Eirigi Losing its way

Guest writer Joseph Magee asks questions of the republican party Eirigi on the weekend of its 7th Ard Fheis.

This weekend will mark Eirigi’s seventh Ard-Fheis since its formation in Dublin in April 2006 as a socialist republican party. While other republican groupings have come under the spotlight, Eirigi has been largely left unscathed.

For many republican activists, Eirigi represented a new dawn - a fresh break from bureaucratic Stalinist features of Sinn Fein, offering a progressive socialist agenda that was eroded under the Adams mafia.   To some extent this progressive nature was hindered by the fact that many of Eirigi’s original founders brought some of their baggage from previous involvement in the Provisional Movement in terms of command and control and elitist hostility towards dissenters under the banner of the 32CSM.

Indeed as another republican activist described to me in frank terms the internal democratic culture in Eirigi is worse than in Sinn Fein and uses a quote from an interview by Tony Catney to the Irish News on 2nd December 2009 on why he left Sinn Fein to describe this situation:

the lack of internal debate on matters of policy and strategy and the manner in which the membership were expected to blindly follow a leadership led policy without question or dissent.

I recently spoke with one ex-member of Eirigi disillusioned with its direction and lack of internal democracy and keen to expose some of its inner workings.  Internal democratic debate ended last year after:

a membership seminar held in Dundalk in early 2012, in which it was the view of members that less emphasis should be put on individual motions. As a result, An Ciorcal Náisiúnta later agreed that a party communiqué would be issued at future Ard Fheiseanna on behalf of the collective membership on the state of Ireland, the struggle and the world today.

Therefore in comparison to 20 plus motions being discussed in 2010 and 2011 of a range of issues from international struggles to social and political affairs at home, only one was discussed at last year’s conference in relation to a technical issue to insert into the constitution that there was to be an Irish Language Officer elected each year at Ard Fheiseanna.

According to my source who prefers to remain anonymous this is more than just the membership agreeing to this but the fact is:

Democracy ended as Brian Leeson (Chairperson) is a complete control freak ... The way they sold the end of motions was that Eirigi would instead concentrate on using Membership Seminars every quarter to discuss issues and raise ideas but this was all horseshit as they held one in January 2012 and none since. I can guarantee you that there are either no motions or a handful of motions this year (2013).

However it was Eirigi’s decision to adapt an anti-choice position in relation to women’s right to choose and access to abortion which finally forced some active members to leave:

The fact that Eirigi has not adopted a pro-choice position was probably a major reason for leaving. Yet it was clear in 2011 that there was a huge majority of members who were militantly pro-choice. However in order to prevent a very vocal but small (2 or 3 at most) minority of members leaving, Brian pushed that the vote be side stepped. Then a series of questionnaires, briefing sessions, discussion documents etc. followed and eventually members were brow beaten into accepting that unity was more important than having a pro-choice position.

For an organisation that claims to be open and transparent shedding the worst excesses of Stalinist Provisionalism, accusations of people being ‘brow beaten’ should raise a few eyebrows.  According to the ex-member this has come at a cost as:

Eirigi is no longer active in Cork, Tipperary, Offaly, Kildare, Galway, Donegal, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Armagh - areas in which Ciorcal or groups were in existence.

It is not as if those leaving are going home - most are active in unions, international solidarity, single issue campaigns, prisoner groups, 1916 societies etc.  I stayed active in community politics and Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes (CAHWT) but people could not stand the internal workings of Eirigi ... Furthermore, the organisation is being squeezed politically by the emergence of left republican groups such as Republican Network for Unity and the 1916 societies.

It is the continuing confinement of Stephen Murney which provides them with much needed publicity and credibility.

This is in comparison to other republican groups such as RNU which had 108 motions discussed at their previous Ard Fheiseanna and Sinn Fein’s 252 motions.

It remains too been seen whether Eirigi are a progressive republican alternative or just a reincarnation of the left wing Provisionalism dominated by bureaucratic centralism from the centre …


  1. They certainly ignore requests asking when their ard fheis will be held and only announce it to the press at 3pm the afternoon before!

  2. Eirigi had a seven year itch and they will die still scratching at themselves-

    I think that it was the last local
    elections in which Eirigi got no one elected which dealt the first death nail-perhaps during or after this week-ends conference we
    will hear who if any are going to run for this party in next years elections in the 32-

    The Societies are filling up whilst eirigi drains-another failure-

    1. Eirigi members need to become employed. Once occupied with work their minds will be set free.

  3. As well written as this piece is I find anything provided by annonymous sources very precarious.
    Eirigi have been a thorn in the claw of Sinn Fein, they absolutely detest them.
    Irrespective of what Michael Henry or anyone else says, Sinn Fein view Eirigi as the big threat.
    In Belfast Sinn Fein concentrated more time during the local elections trying to scupper Eirigi than anything else.
    Sinn Fein were actually calling out to people, 'a vote for Eirigi is a vote for 'dissidents' '

    Given all of this it would be incredibly sad to think that a party such as this could lose out due to internal dictates.
    It would also be sad to think that a young Republican party that claims to be rooted in Socialism can seriously play the anti choice card.
    Sinn Fein have disgraced themselves for years over this issue.
    Sinn Fein women who were so active in the war and retain senior government positions during the peace have remained tight lipped over this isssue despite the fact a majority of them find anti choice unsatisfactory.

    It is hard to know whether or not what has been written is a fair representation of Eirigi, due to the source not wanting to be named, so hopefully it is not.

  4. I don't really know much about Eirigi and have no intentions of learning, as to my mind it was just another fragmentation of the Republican Movement. I know some good dedicated people that are Members, As I do in all the other Republican and Socialist groups out there.And none appeal to me that I would join due to a simple deduction that I realised in 1981.
    While we split and split again and retreated to hide in our little corners taking up most of our energy ridiculing every other group, we will never achieve anything.I could spend a year outlining what I like and do not like about every group in our little country and when I finish there I could do the same about other countries. But whats the point. Waste of time. Instead I have always pointed out that the greatest achievement we have had since 1971 was the unity under the H Block/Armagh Committee.From 1980 and 1981 as our Men and Woman Hunger Striked , most put aside differences and marched together in tens of thousands. We had the makings of something great.And when the Hunger Strike ended, the SF leadership ignoring the opinions of every other group and individual wanted the Committee to continue as a single issue calling for repatriation of the POWs in English Gaols. I was at the National H Block/ Armagh Committee leadership meeting when the late Dathaí Ó Connail submitted the proposal. I told him and the others that its wasn't enough.
    In February 1982, I attended the final recall conference of the National H Block/ Armagh Committee in the West County Hotel.This public meeting was packed mostly with members of SF to ensure that the vote went their way.Every other group pleaded to the room that we should carry on as a Broad Anti Imperialist Front, with the main agenda being an end to British occupation of Ireland. I remember reading the IRSP's 5 point proposal that had been drawn up By Seamus Costello, Bernadette Mc Alliskey Tony Gregory and others at the founding of the IRSP in 1974. My heart was breaking reading it knowing that it was falling on deaf ears. I knew that day as we left to go back to our corners that we had lost the greatest opportunity to build on our success. And for nearly 30 years I watch split after split happen.

