First of all we would like to say it’s an honour to be asked by the Alex Patterson and James McPhilemy Cumman of Strabane IRSP to give the main oration.
Since we stood here last September, the Irish Republican Socialist Movement has been through a massive 12 months in its history, both internally and externally, locally and nationally.
We have emerged in September 2011 as a relevant force in local politics in Strabane and a growing force in revolutionary politics across the entire Island of Ireland.
For the last 30 years the IRSP and the INLA has had a permanent presence in Strabane, through out the darkest days of our contemporary history, when young Strabane men and women took up arms in the name of National Liberation and Socialism to the election battles fought on every door step in the town, we remain here today, a force to fight for the working class people in the vision of Connolly and Costello.
Today in Strabane the Irish Republican Socialist Party has never, in its local history, been stronger. Each day members of the party are involved in fighting battles on behalf of the working class of Strabane and continuing to build the Irish Republican Socialist Party as a force in local politics.
On the 5th of May the IRSP narrowly missed out on our first seat on Strabane District Council, despite losing out by one vote we can hold our heads up in the knowledge that the people of this town have given the Irish Republican Socialist Party a mandate. This would not have been possible without the hard work and determination shown by our party members and supporters, who we humbly thank.
That mandate enables us to fight right wing policies espoused by our local representatives in every arena, be it on the streets the community sector or in the local media. Representing the working class of Strabane from a solid Marxist position will be the remit of the Irish Republican Socialist Party over the coming months and years.
Although we recognize that electoral parliamentary politics will not play a role in the final victory, we reserve the right to use the political system as a tool for the building of the Irish Republican Socialist Party and the building of the class consciousness of the Irish working class.
Standing here today amongst comrades, old and new, we reaffirm our commitment to National Liberation and Socialism and we salute the ultimate sacrifice our comrades Alex and James made.