Northern Ireland

Socialist Party statement on the rioting in Belfast

No going back! Fight for working-class unity! Protests and rioting have taken place over recent days in Protestant working-class areas across Northern Ireland, last night escalating into clashes at the ‘peace wall’ on Lanark Way in Belfast.  There is now a real danger of a significant increase in sectarian violence in the coming months. The fact that a bus driver ...

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North: Stand up for journalism – end threats & intimidation

By Seán Burns Journalists across multiple newspapers in Northern Ireland have received threats from both loyalist paramilitaries and ‘dissident’ republicans. The threats against journalists working for the Belfast Telegraph are believed to originate from the breakaway South-East Antrim UDA. Female journalists in particular have also been targets of misogynistic threats. The Socialist Party wholly condemns these blatant attempts to intimidate ...

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Troubles Victims’ Payment Scheme: A socialist perspective

The controversy around the Victims’ Payment Scheme is an important example of how, decades into the ‘peace process’, there has been a failure to deal with the legacy of the Troubles. Instead, sensitive issues like this remain part of the tit-for-tat between sectarian forces, with victims and ordinary people suffering the consequences. After the framework for the scheme was given ...

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North: The way forward for hospitality workers

By Neil Moore, Regional Hospitality Organiser, Unite (personal capacity) January 2020 was a simpler time. Workers in the hospitality industry were infuriated at being classed as ‘unskilled’ by the Johnson government and deserving of low pay by the bosses. The trade bodies – representing the bosses – were celebrating a ‘bumper year’. Projected spending in restaurants was to reach £269m (a 10% ...

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Harland & Wolff: The hidden history of workers’ struggle

The history of Northern Ireland is often present as simply being of two traditions – nationalism and unionism – in conflict with each other. Almost everything is painted as belonging to one or the other, including the shipyard. It is also true that most things do have a history tainted by sectarianism and this is most certainly true of the ...

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Defend jobs & livelihoods: Nationalise Bombardier

By Chris Stewart, Unite Irish Executive (Pers. Cap.) Three thousand, six hundred highly skilled workers at Bombardier, an aircraft manufacturer in the North, have been dealt another blow by the announcement that the multi-billion euro company is to sell-off its global aero structures division. The news came unexpectedly just days after the workers and their union Unite celebrated a significant ...

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The Ballymurphy Massacre: Families deserve truth & justice

By Kevin Henry Six months before Bloody Sunday – when the infamous Parachute Regiment (Paras) killed 14 unarmed protesters at a civil rights march in Derry – eleven people were killed in Ballymurphy by the same regiment. For over 48 years, the families of these victims have been denied justice by the British state. Now, an inquest is finally highlighting ...

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Tackling the mental health crisis

by Ryan McNally  Mental health services continue to be so overwhelmed by demand that people seeking help routinely face long waiting lists to access the treatment they need. Long waiting times, which can be up to a year in extreme cases, can allow illnesses to grow worse while they are left untreated and can make patients less likely to engage ...

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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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