    In 2011, I seen a glimmer of hope on a world scale with the occupy Wall Street event. Look how this snowballed globally. I watched hoping that people can see a platform to unite us all under common issues like world poverty, globalisation, environment etc etc etc.And as the novelty wore off, all the groups retreated to the wee places they occupy and started up their habitual backstabbing and grumbling about everyone and everything except themselves. Republican's and Socialists Of Ireland and anti - Imperialist of the world. We don't need a leader or a King to show us the way. We need to wake up and realise that we are pissing against the wind trying to go it alone. Only in Unity do we have a chance to win.

  5. I won't dignify McDickhead's post with a response, except to say that he's rejoicing about the fact that the 1916 Societies are filling up with people? The Societies are totally opposed to SF and their sell-out. Also, Eirigi stopped that other SF "speak your weight machine" Briege Brownlee from being elected much to SF's chagrin. The most startling aspect of that council election (to me) was that horrible bastard Storey lumping Eirigi in with what he called "dissidents" (he meant the armed groups of course) trying to take "our" seats!? "Our" seats? Correct me if I'm wrong, but in a so-called "democratic" election, any group or political party are "allowed" to stand for any seats. I was talking to a couple of friends who are members or associates of Eirigi after that election and I suggested to them not to hold back about SF come the next election (though as someone else pointed out a good while back, if a Billygoat stood for election in west Belfast, as long as it had a SF sticker on it, it would get elected, and they were right, just witness Adams getting elected). I have cause for concern though, that a party that describes itself as "Socialist Republican" doesn't support the right of women to decide what they do with their own bodies. I know this is a touchy subject for some people, but if I described myself as a Socialist Republican (which I am), then women's right to decide what they do, goes without saying.

  6. Sing like,

    there seem to be a lot of good activists in Eirigi. I don't know how much can be generalised from the article as I know very little about Eirigi. It would be good if some Eirigi activist were to return the serve and challenge it.

    TPQ carries this type of piece without in anyway having to endorse its content. I thought your own comment would have made a great stand alone article.


    the one thing I was surprised at was the pro choice point. I would merely have assumed that Eirigi supported it giving their left credentials and willingness to speak up on such matters.

    Yes, an article citing anonymous sources is generally weaker than one that cites up front sources. But it is very much part of journalism. I don't dispute for a second that the writer has the source. I just wonder how accuarte that source's own take is.

  7. I don't see how a woman's right to choose has anything to do with socialism or republicanism so why people try to link the two is beyond me - they're not connected. I found the contribution from 'Sing like' one of the best I've seen on here and it reminded me of a conversation I had with Geraldine Taylor around the time of the Agreement where she talked about the potential that existed in the aftermath of the Hungerstrike and how it had been wasted by the Adams leadership. Yeah she probably had an axe to grind but it was still an interesting point - she reckoned if ever there'd been a time to negotiate that was it then, given the strength of the movement. Whether or not that was ever an idea put forward at the time is another story

  8. Sean,

    it is relevant because it is regarded as a progressive issue adding to women's autonomy and freedom. And people tend to view the left standing for progress and associate the issues. But in general is it more a liberal issue than a left one, if by left we emphasize the economic rather than civil liberties.

    I support the right to choose because I opt to take a liberal view on these matters. I don't see it as being in essence left so think you have a point. And the left have often ignored human rights concerns that liberals would raise - the siding with the theocrats against writers, for example. I picked my side - the writers!

  9. The git-

    " the Societies are totally opposed to SF "

    Lol-Do you not know that the two leaders of the Societies voted yes to policing at the 2007 policing Ard fheis-the Societies will do no harm and are mopping up the young disillusioned with a black jacket-

    Sean Bres-

    " a conversation I had with Geraldine Taylor "-

    IRV has a strong voice then-
    RSF did not need a heavy boot for that move-

  10. Sean Bres,
    Why would this issue not have anything to do with Republicans and Socialists.
    It is an issue which is based on rights and the denial of those rights therefore, I should imagine it has something to do with everyone.

    Sinn Fein i.e IRA used the issue as a carrot for female volunteers for years.
    'Once we get our united Ireland you ladies will get a little bit of Liberalism as part of our reform and a kick back at narrow minded conservative Ireland'
    Sinn Fein to their shame share the same stance as the DUP on this issue.
    Which is basically tantamount to saying, if your dodgy in the head because you don't want a child and two medical doctors can verify this then you can have an abortion.
    Hardly what women especially Republican fought for but that's what we are stuck with.

    I am sure the source is totally legitimate but it's a classic Shinners ploy.
    They litter the A/town news with annonymous letters all written in Connolly House but put out as genuine writers.

    I really hope Eirigi do take the opportunity to answer and clarify a stance that a lot of women are genuinely interested in.

    Michael Henry.
    Why did Sinn Fein refuse the live TV debate with Eirigi?

  11. Socialist and pro-life positions are by no means mutually incompatible which is all I've to say on the matter. But if we draw on Sing like's analysis we can determine that efforts to build a broad-front should accept there will be differing views on such a contentious issue. For the record I'm not in favour of abortion but I'm not a theocrat who'd try and dictate to you what your position should be - that's your own business. To suggest though that this has anything to do with socialism or republicanism is wrong though because quite frankly it simply does not - at least the way I see it. Without trying to attach labels to myself am I any less a socialist or a republican because I hold a pro-life position?

  12. Sorry Nuala, in case of any confusion that comment was written in response to Mackers. I'm not saying it's irrelevant but that it doesn't define either socialism or republicanism - I agree though of course it has something to do with everyone. I couldn't determine from your comment your own position but either way I accept your right to hold it and would never attempt to argue it might compromise your republicanism or socialism if you define yourself as socialist

  13. Nuala,

    this is certainly one drawback of the anonymous source - who is citing it. SF has no credibility on its usage because of the history of using it for smearing purposes. Other writers are believed when they cite an anonymous source because of a history of credible reporting.


    if republicanism stands for feminism (it was once suggested as the 6th ism) then it would be easy to conclude that pro choice and republicanism are more compatible than they are incompatible. Your anti choice stand (if that is what it is) in my view weakens any claims you might make to be a liberal, but then I don't think you make any such claim. Does it make you less a republican? I don't really think so. I personally dislike abortion but defer to the right to choose. So regardless of what my own preference might be I will always defend the right to choose: which is really what the debate is about.

  14. Sean Bres,
    Pro Choice does not mean pro abortion.
    It simply means women having total control over their own bodies.
    Sinn Fein claimed for years, secretly of course that this was something that would be sanctioned, it never was.
    Now they have done another reversal, not that they give an absolute hoot about the unborn, the threw the born to the wolves and I'm sure they would chuck the unborn just as quick.

    How people think on this issue is a matter for themselves but I can't understand why anyone Republican or Socialist are not on the side of pro choice.

