Sunday, 31 October 2010

éirígí Protest Against PSNI Harassment in Newry

Over 40 republicans took to the streets of Newry yesterday [Saturday] to protest against PSNI harassment in the city.

The protest was organised by éirígí in response to a dramatic upsurge in Crown Forces harassment directed towards party activists in the area in recent months. The harassment has included house raids, stop and searches and, more recently, threats and assaults.

The protesters gathered at Ardmore barracks in Newry, where they erected a banner on the fortified sangar situated at the front of the militarised base. They then proceeded to paste posters exposing the unchanged nature of British policing in the Six Counties on the front wall of the barracks.

For the duration of the protest, those in attendance were kept under constant surveillance by the political police, who filmed and videoed the protesters and even went to the lengths of recording the registration numbers of passing motorists who beeped their horns in support.

As the protest was drawing to a close, embarrassed PSNI officers began attempting to tear down the éirígí posters, demonstrating yet again the political priorities of the force.

Speaking after the protest, rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith thanked all those who attended.

“At a time when the PSNI's intimidation tactics in Newry and elsewhere are going into overdrive, those who took the bold step of attending the Ardmore protest are to be commended,” MacCionnaith said.

“Newry republicans have sent out a strong message that they will not sit back and be intimidated by state sponsored thugs. They will resist this harassment with the support of republicans from across Ireland.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “The task now for republicans and socialists is to spread the message far and wide that the PSNI, like its RUC soulmate before it, is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable.

“éirígí will continued to stand firm against PSNI harassment. It will take a lot more than the petty tactics of this discredited force to prevent us carrying out our work.”
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Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The Egyptian Arch Ambush

Sunday, December 12 marks the 90th Anniversary of the Egyptian Arch ambush in which three IRA volunteers, William Canning, Peter Shields and John Francis O’Hare, lost their lives.

The plan was to attack the RIC barracks in Camlough and launch an ambush aimed at Crown Forces reinforcements coming from Newry, who would have to pass under the Arch.

The proximity of the Egyptian Arch to the main garrison town of Newry presented some difficulty to the Newry volunteers from the IRA's 2nd Battalion – to block the road too early would arouse the enemy's attention. So, just as the attack on the Camlough barracks was about to begin, the Newry volunteers quickly cut down the fir trees on either side of the railway embankment and made a roadblock under the arch, cutting the main road that the Crown Forces from the Newry garrison would need if they were to reach Camlough quickly. When the volunteers had finished blocking the road, they moved into firing positions on top of the Arch and waited.

At 11.30pm on Sunday, December 12, a large number of IRA volunteers, estimated at about 200 men from the Camlough and south Armagh area, moved into firing positions around the barracks. The volunteers had commandeered three of the four small houses opposite the barracks and quickly taken up positions at the upstairs windows. About eight volunteers armed with rifles and hand grenades moved into position behind a low wall about eight feet from the barracks on the southern side. On the northern side, the volunteers had the most dangerous part of the operation. They had to insert a long gas pipe through an upstairs window in the barracks. The volunteers at this position were Frank Aiken, the officer in charge of the attack, Tommy O'Neill, the Camlough Battalion OC and Jack McIlhaw. At the western side of the barracks, it was not necessary to have any volunteers as there were no windows.

When all the IRA volunteers had taken up their positions at about midnight, the attack was started with the noise of the pipe breaking the window. This alerted the garrison, who immediately opened fire on the volunteers and sent up flares which lit up the whole area. A fierce volley of rifle fire was directed at the windows of the barrack to pin down any RIC men.The British military garrison in Newry had seen the flares and a large force of 39 British soldiers and RIC personnel in Crossley Tenders and cars were sent to reinforce the Camlough garrison. When the military lorries reached the roadblock under the Egyptian Arch the volunteers on top who had taken up their positions earlier dropped grenades on the Crossley Tenders – two or three found their target but were thrown out before they could explode. Others exploded on the road. As the British soldiers and RIC ran for cover in the fields on either side of the Arch, the volunteers opened up with a fusillade of revolver fire. A British soldier from one of the tenders at once opened fire with a machine gun, raking the top of the Arch. Volunteer William Canning from Ballymaclare, Magilligan's Point in County Derry, who was employed by Cahill Brothers in Hill Street, Newry, was hit in the throat and head and died instantly. It was later admitted by the RIC that his body was thrown from the top of the Arch as "it was the quickest way to get it down".

