It was a busy day for éirígí activists in Baile Átha Cliath yesterday, Saturday March 15. The day began with the Anarchist Bookfair, which opened at 11am in the Teachers’ Club on Parnell Square in Dublin City centre. This annual event, which has grown in strength since its inception three years ago, represents a valuable showcase for many of Ireland’s progressive organisations.
éirígí, Shell to Sea, the Workers’ Solidarity Movement, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Residents Against Racism, the Irish Socialist Network and the Seomra Spraoi Social Centre were among the groups present. The éirígí stall attracted plenty of interest with many taking the opportunity to find out more about the party and the campaigns that it is involved in.
While the bookfair continued throughout the day a group of éirígí activists in west Dublin’s Clondalkin braved the rain and wind to stage the first in a series of local area protests against both British royal visits to Ireland and the ongoing occupation of the six counties. The protest, which attracted regular supportive car horn beeps from passing motorists, was the first public protest by éirigi in this area of Dublin.
Several hundred leaflets were distributed to pedestrians and motorists alike during the course of the one-hour protest. éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson, who was at the protest, commented on how it was another positive step in éirígi’s development,
‘While we have previously distributed 1916 Proclamations and other éirígi material to thousands of homes in the Clondalkin area this is the first time that we have had a public protest in the area. This part of Dublin has historically had a large republican constituency and to judge by the positive reaction of people here today that hasn’t changed.’
Brian continued by encouraging people in Clondalkin to become involved in supporting éirígí campaigns in the area, ‘Over the course of the last couple of months éirígí has begun to develop a local organisation in the Clondalkin and Lucan area. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask republicans and socialists living here to get involved in supporting us as we build popular opposition to both the British occupation and the current socio-economic system.’
On Saturday evening up to 150 people attended an éirígí function in the Ayrefield social centre in Coolock on Dublin’s northside. The event was organised to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Republican Brotherhood on St Patrick’s Day in 1858.
While the musicians took a well deserved break éirígí’s Breandán Mac Cionnaith gave a brief summary of the foundation and history of the Fenian movement before asking for a minute’s silence in memory of Rosemary Nelson who was murdered by a pro-British death squad on March 15, 1999.
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