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Easter Rising Commemorations Cork

category cork | miscellaneous | news report author Monday April 05, 2010 12:45author by James (WSM personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

Workers Party, 32County Sovereignty Movement, Republican Sinn Fein, Sinn Fein

Easter Sunday in Cork's St. Finbarrs cemetery can be very busy with four different commemorations at the republican plot.

This year kicked off with the Workers' party. About 60 or so people attended, Cllr Ted Tynan was the chair, and after the usual wreath laying etc. the event was addressed by Sean Garland. He made reference to several dead comrades including Dessie Swanton killed by a premature explosion in that very plot over 50 years ago. Posing the question "How far have we come?"(since 1916) he answered that the state we now have is far short of what was envisaged by the revolutionaries of 1916 or indeed by those who followed as power was increasingly ceded to a unelected elite in Europe. He outlined the republican vision of a democratic Republic with all the children of the nation treated equally and a democratic Europe.

Citing Connolly he said capitalism is the enemy. He descibed it as a "ruthless and savage system maintained by armed force". One that was prepared to defend itself by any means necessary. He outlined the tasks facing the Workers' party, the primary role of the party was to defend the interests of our class , the working class. The first to be protected were the most vunerable by price controls on food and fuel. A proposal by the WP to the Trade Union movement for the establishment of a workers bank was mentioned.

WP activists must organise our class , educate our fellow workers and outline the future we can fight for. The Trade Unions must act to unify the class for the struggle ahead. Party building is a key task and he welcomed to emergence of the new Look Left magazine of the party which would help spread the the ideas of socialism. There was along road ahead but the party has not and would not be crushed physically or politically others had tried and failed , they would fail again. He said the WP must "Wage struggle in every area of society" and raising class conciousness was the key to change.

Next came the 32 County Sovereignty Movement

The Cork Finbar Walsh cumann have a fine new banner which was on display. They were led by the Jim Larkin flute band from Liverpool. about 70 people attended and there was a heavy Garda Special Branch presence with nearly everybody's name and address being taken, include 2 young teenage girls who not only had their names and address taken but their phone numbers by these middle aged branchmen very disturbing. (It would be worth giving out know your rights leaflets at such events to protect such innocents).

Val Lynch spoke and made reference and made reference to the two traditions in Ireland revolutionary and the constitutionalists. He pointedly referred t o the 50,000 irishmen who had died at the behest of the home rulers in the first world war as they attempted to placate Britain's ruling class. He outlined the position of the 32CSM on the Good Friday Agreement etc.

On a more locally topical issues he said that they would not be deflected by condemnations "from fighting the scourage of social ills". He said the movement needs to show people by their actions, that they "don't need to be the prisoners of drug barons, bankers and developers etc.

Next were Republican Sinn Fein
About 100 people were present for this commemoration. Cumann na mban formed part of the colour party. The statement from the leadership of the movement was read by Alfie McEvoy apart from a long outline of how SF had sold out and were reinforcing the Britiish occupation and how any visit by the Queen would be vigorously opposed, there were solidarity greetings for Shell to Sea and Pat O'Donnell. Reference was made to the cheek of Martin McGuiness taritor label against republicans.

There were next 2 prisoner statements one from Portlaoise CIRA POWs and another from Maghaberry CIRA POWs Of interest from the Portlaoise statement was reference to other groups attempting to walk a tightrope between criminality and republicanism and that the two were in compatible. The Maghaberry statement again attcale dthe provos over the traitor thing and the following "If you continue to protect Irelands' foe you too will meet resistance."

Ruari O Bradaigh the addressed the gathering. he spoke a good deal about the history of struggle in Ireland making reference to those lying in the graves at his feet. He said there were 2 traditions one of resistance and one of reform and that the pattern of history repeats itself with the constitutionalist being absorbed into the system of British rule as was happening today. He attacked those who called the fighters traitors as they themselves served the enemy. He made long reference to a joint PSNI/Garda commemoration of the RIC and Black and Tans in Granard on the 28th of February and how this was an example of the rehabilitation of British terrorists.

He then went on to outline the nature of the current sellout through St Andrews and Hillsborough agreements. The 26co economy was faltering as a result of corruption and republicans had to be active around the issues raised. (At this point the approaching drums of the Sinn Fein commemoration could be heard)

The Eire Nua policy was touched on as a hand of friendship to unionists protecting them in a united Ireland through federalism etc. and Saol Nua as tyhe policy that would begin the rebirth of Ireland economically.

"We must adhere to our principles if we don't all is lost. Be worthy of these dead." Continue to support those who oppose British rule actively.
(The provos were now at the gate literally and had to wait the end of the ceremony)

Donal Varian chairing made reference to those coming after as "desecrating the graves" of the republican dead.