As the IRA unit was withdrawing, volunteer John Francis O'Hare from Needham Street, Newry, employed as a bookkeeper in Quinn's the Milestone, Hill Street, was badly wounded and captured. He was taken to a British military hospital and kept there until July 15 1921. He died from his wounds on October 5 1921. Also badly wounded in the withdrawal was volunteer Peter Shields from John Martin Street, but his comrades managed to help him to safety. He was taken to a shepherd's hut outside Omeath for a while and then moved on to the Alexian Brothers. Shields died from his wounds on Christmas Day 1920 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Omeath After the volunteers had withdrawn from their positions on top of the Arch, the British army and RIC cleared the roadblock and went on to Camlough where they started raids and reprisals. Over half the village was burned that night.

In December, éirígí will be holding a number of events to commemorate this historic incident. The main event will include the unveiling of a memorial plaque, to be situated at the base of the Arch. This will be a fitting temporary tribute to the brave volunteers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Irish freedom until the permanent tribute of a 32 County Socialist Republic is achieved.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Protest Against PSNI Harassment in Newry

Over the past number of weeks, as reported by éirígí, there has been a notable upsurge in PSNI harassment being directed towards activists from the party in the Newry area.
Many other republicans and nationalists have also found themselves on the receiving end of Crown Forces intimidation and violence in the city during the same period.

This harassment has come in many forms, from house raids to stop and searches, from threats of arrest to vicious assaults. It’s now time take a stand and resist this intimidation.

It’s clear that éirígí activists are being targeted because of an increase in their political activity and due to the party’s steady growth in the Newry area. This is a clear cut example of political policing in action.

While those in positions of power remain silent, éirígí is calling on ordinary people to join us in protest – to highlight, oppose and expose the unchanged nature of the paramilitary police force in the Six Counties.

éirígí will be holding a demonstration at Ardmore PSNI barracks on the Belfast Road, Newry this Saturday [October 30] at 2pm. Bígí Linn.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Protest Against PSNI Harassment

Protest against PSNI harassment
Organised by éirígí
Saturday 30th October
Ardmore PSNI barracks, Belfast Road, Newry, 2pm

For Your Future, For Your Class, For Your Community – Act Now

Osborne gets a pat on the back for his dirty workThat, on the day an ailing Margaret Thatcher was being treated in a private hospital, British Tory chancellor George Osborne was rising at Westminster to wield his ideological axe was highly ironic.

While the woman who wreaked such bloodshed and destruction in occupied Ireland, in British mining communities, in the Malvinas and elsewhere is weak in body, her hateful policies are very much alive and well in the halls of power in Westminster, Leinster House and Britain’s papier-mâché parliament at Stormont.

While British New Labour adopted Thatcherism by stealth, leading the woman herself to claim that party’s reincarnation as her greatest achievement, the current British Tory-Liberal Democrat government has no such qualms about being publicly Thatcherite in its policies.

Osborne & Co have set out a plan that will cripple public services, leave millions in poverty and working class communities in despair.

Among the most significant points of what the British government labeled its ‘spending review’ are: nearly 500,000 public sector jobs to be axed across the British state; an average 19 per cent four-year cut in departmental budgets; £7 billion [€7.9 billion] in additional welfare budget cuts; the retirement age to rise to 66 by 2020, which will impact particularly on low-paid workers who start work earlier in life; the increase of the NHS budget by just 0.4 per cent is de facto the biggest cut since the early 1980s.

In terms of the Six Counties, these cuts translate into: a £4 billion [€4.5 billion] cut in public expenditure over four years, which is effectively a 40 per cent cut in the British government’s subvention; the loss of up to 30,000 public sector jobs, which it is estimated will consequently cost 16,000 jobs in the private sector; the education sector, the health service and social housing will all be hit hard by the mass withdrawal of public money.

The alleged opposition of the establishment parties at Stormont to these viscous attacks on working class people amounts to posturing of the weakest kind. While they have described Osborne’s proposals as “unacceptable”, the reality is that their policy of appealing to the better instincts of a British Tory government has failed completely. A British Tory government does not possess ‘better instincts’ when it comes to dealing with Irish people or workers.