  15. Sean Bres
    I have answered the post that wasn't meant for me lol.

  16. Just in terms of Michael McIvor's comment I laughed at the black jacket reference, personally I wouldn't be keen on them myself, but by no means are Sinn Fein cumainn above such pageantry or dress-sense for want of a better description... Don't you wear jackets identifying yourselves and your cumann also? As for the mischievous reference to Brian I think the man's record speaks for itself and he's above your attempts to bring his credibility into question. If I were you I'd look more at the credibility of some of those now standing on the party ticket. To say nothing of the SDLP-types now getting the nominations what about the latest fresh-face in Carmen who was seen removing posters put up to raise awareness for the prisoners in Maghaberry and throwing them in a nearby field? That's the type of thing we expect from Boyle and his ilk in the cops but sure then again some would argue that when it comes to this type of thing there's not much difference in any of ye's - peeler, Shinner or whatever

  17. All I can say Anthony is it's a really complicated debate which probably explains the difficulties political organisations have with reconciling it to the broad thrust of their politics

  18. You can see some national and international background to the issue of abortion at http://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/abortion-on-demand-now/

  19. Had to laugh at the comment about Storey beinv a bastard. he sure is one grumpy looking man. Often wondered if he has a sense of humour. Was great to see the young lad in Ardoyne telling him where to go.

  20. Fionnuala-

    " Sinn Fein to their shame share the same stance as the DUP on this issue "

    Well that's hardly the truth-you will be saying next that Sinn Fein
    thinks that the world is only 6000
    years young-

    " Why did Sinn Fein refuse the live TV debate with Eirgi "-

    Has Eirgi got their own TV show now-I thought they dropped of the end of the earth since the last local elections in which Sinn Fein left them vote-less and red faced-

  21. I am not a member of eirigi but have some close friends who are and would consider myself a supporter. The above article while well written is quite weak in its accusations. For example could it not be possible that eirigi has remained unscathed while other groups are under the spotlight because it has no armed wing?

    What i know of eirigi is that it is obsessed with democracy because of where it came from which can at times frustrate is members because it can make progress on issues very slow while it clears the several rounds of debate before voted on.

    Motions at an ard fheis are mainly about stating a party's position, support, solidarity it is the traditional way things are done. In my opinion collating them into a communique statement is nothing to be feared or a backward step its modern and more likley to be read and shared online than a list of numbered sentences saying the same thing. Members of eirigi can correct me if i'm wrong but i beleive the right to submitt motions still exsists alongside the communique.

    I'm sure eirigi may has some internal issues and fallings out but what group doesn't? I'm yet to be pointed toward the perfect revolutionary grouping engaging in the perfect revolution.

  22. I was under the impression they were/are a mini Sinn Fein could be off the mark on that one. I doubt they are losing their way as they never really seemed to have a direction.
    I am not surprised no one from Eirigi has shown up to argue different.

    Sing like,

    you are spot on there was a solid unity and solidarity and with good strong reason.
    I would believe that Adams & Co. had been shrewd enough to see no further use for the committee at the ending of the hunger strike.

    A united group did not and would not have fitted into Adams secret dealings if they did somehow seem useful in his formula they would have been encouraged to continue.


    that made me laugh, you answering a post that wasn’t meant for you. And why not pro-choice and pro-life is a touchy subject.
    Personally I believe women should have the right of option for the better part I believe that option is a fear for many men and of course the Church.


    he does have a sense of humour just look at the company he keeps plus I heard one of his favorite songs is, beat up the brats with a baseball bat.

  23. Anti-venom,

    this is the type of counter argument that needs to be made. I am not sure the case is as clear cut as the author of the article makes out. But I don't follow it that closely so it is useful to hear a different interpretation such as that expressed by yourself.


    he has a sense of humour okay; and can be very witty on it. His humour was often subtle and clever.

  24. MH-

    U said...'Lol-Do you not know that the two leaders of the Societies voted yes to policing at the 2007 policing Ard fheis-the Societies will do no harm and are mopping up the young disillusioned with a black jacket-'

    Good to see you are your typical cynical self!! I take it you are inferring to Brian Arthurs?? If so I remember reading the article by Suzy Breen when she interviewed both Brian Arthurs & Peter McCaughey after their departure. I think this quote from that piece by Arthur's encapsulated both then & now the sentiment within grass roots Republicans..

    "No one can deny that there have been changes in the North but it is an equality agenda being pursued. People did not die, they did not take up arms, for equality. They did so for Irish freedom."

    Irrespective of whether he voted or not at least he had the gumption to stand up and be counted when the time came that he felt enough was enough!! - MH is that one of the pre-requisits of being an Irish Republican thats sets us apart from constitutional nationalism as laid down by Tone???

    (An article on the Breen interview is in TPQ's archives @ http://thepensivequill.am/2010/10/longer-and-stronger.html)

    As for the jackets black remark - A bit snide from such a learned fella as yourself...

    The much lauded 'equality' agenda concoted by PSF served as a get out clause to distract people from the unity question and they decided to kick the can down the road by adopting the Island(S) of Ireland agenda.

    You mentioned a vote on PSNI in 2007, tell me, when exactly did Equality make it on to PSF's manifesto????

    PSF discarded any leftist political trappings they had (if ever they really did?) and opted instead for a liberal wishy washy mixture of equality & freedom and with it embraced a form of welfare state capitalism that we see today. - and why this ideological U-turn? Solely, too gain Stormont power by wooing the SDLP Castle Catholic vote to the detriment of the political desires of those that formed the bedrock of the party!

    Sing like... I am glad to hear you mention the now virtually forgotten document by Costello et al and the 5 point proposal. I have referenced to it several times here on TPQ. I would like to re-iterate that at his untimely death he was leader of BOTH the military & political wings - and was unashamed to stand up and say it!! .I am sure we would both agree that if we were to assess PSF's achievements to date, against those 5 original goals, very few if any of them have been fully achieved..

    "Do not be misled by the promises of politicians. Remember that the whole history of Ireland is a record of betrayals by politicians and statesmen, and remembering this, spurn their lying promises and stand up for a United Ireland - an Ireland broad based upon the union of Labour and Nationality." ~ James Connolly ~

  25. Michael Henry,
    Sinn Fein believe the fairy stories of Hans Christian Adams maybe they think he created the world.
    They share the same stance as the DUP on abortion?
    Eirigi challenged them to a live debate and they chickened out.

  26. p.s. there were actually 7 stipulations proposed by Costello et al regarding the formation of an Irish anti-imperialist Frontand they are WORTH re-iterating:

    1. That Britain must renounce all claims to sovereignty over any part of Ireland or its coastal waters.

    2. That Britain must immediately disband and disarm the UDR, RUC, and RUC Reserve and withdraw all troops from Ireland.

    3.That the British and 26 County governments must immediately release all political prisoners and grant a general amnesty for all offenses arising from the current conflict.

    4. That Britain must agree to compensate all who have suffered as a result of imperialist violence and exploitation in Ireland.

    5. Recognizing that no country can be free and independent while it permits imperialist domination of its economic life, the Irish anti-imperialist Front will oppose all forms of imperialist control over our wealth and resources.

    6. That the Irish anti-imperialist Front rejects a federal solution and the continued existence of two separate states in the 6 and 26 counties as a denial of the right of the Irish people to sovereignty and recognizes the only alternative as being the creation of a 32 County Democratic Republic with a secular constitution.

    7. That the Irish anti-imperialist Front demands the convening of an all Ireland Constitutional Conference representative of all shades of political opinion in Ireland for the purpose of discussing a democratic and secular Constitution which would become effective immediately following a total British military and political withdrawal from Ireland.

    We are sadly as far away in 2013 from achieving these goes as when they were first proposed during the 'Broad Front' talks in 1977...