Sinn Fein marched in after the RSF dispersed. About 200 at this event.
Cllr.Fiona Kerins read the SF leadership statement.
"Unity and independence are our primary aim and we have a strategy to achieve it."
"The Orange state has been dismantled".
"Irish unity is a live political issue."
Small armed gangs with no strattegy have nothing to offer. "A peaceful strategy is now available."

Then lots of talk about about how important the upcoming Westminister elections are and the inevitable 26 county ones too. Building a mass party is now a key task, everyone present should join the party before next Easter, party structure has been change at the Ard Fheis to make it easier to join and be active in your own small way.

The oration was given by Mary Lou Mac Donald
Republicans had " waged war when it had to be waged." but now we were in a "new phase", where "peaceful means offered the way forward." "British juristiction in Ireland must end." The 1916 proclamation is a call to action.

Then again Orange state gone, union challenged dailyby confident nationalist community, "war is over, but struggle continues".
For the party "Courage, credibility and discipline." The a lot of anti govt. stuff and pretty bland posturing over economic issues. She said we must take advantage of the crisis to reshape Ireland and quoted Connolly that the object must be the"Reconquest of Ireland by the Irish people." To do this we must build political strength eg join SF it's easier now that the restructuring has be passed. "If you support us join us."

Thomas Gould chairing welcomed home Don Bullman recently released after serving 3 years for IRA membership, convicted in a court/policing system the party supports!!!

Conclusions
The WP are showing more signs of life with about double attendance this year it is also worth noting that they have recruited a few disillusioned left wing Sinn Feiners and have a new impressive paper/magazine. There is no sign however of a reassessment of how the project arrived at it's current state and the approach of electoralism as the major outlet seems intrenched. it is easy to work with the Wp these days in campaigns with no real sectarianism from them and they have several very able workers and a real base within the working class. There commemoration was certainly the most overtly class struggle based politicaly.

The 32CSM had around the same turnout as last year. The recent killing of a drug pusher in Cork by the RIRA had little effect on numbers either way, but they definitely had the edge on other "dissident " republican groups in Cork in terms of youth, membership and dynamism. Politically there is very little to analise here as the message is essentially "Brits Out" "Pushers Out". There does not appear to be a great developed political project here at all. Given the youthful working class following of the 32CSM this is depressing.

RSF continues to appear in decline, with an aging membership and many people appearing to confine activity to just attending these events. The message is consistent and unswerving that's for sure, but where they see the dynamic to change events in their favour coming from is unclear.

Sinn Fein continue to attract the biggest crowd, but the size is generally not growing and is slightly dipping I would think. The call for everyone to join the party is an interesting initiative, that will result in a 2 tier membership of leaders and led, That may already be the case as you say, but a large passive membership will actually completely marginalize whatever radical tendencies exist within the party and push the party more to the Fianna Fail model. Nothing exciting or uplifting in what Mary said, but it is interesting that they still feel the need to attack the "dissidents" evidently they are still perceived as a threat, by SF. As to Irish unity being a "live political issue" a fantastical claim based on wishful thinking and nothing else. As to a strategy for unity and independence (not to mention socialism) I don't see it and am baffled as to what it is.

Eirigi had no commemoration in Cork and are marginal here, I look forward to hearing their take on the state of the "struggle " now

author by D O D - The Workers' Partypublication date Mon Apr 05, 2010 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A very good synopsis James, thanks.

author by John - Workers Partypublication date Mon Apr 05, 2010 17:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To follow are a few photographs of yesterday's commemoration which was addressed by Sean Garland.

The ceremony was chaired by Cllr. Ted Tynan. The 1916 Proclamation was read by Donal O'Driscoll with wreaths being laid by Jackie Connolly, Sandra Uí Chonduin and Sharon Higgins.

Workers Party arrive at Republican Plot
Workers Party arrive at Republican Plot

Pat Hurley of Cork Volunteers Pipe Band leading procession
Pat Hurley of Cork Volunteers Pipe Band leading procession

Sean Garland and Cllr. Ted Tynan
Sean Garland and Cllr. Ted Tynan

A section of the attendance
A section of the attendance

Donal O'Driscoll reads the 1916 Proclamation
Donal O'Driscoll reads the 1916 Proclamation

Related Link: http://www.workerspartyireland.net
author by skeezix - none and allpublication date Tue Apr 06, 2010 08:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

nice report but a shame to see how the WP comrades treat not only the national flag (which they might be expected to) but the starry plough too! come on lads keep them off the ground , ffs. again nice report very true about the 32s not a political thought to be found.