Indeed, some Stormont politicians who should know better had the audacity to feign hurt and offence at the “broken promises” of the British government in relation to what capital it was going to provide in the Six Counties. Any politician, particularly one who claims to oppose Britain’s presence in Ireland, who takes a British government at its word is guilty of breathtaking naivety.

Stormont first minister Peter Robinson and his deputy Martin McGuinness weren’t even in the country to lend their desperate howl of opposition to the British government’s financial holocaust. Instead, they were out with their begging bowl in Washington, seeking the benevolence of another imperial power due to the miserly attitude of the British one.

Britain’s Stormont administrators have two choices in the face of Osborne’s announcement: they can either implement the cuts or they can resign and let the British government do its own dirty work. They can no longer claim the role of opposition while dutifully carrying out the role that Britain designed for them – that of local administrators.

The chances of these establishment politicians doing the right thing and resigning is next to none; they have invested too much of their careers and credibilities in a ridiculous set-up they like to pretend is a real government.

Therefore, it falls on working people to do both the right thing and the only viable thing according to their interests – to actively oppose these cuts and the politicians, both native and foreign, who will implement them. This is the alternative, the only alternative, to meekly bowing down in the face of upper-class Tory ministers whose sole aim is to protect the interests and wealth of the business class.

Starting this Saturday [October 23] in Belfast, people must take to the streets and make it powerfully clear that anyone who dares to implement these cuts is signing their political death warrant.

Public sector workers, the low-paid, the unemployed, community workers, young people, pensioners – everyone who stands to lose in this crisis has a role to play in fighting for a future without poverty and greed.

This is our last chance to ensure that the hateful legacy of Margaret Thatcher and her disciples dies with her – grab it with both hands.

The Irish Congress of Trade Union’s march and rally against the cuts will assemble at the University of Ulster Arts College, Belfast city centre at 12.30pm on Saturday [October 23]. Bígí Linn.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Free Ahmad Sa’adat!

Last Wednesday [October 13] witnessed a number of actions across Ireland in support of the jailed Palestinian revolutionary Ahmad Sa’adat.

Members of éirígí in Dublin mobilised in response to the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat’s call for global days of action in solidarity with Sa’adat. Solidarity events under the auspices of the campaign were planned to occur around the world between October 5 and 15.

Members of éirígí, through their actions, brought the case of the general secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] not only to the ordinary people of Ireland but to the doorstep of the Israeli Embassy in Dublin also.

Ahmad Sa’adat has now been in prison for the last eight-and-a-half years, over 600 days of which he has spent in solitary confinement. Sa’adat has spent at least five other periods in prison because of his involvement in the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Palestine.

Sa’adat, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was attending a meeting with Palestinian Authority security officials on January 15 2002, when they abducted him at the behest of the zionist state and imprisoned him in the Muqata’a compound in Ramallah, later transferring him to Jericho.

In March 2006, with Sa’adat having been interned without charge or trial for over four years, the Israeli army laid siege to Jericho for 12 hours. In the siege, two Palestinian prisoners were killed and Sa’adat and five comrades were kidnapped and transferred to Israeli prisons.

Israel finally tried Sa’adat and, on December 25 2008, sentenced him to 30 years imprisonment. He was convicted of membership of a prohibited organisation [the PFLP], holding a post in a prohibited organisation, and incitement, for a speech he gave following the zionist assassination of his predecessor, Abu Ali Mustafa, in August 2001.

At the protest outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin, members of éirígí, bearing PFLP flags and a banner inscribed with the words Free Ahmad Sa’adat – End the Occupation of Palestine were warmly received by passing members of the public. As always, the Garda were on hand to try and save the blushes of the zionists, harassing the activists as they brought details of Sa’adat’s plight to the public’s attention.

At the protest, éirígí’s Daithí Mac an Mhaistír said: “éirígí is fully supportive of the campaign to free Ahmad Sa’adat. It is very apparent from the support we have received here today that Palestine and its people have many friends in Dublin. We take this opportunity to call on all other progressive organisations in Ireland to get involved in the struggle not only for his liberation, but for the liberation of all of Palestine on a secular and socialist basis. It is for his stand on the issue of socialist revolution that Ahmad Sa’adat is being tortured in an Israeli prison this very day.

“Judging by the reaction both of Israeli Embassy staff and the police, it is very apparent also that the powers-that-be fear what Ahmad Sa’adat and the revolutionary socialist politics of the PFLP represent. The harassment of éirígí members was designed to try and force us to call off the protest in an attempt to stop that message getting to the people of Dublin.

