A report on the IRSP’s first meeting (1975)

The Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), the political wing of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), was formed in December 1974. This report on the IRSP’s first meeting appeared in its newsletter The Starry Plough:

“The Irish Republican Socialist Party held its first public meeting on Wednesday night, February 12th, in Dublin. The meeting… was attended by over 500 people. The speakers were Seamus Costello, chairman of the party’s National Executive, and Bernadette McAliskey, a member of the National Executive.

Seamus Costello told the meeting that the development of class politics in Ireland – which would bring an end to the sectarian murder campaign in the North – could only be achieved by the ending of British interference in Ireland.

He said that the Loyalist murder gangs were composed mainly of members of the British Army or the Ulster Defence Regiment, going about at night, out of uniform, murdering innocent people because they opposed imperialism, or at least took a Nationalist view point.

The divisions in the country and the fostering of sectarianism led to a position, where the control of the wealth and the resources of the country law in the hands of the few. The IRSP is determined to end this by a campaign of political agitation and education.

The IRSP was necessary because no other orgnaisation understood, or had a comprehensive programme based on a correct analysis of the relationship between the national and the class question. He said that there were some people claiming to be socialist who divorced themselves from the anti-imperialist struggle, and others who were prepared to accept an army of occupation and anti-working class legislation…

Bernadette McAliskey said that the IRSP was an attempt to create a revolutionary socialist alternative to 800 years of failure. The Irish struggle against British imperialism had not failed for the past 800 years out of sheer bad luck but… because for 800 years we had been doing it the wrong way.”