|Organisation:||The Workers' Party|
|Discuss:||Comments on this document|
Please note: The Irish Left Archive is provided as a non-commercial historical resource, open to all, and has reproduced this document as an accessible digital reference. Copyright remains with its original authors. If used on other sites, we would appreciate a link back and reference to The Irish Left Archive, in addition to the original creators. For re-publication, commercial, or other uses, please contact the original owners. If documents provided to The Irish Left Archive have been created for or added to other online archives, please inform us so sources can be credited.
Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.
This is an interesting addition to the Archive, a pamphlet from the Workers’ Party dating from around 2010 (we would be very glad for a precise date if possible). The contents address the issue of sectarianism in Northern Ireland. The pamphlet written by Sean Garland, then National Treasurer of the Workers’ Party, opens with a reflection – based on a speech he gave in Dundalk in 2009, on ‘the Official IRA ceasefire in 1972 and its impact on events’. It then considers the situation in 2010 and argues that ‘Northern Ireland society is more divided than ever before’ and argues that the WP has consistently sought:
To build a broad coalition of democratic forces; to abolish sectarianism in the schools, in employment, in housing, in the mind of the people.
He also strongly critiques ‘nationalism’ and argues against republicanism and nationalism being used as interchangeable terms. And he argues that only genuine democracy in democratic councils ‘is an essential prerequisite in a modern democracy’.
He also argues that: Class struggle is our most important weapon and the most effective part of that weapon is class consciousness – always remember we led the way and despite the betrayal and defections since May 1972 we have retained our core values which have and will sustain us in the coming years.
The rest of the pamphlet argues for ‘practical steps that can be immediately undertaken to oppose sectarianism in the name of citizenship’. The piece notes that in the context of ‘maintenance of (most) paramilitary ceasefires and the decommissioning of some paramilitary weapons, there is a case for shifting concern to the task of reconciliation’.
The means it suggests include the establishment of a Centre for Citizenship and Reconciliation and ‘encouraging respect of cultural, religious and political difference’, developing programmes for public education, participate in the media and facilitating intercultural dialogues.