“They were not successful nor will they ever be, for, as Bobby Sands once said, ‘you cannot put a noose around the neck of an idea’. As much as the forces of reaction would wish it to be otherwise, we will never give up highlighting and opposing the crime of the zionist occupation of Palestine – given its intimate connection with the question of imperialism generally. As Ahmad Sa’adat himself has said, ‘we are not going to surrender. We are going to face our destiny with courage’.”

Other actions included the holding of an information stall at the General Post Office in Dublin’s O’Connell Street. As was the case at the embassy protest, éirígí members were monitored by at least one Israeli official as they distributed thousands of leaflets detailing Sa’adat’s case. A petition demanding his release was also signed by many passing members of the public.

Posters demanding Sa’adat’s release were also erected in many locations across the capital.
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Sunday, 17 October 2010

PSNI Assault Newry Republican

The actions of the PSNI in Newry have taken a sinister and worrying twist as they have now resorted to violence in an attempt to intimidate and harass local republicans.

The latest in a long line of incidents occurred on Saturday night [October 16] as the victim, a lifelong republican, made his way home. Once he reached what should have been the safety of his home, the PSNI immediately sped into the street.

Calling him by his name, they proceeded to assault the republican and threw him against the PSNI car, they then arrested him and took him to Banbridge. Once at the barracks, he was again assaulted and was held there until today [Sunday].

Ironically, an hour before this incident, the victim, a number of whose relatives are éirígí activists, had confided to friends that he had noticed an upsurge in harassment being directed towards him. He told his friends that he felt that it would get worse. Little did he know that, shortly afterwards, he would be on the receiving end of PSNI violence outside his own home.

éirígí general secretary Breandán MacCionnaith said: "Just a few days ago, éirígí highlighted the upsurge in PSNI harassment in Newry, with stop and searches being carried out on a routine basis, threats of arrest, house raids and, now, we can add assaults to the list.

"While constitutional nationalist politicians might try to claim that there has been a sea-change in policing in the Six Counties, the reality of ongoing repressive tactics on the ground belies the harsh truth that little has changed. People in working-class communities across the North are only too aware of that fact."

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Truth Hurts for Gun Toting PSNI

Harassment of éirígí activists in the Newry area has gone into overdrive in recent times and, once again, local activists were subjected to a humiliating and aggressive ordeal at the hands of the political police last night [Tuesday].

At the time, the activists were, ironically, erecting posters highlighting the unchanged nature of British policing in Ireland when they were stopped by a PSNI patrol in Bridge Street in the town.

The PSNI used sections 21 & 24 of the British government’s Justice & Security Act to detain the activists, who then had their personal details recorded. One activist was also questioned regarding other members of his family and his activities with éirígí; he rightfully protested against these questions being asked and refused to answer them.

As the activists were being interrogated, another PSNI patrol arrived at the scene, heavily armed with assault rifles. The men were then forced at gunpoint to line up with their hands raised above their heads, whilst other members of the political police aggressively searched them for “munitions, transmitters, and wireless apparatus”. For the duration of the search, the other PSNI officers had their assault rifles aimed squarely at the activists.

The search took place in full view of pedestrians and dozens of passing motorists, many of whom slowed down to see why the PSNI had three men with their arms raised above their heads at gunpoint in the centre of Newry.

Two of the activists were then threatened and told they were being arrested and would be taken to Antrim ‘serious crime suite’ for further questioning, the PSNI claiming they needed to “further ascertain their identities”, despite the fact they had been stopped and searched before, as recently as two weeks ago. The activists protested against the threat of arrest and cited they were well within their rights to be doing what they were doing and had answered the questions they were obliged to answer.

This whole episode lasted roughly 40 minutes and, by this time, a large crowd of locals had gathered to see what the commotion was about; once the locals realised what was happening they challenged the PSNI as to why they were harassing the activists and demanded that they be allowed to go about their business. One of the passers-by even asked for some of posters the activists had so he could distribute them in his own area. This deterred the PSNI and, embarrassed, they let the activists go.

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith said: “When the British government suspended the use of Section 44 of its ‘Terrorism Act’, éirígí alerted people to the prospect of the PSNI simply switching to the use of other repressive legislation. This has, depressingly, come to pass.

