Northern Ireland

Local elections: Class politics the only answer to sectarian division

The media coverage of Northern Ireland’s local election results has focused on the growth of the vote of the Alliance Party, and to a lesser extent the Green Party. These two parties are said to represent “the middle ground”. The increased vote for these parties is an important development but the headlines represent a partial truth only. A more rounded ...

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North: Election breakthrough for anti-sectarian socialist

“For me, this is not a personal victory but a political one – it is a victory for cross-community, socialist politics. It reflects a growing opposition to the sectarian games, cuts and backward social policies of the main parties.” These were the words of Socialist Party member Donal O’Cofaigh after he was elected as a Cross-Community Labour Alternative (CCLA) councillor ...

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Socialist challenge to sectarian status quo

By Daniel Waldron In Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Socialist Party member Donal O’Cofaigh is fighting for a council seat in the election on 2nd May under the banner of Cross-Community Labour Alternative. Donal works for Unite the Union and is the secretary of Fermanagh Council of Trade Unions. A proven fighter He has been to the fore of every local campaign ...

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Bloody Sunday: No justice, only insults

By Michael O’Brien The decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the North to proceed with the prosecution of just one of the Paratroopers responsible for the murder of 14 unarmed civilian civil rights protesters in Derry during Bloody Sunday in January 1972 has been greeted with justifiable anger by the families of the dead. The Paratroopers are an ...

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North: Irish language becomes a sectarian football

By Kevin Henry The current political impasse in the North continues in the wake of two election campaigns which have been described as the “mother of all sectarian headcounts.” Both Sinn Féinand DUP have consolidated their positions as the largest political force in their respective communities.  The current stalemate in terms of talks is a reflection of increased sectarian polarisation ...

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North: Irish language abused by Orange and Green politicians

By Eóin Dawson In the final days of the last Assembly Executive, before it collapsed under the weight the RHI scandal, the issue of Irish language rights re-emerged. The DUP’s Paul Givan announced a cut to the Líofa bursary scheme, which provides financial assistance to young people to attend Irish language courses in gaeltacht areas. With the sectarian line drawn, ...

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Martin McGuinness – from IRA leader to Stormont minister

The IRA campaign, the ‘peace process’ and the working class The death of Martin McGuinness has been marked by a genuine outpouring of grief in Catholic areas. His funeral became a celebration of a life of struggle and the tens of thousands who attended clearly agree with Gerry Adams that he was a “freedom fighter”, not a “terrorist”. Not all ...

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Northern Assembly election – a Labour Alternative is needed!

The RHI scandal will mean that, while little is done to help the 42% of people here who live in fuel poverty, Northern Ireland’s Ferrari showroom will be kept cosy at a profit using public funds for the next 20 years. In Arlene Foster’s own rural constituency of Fermanagh & South Tyrone, 75% of GP surgeries face closure but Viscount ...

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Bloody Sunday: Real accounting with the past needed

By Kevin Henry The events of Bloody Sunday in January 1972 – when British paratroopers shot dead 14 unarmed people taking part in a civil rights march in Derry – was one of the most horrific and defining moments of the Troubles. This brutal act of repression had the effect of pushing thousands of young people into the dead-end of the IRA’s ...

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