  27. Tain Bo,
    Eirigi have to be quite impressive at something because Sinn Fein fear them big time.

    I wrote to the A/Town News once in response to an anonymous Sinn Fein writer ( surprise, surprise )
    During the exchange I cited that, all the lifelong Republicans on Clonard including the ex-prisoners voted for Eirigi. The following week Sean Murray wrote to the paper hotly refuting what I had said even though he knew it was true.

    Sinn Fein despise the fact Eirigi exists and they despise the fact that given time they could provide quite a formidable alternative.

    But your right Tain Bo we don't know enough about Eirigi, except to say the party hosts quite a lot of very credible individuals.
    Eirigi is big time up against it. Stephen Murney is classic example of the extent to which the Brits fear this party.
    They speak out on prison issues, they speak out on secret evidence. They organise and speak out on local and wider issues which gravely affect the people, such as stop and search benefit cuts etc.

    I'm sure someone from their party could post a much clearer and more comprehensive overview of their mandate which everyone would appreciate.


  28. It seems SF tend to shy away from any public debates where they will be held to account for their actions. They clearly know that they can not hold the ground.
    It is beyond me how they call other Republicans " dissidents " for doing what they were doing 20 years ago. When Marty called those in the IRA as traitors to the island of Ireland whilst stood beside a PSNI chief and a British secretary of state, well I near died laughing.
    SF/IRA were destroyed and are now part of the government they wished to get rid off. They are British politicians and are administrating British law. Yet despite this they still have some very naive followers who believe it is part of a struggle for a UI.
    SF have a cheek calling true Republicans as traitors and dissidents. They are a fascist and self deluded group.
    It is easy to see why so many former IRA members are so disgusted and angered at these people.
    They are still backing old Gerry up even though he had protected a child molester, killed the hunger strikers for his own political goals and sold the IRA down the river for his British pay check and job in Stormont.

  29. On the issue of pro-choice and defending women's right to choose. This has always been championed by the left particular in Ireland. From an anarchist perspective, this struggle is a lot more than anti vrs pro choice but is about eroding the power of the Catholic Church and state over control over our lives. Anyone who has noticed any anti choice marches in Ireland will now this because they represent the most conservative right wing elements in society such as Youth Defence including known fascists in their ranks. It is also a class issue as it particularly affects vulnerable poorer women who cannot pat for private clinics. Therefore it must be free and on demand. The fact that Eirigi have adapted an anti choice position only serves to highlight the division between those who are more left and green in the organisation. There is not a left organisation in the world over that does not defend women's right to choose. Its a shame about Eirigi because when they first founded many were optimistic that they were moving away from the authoritarian dynamic of Irish republicanism. This article is just one example of them moving in an opposite direction.

  30. The writer also states in his piece that for a group to have credibility it must have someone in jail. Is that the only thing that gives credibility to somone these days?

    I know many people who have spent their lives trying to right the wrongs of this world, campaigning and strugling to acheive core republican objectives. Some of them have since passed and they very much deserved the flag that adorned their coffin. To suggest that they were in some way not credible because they never when to jail is very insulting.

  31. Anti Venom,

    I didn't read the piece in the sense that you did - it didn't seem to me that the writer was suggesting that groups only have credibility if they someone in jail. I think his point was that Eirigi's relevance is reduced to this. I think that is a wrong reading of Eirigi but it is not the same as what you read into it.

    However, you touch on a wider point of significance. Being in jail means just that. It no more validates your opinion or gives you a right to have your view imposed on someone else. In my view the bulk of progressive work has been done by people who were never in jail. And many who were in jail have backed very reactionary policies and have used their jail history to suppress alternative critiques.

  32. Sean you state that there isn't a left organisation in the world that does not hold a pro-choice position and while I'm no expert on the left I find that an incredible statement. Judging by this article Eirigi, to say nothing of God knows who else around this planet, does not hold a pro-life position so are you telling me this party is not of the left? I suggest you look at the principles this party is founded on and the policies it pursues because it is surely of the left - just have a look at their website, even a cursory look will back up what I'm saying. Read their constitution and their policy documents and there's no dispute. The reason for this is because here is no correlation between republicanism, anti-imperialism or socialism and the debate about a woman's right to choose, they're not connected. You can be pro-life or pro-choice and still be a republican, still be an anti-imperialist, still be a socialist. This kind of issue should be left to individual choice, as the article suggests Eirigi have done, in order to preserve unity. How such an issue could ever be resolved in the context of a broad-front anti-imperialist approach to the British occupation of Ireland is beyond me and for me that remains the essence of our struggle - getting the British and their malignant influence out of this country

  33. Sean Bres,

    the fact that it is hard to find a left group that does not endorse choice indicates that for the left the freedom to choose issue is very much interweaved into left politics. The Left has made it part of its political identity. Eirigi is very much a left wing group. But in terms of left wing groups its stance on choice would seem to set it apart from the broad spectrum of the left on this issue. I tend to see it as a liberal issue rather than a left one - in the same sort of category as free speech, something the left have often suppressed with gusto.

    I think Eirigi activists should have the right to pursue individual choice on the matter but believe the party position should be for choice. It is a progressive issue identified with by progressive forces globally from what I can see and opposed by reactionaries and the right. Those are generalisations rather than fixed categories.

    I very much disliked the way SF dealt with Peadar Toibin for his views on the matter. I disagreed with him but surely he should be allowed to have his view and not be subjected to the party whip.

  34. The comments from Sing like and Tain Bo regarding the H-Block/Armagh Committee's and their usurpation by Sinn Fein are very relevant when it comes to an analysis of where and why the republican struggle has faltered - I think Sing like identified the problem, where it all went wrong, while Tain Bo provided an explanation as to why. For the Adams clique it was important to have complete control over everything, because as Dixie has pointed out several times over the last while they were already heading down the route of a settlement that did not match the aims of the movement - even while the Hungerstrikers were dying in the H-Blocks.

    They could not afford people not under their command structure to have influence on the movement because they could not be instructed what to do or more accurately be lied to and deceived in the same way as the Volunteers in their own organisation who had taken an oath of loyalty. That loyalty was manipulated and exploited in a devious and cunning manner to inch the republican movement away from its traditional goals towards accepting an internal settlement. The isolation of O'Bradaigh and others was no doubt a critical part of this process also. A broad front would have been an obstacle to such manipulation and deceit as Tain Bo has shown.

    I think Mattiu has hit the nail on the head as to the road we've been taken down, the whole thing is a fucking shambles when you really think about it. Myself and Antaine had an interesting conversation previously in regards the point of failure discussions in the early days of 32CSM, it was held that '86 and the Mansion House was the point we needed to return to. But we can see now that we need to go back even further, to the point where the army leadership was taken over by the Belfast clique loyal to Adams. This was where it all went wrong and everything else was only a matter of time.

