The Socialist Party - An unrivalled record of struggle
The Socialist Party has a proud record of campaigning on behalf of working class people in Ireland, North and South.
In recent years our Party and its public representatives have been at the heart of many of the biggest working class struggles and campaigns. North and the South we have supported every major strike and struggle by workers in the last 40 years for better pay and conditions or in defence of their jobs and rights.
Water Charges victories North and South
Between 1994 – 1997 the Socialist Party played a leading role in the Federation of Dublin Anti-Water Charges Campaigns. We worked with others in this campaign to convince thousands of people to refuse to pay this double tax, eventually defeating it. Over 70% of people in Dublin refused to pay the water charges. We organised effective direct action to prevent the councils from disconnecting people’s water supplies. We raised tens of thousands of pounds and took the council on in the courts, winning on many occasions. This campaigning action along with the near election of Joe Higgins to the Dail in the Dublin West by-election in 1996 sent a shock wave through the political establishment and forced them to scrap the charges in 1997.
In the North the Socialist Party founded and is playing a leading role in the We Won’t Pay Campaign. For the last four years the We Won’t Pay Campaign has been campaigning to convince people that the water charges can be defeated through a campaign of mass non-payment. We have collected nearly 100,000 non-payment pledges and the success of the campaign so far was shown when the British government once again decided to postpone introducing the charges on 1 April 2007. This decision was taken because it became obvious during the Assembly elections that water charges is a massive issue for working class people. The water charges have only been postponed and the Socialist Party and the We Won’t Pay Campaign will continue to fight for their abolition.
Jailed for fighting the bin tax
The Socialist Party also played a major role in the anti-bin tax campaign. In Fingal residents and Socialist Party members brought the council’s bin service to a stand still in the autumn of 2003 by holding trucks in communities. In Santry, a truck was held for over two weeks! Five members of the party went to jail in September/October 2003 for their part in these protests. Among them Joe Higgins TD and Councillor Clare Daly were sent to Mountjoy prison for one month by an arrogant High Court judge. They were jailed for refusing to stop protesting against the bin tax and to abandon those who elected them.
For 40 years the Socialist Party and (our forerunner Militant) have campaigned for working class unity in Northern Ireland. We have consistently stood up against the sectarian politicians who have built their support on dividing working class people. On numerous occasions trade union members of the Socialist Party organised walkouts and strikes when trade unionists were killed or threatened by the loyalist and republican paramilitaries.
Our youth members have led major campaigns down through the years including a one day strike of over 10,000 school students against Thatchers’ attempts to force young people to work for their dole. In the 80’s we organised various campaigns and major demonstrations against youth unemployment. Our anti-fascist and anti-racist work includes counter-demonstrations against the fascist National Front and direct action to stop the British National Party from organising in Northern Ireland. Socialist Youth also campaigns for young workers rights, against low pay, opposed student fees and against the imperialist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Socialist Youth are currently campaigning to improve the conditions of student nurses.
Joe Higgins – The real opposition
Joe Higgins has been frequently referred to as "the real opposition" to the government. For the last ten years he has used his position in the Dail to voice the anger and concerns of working class people on a host of issues and to support workers taking industrial action and opposing privatisation.
Joe played a decisive role in exposing the slave wage scandal at the construction company GAMA of Turkish workers being paid as little as €2.20 an hour. The campaign by the Socialist Party and the industrial action of the GAMA workers resulted in them being paid tens of millions of euro in back wages and forced GAMA to pay trade union rates.
The Socialist Party is aiming to build a new mass working class party based on struggling to end the exploitation of the working class and ending the rule of the capitalist elite. If you want to make a difference join us today!
10 Years of Fianna Fail/PD in government - A legacy of failure
Two million workers have created enormous wealth in Ireland. However for the last ten years, the Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrat Government has allowed big business, big builders and developers to take the lion’s share, to make gigantic profits for themselves, but at enormous cost to working people and their communities:
These issues arise directly from political decisions by
politicians who put corporate profits before the interests
of working people. Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Progressive Democrats are
linked by a thousand ties to the property developers and
construction firms who have benefitted massively from the
political decisions of these politicians at the expense of
• Thousands of houses and apartments have been built without basic infrastructure such as schools, public transport, childcare or community facilities.
• Our health service is in crisis.
• Traffic gridlock has reached breaking point.
• Hundreds of children with no places in primary school
this September and 40% of our children are in classes of
over 30 – the second highest pupil:teacher ratio in Europe.
• Aer Lingus and Telecom Éireann handed over to the
Stock Exchange sharks through privatisation.
• Wages and decent working conditions in construction
and other areas threatened by "a race to the bottom" as seen
in Gama, Irish Ferries and, now, Aer Lingus.
• Young people shackled to 40 year mortgages to buy an
ordinary home – hundreds of thousands priced out of the
market - all for the greed of speculators and developers.
• Developers allowed to set up unregulated estate
management companies which charge rip-off fees.