Saturday 30th of January 2016 saw the Republican Socialist faithful, brave the grey snow clouds of Belfast to gather and remember INLA Chief of Staff Gino Gallagher on the 20th anniversary of his assassination by counter revolutionaries.
In early afternoon up to 200 people gathered at Milltown cemetery and marched behind an RSM veterans colour party to the Republican Socialist plot, the final resting place of Gino and many more of his fallen comrades. Wreaths were laid on behalf of the INLA, IRSP branches across the country and from family and close friends.
Speeches were made from both old comrades of Gino and younger members of the IRSP all of which paid testimony to the role which Gino Gallagher played in saving the RSM from the brink of stagnation and laying the foundations for the emergence of a modern and effective revolutionary party, a dedication for which he ultimately paid with his life.
Later in the evening, at a packed memorial function in West Belfast, a unique one off film tribute to Gino was screened, featuring face to face interviews with close friends and comrades of Gino, detailing the realities and experiences of the turbulent and often terrifying experiences which made up active service in the Republican Socialist Movement in the 1980s & 1990s.
This event again visibly touched many of those who were present and it was great to see older comrades of the IRSM mixing in friendship and comradeship with the scores of younger party members which have joined since the parties period of clear rejuvenation.
The evening finished with a series of presentations to members of Gino’s family and to veteran IRSM and Trade Union activist Peter Black.