    To think that so little could come of so much, my God what a waste. We owe it to those who lie in republican plots all around this country to build it back up again, learn from the past and see it through. We cannot accept this failure

  35. Reply to Sean Bres,

    I respect individual's members right to choose their position but this tells me lot about the progressive nature of 'socialist republicanism' in Ireland. And yeah, the pro-choice and women's freedom is not some side issue(it maybe is in republican circles) but should be central to revolutionary anti imperialist class politics and not just left until we solve the issue of the 'brits.' In fact the pro choice struggle especially after the tragic death of the young Indian women in the south has been one the largest battles in recent years which all progressive forces have been involved in. At least the IRSP recognise this. I would also take issue with Eirigi's version of 'socialism' which is of a Marxist Leninist persuasion. When Eirigi first formed many of us from the libertarian socialist/anarchist tradition were optimistic that this marked a drift away from the authoritarian and centralised dynamic that underpines Irish republicanism which to me is one its weaknesses. What I mean by this is that often republicans accuse Adams and co of being a 'traitor' etc but the reality is he is just a manifestation of a highly centralised body that minimised debate and discussion. Its like blaming a house collapse without looking at the foundations. Or I often like to put it in this way- Stalin did not drop from the moon!

  36. Thats for those 7 Points Fenian. The IRSP actually used only 5 in the submission to the H Block Armagh Meeting in 1982.
    I will add a nit extra to my submission and submit it as a piece AM !

  37. Sean Bres,

    I agree with you that the 40 years of struggle should have resulted in alot more!

    Howevr, when we scrutinise the majority of Republican groups out there they ALL ignore the elephant in the room - The Protestant majority in the O6C.

    If we only wind the clock back to pre Adams era we only address the mistakes of the war. To formalise a proper strategy we have to go right back to Tone and address the relevance of 'Catholic, Protestant & Dissenter' to the Ireland of today.

    PSF have attempted this BUT within the partitionist format of the 6 counties. That has failed because they are negotiating from a position of weakness.i.e. every time they try to counter move the Unionists they are seen to be capitulating.

    PSF have the proverbial gun to the electorate's head with the 'them & us' mentality when election time comes around. Furthermore, when the Republican groups engage in Sinn Féin bashing it is portrayed as egotistical and fascist in ways. Doubt if many former Republicans are overly impressed with certain goings on in the name of Irish unity??? All they are achieving is turning people away who would be interested in getting involved for reasons other than posterity.

    In essence, modern day Republicanism must evolve to meet the challenges of today!

  38. Sing like..got my wires crossed on that one.. had the 5 demands in the back of my head when I was replying to your comment. look forward to reading your article..

  39. Sean Bres,
    I think how a political party treats women's rights is a major issue!
    I would say a party claiming to be on the left and sits on the fence on this issue is nothing short of fickle.
    How can you be left wing and support policies which are rigidly conservative and right wing?
    Anti Choice is laced with religious conservative right wing fervour, it is backward and regressive and it should not be equated with socialism.
    I know Republicanism struggles with the abortion debate and for all the wrong reasons, which are more to do with social control than the life of the unborn.

  40. If truth be told I don't know a lot about Eirigi, however I think it's beyond time that those other groups, who insist on clinging to armed struggle while embracing electoralism, catch themselves on and realise that they are doing nothing other than mimic The Provos.

    If elected, does the mimicry stop in the council chambers or in Stormont? I seriously doubt it will.

    Republicans are languishing in jail with nothing to show for the wasted years and it's time leadership was shown in this regard.

    The unity shown during the recent anti-internment march and each year during the Bloody Sunday March is proof that something can be achieved if the willingness is there.

    The time is ripe to bring Republicans and hopefully the ordinary man and woman on to the streets in protest at what the Tory/Stormont governments are doing in regards to cuts etc.

    To be quite honest no group is perfect, especially if they aren't able to attract the attention of those who really matter...The people.

  41. Sean and Nuala in my opinion Anthony is correct in describing it as a liberal rather than a socialist or republican issue. There may be socialists and republicans who share your view but equally there will be those who don't. There is no universality here. I don't dispute your right to hold your view but I think it's something that needs a lot more explanation, debate and discussion before any consensus can be reached. In the meantime the right of the individual to hold his own view on the matter should be respected, which I'd hope is the case with you both.

    How can such a divisive issue fit into the efforts some of the contributors have endorsed here to build a broad-front capable of challenging the imperialist occupation of our country? I don't think it can as there is a division on opinion that can't easily be bridged, but for sure I don't claim to know all the answers - as always I could be wrong. But for anyone to tell me I can't support the basic human right of the right to life without compromising my anti-imperialist beliefs I would find insulting to say the least. Likewise to suggest it undermines any claim I have to supporting women's rights. Human right supersedes women's right from my perspective and I don't see that as regressive or reactionary.

    Building the type of broad anti-imperialist movement is the priority, "solving the issue of the Brits" as you put it Sean, or more accurately getting them to hell out of our country and undoing the effects of their misrule, is what drives me. Being pro-life in no way conflicts with my attitude towards imperialism because I am dead against it whether here, in Palestine, Syria, South America, the Philippines, Libya, Mali or wherever. This is the universal struggle that demands our efforts and attention and I think it takes priority over everything else. By the same token we are all entitled to our own take on it so I say what I say with the greatest of respect for those who see things otherwise

  42. Dixie,

    'Republicans are languishing in jail with nothing to show for the wasted years and it's time leadership was shown in this regard.'

    I think you have got to the crux of the problem on the leadership which brings us back to the essence of this article.

    People talk about it is time for Adams to stand down. Personally I think the whole leadership should have made way after GFA to ensure a new era was to flourish. But we are where we are.

    If we look around ALL the Republican groups where are the natural leaders to grab the attention of the people and make them stand up and listen??

    Given the fact that we are just out of 40 years of Struggle one would have thought that we would have been briming with new raw talent. But sadly and to our detriment the opposite is the case & talent is not being attracted into Republicanism. This in itself should be sounding alarm bells regarding the bigger picture.

    Leadership takes a special mind set and maintaining dislipline (notably Michael Collins) within the ranks & a ruthless streak (De Valera) when dealing with descent within the ranks have been pre-requisits throughout our history.

    A scenario where a leadership is going to be acceptable to all, especially where difficult decisions have to made, is nothing short of Utopian..

  43. Sean Bres,
    What you have just written is similiar to all the stuff I have heard for years from Sinn Fein.
    'It is a Liberal rather than a Socialist or Republican issue'
    You can't categorise where a human right should be placed, oh shove that into your ideology because we don't want it to smudge ours or cause any divisions.

    What you have written in relation to the right to chose is at odds with women's rights!
    A right to life supersedes women's rights.
    It's not as cut and dried as that Sean nor is it as black and white.
    Issues like this are at the very crux of ripping the throat out of the idea of women's rights. You are either for or against or on the fence you can't be both.

    That priority of building a movement anti-imperialist or otherwise is precisely the same old spin the shinner bots spun for years.

    Women are placed on the same back burner they have been placed on for years.
    Everytime you think something progressive has come along the same old rhetoric comes tumbling out from the regurgitated tank.

    Very disappointing to hear people who you thought were progressive are the same old conservative backward movement that you should of imagined had been kicked into touch.

  44. Reading all the comments here and many books and articles on Sinn Fein and how they have ruined what Republicans would class as true Republicanism. That SF need to be voted out and removed from power and a real Republican group that will work for your community to be voted in place of SF.
    SF is beyond the point of damage control on a PR level.

  45. Sean

    I have just come across this thread so forgive me fore coming in late. AM is wrong on this, it is neither a liberal, socialist or even conservative issue,(never forget conservatives too can support abortion.) No it is a human issue, and anyone worth their salt as a human being should support a women's right to chose.