“We would like to take this opportunity to commend the good people of Newry for standing by our activists and for publicly challenging the PSNI. This is particularly welcome at a time when any public opposition to the status quo in the Six Counties is deemed as suspect by the powers that be.

“Last night’s harassment is just one of a number of incidents in recent weeks and months where our activists have been subjected to attempted intimidation by the PSNI in Newry. Other examples include homes being raided, activists’ relatives and friends being stopped and forced out of vehicles to be searched and questioned, activists being harassed whilst delivering leaflets, members being surrounded at gunpoint under the British government’s ‘Terrorism Act’ and, now, activists being harassed whilst putting posters up. This is a perfect example of political policing in action. It is clear that our activists are being harassed because of their political activity.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “It is evident that the PSNI fears éirígí and are worried about the message we are spreading when they have to harass, threaten and intimidate political activists at gunpoint for putting up posters. Last night’s incident is evidence that our activism is having an impact, in Newry and elsewhere.

“All the harassment in the world will not deter us from our legitimate political activities – we will continue to highlight the unchanged nature of PSNI and its role in protecting the British occupation.”

If anyone is subjected to similar harassment at the hands of the PSNI, we would advise them to contact their solicitor without delay to log the incident.

Crime a No Go Area for PSNI

Last Thursday night [October 7] at roughly 8pm a woman in the Carnaget area of Newry suffered a terrifying ordeal when she was tied up and robbed at gunpoint in her own home. This disgraceful attack has angered the local community and the criminals who carried it out have no place in this society.
The PSNI response time to this incident has been brought into question, with claims being made that the political police refused to enter the area. The PSNI responded by saying that “there are people in the community who are determined to kill and injure our officers, we must approach some calls with caution. Police will assess the situation and will then seek to take the right action to keep both the community and our officers safe.”

éirígí can reveal that, at 7.45pm, a mere 15 minutes before this incident, a PSNI patrol was situated a few hundred yards away in the Derrybeg estate in an armoured landrover. This patrol spent their time antagonising local youths outside a community facility by flashing their lights, sounding horns and waving at them in an attempt to provoke a riot situation just as they did less than a fortnight ago. So, whilst the PSNI were in Derrybeg teasing youngsters, a woman was being robbed and held at gunpoint a few hundred yards away.

The previous night [Wednesday, October 6] a large foot-patrol of up to 12 PSNI members armed with assault rifles patrolled the Derrybeg estate backed up with at least two armoured landrovers. As they walked through the area they shone torches attached to their guns into residents’ living rooms and gardens.

A spokesperson for éirígí in Newry said: “The issue at hand isn’t, as some local political representatives have claimed, that the PSNI is treating nationalist areas of Newry as ‘no go areas’. The issue is that the PSNI isn’t interested in tackling anti-social behaviour and crime, the priority for the political police is to keep areas like nationalist Newry in line, not protect them.

“Not so long ago, when others were opportunistically claiming that nationalist communities needed the PSNI to tackle anti-social behaviour, éirígí argued that lending support to the PSNI would not result in any decrease in instances of crime. This has been proven to be the case.

“The PSNI is a sectarian paramilitary police force whose role remains the protection of the British occupation in Ireland. They should be opposed as such.”

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Cameron the Little Imperialist

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith has said the comments of British prime minister David Cameron at his party’s annual conference are proof of Britain’s continuing imperialist role in Ireland.

In his main address earlier this week, Cameron said: “When I say I am prime minister of the United Kingdom, I really mean it. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland – we're weaker apart, stronger together, so together is the way we must always stay.”

Mac Cionnaith responded: “The comments of many senior British politicians in recent times have made a mockery of the previous claim that Britain has no selfish or strategic interest in Ireland.

“Cameron’s comments are reminiscent of former British foreign secretary Jack Straw’s assertion that the Britain must remain in Ireland in order to maintain its prominent status in bodies such as NATO, the EU and the UN.

“Cameron’s arrogant claim that ‘together is the way we must always stay’ is a powerful demonstration on the part of the British government that it continues to reject the right of the Irish people to decide their own destiny, freely and as one people.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “Yet again, it falls to Irish republicans to point out that Britain has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland and never can have any right in Ireland. All the posturing in the world by British prime ministers cannot change that fact.

