éirígí becomes a political party
As part of its process of development, éirígí has taken the decision to organise itself as a political party. The motion to this effect was put to today's Árd Fheis and ratified by the membership.
Also agreed upon this afternoon was the group's first constitution which sets out the aims and objectives of éirígí, as well as the conduct expected from members.
When éirígí was launched as a socialist-republican campaigns group in April 2006 it was stated that "a Democratic Socialist Republic can only be established and sustained through the collective action of a progressive social movement incorporating local communities, organised labour, cultural organisations, campaigns groups, political parties etc."
This remains the case. However, the development of the organisation in the intervening 12 months has opened up opportunities which were previously unavailable.
éirígí's catchment area has now expanded beyond Dublin, with a membership pool and structure that stretches across the country – in both the Six and Twenty-Six Counties.
éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson expanded on the move.
"Following today's decision we now intend to set about the business of organising ourselves as a revolutionary political party.
"The growth and level of interest we have experienced over the last year has shown that there is a potential for a radical socialist-republican alternative to what passes for politics in this country – we fully intend to capitalise on that potential.
"Our belief that the needs of the people of Ireland are best served by ending the British occupation of the Six Counties, securing the reunification of the country and the establishment of a Socialist Republic is as relevant today as it ever was.
Brian continued: "However, éirígí are not becoming a political party for the sake of it. We believe that the whole notion of what a political party is needs to be re-examined. The change we seek in society is the sort that comes from the bottom up, not the other way round.
"A revolutionary political party has a crucial role to play in instigating that change but it can only do so in conjunction with the active participation of large numbers of the population. Until that happens, words like democracy are not worth the paper they are written on.
"Much has been said and written in recent times about the state of the republican struggle – a lot of it from an understandably pessimistic point of view. éirígí is ready to play its part in rejuvenating that struggle and looks
forward with optimism and hope to doing so.
"In conclusion, we intend not only to radically redefine the nature of Irish society but also the struggle to achieve that change."