Friends, family, and comrades of former IRSP Chairperson and Queen’s University Lecturer Miriam Daly, gathered at Costello House Belfast today to formally launch a debating society named in her honour.
Miriam Daly took up the position of IRSP National Chairperson following the murder of Seamus Costello in 1977 and is widely credited within the party for holding together and invigorating the movement’s structures throughout those dark days.
Miriam was herself tragically murdered in June 1980 in what many suspect was part of a wider operation by Margaret Thatcher to remove what she believed was a threat posed by academically minded Marxist thinkers, such as Miriam, Ronnie Bunting and Noel Little, who Thatcher viewed as the backbone of the wider Irish Republican Socialist Movement’s philosophy.
Present for the launch today were Miriam’s son Donal Daly along with founding IRSP member Peter Black and various other IRSP members from Belfast and further afield.
Speaking of the launch, IRSP women’s spokesperson Maria Quinn said
“The purpose of this society is to promote free flowing and alternative academic debate on issues related to the Irish Freedom struggle and the cause of Working class liberation, past present and future. We are exceptionally proud of Miriam’s legacy, in particular her dedication to Open Learning; the belief that academic learning and discussion should be taken out of the Universities and brought into the streets to be enjoyed by all, not just an elite few. This is what we are aiming to replicate”.
The Miriam Daly Debating Society plans to host regular meetings and discussions on issues pertinent to the past and current struggle for National Liberation and Socialism in Ireland. Meetings will be held in the upper floor of Costello House, 392 Falls Road Belfast and a program of events will be issued in late June.