    Not having the right to chose has been one of the most powerful weapons in reaction's armory, and has led to the oppression of countless women.

    Mike Leigh wonderful film Vera Drake best summed up the gross hypocrisy that surrounded the law and abortion, while working class women went to a back street abortionist, or had the child and often suffered every indignity society can throw at them, nice middle class girls of the monied middle classes always had the option of finding a pliable doctor or psychiatrist, whose palm they could cross with silver to make the pregnancy go away. (It was a bit like the treatment of drug addiction today)

    Down the centuries women have suffered countless inhumane injustices for no better reason than they became pregnant. (Try putting that shoe on your own foot and think that through?)

    To be honest what we now know about the way many of these young women were treated by powerful institutions in Ireland and elsewhere. I find it inexplicable for any progressive political organization not to support the right to choose, and support it vocally.

    This is not a complicated issue at all,lets be clear about that. Its about human dignity and how society treats 50 percent of humanity.

    As to those women who find the thought of abortion abhorrent, if abortion is legal they choose not to have one, it really is that simple.

    Comrade Sean, if you believe in freedom as I believe you do, how can you deny a women the right to do with her own body as she wishes?

    Need I remind you that writing in 1913, at a time when the procedure was illegal almost everywhere in the world, the Bolshevik Lenin demanded “the unconditional annulment of all laws against abortions or against the distribution of medical literature on contraceptive measures.”

    Hence it was one of his first acts after the October Revolution. He could no be described as a radical feminist by any means, but he understand the core of this issue is one of common decency and equality.

    Comradely regards


  46. Mick,

    nothing like being told we are wrong for making us think!

    Must try that Vera Drake film some time.

  47. Organized Rage,
    When I was writing my post earlier I was actually thinking about what someone like you would say on this issue.
    I enjoyed your post, not because it agrees with some of what I said but because you took the time to put together a well thought out informative and quite poignant piece.
    It bears out everything I should imagine we should expect from socialism and progressive thinking.

  48. Nuala,

    I don’t know much about Eirigi or much of what they represent if they had a manifesto or a new direction the articles title would fit as they don’t seem to surface.
    I doubt SF fear them as SF are too arrogant they despise anything republican that is not the SF brand.
    Either they are lying low and rebuilding or they are quietly fading out being absorbed into the unknown of republican factionalism.

    I doubt the Brits fear them as the amount of small groups who claim to be pointing true north still have yet to rethink that position of a number of small voices versus one loud voice.
    I would think the Brits are quite content to watch the sideshow circus of disunity amongst those whom wish for unity.

    I think we spend too much time on being critical of SF which is understandable as they in their sellout created the different factions.
    There should be a Republican Unity Conference created and the various groups should be able to at least agree on unity if nothing else.

    As Sing Like pointed out there was a strong direction with the anti H Block & Armagh Committee the various groupings should pay attention to that as it could be a workable way forward.

    I too would appreciate if someone from their party showed up and explained their position.
    They do seem to mimic SF at least here on the Quill as they refuse to comment.

  49. People, this abortion question it isn't about simply a womans choice. Men have a voice too.

    Take for example the situ. where (normal rules of society etc) a man and woman end up having breakfast together and a few weeks later she finds out she is pregnant. She is on a career ladder and the burden of raising a child for 18+yrs etc would seriously hamper her career and wants to abort.


    The man says to her.."Tell you what, go full term and once the baby is born, I'll (the man)take all responsibility etc for 18+yrs..."

    And she has the abortion anyway..

  50. We hope shortly to run another article on eirigi from a few years ago. It gives a much more positive view of the party. It was sent to me by the author in response to the discussion here. I asked for permission to reproduce and he gave it. Appreciation to all who took part in the debate.

  51. Sean Bres,

    I don’t have a problem with your belief in the right to life as life is sacred.
    My view on pro-choice is not based on some liberal notion of the perfect utopia.

    I do believe there is a case to be made for unwanted pregnancy and the lack of option. This leads to a small hidden dirty business of back door abortion clinics with unscrupulous doctors willing to extract some money at the expense of some emotionally confused women. Who for one reason or another are not ready to be a mother or indeed if they ever want to be a mother.

    I don’t think the numbers add up as pro-choice isn’t a license for a wave of mass abortions. I believe for the better part that a woman’s maternal instinct would set in the very moment she finds out she is pregnant.
    In my opinion the higher percentage would see the pregnancy to full term.

    And as for those who would seek an abortion they probably do out of circumstance and a fear of not being able or capable of providing a new life with all it requires not just in the material sense but also the emotional sense of loving, caring and nurturing. I am sure there would be a few who would just want an abortion as they would see a baby as a hindrance to their life style.

    In the same respect if illicit drugs were made legal I doubt the usage would increase.

    On a lighter note Sean, I always enjoy your input.


    thanks for the heads up on Eirigi I look forward to reading it.

  52. Mick and Nuala thanks for the input, not sure how to respond to all that but the best I can say is I'll consider what you've said and take it from there. It's not an issue I've given as much thought to as yourselves obviously but my position as it stands would be to a great extent based on a belief that life begins at the point of conception and that the unborn child, who does not possess the capacity to chose being dependent on the mother, has a human and a legal right to life. There may be mitigating factors based on medical reasoning but that to me would be the base-line and to my mind is not something that can be so easily dismissed as reactionary or conservative, say what you like about me. I'd also question if it impacts on women and their status in the manner you describe - not in this day and age anyway, regardless of how things may have been thirty years ago. As you said yourself Nuala it's far from cut and dry or black and white. But I find the idea that if I don't support a woman's right to abortion that I'm somehow against equal rights for women unfair to say the very least. I hope I'm not causing further offence and as I said at the outset I will consider what you've said and try to look more into this issue.

    Having read the article through again I'd like to go back to a theme from earlier if I may, in relation to anonymous sourcing. I think the anonymous source in question here reflects very badly on Eirigi in a deliberate, calculated fashion and obviously has his or her own agenda. This should have probably formed a greater end of our response to this article as surely the party deserves a little bit better than this - or are we to allow faceless trolls to influence our opinions without knowing just who these people behind their monikers or whatever actually are or what they represent? Coming up to Council Elections this is more likely a fifth columnist than a disgruntled member and as Nuala said Sinn Fein would hardly be adverse to such underhand tactics. I'm not or never have been a member but I would have an affinity with the party as they are republican and like others have said because I know some of their personnel to be decent and hardworking men and women of integrity. Indeed I was invited to attend the Ard Fheis in question. Let's call this what it is, a blatant political attack - an attempt to damage the party through manipulating the audience in advance of the coming elections. We should probably be more forthright in challenging such 'journalism'

  53. I didn't see the comment about a more positive article to be put up before my last contribution sorry, look forward to seeing it because if I were in eirigi I'd be starting to wonder was there an agenda against the party on here, that's two articles in relation to the party painting it in a negative light - the other was the article about Joe O'Connor where again the party was mentioned in a very unfavourable light, something to do with Jake speaking at their events. Look forward to something more fair on the party as surely they do represent a progressive option for republicans given the range of policies they stand over - all of them progressive as seems to be the buzz-word tonight. Also 'Sing like' I await your contribution with earnest as what you've brought to the table is at the core of what I feel we need to be addressing - the point of failure and how we set about rebuilding. We need to retreat, reassess and prepare for the future. As I say I hope you're article contributes to the discussion republicans need to start having with one another - no matter what faction, if any, we belong to

