Representatives from éirígí and Sinn Féin will debate the need for socialism in Ireland next week in an event hosted by a newly-formed student society in Queens University, Belfast.
Daithí Mac An Mhaistír
speaking in Donegal
Comhdháil Poblachtach [Republican Congress], which was formed in the university in September, has organised the debate, entitled Is the cure for Ireland’s ills a 32-county socialist republic?, in response to the economic crisis that is currently causing chaos in both the Six and Twenty-Six Counties.
Daithí Mac An Mhaistír from éirígí, who was prominently involved in the campaign against the Lisbon Treaty in the Twenty-Six Counties and international solidarity work, Sinn Féin’s Dublin chairperson Eoin Ó Broin, who is also the author of Sinn Féin and the Politics of Left Republicanism, and other invited speakers will debate the topic.
A similar debate was held last year in County Donegal at the Peadar O'Donnell Weekend in Dungloe at which éirígí's Mac An Mhaistír was also a speaker. At the event he debated the future of the left in Ireland and the role that socialist politics could play in the future of the then already damaged economy. Also taking part in that debate was Sinn Fein and The Communist Party of Ireland among others.
Spokesperson for éirígí Tir Chonaill, Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig has welcomed the up-coming debate in Belfast saying it is vital that such issues are talked about at this time. "As we face such an uncertain future under the current system it is absolutely vital that socialist politics is not only debated but brought to a wider audience through such events". Mac Giolla Easbuig continued, "It is clear that the ordinary people who are being affected by the greed of the capitalist system are crying out for change and many can see that a socialist republic is the only way forward for a fairer, more stable Ireland. So I commend Comhdháil Poblachtach and their initiative to hold such debate and hope that others follow their lead."
Previous public meetings held by Comhdháil Poblachtach have included one on the nature of the Orange Order that was addressed by Garvaghy Road resident Breandán Mac Cionnaith and Lower Ormeau resident Gerard Rice, and another on Palestine that was addressed by the head of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign Freda Hughes.
The meeting will place next Thursday [November 25] in the Holiday Inn, University Street, Belfast at 7pm.
Adhamh Ó hEarcáin, the chairperson Comhdháil Poblachtach encouraged as many people as possible to attend the debate.
“Since Comhdháil Poblachtach was established in September, we have attempted to stimulate popular debate on a range of issues that are important to working class people in Ireland and beyond. The attendance at our meetings so far has demonstrated that the demand is there for such debate,” O hEarcain said.
“At this time of economic crisis, we think it is important that people are exploring alternatives to a capitalist system that has failed so drastically. To this end, we have invited éirígí, Sinn Féin and others to address a public meeting on the possibility of a socialist republic in Ireland.”
Ó hEarcáin continued: “We are well aware that éirígí and Sinn Féin may share different opinions on how to respond to the economic crisis and, ultimately, on how to replace the system that created it and this should make for a lively and informative debate. Participation from the audience will be encouraged.
“Anyone who is free next Thursday night should get along to the Holiday Inn and debate the possibilities for the future in Ireland.”