevitably leads to cleptocracey, is a concept that is truly of the people. Electing politicians once every four years to think and make decisions on behalf of the people is the antithesis of real democracy. Only an Irish workers democratic system with the full participation of the people, with workers control over its combined legislative, executive and judiciary systems, can we hope to “cherish all of the children of the nation equally”, a concept which shall not be reduced to a sound bite, in 2015.

 

SINN FEIN NEW YEAR MESSAGE FOR 2015 (GERRY ADAMS)

The Fine Gael/Labour coalition has lost its mandate and now clings to power, imposing policies that are alienating huge numbers of citizens, as it stumbles from one political crisis to another.

May’s Local and European election results were a clear message that the government needed to change political direction but they refused to listen.

The over-riding theme of the Fine Gael/Labour coalition has been a deeply unfair economic policy.

It has imposed destructive austerity measures on struggling families and vulnerable citizens. Its budgets have been among the most regressive in the state’s history.

The imposition of domestic water charges in the face of huge public opposition is the final straw for many.

In the year ahead, Sinn Fein will continue to fight the water charges until they are scrapped.

As we head into 2015, Irish society faces a choice between the failed politics of the conservative parties who have ruled the 26-County State since the 1920s - or a genuine republican alternative that offers the prospect of radical political change.

In the North, the most vulnerable have been protected against Tory welfare and budget cuts. Progress has also been made with regard to the issues of flags, the past and parading.

But much more needs to be done. The British and Irish Governments have failed to deliver on commitments such as a Bill of Rights, Acht na Gaeilge, and an inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane and other matters.

However, the Stormont House Agreement demonstrates that with the five main parties acting together, significant progress can be made to safeguard the most vulnerable and rebuild the reputation of the political institutions.

As we look forward to a new year Sinn Fein will continue to work towards a United Ireland and a new republic which cherishes all identities and puts the interests of citizens first.

For now, I wish you all a Happy and Peaceful New Year.

Bliain ur faoi mhaise daoibh go leir.

© 2015 Irish Republican News