  54. Also I meant to thank Tain Bo for the kind words, I enjoy your own contributions every bit as much a chara

  55. Sean Bres,

    the ethos here is a freedom to write one. People may come with agendas or they may not. People may comment anonymously if they choose. That has always been a feature of the blog. If we plead 'hidden agendas; every time whatever position we adhere to is scrutinised or critiqued we end up just like the Shinners, sounding eager to muzzle. Some comment about Jake hardly amounts to an agenda. And Jake hardly gives a monkey’s about it anyway. Talk about 5th columnists has a sound of paranoia to it (even if there is a fifth columnist at work).
    The article by Joseph Magee is well presented. He has spoken to a source who he feels is calling it as he sees it. It can be challenged and as Nuala points out an anonymous source will carry less persuasive power than a named source. Although when anonymous sources have a go at the Shinners little is heard here in the way of protest.

    While I trust the author’s judgement I am far from convinced by the arguments made by the source and actually think Eirigi have emerged well enough from the discussion. The amount of page hits it has taken shows there is a keen interest in it and those who have commented even in a negative way can hardly be accused of having an agenda, merely an interest.

    Tomorrow's post while a bit dated is a very positive endorsement of Eirigi which hopefully will produce even more debate. Eirigi activists will have full use of this blog to present their views any time they choose to do so. The worst thing we can do is start trying to clog up intellectual life. It needs to be porous.

    If people come with an anti Eirigi agenda so be it. Same if they come with a pro Eirigi agenda. Our job is not to promote one and knock the other. What comes through will feature. What critiques come through will also feature. And in a case like this where Eirigi has been criticised in a full article, any rebuttal of that article can also feature in a full article.

    While TPQ might be viewed as a republican blog, it is not how I see it. It facilitates debate, allows all their say, and discriminates against none. Yeah, we have preferences but when it comes to freedom to write nobody is turned away. (A few do get tossed in the sewer with Der Sturmer or Bates and Wilkes Central but that is another story)

  56. Tomorrow's piece on Eirigi went out by mistake for a few minutes tonight and took quite a few page hits. The wrong button got pressed by me when formatting. It would be unfair to Franklin Lamb to have let it stay up as the lead given that his was only out for about two hours.

    The Eirigi article will run all day tomorrow from 9am.

  57. Sean Bres,
    People who favour the right of women to chose are not flying the flag for abortion.
    I think it a perfect world a utopia perhaps, everyone's life would be so precious that such a phenomena would never raise its head.
    Life is far from perfect and certain circumstances in women's lived would sadly bring them to have to make a choice which I believe must be the hardest choice in the world to terminate a pregnancy.

    I don't know when a life begins. The church tend to manipulate the soul debate, which they consider more previous than life,so often that it's hard to know.
    I just know that women are damned in this scenario from all sides.
    Sean there is no difference between now and thirty years ago or thirty years into the future for that matter.
    Women and not just metaphorically will be nailed to the cross over this issue and look set to be nailed for as long as it takes.

    A lot of what you say is correct but how often is that scenario likely to happen?
    I think very few women use abortion as a convenience, although some probably do.
    For so many women it is so very different than the scenario you present and it is so very sad.

    Tain Bo,
    Sinn Fein fear Eirigi as do the Brits.
    Anyone, anywhere who can throw a serious spanner in the electoral works they hate.

    I could not believe it myself. I could not believe the extent Sinn Fein went to to discredit Eirigi from Adams down.

    They even had their friends in City Hall remove the Eirigi banner from the Falls Road under the auspices of health and safety.
    Votes are what float their boat and they see Eirigi as having the future potential to undermine them.
    The Brits are the same. The last thing they want to see in the North of Ireland is a credible opposition to Sinn Fein.
    A viable Republican alternative voice is the one thing they don't want to emerge here.

    But I agree with you Tain Bo that people need to set Sinn Fein to one side and move on. A united Republican front whereby people can be themselves but still part of the alternative is the only way ahead.

  58. Apologies Anthony, I didn't mean it as a criticism of the Quill and you're right they got a fair shake during the comments. In terms of the comment about Jake again I wasn't trying to be critical of the Quill or Carrie, I only meant to show how it could be seen from an eirigi perspective and thus I'm pleased to see that something of a positive nature is to be posted. Phew! A long days debating there, more proof if it were needed that the site offers us all a brilliant forum to engage in the much-needed debates we need to have. Long may it continue and apologies once again for any offence

  59. Tain Bo
    For fuck's sake! We should have a coming together of progressive Republicans, but most definitely not a "Republican Unity Conference", that's the RUC!

  60. Sean,

    it was pretty much clear thst you were not kicking the quill. But if people want to kick it then they are free to do so. It is as much up for criticism as anything else.

    I was trying to explain to you last thing at night the nature of the freedom to write beast. There is no point in trying to tame it as its very wildness is what makes it so valuable. It is like the rights debate - rights would be alright if only the other bastard didn't have them! They also mean rights against us. Annoying as hell. The same as the freedom to write - we live with it despite it being so annoying because without it our freedom to reflect and make corrective action is heavily limited.

    The Eirigi issue to me is like the old one raised by Hans Kung - are we for or against France? Had I still lived in West Belfast I would have voted them. But debate on them is very useful. TPQ has no position on them other than to facilitate them if need be were they to want to write or to facilitate those who want to criticise them.

  61. Nuala,

    the theological debates that have gone on within the Church have produced nothing of value in terms of our understanding of life. People who felt the reputation of the Church was more important than the safety of children are not well equipped to frame societal or individual morality.

    I still think it is a liberal issue rather than a left one. Although it has become very much identified with Left politics. To say it is a human rights one is fair but the status of a right is something that is contested. I think a woman having autonomy over her own body should be a human right. I think the Left should alway spush to expand what is covered by human rights while the Right will tend to narrow it down. Unfortunately the Left have often constrained rather than enabled the spread of human rights. Sections of the Left backed the fascists against the freedom to write in the 2006 anti-theocratic Danish cartoons affair. I very much see pro-choice and freedom to write as liberal in orientation but something the Left should embrace for all the reasons you and Mick have outlined.


    that helped start the day with a laugh.

  62. From Joseph Magee

    Just to clarify any misunderstandings, there is nowhere in the article where I stated that TC was a member of Eirigi. The quote was given to me by another ex member of Eirigi to describe the lack of democracy in the group in comparison to Sinn Fein in which TC was interviewed about in 2009.

    Also just for the record, I am not a member of any republican group. I may have my own opinions on the group but no ulterior motive other than to provide a platform for an ex prominent member of the group who rightly or wrongly felt unable to do so without being anonymous.

  63. Belfastgit,

    that was a bloody cracker, well spotted, I laughed so hard that I think I bust my stitches I got last week.
    I will put it down to the pain killers I have been taking that’s as good excuse as any but who knows maybe I unconsciously miss the RUC and have subliminal agenda for their return.
    Too funny, talk about dotting my T’s and crossing My I’s… still laughing!

