Date: Tue, 23 Dec 97 10:24:25 CST
From: Arm The Spirit <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Irish Republican Socialist Party Ard Fheis Report
The Irish Republican Socialist Party Ard Fheis, held on Saturday,
December 6, 1997, has rejected a motion that would have called upon
the Irish National Liberation Army to declare a ceasefire until the
conclusion of the Stormont talks by a vote of 109 opposed and only
eleven votes in favor; and unanimously approving a motion calling on
the INLA to continue the policy of
defense and retaliation in
effect since March of 1995.
A new constitution was passed unanimously. Among key elements of the new constitution are a reorganization along types of action, with the various actions grouped within specific departments, each headed by a member of the new twelve person Ard Comhairle (national executive). All party members will now be required to be attached to a minimum of two departments, reporting to the Ard Comhairle members responsible for those departments.
The Ard Comhairle was expanded from seven to twelve members. Those elected include: Gerry Burns (Dublin), Tony O'Hara (Derry) [brother of INLA 1981 hunger strike martyr Patsy O'Hara], Linda McLaughlin (Dublin), Willie Gallagher (Strabane), Kevin McQuillan (Belfast), Gary Adams (Dundalk), Gerry Ruddy (Belfast), Fra Halligan (Belfast), Jimmy Bradley (Belfast), Paul Carson (Belfast), Paul Little (Belfast) [nephew of Noel Little, killed by the SAS with Ronnie Bunting in 1980], and Ciaran McLaughlin (Derry). The full incoming Ard Comhairle will meet and elect a five person executive committee, which should occur before the end of the month.
The Ard Fheis committed the IRSP to not only expanding with new
members, but actively seeking the return of former activists. As one
The IRSP stated we have drawn a line under the past
and we are taking a mature approach—the door is open to anyone
who agrees with republican socialist politics.
Reaffirming its opposition to the Stormont talks which the IRSP believes are going nowhere, the Ard Fheis condemned a proposed referendum to be held separately in both the six and 26 county statelets.
A motion from the Portlaoise Republican Socialist Prisoners of War which called for the creation of an Irish claimants' union also passed unanimously. The 32 county claimant's union is envisioned as a means for unemployed workers to struggle for their own interests.
The Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America delivered action and financial reports to the Ard Fheis, as well as speaking forcefully to motions 1 and 2 (the ceasefire and defense and retaliation) and rededicating itself to the movement's support, accepting the IRSP's leadership over all sections of the movement, and receiving recognition of the IRSCNA's sole mandate to represent the IRSP in Canada and the United States.
A representative from the INLA told delegates that the INLA would
consider the Ard Fheis vote on resolutions concerning the possibility
of a ceasefire and maintaining the
defence and retaliation
position, and said that the support shown for the continuance of the
endorses and validates our analysis.
The INLA member went on to say that they will continue to defend the
Irish working class and republican socialist organizational integrity
against any attacks that might be attempted. The INLA representative
ended by stating to
supporters and members, that they pledged
to continue the struggle
by whatever means necessary until our
objectives are achieved.
North American Coordinator
Irish Republican Socialist Committees
2057 15th Street, Suite B
San Francisco, CA
WWW: http://www14.pair.com/jcs/ (James Connolly Society)