“éirígí will continue to actively challenge the British government’s illegal and illegitimate claim on the North of Ireland, while campaigning in tandem against the right-wing cuts it plans to impose on working class people in the Six Counties.

“It is only by effecting a British withdrawal from Ireland and defeating the disastrous social and economic policies that Britain and its proxies administer to the Irish people that a truly new society can be built. éirígí is calling on all republicans and socialists to begin building a mass opposition to these twin evils.”

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Mac Cionnaith Rubbishes Saulters Comments

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith has said the comments of Orange Order grand master Robert Saulters are indicative of the sectarian malice at the heart of that organisation.
Mac Cionnaith was responding to an article Saulters wrote in the current edition of Orange Standard publication, where he claimed: “Surely we have learned something from the Claudy bombing, the Omagh bombing and all the other atrocities, these fancy names of dissident, real, eirigi [sic], they are all the Roman Catholic IRA and let us not forget that.”

Mac Cionnaith said: “Yet again, Robert Saulters has exposed himself as a fundamentalist bigot of the worst variety. Throughout its history, the Orange Order has been shown to have a clear and proven record of fomenting sectarian division and religious hatred; Saulters’ comments should be seen in this context.

“The Orange Order is an organisation that carries the images of deceased sectarian killers in its processions, has refused to expel living sectarian killers from its ranks, has actively allied itself to unionist murder gangs and continues to attempt to impose sectarian marches upon nationalist areas. It is an organisation with no credibility – in fact, in recent years its membership has dropped drastically from more than 100,000 to just 39,000.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “For the record, éirígí is a secular, socialist republican political party that seeks to unite working class people of all creeds and none in a struggle against occupation and exploitation. This is the real reason for the Orange Order’s antipathy towards republicanism – an antipathy which has existed ever since the Order was first used as an armed militia to suppress those catholics, protestants and dissenters who had joined together within the United Irishmen to embrace a republican vision of society based upon liberty, fraternity and equality as opposed to the one based on exploitation, sectarian division and discrimination as favoured by the Order.

“It is to be hoped that those who have attempted to rehabilitate the Orange Order through such shams as Orange Fest will take the continued sectarian comments of its leadership into account when they are considering what to do with their next tranche of funding.”

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Local Media Coverage

A few recent media articles from the Crossexaminer, Newry Democrat and Newry Reporter featuring éirígí. Click the articles to enlarge them

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Friday, 1 October 2010

Jail the Bankers and Politicians, Not Protesters

Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson has said the arresting and charging of the protester who drove a lorry into the gateway of Leinster House exposes the stark contrast between the Twenty-Six County state’s treatment of bankers and those who dare protest against the bank bail-outs.
Joseph McNamara drove a cement mixer emblazoned with the slogans “Anglo Toxic Bank” and “Sack All Politicians” up to the gates of Leinster House on Wednesday morning and abandoned it, causing consternation among the establishment politicos attempting to enter the building.

Leeson said: “The speed with which this man was arrested and charged stands in stark contrast to the treatment of the bankers and wealthy business elite responsible for the economic crisis.

“He is not the first to be charged for opposing the bail-out of Anglo Irish Bank and others, the cost of which, according to the Central Bank, is now set to rise to a massive €50 billion [£43 billion]. In May, seven éirígí activists were arrested and currently await trial for offences relating to a protest at the headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank. Yet not one person has faced charges for their role in the banking crisis, further evidence that the institutions of this state act only in the interest of the business class.”

Leeson continued: “Ironically, the charging of this man coincided with Twenty-Six County finance minister Brian Lenihan’s announcement that a further €10-15 billion [£9-13 billion] is to be pumped into Anglo Irish Bank, Allied Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Bank. According to Lenihan, he has ‘no choice’ but to do so and to slash even more than the previously suggested €3 billion [£2.6 billion] of cuts in the upcoming budget.”

“Lenihan’s claim that he has no choice but to impose these cuts is untrue. He could impose a wealth tax on the business elite and he could nationalise our oil and gas, a move that would bring tens of billions of euro into the public purse.

“However, true to form, Fianna Fáil have no intention of making the rich pay their fair share. Instead, they have taken a deliberate decision to make working class communities, low paid workers, social welfare recipients and the public health and education systems they rely on suffer in order to maintain the lavish lifestyle of the wealthy political and business elite in this state.”