IRSP founder passes away
IRSP founder passes away


A volley of shots was fired over the coffin of veteran Derry republican socialist, Terry Robson, ahead of his funeral last Saturday.

Mr Robson, a founding member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), passed away at Altnagelvin Hospital last week.

In a video posted online, three masked men fired a number shots over his coffin, which was draped in a red Starry Plough flag and beret and gloves.

Active throughout the conflict, one well-known photograph shows Mr Robson on the platform chairing proceedings at the funeral of 1981 hunger striker Patsy O’Hara, beside a masked INLA volunteer.

He also organised the funerals of Seamus Costello and Kevin Lynch.

Falsely charged and remanded in jail before three ‘supergrass’ trials, he went on to become an academic at the University of Ulster. He also wrote the programme for the Irish Republican Socialist Movement and became an advisor on policy to the party.

A traditional republican guard of honour flanked his coffin in Derry as it made its way to the cemetery.

Lifelong friend and IRSP member, Tommy McCourt told mourners Mr Robson “embodied the spirit of 1968”.

In his oration, IRSP leadership member Sean Carlin said that he never wavered from his “core belief in Republican Socialism”.

He described how said Mr Robson led the INLA in Derry against the British state and was “consistently and centrally involved in military operations.

“This was during a time when the INLA were extremely active and successful. Some of the INLA’s most successful operations occurred under his leadership,” he said.

“Terry understood and advocated the primacy of politics and that all armed actions, indeed all activities of a revolutionary movement, should be done within the confines of the political struggle. That is the fundamental position of this revolutionary movement. To this end Terry sought to clearly define where republican socialist principles could be applied to every aspect of political decision making in Ireland.”

He concluded: “Terry was our guiding light. He led the way. He articulated so eloquently what we need to do. He was a revolutionary fighter without compromise, fighting for the rights of his community from the barricades of the Bogside, he was a student who excelled academically graduating with two PHDs, he was a teacher, an author, a patriot, he was a loyal comrade to many and he was our leader during turbulent times.

“Rest in peace comrade Terry Robson, we will never forget you.”

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