The IRSP gathered in Maghera on Sunday 19th August 2018 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the death on active service of INLA volunteers Gerard Mallon & Brendan Convery. Brendan & Gerard were killed on the 13th August 1983 by the RUC after attempting an ambush against a fully fortified RUC checkpoint in Dungannon.
Following a very well attended parade accompanied by the Kevin Lynch RFB through the town the procession came to a stop at the Brendan Convery & Gerard Mallon memorial at Tamney Crescent.
The Event was chaired by Derry IRSP member Danny Morrison and the main oration was read out by Belfast IRSP member Joe Matthews.
The IRSP would like to thank the Families of Brendan & Gerard, comrades, friends and the Kevin Lynch RFB (Dungiven) for attending the event.
Brendan Convery & Gerard Mallon speech 2018
To the families, comrades, friends and supporters of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement it is of great privilege and honour to be asked to be speak to you all today to mark the 35th anniversary of the death on active service of INLA volunteers Brendan Convery and Gerard Mallon.
Brendan and Gerard at a very young age, paid the ultimate sacrifice in defence of the Irish working class. Both men lost their lives in a daring attack against a fully fortified RUC checkpoint in Dungannon. These men knew that the consequences of this attack could result in the loss of their lives or long years in prison.
Standing here today on the slopes of the Sperrins it is very easy to see what both of these brave volunteers fought and died for. At the time when both of these young men decided to take up arms, the scenery, the peace and tranquillity were ruined by the armed and illegal occupation of the British imperialist regime.
Brendan and Gerard joined the Irish Republican Socialist Movement to fight for National Liberation and Socialism in Ireland. These brave volunteers knew that they were engaging in a revolutionary struggle, they knew what was at stake and they knew what could be achieved.
Comrades, while the majority of the physical structures of British Imperialism have now vanished from this part of Ireland, its devastating consequences silently remain. Our class and our country still remain under the firm grasp of an unjust and unequal capitalist system.
Due to the sacrifices of Brendan and Gerard and all those who gave their lives for our revolutionary cause we will NEVER let their memory vanish. We will NEVER let the cause for which they died for fall silent. It is our duty to continue the struggle to fight for the 32 county socialist republic we are planning and we envisage.
To the families of Brendan and Gerard we will forever hold you in our thoughts… 35 years on the heartache of losing a son and a brother has not gone away…. We salute your courage….We salute your steadfastness and we salute your dignity.
Comrades and friends, the fight for National Liberation and Socialism is far from over. While we have ended one stage of the struggle the next has only just begun. Due to the sacrifices of young working class men like Brendan and Gerard who stood firm against the British war machine and gave up the best years of their lives in our revolutionary struggle they have ensured that our political programme will continue. We are now entering a new political era in Ireland, an era that now makes the ending of partition a political reality.
While we enter this new political era, the enemy remains the same. The British establishment that defends the rich and powerful continues to exploit us. And while our tactics have changed so have theirs… They are no longer shooting us dead in the street, but instead they are using their influence in the media & establishment to try and intimidate us, criminalise us and ultimately try and destroy us. But like brave Brendan & Gerard our resolve will ensure we will not be defeated. Our politics that we hold so deep will outlive any british onslaught, our politics & our movement will remain until we achieve our final victory.
Such anti-revolutionary tactics are not new, as once paraphrased by Mao Zedong…. It is good if we are attacked by the enemy, since it proves that we have drawn a clear line of separation between the enemy and ourselves. It is still better if the enemy attacks us wildly and paints us utterly black and without single truth to it. It demonstrates that we have not only drawn a clear line of separation between the enemy and ourselves, but achieved a great deal in our work.
The Irish Republican Socialist Party take with us the political analysis and tools provided to us by James Connolly & Seamus Costello. We remain the ONLY party that understand that the class struggle and the national question are one in the same. Whether its on the streets of Belfast, Dublin, Derry or in the towns like Maghera, Bellaghy & Dungiven. We must strive to rebuild, educate and organise the working class. The IRSP understand the world we live in today, we have through blood, determination and hard work placed ourselves on the right side of history, we have navigated our party into a position that causes fear amongst our enemies. Through this position we will ensure that the 32 county socialist republic in which we sacrificed so much for will be on the minds of every man and women in Ireland.