author by republicanpublication date Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

why do anarchists wear easter lilies? can you tell us why an anarchist actually gave her number to the special branch
when there is no legal reguirment to do so,are ye in the business of giving out phone numbers to strangers??if someone came up to her on the street and actually asked her for her number would she give it?? funny how
anarchists were the only ones asked for their phone numbers and were the only ones who gave it! funny how anarchists are gathering information on the developing size of republican groups,i thought that was a job for the special branch?? is the author confused about his politics? are cork anarchists worried about being eclipsed by republicans as a revolutionary force? why does the author describe republicans who are opposed to g.f.a treaty sell out as 'dissident' ? stop me if im wrong here but as far as im aware this is the title put on them by their enemies,bit like someone describing anarchism as 'chaos' ya?

why are you depressed that the republican movement has a youthful working class membership,do you feel they would be better off playing anarchism? given their 'brits out' and 'pushers out' policies is it not beter that they are actually doing something about imperialism than just merely talking about it,what has the anarchist movement done to date about imperialism?? what has it done to alieviate the pressure brought on by heroin dealers in cork city and elsewhere?? answer,nothing.
also worth noting is the authors article on the internet titled 'on leaving sinn fein for anarchism' which is basically a lie,now if the author cant get passed the title without lying then what does that say about the rest of the article?

author by Frankpublication date Tue Apr 06, 2010 18:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"very true about the 32s not a political thought to be found."

You mean they don't spend their time talking isms to the nth degree? They are the most focussed republican group on the island.

author by Jamespublication date Wed Apr 07, 2010 23:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"why do anarchists wear easter lilies? "

Why wouldn't we?

"can you tell us why an anarchist actually gave her number to the special branch
when there is no legal reguirment to do so,are ye in the business of giving out phone numbers to strangers??if someone came up to her on the street and actually asked her for her number would she give it?? funny how
anarchists were the only ones asked for their phone numbers and were the only ones who gave it!"

I assume you can read. Nowhere did the article say any anarchist gave a phone number to anyone. The people who gave the phone numbers were I assume republican supporters. It's a pity that this happened and despicable that the SB did it, but rather than focus on this and how we can address it, you chose to make snide remarks about anarchists.

"funny how anarchists are gathering information on the developing size of republican groups,i thought that was a job for the special branch??"

This was a news report of interest obviously to many people including you.All the commemorations were publicly advertised not secret gatherings. The role of the police in any state is to preserve it and the status quo, whether a republic or a monarchy, in my opinion. Obviously they see republicans as a threat to the state that's why they were there. I am opposed to the state and any infringement of civil liberties by the branch, that's why I raised the point.

"is the author confused about his politics? are cork anarchists worried about being eclipsed by republicans as a revolutionary force?"

No

" why does the author describe republicans who are opposed to g.f.a treaty sell out as 'dissident' ? stop me if im wrong here but as far as im aware this is the title put on them by their enemies,bit like someone describing anarchism as 'chaos' ya?"

Yes that's why dissident was in inverted commas.

"why are you depressed that the republican movement has a youthful working class membership,do you feel they would be better off playing anarchism? given their 'brits out' and 'pushers out' policies is it not beter that they are actually doing something about imperialism than just merely talking about it,what has the anarchist movement done to date about imperialism?? what has it done to alieviate the pressure brought on by heroin dealers in cork city and elsewhere?? answer,nothing."

What I was depressed about was the lack of politics, even a cursory reading of the article would make that clear to anyone. Do you honestly believe that shooting the odd heroin dealer and British soldier will defeat either the drugs problem or British imperialism? Really, honestly now? Did the RIRA not shoot a senior member in Derry recently for organising a house to grow cannabis, do you think this will result in people stopping smoking cannabis, do you believe that's a desirable objective? Anarchists have been involved in both opposing imperialism and in campaigning against the heroin problem in Dublin( not Cork) but we don't claim to have any magical answer to that problem, that will require something much deeper and more fundamental in our society, than is on the agenda at present.

Perhaps you could outline in a more coherent way what your movements objectives are and how your movement proposes these can be brought about, just for the sake of debate and winning people to your position.

author by True Patriot.publication date Thu Apr 08, 2010 14:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Starry Plough would make a nice flag for a united Ireland.

There are no tribal bits in the Starry Plough.

(Like the Orange in the Tricolour commemorating William of Orange.).
.
.

author by R U Serious - Nonepublication date Fri Apr 09, 2010 07:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It was interesting to hear the CIRA statement that was read out at RSF commeration contained a mention of links between Republican groups and criminality.

Does this mean that CIRA will desist from offering themselves as back up to dodgey security companies whom obtain contracts from clients by "making them an offer they cant refuse."

and

Stop extorting monies from building contractors(burning out their plant machinery when they refuse and call this legitimate targeting) and collecting protection money from lap dancing club owners who enslave traffiked women in the sex trade.

and

Stop their debt collecting scams where monies are demanded from cash strapped small builders who have been screwed by the large developers and contractors.

RSF take the leason from IRSP and call upon CIRA to leave the stage before they furthur disgrace the name of Republicans and stop the hypocrisy.

author by Bumpypublication date Fri Apr 09, 2010 08:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

there's no green in the Starry Plough either "True Patriot" - or perhaps you're so obsessed with the orange in the tricolour that you don't see that.

