Belfast IRSP, tonight, Thursday 12th May 2016, gathered to pay a tribute to the founder member of the Republican Socialist Movement, commander of the Irish Citizens Army, thinker and fighter James Connolly, on this the one hundredth anniversary of his execution by the British.
Assembling at Connelly’s former home on a what was a beautiful spring evening, comrades gathered behind the banner of the Belfast Comhairle Ceantair while a colour party stood in formation, before a member laid a laurel wreath adorned with red roses beneath the memorial plaque which sits above the door.
Michael Kelly from the Matt McClarnon read from Connollys last statement to To the Field General Court Martial, held at Dublin Castle, on May 9th, 1916: at which he declared
Believing that the British Government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have any right in Ireland, the presence, in any one generation of Irishmen, of even a respectable minority, ready to die to affirm that truth, makes that Government for ever a usurpation and a crime against human progress.
I personally thank God that I have lived to see the day when thousands of Irish men and boys, and hundreds of Irish women and girls, were ready to affirm that truth, and to attest it with their lives if need be.
Later in the evening the party hosted a memorial lecture in the nearby Conway Mill in honour of Connolly, during which long time IRSP member Gerard Foster spoke on James Connolly and the legacy of principled Revolutionary violence in the international Socialist movement, while Ciarán Cunningham spoke on the impact which future austerity measures will have on the Irish working class and the Irish struggle in general.