    Touché my friend I will have to pay attention in future thanks for the laugh.

  64. The git-

    " That's the RUC "-

    The RUC name is history-let Tain Bo claim it now for Republicans if he wants to-

  65. Nuala,

    I can see SF ripping apart anything that even remotely goes against their brand.
    Given they undermined the entire republican movement nothing they do now would neither surprise nor shock me.

    I do believe they would fear a group that has the potential to take away the old armalite and ballot box vote from them.
    I am looking at it from the perspective that Adams didn’t fear splitting Sinn Fein in fact he encouraged it and welcomed the departure of those he knew he could not manipulate.
    The reason I believe they are arrogant is to date there has been no real progress from anti-SF groups to hit them where it hurts at the ballot box.
    They are the dominant Republican Party and by that I mean their paradoxical version of republicanism.
    So it would be easy to believe if they feel the slightest threat to their rule of course they will do all they can to eliminate or silence any challengers even if it means having the hounds loosed to do a wee bit of intimidating as who is going to care if they give anti-treaty republicans harsh and threatening treatment.

    As for the Brit side of the fear equation in public they condemn and are generally highly critical of anti-treaty republicans.
    Privately they engage in checks and balances they welcome the idea and motion of the various groups and faction.
    It is for now a win, win situation for the British as SF would be more powerful if they had the backing of the anti-treaty people.
    The waters have been well tested with Marian Price being interned and Martin Corey still being interned so I would believe the Brits are comfortable with the way they managed to pacify the PRM/INLA and even now the dust has cleared republicans are to engaged arguing with SF.

    Until anti-treaty republicans unite the Brits will continue on keeping them divided.
    It is not as if there is a shortage of brain power it’s a matter of finding that one thing that can unite people.
    I just don’t see why anti-treaty republicans are so splintered what is needed is one united party as if the various factions continue on the same path we soon will be so far removed from the political arena we might as well just cave in and join SF.

  66. Nuala,

    I think SF very much hate Eirigi and anybody else that challenges their writ. It goes with the totalitarian mindset of the party. Plus we all know so many authoritarian personalities in it who operate on not a need to know basis but a need to obey and be obeyed one.

    Could we really make a plausible case that the the authoritarian types would leave were the party to declare itself Nazi in the morn? Not a chance. They would embrace fascism at the drop of a hat and try to tell you it was for the good of the Republic and that you are an enemy of the peace process if you dissent. This is what makes them so dangerous.

    They have been found out in terms of their republican credentials.

  67. I agree with Anthony on the issue of anonymous sources. They carry less weight than a named source for the simple reason that it is much more difficult to evaluate their credibility.

    As Anthony said, the best method for judging an anonymous source is by looking at the track record of the writer who is using it. Does the writer have a past reputation for honesty and reliability in the past? Has the writer's past use of anonymous sources been vindicated with the passage of time? It is also important to ask how well the testimony of an anonymous source fits with what we already know for sure.

    A textbook example of the proper use of anonymous sources is Ed Moloney's A Secret History of the IRA. Moloney had a good track record as a journalist covering the Troubles and when I first read the book almost a decade ago, I thought the testimony of his anonymous sources provided a more credible narrative than that of the book's detractors, many of whom have become so accustomed to lying that they now seem to believe their own bullshit themselves. Indeed, subsequent revelations have added weight to Moloney's thesis.

  68. Alfie,

    all solid advice.

    In this case my own evaluation is that the author is judicious and honest. It does not follow however, that the source's take on matters acccurately reflects the facts on the ground. I don't follow the Eirigi narrative so have little knowledge of it. It would not be the first time that I have heard charges of authoritarianism, but always in passing and I never paid much attention to it. What I do know is that much of their public commentary sums up things much more accurately than we ever heard from SF.

    But as always with me, it is how a groups handles its critics that is foremost when I come to evaluate it.

  69. MH -

    'The RUC name is history-'

    That's a laughable as George W's 'Mission accomploshed' gaff..

    So now we know who your political mentor is..

  70. Sean bres... In all likelihood it was me who made the comment about Jake speaking at an Eirigi event.

    And I stand over what I say.

    As I remember it was the 30th Anniversary of the 1st Hunger Strike when that party were hosting a member of events with various speakers. It first came to my attention when advertised on the spy forum.

    At the time I commented as to what Eirigi were doing, being as Jake was an Adams man. I mentioned that I had seen him earlier during that summer in An Culturann Belfast in the company of O'Muillieor and Storey.

    Much has been said here about how much the shinners hate Eirigi etc yet why would someone clearly known as an Adams man be speaking at the event of a party they despise?

    Have I an agenda against the party because I ask this question or merely mystified at their choice of speaker? I'll leave that for others to decide, however I will say that 'agenda' is a word often used by the shinners in tandem with 'anti' this or that when trying to deflect criticism.

  71. Fenian-

    " Mission accomplished "

    Aint over yet by a long shot-

    George W would have made a good dissident-always talking big but doing nothing-

  72. I don't dispute any of that at all Dixie, nor do I think yourself or anyone else on TPQ has an agenda when it comes to eirigi - I only meant to show how it could be perceived from their perspective. From what I was told at the time the article went up on Joe O'Connor Jake did indeed speak at that event but is not with eirigi and doesn't represent them. Perhaps that explains what you say, I don't know because as I said last night I'm not and never have been a member of the party

  73. Dixie,

    I couldn't remember who had made that comment about Jake. Had actually forgot all about it until Sean Bres mentioned it.

    These issues can surely be raised without people facing the accusation of an agenda. Very few come to an issue neutral. The danger of raising the agenda alarm when confronted with critique is that it acts as a
    damper on free discussion.

  74. MH - For those of us in the real world the cementing of Partition is very much 'Mission Accomplished'..

    Thankfully the world no longer has to suffer anymore 'Bushisms'!! Unfortunately, I think there are a few more Gerryisms to come...don't you?

    1. Get jobs eirigi members. That will reduce the dole cue and hence the taxpayers burden. That is the most patriotic thing you could do. Leave last century's history to the archives and start your futures history by helping your comrades in their struggle against tax burdens.

  75. This is a long post and I won't pretend to have read all of it. I understand that people want transparency in their party, and as socialists are out to do good for their respective communities. The last time I voted I voted eirigi, I think it was the young fellow mc cottir that came around the doors. So I listened and thought I'd give them a vote, I liked what they had to day. He was not successful, and then disappeared altogether.

    As you know there are issues out there affecting people such as benefit cuts and cuts to front line services. Eirigi held a meeting in Conway mill. There weren't many there, mainly their own party activists including Breandan mc cionnaith who spoke at it. There was also people there from advice centres, but not many ordinary souls...

    Pat Sheehan is all but useless, he's been invisible since taking his seat. I read on here some time ago a good review of him and was expecting much and was disappointed.

    There isn't really anyone working for the ordinary person on the street that I can see. Party issues are important but unless there is an active presence on the ground votes will be hard to come by, and I think we can already see this with low turn outs at election time.

    I don't expect the political landscape to change around here anytime soon. For now those folk who need help will go to the biggest party to get that help, because they are seen as having the clout to get things done. If anyone wants to oppose Sinn Fein the only way to do it is to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in , and help people with their issues. I don't see much of that from smaller party's or independents.