Northern Ireland:: Joe Higgins calls for workers’ alternative

Socialist Party Amendment to the Fine Gael Private Members’ Motion on Northern Ireland

The following press statement on the political stalemate in Northern Ireland was released by Joe Higgins, Socialist Party member of Dáil Éireann (Irish parliament). It details an amendment to a Private Members’ Motion on Northern Ireland that was presented by Fine Gael, a right wing opposition party.

Joe Higgins calls for workers’ alternative

Press Statement – 7th February 2005

Joe Higgins T.D. Socialist Party

The Socialist Party believes that neither the conservative political parties in this State nor the sectarian based political parties in the North can provide any resolution to the problems of Northern Ireland.

Joe Higgins T.D. has submitted the following Amendment to the Fine Gael Private Members’ Motion due to be debated in the Dáil on 8th and 9th February.

Amendment to the Fine Gael Private Members’ Motion re: Northern Ireland

Delete all after Dáil Éireann and substitute:

  • Believes that events in Northern Ireland since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement show clearly that a resolution cannot be found based on the institutionalisation of sectarian division and on political parties that are based on sectarian division;
  • Believes that the large majority of the population in Northern Ireland want peace and no resumption of paramilitary attacks;
  • Demands the continuation of ceasefires by paramilitary organisations but notes the continuation by these organisations on both sides of the community of undemocratic and oppressive methods to maintain control over areas where they are based and calls for an end to these activities;
  • Has no confidence that the current British or Irish Governments, which are implementing neo-liberal economic policies, have any solution to the underlying social and economic problems which blight in particular Catholic and Protestant working class communities;
  • Notes in particular the British Government’s policy for further privatisation of public services and the planned introduction in 2006 of water charges for householders;
  • Believes that a resolution to the problems in Northern Ireland can only be based on a united working class mobilising to resolve the economic, social and political problems that confront society;
  • Calls for complete demilitarisation;
  • Calls for an end to all activity by all paramilitaries, loyalist and republican;
  • Calls for the establishment of genuine policing services that are locally based and under the control of democratically elected policing committees;
  • Calls for the building of a mass political party capable of uniting the working class in the struggle for a socialist solution.

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February 2005