The Starry Plough is a great flag but so too is our tricolour, representing as it does, the traditions of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter. Maybe you should look up the history of the Irish tricolour. You seem to resent the orange stripe as if it were imposed upon the Irish people. It is the flag of the Irish Republic declared on the steps of the GPO in 1916. The flag is even mentioned in the 1916 Proclamation - "Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom."

A true patriot would embrace this flag.

author by Kevin Murphypublication date Fri Apr 09, 2010 19:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I fail to see how some address lacking in copious references to anarchism/trotskyism/maoism or whatever particular ism is flavour of the week is devoid of politics . The occupation of our national territory is a political issue , the denial of national self detemination to the Irish people is a political issue , the violation of Irish sovereignty by an imperialist power is a political issue . The defence of working class communities from the predations of armed heroin dealing gangsters and other venture capitalists is a political issue . The assertion of Irish rights to national sovereignty in arms against a foreign occupier is a political issue . They are just political issues the poster in question regards as apolitical from his own personal bent . To focus upon these issues - primarily national sovereignty , national democracy and national self determination as the best framework in which Irish citizens can hope to address political issues and socio economic problems and focussing upon that framework is to my mind a disciplined approach to them .
To dismiss the sum of them as just shooting a drug dealer and the odd brit invader is in my opinion either short sighted or deliberately disingenous as an analysis .

Val Lynch addresses 32 csm commemoration
Val Lynch addresses 32 csm commemoration

Support from Liverpool - The James Larkin band
Support from Liverpool - The James Larkin band

as the man said young and dynamic
as the man said young and dynamic

author by kevin murphypublication date Fri Apr 09, 2010 19:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and more pics

http://cork32.blogspot.com/

author by Jamespublication date Sun Apr 11, 2010 00:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors


"To dismiss the sum of them as just shooting a drug dealer and the odd brit invader is in my opinion either short sighted or deliberately disingenous as an analysis ."

Fair enough maybe I was a bit glib in summing up the politics expressed thus. But your argument that united Ireland and a national democracy will somehow be the way we can address all the myriad of social and economic issues we face is exactly the lack of serious politics I am questioning. What difference will having 32 instead of 26 counties make really. We would just be a bigger capitalist state. Didn't James Connolly address this issue over 90 years ago.

For me there are a few serious problems with the approach of your movement which I will address to you, but first let me make it clear that I am not questioning your commitment to yer ideas or yer wilingness to make sacrifices to achieve them.

Firstly a united Ireland under capitalism will make very little difference to anyones lives, except in terms of the symbols under which people in the 6 counties live. I would suspect that the character of that state would be pretty much like the one we live under down south now. The problem with achieving a united Ireland and defeating British imperialism through armed struggle is that it is faced with several obstacles 1. the "unionist" population who do not want it and many of who are prepared to fight it, 2. the unwillingness of the majority of the "nationalist" community north or south to support armed struggle and 3. the active hostility of the southern ruling class. That is why the IRA were defeated after 30 years and it was the failure of that campaign and the reformist nature of much of the republican movement that enabled the co-option of Sinn Fein into the political system north and south.

Now try another approach , recognise that British imperialism and the Irish ruling class for all their differences share a common suppport and interest in the capitalist system. The central theme of their efforts for the last 30 years has been to pacify the country. On this they cooperate. They both oppose socialism in any form and work against every and any threat to the system. Connolly correctly linked the two issues and so set forth the demand not just for an independent republic but for socialism too. For republcans to realise your dream of a united Ireland you need to unify the Irish working class against capitalism north and south. Because then you can appeal to peoples class interest in defeating imperialism. Armed struggle is an obstacle to that working class unity because unionist people see it as coercive and there are only to reactions to coercion acceptance or resistance, republicans know this themselves from irish history.

I didn't expect anarchism, trotskyism or maoism off your platform, but maybe a little bit of anti-capitalism or even socialism. Connolly surely is the best source of a founding stone for a republicanism that is not based on narrow nationalism.

Nice photos by the way.

author by Frankpublication date Mon Apr 12, 2010 08:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

James I think you're missing an essential point in all of this, as I fear most socialists do also, you need a catalyst for change. A lot of socialists take comfort in their aspirations but also in their dream of a united working class rising up against capitalism. Let's look at that. Given what has happened with the church, the financial system and our politicians culpability in both one would have thought it a socialist dream. So where is the workers mass movement? If those conditions were'nt right for it I'm at a loss to figure what would. The only viable way to break the political hegemony on the island is to end partition. It by no means guarantees it but it does allow a golden opportunity to radically alter politics on the island because you would be forcing the establishment political class into totally new territory. If you really want change then focus on securing the catalyst for it. In my humble opinion.

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