|Irish Republican Socialist Party
|The Starry Plough [IRSP]
|Volume 1, Number 6
Meán Fómhair 1975
|1975: Official Sinn Féin/IRSP Split and Republican Feuds
|Comments on this document
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Many thanks to the long term contributor Spáilpín who forwarded this to the Archive. This is a further edition of the IRSP newspaper, the Starry Plough – the first one was posted some months ago, produced in the aftermath of the split from Official Sinn Féin which precipitated the foundation of that organisation.
The front cover has the headline ‘Resist British Terror Troops’. The article accompanying it argues that:
Sectarianism, in the Northern Ireland context, is the brainchild of Britain and has been used successfully for the past 50 years as a means of dividing the working class. In the past six months we have witnessed the ongoing sectarian murder campaign of Catholics carried out by loyalist murder gangs acting in the direct interest of Britain.
It argues that:
The only way in which sectarianism can be eradicated forever is to end the British economic and political control in Ireland.
To this end, we are working for a unified approach to the National Liberation struggle, by way of a Broad Front of all anti-Imperialist forces. We reject tit for tat retaliatory murders of Protestants as a means of ending the loyalist sectarian murders… to combat this we call for the formation of local organised street committees, as a defence against British Army and Loyalist terror gangs.
Under the ‘What We Think’ column there is a reprint of part of a speech made by the Secretary of the IRSP at a discussion on loyalism. In it is the following:
Mr. Mac Giolla when speaking on sectarianism in the North accused the IRSP of being Ultra Leftists, and state that we were determined to take a hand in promoting Civil War in the 6 counties. We reject those unprincipled allegations…
On the question of the IRSP being Ultra-Leftists it is worth pointing out that due to the reformist nature of the Officials any Republican or Socialist organisation whose policies are more radical than theirs are castigated and branded as Ultra-Leftists.
The attitude of the Officials on Loyalism reflects the political confusion that exists within the Officails. They are currently engaged in an exercise designed to flatter and woo the loyalist organisations in the romantic and false hope that they will ‘see the light’ and end their murder campaign, and become revolutionary socialists overnight. The position of the IRSP on the other hand is clearer and politically correct. We recognise that loyalism is pro-Imperialist and anti-working class.
Another piece asserts that:
We totally reject the allegations that the IRSP is encouraging members of the Provisional IRA to end the current ceasefire. As far as we are concerned the ceasefire affords the opportunity to the British Government to demonstrate their sincerity by withdrawing from Ireland.
There are articles on Women’s Liberation, and the Miami Showband murders. Considerable space is afforded to an examination of the ‘continuing Loyalist assassination campaign’ with a table of figures of those killed between February 10th and May 31st 1975. A section called Connolly’s Corner is ‘intended to give our readers an opportunity to read some snippets from various writings by James Connolly’. There’s a large article on Portugal’s Fascist Terror. There’s also an analysis of a Teoiric (OSF theoretical magazine) critique of the IRSP.